7+ Exciting Day Trips from Fuengirola, Spain

If you’re coming for a holiday to Fuengirola, after a few days at the beach you might start wondering whether to explore beyond the city borders – you certainly should!

There is so much to see and experience just a short drive away from Fuengirola. If you’re not keen on renting a car, you don’t need to worry.

There are plenty of beautiful places available with a bus or train rides – Fuengirola is very well connected to major cities and smaller villages. I have managed to see almost all the places listed here without renting a car.

Without further delay, here are the best day trips from Fuengirola.

1. Mijas Pueblo

I have been to Mijas Pueblo a number of times because its so conveniently close to Fuengirola, and in the summer it doesn’t get as crowded as the coastline.

It still has that old school village charm and feel, although the presence of tourists in summer is certainly hard to ignore.

Mijas Pueblo offers you the chance of experiencing Pueblos Blancos (White Towns) without having to travel too far out of Fuengirola. It’s one of my favourite day trips out of the city and I’m certain you will love it too!

How to get to Mijas Pueblo from Fuengirola: Mijas Pueblo is approximately 8 km North of Fuengirola, a short 10+ minute drive via the A-387.

Alternatively you can take one of the local buses from Fuengirola main station, number M-122 which run every 15 minutes. Timetable available here.

You can also take a local taxi / uber there which would cost between 10 – 15 eur for one way trip.

What to See in Mijas Pueblo: One of the best way to experience Mijas Pueblo is getting lost in the white washed village streets.

Some of the best views in the village are from Parque la Muralla, a large park with lush vegetation stretching around the edge of the village.

It also has its own bullring, watch tower and a few hiking routes that offer even more breathtaking views of the coastline. Full list of things to do is in the article linked below.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip:

10 Things to Do in Mijas Pueblo

Spending a Day in Mijas Pueblo

Cozy streets of Mijas Pueblo
The town has also alternative modes of transport – donkey taxi and horse carriage rides. Photos is taken next to the donkey ‘parking station’.
One of many small charming churches in Mijas Pueblo.
Views from Parque de Muralla are hard to beat.
Stunning views all around.
The old town of Mijas Pueblo is perfect for wandering in the narrow streets.

2. Malaga

Malaga is the capital of the municipality and one that has certainly the most to offer.

It’s rich in history, but you won’t get bored either if you don’t like museums or old ruins. Malaga’s coastline is famous for its golden beaches and vibrant night life.

If you don’t want to cram too much into one day, aim to see the Gibralfaro Castle to enjoy some of the best views of the city, stroll through the old town in Malaga, have sangria in a local chiringuito by the beach and end the day at Muelle Uno for some people watching, sunset watching & delicious food.

How to get to Malaga from Fuengirola: Malaga is only 30 km from Fuengirola, a short 30 minute drive on the AP-7 highway.

If you prefer to avoid the traffic and parking headaches, you can take a very comfortable train ride from one of the Fuengirola train stops (main station, Los Boliches, Torreblanca, Carvajal). The train journey takes approx 40 minutes, and costs 4 eur one way. Tickets are available in the booths on each station (English language is available). The train stops at two stations, Maria Zambrano and Centro.

Getting to Malaga with taxi is much more expensive, just the drives to the airport costs around 40 – 50 eur depending on the season.

What to See in Malaga: You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to sightseeing in Malaga. Some of the highlights include Picasso Museum, Malaga Old town and Malaga Cathedral, Plaza de Toros, Centre Pompidou, La Conception Botanical Gardens, Alcazaba and much more.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip:

La Conception Botanical Garden in Malaga

Picasso Museum in Malaga

Lucky timing – I visited the Botanical Garden during the wisteria bloom season.
Charming old town in Malaga, near Gibralfaro.
Malaga Cathedral, yet to visit inside!
Inside Picasso Museum.

3. Marbella

Marbella is very well connected with Fuengirola via frequent bus network or a speedy highway. Visit of Marbella gives you a chance to experience a bit of glamour, just 30 minutes away.

