17 Best Things to do Near Fuengirola [2024]

17 Best Things to do Near Fuengirola [2024]

Are you looking for the best things to do near Fuengirola?

You’re in luck! As I live in Fuengirola and have explored everything beyond the borders of the city, in this article, you will find your best travel options for exploring outside of the city.

Whether you’re looking for more landmarks, attractions, or authentic experiences, I have put together a list that will tick all the boxes!

17 Best Things To Do Near Fuengirola

Whether you’re planning to rent a car or not, most of these attractions can be reached within a short car journey, but are also available by public transport or a local tour company.

Let’s dive in!

1. Castillo Colomares in Benalmadena

Only a 15-minute car ride from Fuengirola, Benalmadena’s Castillo Colomares invites visitors to celebrate a contemporary yet historic local monument.

Built in homage to Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the American continent, the castle was constructed in the 1980’s. Drawing on a number of historic architectural styles, including Neo-Byzantine aesthetic, the structure portrays a narrative.

Columbus’ three ships are depicted within the castle’s architecture, and the site is a favorite for photo ops.

Tickets: 3 euros for adults, 2 euros for kids and pensioners.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 2pm – siesta – 4pm to 8pm. In autumn and winter, they close earlier, at 6pm.

Location: marked on the map here – just outside Benalmadena Pueblo (old town in the hills, not the coastline)

castillo colomares benalmadena andalusia spain
castillo colomares benalmadena andalusia spain

2. Benalmadena Butterfly Park

Part of what makes Fuengirola so special is its proximity to other communities. Just a short drive north of town, Benalmadena’s Butterfly Park (Mariposario de Benalmadena) is an unexpected oasis to enjoy with the whole family.

The park is home to over 1,500 butterfly species. Walking through the park, you’ll catch glimpses of colorful birds, blooming plants, and of course- vibrant butterflies gliding through the air. 

Visitors are bound to leave with plenty of new knowledge and a lingering sense of awe. The butterfly park makes a great addition to any day out in Benalmadena.

Tickets: 10.50 euros online (12 euros on spot), get them here. Under 2 years old free, kids 8 euros.

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 7.30 pm.

Location: C. Muerdago, s/n, 29639 Benalmádena (very close to Castillo Colomares monument)

Mariposario de Benalmadena (Butterly Park)
Mariposario de Benalmadena (Butterly Park)

3. Picasso Museum in Malaga

Fuengirola’s convenient location makes it easy to plan a day trip to Malaga, one of the Costa del Sol’s busiest urban destinations.

The city is home to cultural and historic sites, lauded restaurants, and plenty of walkable areas. Art lovers will enjoy the Picasso Museum, located in Malaga’s central district. The museum is open daily and sits within walking distance of various other attractions, including the Flamenco Art Museum and the famed Alcazaba Fortress

The institution’s art collection is housed in a former palace, but the space is entirely devoted to displaying Picasso’s work uninterrupted. However, the palace’s architectural and exterior details add to your experience. Rotating exhibits traverse the painter’s life and creative practice, honoring the artist in the city of his birth.

Tickets: 12 euros per person, get them online here.

Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm.

Location: Palacio de Buenavista, Calle San Agustín, 8, 29015 Málaga

Picasso Museum, Malaga
Picasso Museum, Malaga

4. Calle Larios Shopping in Malaga

Located in Malaga’s city center, Calle Larios plays host to many of the city’s biggest events and celebrations, including Malaga Fashion Week.

It is also a popular shopping destination- designed as a pedestrian walkway, this famous street is lined with shops. These include familiar retail destinations, as well as European and international luxury brand storefronts. From gifts to clothing, accessories and souvenirs, visitors are guaranteed to find something to bring home. 

Calle Larios Malaga

5. Catamaran Cruise in Malaga

Malaga’s idyllic coastal location means there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a day out on the water.

Multiple local companies offer catamaran boat tours of the Mediterranean waters just off the coast. Booking a private catamaran tour allows you to enjoy the Bay of Malaga with expert guides, and gain an entirely new perspective on the Costa del Sol. 

Some tours are scheduled to coincide with the sunset, and these make great photo opportunities or romantic evenings.

Others include a lunch with your reservation, offering a gourmet picnic out on the water.

