Welcome to my very first blog post from my new home town of Fuengirola!
Even though things were not off to a great start after my arrival in Spain (thanks covid!), I couldn’t be more excited to finally start exploring once the restrictions were lifted.
The first stop – Fuengirola Bioparc.
A traditional ZOO is not the first place I would visit since most of them are a very sore sight and I always feel sad seeing the animals in the small enclosures bored out of their mind.
Bioparc is very different and if you wouldn’t see the occasional fence, you wouldn’t know you’ve just entered a ZOO.
This place really stands out from everything I’ve seen before because of their dedication to nature & animal conservation and creating natural habit for animals that live here.
They have a nature and environment conservation foundation, and dedicate resources to biodiversity conservation projects, like the preservation of fauna in Madagascar and programs for breeding of endangered species.
Let me take you for a stroll, you will be in for a surprise!
Starting at the entrance, the building itself is absolutely gorgeous and build in traditional Spanish style with a color that beautifully contrasts with the lush jungle inside.
Once you enter, you will see a ticket booth on your left side alongside a small gift shop and entrance gates right in front of you.
After you pass the entrance, your view is completely transformed and you’ll find yourself immersed inside a lush jungle with birds signing from each tree and monkeys shouting in the distance.
The Bioparc lets you experience all their animals in their natural habitat.
They have reproduced natural living conditions for more than 130 species found here.
The amount of work and detailed planning that went into this project is visible on every corner – the Baobab tree below for example was build completely from scratch from concrete to resemble a real tree!
There are posters next to it showing how the park was build, it was truly fascinating.
Nature is incorporate into every aspect of the park, for example all the roofs are made from palm leaves, all the bridges are wooden and the lush vegetation everywhere in the park is a sight of itself.
If you’ve never been to the jungle, this is as close as you can get to it inside a city.
The poster boy for the park – the Gorilla. There are no tall fences around the enclosure, just steep cliffs with water running around the edges.
These guys were a sight too. They were sitting right next to the glass display and purring along.
Thanks to the lush vegetation and mature palm trees, there are almost no spots in the park where you would be walking in a broad sunshine.
That’s something you will certainly appreciate if you want to visit in the middle of the day in the summer.
Komodo dragons (below) – they are blending in with the ground here, there is one on the left side next to that big rock.
I love how they rebuilt those ancient ruins behind them, to make you feel like you’re actually visiting their natural habitat.
There are information tables next to each disclosure which also reference the inspiration behind the architecture (which as you can tell by the lack of details here, I didn’t read).
After a short walk we made it to the restaurant to find it completely empty (this was just after covid restrictions were reduced).
The restaurant has a decent menu and gorgeous setting overlooking the monkey enclosure.
There is a huge playground right next to it, perfect for entertaining kids while you eat.
Another hit was this sunken enclosure where you can get a better look on the fish – they were HUGE!
If I wasn’t scared of some of the animals, honestly I would build a tree house here and live here! Isn’t it beautiful?
No show is complete without a display of meerkats.
After a round of sightseeing, discovering hidden enclosures, admiring the trees and a quick lunch at the cafeteria, you will reach the entrance again.
We actually did two rounds on our first visit as we missed some stuff at the beginning and I wanted to take another look at the impressive Baobab tree.
Just as we were exiting the park, I was saying to my husband that we have to come back there again. It’s such a calm and relaxing place, a lush jungle in the middle of the city, where kids can roam free and there is a sense of wonder around every corner.
If you’re coming to Fuengirola for holiday, don’t miss on this one, you will love it, I promise!
Visiting Bioparc in Fuengirola
- Opening hours: 10am to 8pm all year
- Tickets: 21.10 eur for adults, 16.10 eur for 3-9 years old (under 3 is free)
- Annual Pass: 50 eur for adults, 38 eur for 3 – 9 year old
- Bonus tip: if you buy an annual pass on your visit, they will refund the cost of your ticket from your visit!
- Map of the park – check here
- Good to know: its forbidden to bring your own food or drinks to the park,
Fuengirola: Recommended Day Trips & Experiences
- Caminito del Rey Day Trip with Guide – explore the world-famous pathway of the king, and admire the stunning views from the gorge El Chorro. Includes pick up in Fuengirola, entrance to Caminito del Rey and helmets.
- Day Trip to Gibraltar – with pick up from Fuengirola with a minibus, with free time in Gibraltar for shopping and an optional tour of the nature reserve.
- Gibraltar Sightseeing Day Tour – a more structured day trip with a full tour of the nature reserve, showing you all the highlights, with free time for shopping. Pick up from Fuengirola.
- Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas Day Trip – see the famous Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda, with one of the oldest bullrings in the country, and admire the homes and restaurants built into caves in Setenil. Pick-up in Fuengirola – includes a walking tour of Ronda and a complimentary glass of wine in Ronda.
- Day Trip to Granada with Alhambra Tour – see one of the architectural wonders of Spain, the Moorish Palace complex of Alhambra, with free time to explore Granada. Includes pick-up from Fuengirola, tickets to Alhambra and a guide.
Explore More in Fuengirola
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Southern Spain Travel Tips
BEST CAR RENTAL
To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, an award winning price comparison site for car rentals.
BUS & TRAIN TICKETS
To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.
Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.
I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.
If you would like to leave your luggage behind to explore the city on your last day, you can use Radical Storage service, which lets you book luggage storage in all the destinations in Spain.
LOCAL SIM CARD
If you want to avoid surprising extra charges from your operator, you can use a service like Airalo, where you can buy digital packs for e-sim cards.
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