It’s much more sophisticated, with fancy beach clubs and hotels lining the coastline, and bustling old town with picturesque old houses and restaurants.

It’s a very popular destination especially in the summer, so be prepared to face the crowds when you arrive.

How to get to Marbella from Fuengirola: If you’re driving, take the A-7 highway towards Marbella. It’s only 30 km away, so the journey doesn’t take longer than 30 mins.

The are frequent buses running from Fuengirola Main station to Marbella, every 30 mins or so. The tickets are around 3 eur one way, and the journey takes approx 1 hr – 1 hr 20 mins, depending on the bus you take. The bus is number M-220 and timetable is available here.

There are no train connection to Marbella, the train network ends in Fuengirola.

What to See in Marbella: Marbella offers a variety of experiences and is full of contrasts.

Start by exploring the beautiful old town in the heart of Marbella and enjoy a lunch at Plaza de Naranjas. Take a stroll on the beach promenade, book a boat trip, or venture further to explore the Golden Mile and Puerto Banus.

The culinary scene in Marbella is much more exciting than Fuengirola, and it is also known for its luxurious hotels and beach clubs.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip:

Weekend in Marbella

The Farm Restaurant in Marbella

The prevailing colour scheme in Marbella – white and traditional Andalusian yellow houses.
Beautiful hidden corners of the old town Marbella.
Even restaurants in Marbella are picture-perfect!
The famous red bridge in Puerto Banus
Few of many charming old restaurants in the old town.

4. Torremolinos

The first time I’ve ever visited Spain years ago was my cheap holiday trip to Torremolinos.

While the all-inclusive hotel and coastline didn’t leave much of an impression, I’m happy to report that there’s much more to it these days.

The coastline has now been more developed, offering a variety of restaurants and hotels at different price points. Torremolinos is known as the Costa del Sol mecca of the LGBT community.

Torremolinos is certainly not as exciting as the other destinations on this list, but if you’re traveling with kids, they will love a trip to the Aqualand.

Torremolinos also has a nice old town with pretty views of the coastline, and a little Botanical Garden just north of the city. There is also a small crocodile park, but from what I’ve heard it’s not really great value for money and you’re better off visiting the Bioparc in Fuengirola, where they also have crocodiles.

How to get to Torremolinos from Fuengirola: Torremolinos is 20 km away from Fuengirola, a short 15-20 minutes ride on the AP-7 highway.

You can also get there by bus from the main Fuengirola bus station, or take the frequent train towards Malaga.

What to See in Torremolinos: One of the most popular attractions is the Aquapark, fun for both adults and kids. If you want to experience a bit more than the coastline, head north to the Botanical Gardens.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip:

Molino de Inca Botanical Garden: A Hidden Oasis in Torremolinos

The entrance to the botanical garden in Torremolinos
Ticket booth and mill museum.
Lush jungle at the botanical garden
Building of the old natural spring in the gardens
Natural spring

5. Benalmadena

Benalmadena is another one of my favourite day trips from Fuengirola – it’s so easy to get there with a train, and there’s plenty to explore.

The area consists of Benalmadena Costa which is the coastal part of the town, and further up the hills is the old Benalmadena Pueblo.

The town has a vibrant and busy summer season, lots of restaurants to choose from (see linked recommendations below) and offers variety of experiences.

How to get to Benalmadena from Fuengirola: Benalmadena is 16 km away from Fuengirola, and depending on whether you’ll arrive in Pueblo or Costa, it will take between 10 – 20 minutes to drive there via the AP-7 direction of Malaga.

You can also take the regular train towards Malaga that runs every 20 minutes from Fuengirola, and tickets one way cost under 4 eur per person. The train stop Benalmedana Arroyo de la Miel is located North of Benalmadena Costa, about 10 minutes walk.

What to See in Benalmadena: For such a small town, Benalmadena has plenty to explore. Visit the monument dedicated to the travels of Christopher Columbus, just outside of the old town (linked below).