Most of the travel companies offering catamaran tours are located along Malaga’s harbor, meaning you can easily reach your waiting vessel from the city center. 

catamaran in Malaga

6. Visit the Botanical Gardens in Torremolinos

Torremolinos’ Molino de Inca Botanical Gardens make a perfect place to spend a slow morning or balmy afternoon. The garden is located in Torremolinos, a community just a short drive north of Benalmadena. Once home to working mills, the garden now hosts nearly a thousand different plant species and a diverse avian population. 

A beautifully designed Japanese garden and functioning springs round out this hidden oasis. Stop by Molino de Inca on your way to Malaga or spend a few hours soaking in the atmosphere. 

Tickets: get them by the entrance, 3 euros for adults, kids are free

Opening Times: winter months 10 am to 6 pm, summer 10 am to 9 pm – Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays

Location: Cam. de los Pinares, 29620 Torremolinos, Málaga

Molino de Inca Botanical Garden in Torremolinos
Molino de Inca Botanical Garden in Torremolinos

7. Explore Luxury in Puerto Banus, Marbella

Just as there is plenty to see north of Fuengirola, the southern part of the coastline offers its own charms.

The beachfront community of Marbella is worth a trip, especially if you’re looking for a short morning or afternoon drive. Marbella has plenty of restaurants, shopping destinations and sites of interest, and Puerto Banus is one of its most walkable districts. Home to the town marina, the area also boasts nightlife venues, meaning it stays vibrant after the sun goes down. 

Luxury storefronts join docked yachts to define the harbor’s atmosphere. Attractions include the Torre Faro lighthouse and the Nueva Andalucia beach. This is also a great place to catch the sunset before heading back north to Fuengirola. 

Puerto Banus, Marbella - Spain
Puerto Banus, Marbella - Spain

8. Day Trip to Granada to See Alhambra

If you’re up for a longer drive and have access to a rental car, consider heading even further north than Malaga. The city of Granada, nestled at the foot of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains, is about an hour and a half away. 

Alternatively, you can skip the hassle of driving entirely if you book a day trip with a local tour company, complete with tickets to Alhambra and a local guide.

As one of the country’s cultural havens, Granada is well worth your time- you may even want to think about devoting an entire weekend to exploring this hub. The famed medieval site of Alahambra is one of the city’s greatest draws and you may want to set aside the better part of a day to experience this Moorish palace complex. 

Restaurante El Huerto de Juan Ranas, Granada
Alhambra in Granada, Spain

9. Plan a Day Trip to Nerja

If you want to venture past Malaga but stick to the coast, plan a day drive to Nerja, which is about an hour north of Fuengirola. The town is home to the famous Caves of Nerja, measuring nearly 5 kilometers. Open to the public, the caves are home to the world’s largest stalagmite (get your tickets here).

The nearby Nerja Museum has more information on the caves, covering the parts that are not accessible to the public. The caves are open all year and are a great way to add some adventure to your itinerary. Once you’re back above ground, be sure to stop by one of Nerja’s local restaurants and catch the sunset at a town beach. 

caves of Nerja
beacheas of Nerja

10. Book a Day Trip to Ronda

Located about an hour and a half northwest of Fuengirola, the mountain city of Ronda is another day destination that promises a change of pace. If you don’t fancy driving, a local tour company offers a very affordable day trip to Ronda directly from Fuengirola.

Small and walkable, the city offers plenty to see and do, including the famous bridge, which crosses the El Tajo Gorge.

There are two additional bridges that allow pedestrians to walk over the gorge, and all are worth strolling. Visitors can also walk down into the gorge for a different perspective on the bridges. 

The city’s Plaza del Toros is another must-see; this bullfighting arena dates back to the 18th century and offers insight into one of Spain’s most iconic cultural pastimes. Ronda is known for its high elevation, which naturally comes with plenty of views.

The city’s Jardines de Cuenca, or Gardens of Cuenca offer a lush setting and viewpoints. This is a great spot to enjoy a packed lunch or catch the sunset. Ronda can keep you busy for much more than one day, so consider planning a weekend getaway to this idyllic Spanish enclave. 

Ronda in Spain
puento nuevo in ronda, andalusia

11. Book a Day Trip to Gibraltar

If you want to take a day trip to another country and be back in Fuengirola for dinner, make your way south to the British territory of Gibraltar. Gibraltar is one of the most popular day trip destinations from Fuengirola, and you can book a very affordable day tour with a local company here.

