A Costa that comes with extras
Sandwiched between Torremolinos and Marbella, the former fishing village of Fuengirola is now one of the Costa del Sol’s biggest players. It’s got the high-rise hotels, buzzing bars and tourist-friendly restaurants to prove it, but there are also side streets and squares crammed with upmarket tapas places and chic boutiques. And a Moorish castle adds a bit of history. The real draw, though, is the super-sized sandy beach.
A brace of Blue Flag beaches
Fuengirola has a whopping 8 kilometres of sand, split into 8 different beaches. It kicks off at the castle and streaks westwards past the marina to Carvajal in the east. Rows of loungers await sunseekers and all sorts of watersports are on standby. And there are chiringuitos – mini-restaurants right on the sand – plus reams of food and drink places on the Paseo Maritimo, which spans the whole stretch.
Fuengirola firmly embraces its nightlife. The Paseo Maritimo keeps up the Costa spirit with an energetic collection of Brit bars, Irish pubs and discos. Meanwhile, the area in and around the Plaza de la Constitucion – the town’s main square – picks up the traditional Spanish vibe with chichi tapas bars and bodegas, or wine cellars.
Daytrips to Granada
It’s less than 2 hours to Granada. Here, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the must-see is the Alhambra Palace, a vast Moorish citadel that dates back to the 14th century. It’s an architectural wonder, with latticed columns and ceilings that look they’ve been carved out of honeycomb. And close by are the Generalife Gardens, all fountains and cypress-lined paths.