Visit the Buddhist temple outside of old town to marvel at the coastline views, and while there, pop to the Butterly Park next door. The old town is also one not to be missed.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip:

Butterfly Park in Benalmadena

Paloma Park in Benalmadena

Benalmadena Old Town

Castillo Colomares in Benalmadena

10 Exciting Things to Do in Benalmadena

The Foodie’s Guide to Benalmadena

Benalmadena Marina
Bil Bil Castle in Benalmadena
Buddhist Temple next to the Butterfly Park, with amazing views of the coastline
Cactus Garden in Paloma Park, must see!
Castillo Colomares, just outside of the old town
Old town Benalmadena
Butterfly Park in Benalmadena

6. Ronda

Ronda is truly breath-taking and if you only have time for one day trip, my vote would go for Ronda.

The city is divided by a deep gorge (El Tajo), which separated the new part of the town dating back to 15th century, with the old town dating back to Moorish times.

It has everything you need from a historic location – stunning views, old bridges, beautiful green parks and wonderful architecture.

There is so much to learn about the history of Ronda that you might feel like a week alone here won’t be enough.

How to get to Ronda from Fuengirola: Ronda is under 100 km away from Fuengirola, so a bit further compared to the other destinations on the list, but getting there is well worth it. It takes about 1.5 hrs to get there by car, but the road itself is not a very pleasant one.

The access to Ronda is through a mountain range full of winding roads and very steep curves, so drive carefully and take some travel pills – it’s very likely it could make you travel sick (this is the road from direction of Marbella).

You can also take an alternative route and drive towards Malaga and north from there, which looks a little better.

Getting to Ronda with bus is easy – there is a direct bus from Fuengirola, the journey takes approx 2 hours and goes through the Marbella access. So prepare for the journey in case you tend to get travel sick.

You can also get to Ronda with train, by going to Malaga, then changing the trains and eventually ending up in Ronda, but it takes much more time and hassle.

What to See in Ronda: Puente Nuevo is one of the main historic sights and probably the most photographed monument in the town.

I loved the visit of Casa don Bosco (linked below), and strolling through Jardines de Cuenca at sunrise to admire the views of the gorge.

There are lots of museums for those who want to learn about the history, and also miradors (view points) for those who came for some pretty picturs.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip to Ronda:

Casa don Bosco, Ronda

Exploring Ronda

Hotel Don Miguel, Ronda

Puente Nuevo, one of the most known monuments in Ronda, and all of Spain.
View of Puente Nuevo from Balcony at Casa don Bosco
Casa don Bosco in Ronda
Jadrines de Cuenca in Ronda
Next to the 13th century Roman bath house.
View from my hotel in Ronda – Hotel Don Miguel

7. El Caminito Del Rey

Caminito del Rey, or the Pathway of the King, is a hiking path and a natural beauty spot wedged in the triangle of village Antequerra, Alora and Ardales.

The pathway leads around the rims of Gaitanes Gorge, and yes – it looks frighteningly high! The path used to be one of the most dangerous hiking paths in the world, until it was completely renovated and its now perfectly safe to use for those seeking a bit of an adventure.

Good hiking shoes and water are a necessity in the summer months.

How to get to Caminito Del Rey from Fuengirola: The path is located 60 km away from Malaga and the best access is with your own car, or an organized trip. It should be about 1 hr drive towards Ardales, from where you will navigate via the designated signs. There are detailed travel directions also available on their website.

(photos coming soon!)

8. Nerja

Nerja is know for Balcony of Europe, a beautiful viewing point, and also stunning sunrise & sunsets. I got a chance to experience both and it certainly lives up to its reputation.

Nerja is a typical coastal Costa del Sol town, but with a lot more charm compared to its more Southern neighbours.

Locals from around the Spain love to come here for a bit of sea & sand, and there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to restaurants with a view too!

How to get to Nerja from Fuengirola: To get to Nerja with a car will take approx 1 hour, via A-7 highway. It is 90 km away from Fuengirola.

