Fuengirola, being my home away from home, is a place where I spend a lot of time.
In the near two years of living in the city, I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve seen plenty of what it has to offer and also the areas where it doesn’t live up to the expectations.
As it’s a popular holiday destination, it looks very much like the rest of the coastal resorts in Costa del Sol – the coastline covered by tall – sometimes shabby looking – apartment blocks, hotels, and beaches with chiringuitos (local beach restaurants) and sun chairs for hire.
Even though it doesn’t boast the historic sights (like Malaga) or historic charming old town (like Marbella), it still has a lot to offer, if you’ve only got 24 hours to explore.
1. Breakfast by the Beach
If you want to enjoy the most of what beach life has to offer, my advice is to go there early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
You won’t be competing for a good spot with crowds and the sun is either too high or low on the horizon for it to feel too hot to stay for a while.
One of the things I love doing is getting a simple sandwich from one of the restaurants on a promenade, or making one yourself in your accommodation, and then enjoying a breakfast with a view that no restaurant will offer.
Alternatively, if you fancy a comfy chair with a few and food delivered to the table, the Chiringuitos along the beach promenade are usually open around breakfast time.
Luckily a simple sandwich is a meal even the bad restaurants can do to a basic standard.
2. Hide from the Sun in Bioparc Fuengirola
Bioparc is very different from a traditional ZOO.
There are no towering fences and huge cages, run-down enclosures, and distressed-looking animals.
This place really stands out from everything I’ve seen before because of its dedication to nature & animal conservation and creating a natural habitat 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 endangered species.
The entrance is a bit on a more expensive side (close to 20 eur per person), but the surroundings are something you’ll never see anywhere else. You will be transported to the middle of a lush jungle!
There is also a restaurant where you can watch monkeys climb the trees around you, with a huge playground for kids.
Check more details in my blog post here.
3. Enjoy the Views from Sohail Castle
While much of it is long gone, the core structure with the large courtyard still remains and since 2000, it serves its duty as one of the main attractions in the city.
The entrance to the castle is from two areas – one right next to the river and you walk up the steep pathway and the second one from behind the castle where you will also find a large parking lot.
The entry is now free and you can visit any day – just make sure to check the opening times so you don’t venture there when they close for siesta.
Is it worth the trip?
Sohail Castle is certainly not as impressive as some of the fairy tale castles you will find in Germany, but if you’re in the city and have a spare hour or two, it’s a nice walk and the view is well worth it.
Check more details in my blog post here.
4. Take a Stroll on the Coastal Promenade
The coastal promenade along the Paseo Maritimo de Rey de Espana runs for good 7 kilometers, offering you a chance for a very long coastal walk.
It’s lined with palm trees on one side and restaurants on the other side of the road.
It’s a popular spot for runners, people walking, but also for families taking a stroll early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It does get crowded in the evenings when locals go for dinner, usually between 8 pm and 9 pm.
5. Enjoy the Local Cuisine
If you’re coming to Fuengirola, trying local cuisine is a must.
As with other coastal resorts, fresh seafood like fire-cooked sardines (espetos) are the staples. Other Andalusian classics include gazpacho soup (cold soup), Gambas Pil Pil (chilli oil cooked prawns), Bouquerones Fritos (fried anchovies) and others.
To find my local recommendations for the best restaurants in Fuengirola, check this article.
6. Book a Boat Trip
From Fuengirola Marina (Puerto de Fuengirola), you have an option to choose from a number of boat trips, starting from 35 euros for a short 1-2 hour cruise, all the way up to 350 euros for a private charter.
In addition to these cruises, you can also take the boat as a way to commute to Benalmadena – the trip costs 16 euros per person and you can find details here.
Boat options include:
See Bookings – Private Sailing Tour of Fuengirola, Sunset Cruise, Dolphin Spotting Cruise, and Parasailing.
Fuengirola Nautic – Rent a boat (with or without a captain), Parasailing, Rent a Jetski, Bachelor Party on a Boat, Dolphin Cruise
Bombay Saphire – Sailing trips, private charters, Dolphin Cruises, Sunset Cruises
7. Plan a Sunset Picnic
What better way to end the day than by a private picnic on an empty beach!
Even in summertime, most crowds leave the beaches around 8 pm, leaving you plenty of space to wine & dine in relative privacy.
Hope you enjoyed these tips!
If you’re looking for more inspiration, I’ve added some of my other articles from Fuengirola below.