Fuengirola has all the benefits of a big town together with some of the region’s best kept beaches. Being a working fishing town, the sea food is to die for as well.
A household name across Europe, Fuengirola is famed for its miles of beautifully tended beaches, a thriving nightlife and shopping to rival any of Spain’s major cities. Look a little closer and you’ll see that this is more than just another package holiday destination.
Step off the beach and walk through town and you’ll find fascinating historical sites and delightful parks. The old port, once the commercial centre of the town, is still the main supplier of fresh fish to Fuengirola – and you must try the espeto, sardines grilled on a skewer over an open fire on the beach, an Andalusian summer tradition. Climb the hill to the 10th century Moorish castle – long abandoned – it has recently been restored and now hosts festivals and concerts through the exciting summer months.
Today you’ll find a town which is cosmopolitan in character. It’s come a long way from its roots, but Fuengirola still retains important Spanish elements like the summer Feria, bustling squares and thriving street markets.
Swelling from several thousand in the 1960s to 72,000 permanent inhabitants today, a quarter of these come from abroad. Far from just being an English enclave of popular imagination, you’ll meet Irish, Swedes and the largest community of Finns outside of Scandinavia. The English-speaking population is now large enough to merit its own programme of cultural and social groups.
Fuengirola is a retail paradise with a truly mind-boggling array of outlets. From supermarkets and major Spanish department stores to designer outlets, quirky boutiques and second-hand shops, everything your heart desires can be found in Fuengirola. And don’t forget the thrice weekly street markets if you want to pick up a real bargain.
You’ll find much more in this thriving town; with three libraries, museums, theatres, cultural centres (including the only full English programme in Andalucia) and a zoo specialising in the breeding of endangered species.
Malaga airport is just 25 kilometres away and you can catch regular buses here and all around the Costa del Sol. The A7 motorway will take you speedily along the south coast, as will the C-1 commuter rail service which runs from the centre of town.
One of the chief draws for many people is the sheer range of property on offer. From apartments in one of the many seafront complexes, to town houses further into town and low-rise villas stretching from the coast further inland, you’ll find something to suit your taste and budget.
There are a number of public health clinics to choose from within town, including a 24-hour emergency department. The nearest hospital is a 25 minutes’ drive away in Marbella.
The large range of shops means prices are competitive, so you’ll be able to live reasonably cheaply in Fuengirola, with costs similar to those in nearby Malaga.