About Fuengirola beaches
Fuengirola sits conveniently between the two ‘super resorts’ of the Costa del Sol, Marbella and Torremolinos, within easy reach of their respective amenities. In terms of development (high-rise accommodations and dozens of touristy bars and shops) it has more in common with the latter, though it is nowhere near as noisy or brash, and much of the adjoining quarter of Los Boliches is, by Costa del Sol standards, unspoiled. Most holidaymakers come to Fuengirola for its long stretch of fine golden beaches.
The golden beaches of Fuengirola stretch for some 8km (5 miles), flanked for much of the way by one of the longest palm-lined promenades on the Costa del Sol, recently widened and landscaped. The whole length of the beach is kept meticulously clean and is sheltered with calm waters, good for children and novice windsurfers. Beach bars serve fresh fish and there are numerous watersports on offer, either on the beach or at the port/marina at Los Boliches.
Beyond the beach:
Fuengirola Zoo (Avenida Camilo José Cela), is the main attraction. Recommended recently by the National Geographic magazine, this zoo eschews cages wherever possible in favour of the simulated lush tropical forests of Africa, Asia and Madagascar, In July and August the zoo is atmospherically illuminated for ‘moonlight visits’ and stays open until 0100, allowing visitors to observe its nocturnal inmates while active.
Mijas (4km/2.5 miles north) is an idyllic Andalucian village that has been gentrified to accommodate the expectations of coach loads of daily Costa del Sol visitors, but is still worth seeing, particularly at quiet times.
This part of the Costa del Sol is excellent for golf and tennis. Mijas Golf (Camino Viejo de Coín, 3.5km/2 miles, Urbanización Mijas Golf) is one of the best holiday courses on the Costa del Sol. There are many more courses, local and world-famous, within easy reach. Also in Mijas is the highly rated Lew Hoad Campo de Tenis and two more good tennis clubs Algarrobo and Club del Sol. If yachting and diving are your things, head to the marina at Los Boliches.
Don’t miss Fuengirola Zoo which also has a good children’s play area and farm. At Mijas Costa (27km/17 miles east), Parque Acuático (Carretera N-340, Km 209; www.aquamijas.com) is a popular waterpark with the usual rota of white-knuckle flumes and slides. Benalmádena Costa (12km, 7.5 miles east) is home to three major family attractions. The long-established Tivoli World (Avenida Tivoli, Arroyo de la Miel; www.tivolicostadelsol.com) is the largest amusement park on the coast with theme park and funfair rides and shows of every kind. Close by, Selwo Marina (Parque de la Paloma; www.selwomarina.com) is the region’s newest attraction. It combines a dophinarium, penguinarium, sea lion and parrot displays. There is a good children’s play area and the opportunity to swim with sea lions. At the Puerto Deportivo, the Sea Life Centre (www.sealifeeurope.com) is an old favourite with dozens of up-to-the-minute displays of native and exotic denizens of the deep, plus feeding demonstrations and presentations.
See how the other lives at the swanky Marbella marina of Puerto Banús (25km/15.5 miles) east of Fuengirola, then explore the delightful old town, parts of which dates back over 600 years. Ronda (61km/38 miles north west of Marbella), set above a spectacular ravine in the midst of classic rolling Andalucian countryside, is one the region’s most attractive and historically interesting towns.
First-class restaurants include Patrick Bousier (Rotonda de la Luna, Pueblo López) whose eponymous owner/chef is a disciple of the legendary French chef, Paul Bocuse, and Valparaiso (Carretera de Mijas, Km 4), where the Italian food and atmosphere is enhanced by a tenor.