Only an hour and a half away from Fuengirola, Gibraltar is a history hotspot, with plenty of sites spanning centuries.

Attractions include The Great Siege Tunnels, and underground defense network dating back to the 18th century and a Moorish castle.

Gibraltar’s natural attractions include the St. Michael’s cave network and the iconic rock of Gibraltar, which you can explore on foot. If you have the time, don’t miss the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens or the lighthouse at Europa Point.

A true cultural crossroads, the once-contested Gibraltar yields a glimpse into another era. 

the natural reserve in Gibraltar
Gibraltar town

12. Go Hiking in the Mijas Mountains

If you’re craving a hike that goes beyond strolling gardens or beaches, head out to the Mijas Mountains, which sit less than an hour’s drive north of Fuengirola.

Towering over the Costa del Sol, the mountains offer respite in the summer heat and are accessible via car or bus ride. There aren’t too many online resources on hikes around Mijas Pueblo, but the Red Route (also known as Mission Cross Route) is a popular option that will challenge you without leaving you winded. 

Be sure to carry plenty of water and be aware of the weather forecast before you set off on any trails. 

main square in Mijas Pueblo, spain

13. Explore Mijas Pueblo

Along with hiking, the Mijas Mountains offer a cultural trip for those looking to spend the day outside of Fuengirola.

Only 20 minutes north of town by car, Mijas Pueblo is home to the classic Costa del Sol charm without the crowded beaches. The town’s white-walled homes, flower-lined windows and winding streets are as Andalucian as it gets, and the village is very photogenic. Perched on top of a hill, the pueblo also offers views to go with its nooks and crannies.

If you are planning to only spend a day in town, be sure to visit the Chapel of the Virgin Mary of the Rock, which pays homage to local lore. After taking in the legend, head over to the town’s historic flour mill before visiting a quaint miniatures museum or the village’s contemporary arts center.

After enjoying local cuisine, take a breather at Parque la Muralla, which is known for its vibrant plant life.

plaza de la constitution, mijas pueblo

14. Shop in Plaza Mayor

If you’re looking for local wares, basic essentials, or high-end gifts, check out Malaga’s Plaza Mayor shopping mall.

The mall offers the ultimate European shopping experience, with plenty of shops and eating areas spread out throughout the complex. Pair this with a few of Malaga’s most popular attractions for a busy day in the Costa del Sol’s busiest urban hub. 

15. Explore Malaga on Electric Bike

Wandering Malaga on foot is one of the best ways to experience the city, but if you want to pick up the pace, consider exploring on two wheels.

An electric bike tour of Malaga is a fun way to see the sights with the help of an expert guide. Сompanies like Ebike Malaga offer both ebike and Segway tours to help you get to know the city from a different perspective. 


16. Book a Tapas Tour in Malaga

Spanish cuisine is known for its emphasis on tapas. The best way to experience a tapa tasting is with a local guide, as you’ll have access to hidden gems you might not have discovered otherwise.

A tapas tasting tour in Malaga is a great (and delicious) way to wrap up a busy day.

Soho Boutique Castillo de Santa Catalina, Malaga, Spain

17. Hike Through Caminito del Rey

I saved the best for the end – the most popular natural attraction in Malaga, the famous pathway of the King, is available as an easy day trip option from Fuengirola.

If you book with a local tour company, you will start your day with a breakfast in the village of Ardales, and then continue to hike the elevated platform towering over the El Chorro gorge. An unforgettable experience and photos that will be admired by everyone!

The hike is not physically demanding, you just need closed shoes and adventurous spirit.

Caminito del Rey near Malaga
views from caminito del rey

Closing Thoughts

As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of existing things to do near Fuengirola, and you don’t even need to rent a car to explore most of them!

Fuengirola’s excellent location makes it the perfect base to explore much more of what Southern Spain has to offer. I have linked some other options for day trips from Fuengirola below, should you wish to explore further!

Thank you for reading and safe travels!


Popular Day Trips from Fuengirola

Explore More in Fuengirola

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Photo of author
Lucia has been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and through her love of photography and travel, she has been documenting the best places to see in Southern Spain and uncovering hidden gems only known to locals. All the articles on Viva La Vita are written based on personal experience and local expertise.

Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

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