I managed to get there fairly easily by train/bus. Take the frequent train to Malaga, Maria Zambrano Station and walk across the street to the bus station, where you can take a bus headed towards Motril. The journey with the train is 40 mins, plus another 1 hr in the bus.

What to See in Nerja: Balcony of Europe, Cueva de Nerja (expansive cave complex just outside the town), Aqueduct Eagle (19th century aqueduct with 4 levels), coast and old town.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip:

Weekend in Nerja

Hotel Casa Mercedes in Nerja

Sunrise near the Balcony of Europe.
Hotel Casa Mercedes at Nerja, great value for money family run hotel.
Balcony of Europe Promenade
Coastal Pathway leading from the Balcony of Europe
Sunrise in Nerja, around 7am in early summer. Photo taken next to Balcony of Europe.

9. Estepona

Estepona is often overshadowed by its more glamorous and well-established neighbour Marbella.

Despite the booming tourism in Estepona, it still feels a bit like an underdog. The beaches and restaurants are not as busy as those in Marbella, and you will feel much more relaxed not having to deal with huge crowds.

There’s plenty to see in and around Estepona to fill a whole day of exploring.

How to get to Estepona from Fuengirola: Take the AP-7 highway towards Marbella and continue for Estepona. The distance is about 65 km and should take you 45 mins to get to Estepona.

As there are no train connections beyond Fuengirola going further south, you have the option to take a bus. There are a few bus routes you can choose, which vary in changing station and the length – anywhere between 1.5 hrs to over 2 hrs.

The shorter route is via Isdabe – take the bus number L-305 towards Algeciras (timetable here), and get it at Isdabe (49 mins and 6 stops). From there take the bus L-79 (timetable here) for Estepona (24 mins and 14 stops).

What to see in Estepona: Estepona’s old town is certainly one not to miss, with its traditional Andalucian charm and beautifully decorated traditional white streets.

Just like other coastal towns, it has a beautiful beach promenade (Paseo Maritimo), lots of seaside restaurants and sandy beaches.

There is also a beautiful relatively new Orchidarium for those who love flowers and plants. If you’re travelling with kids, they will love a visit of the nearby Selwo Aventura, an expansive animal park just outside of Estepona.

(photos coming soon!)

10. Frigiliana

Frigiliana is probably one of the most known White Towns in Southern Spain. It has been voted the ‘prettiest village in Andalucia’ by the tourism board, and once you enter you will quickly see why.

The town is stretching on the slopes of Sierra Almijara, offering spectacular views of the Costa del Sol. As you enter the village, you are immersing yourself in a maze of white washed cobbled streets lined with plants, small boutique shops and tapas bars.

Frigiliana is only 6 km away from Nerja, so if you’re making a drive there, it’s well worth reserving a few hours to see Frigiliana at the same time.

How to get to Frigiliana from Fuengirola: With just under 100 km to cover, the drive to Frigiliana is along the main coastal highway towards Nerja, from where you head north. The journey should take approx 1 hour.

You can also get to Frigiliana via train/bus. Take the train from Fuengirola to Maria Zambrano Train Station (40 mins, runs every 20 mins), and walk across the street to the bus station. Take the bus to Motril and get off at Nerja (1 hr). From Nerja, there are frequent buses leaving to Frigiliana, or you could also take a short taxi ride, which is up to 15 eur one day.

What to see in Frigiliana: It has its own small botanical garden and even a small museum, but the most enjoyable activity is wandering through the narrow streets and discovering beautiful corners and views.

Further up the hills are small tavernas and bars where you can enjoy a glass of sangria with a spectacular view.

Related Articles to Plan Your Trip:

Frigiliana – The Most Beautiful Village in Andalucia

One of the most photographed streets in Frigiliana.
Looks a bit like Greece, doesn’t it?
Plants, plants and more plants.
Views from one of the miradors in Frigiliana.
Shop in the old sugar can factory.
Beautifully decorated, immaculately clean and pretty at every corner – that’s Frigiliana.

Hope you find some inspiration for your day trip in here!

More coming to this list soon!

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