If you are feeling energetic on your Costa del Sol holiday, Fuengirola has seven whole kilometres of beach, just waiting for you.
The gorgeous clean and sandy stretch runs all the way from Sohail Castle, past the centre of the town, Fuengirola Port, through Los Boliches all the way to Carvajal. The following gives a brief idea of what is available and also what to bear in mind as you enjoy the area.
Imagine having the quintessential Spanish experience, staying in a gorgeous villa in the quaint Mijas Pueblo and then heading out for a bit of sun, sea and sand. Catch the regular bus down the hill to Fuengirola or take your car. Alternatively, if you are staying along Mijas Costa, there is a regular air-conditioned bus heading into town.
Once in Fuengirola, for comfort you can walk the wide and well-paved pavement all the way, but if you wish to build up the calves a little, try walking on the sand for at least a couple of kilometres if you can. All along the way you will pass several chirinquitos (beach restaurants) offering the freshest seafood and the chance for a rest with an ice cold beer or soft drink. Each chiringuito also offers thatched sun umbrellas or parasols as well as sunbeds with a comfortable cushion, usually costing 4.50 euro each per day.
You will often see enterprising people creating some pretty amazing sand sculptures as you walk along. Take a few photos, but please give the guys a few cents for their trouble before you leave. These guys are often homeless, or simply backpackers from all over Europe, trying to make ends meet.
One important item to bear in mind is the signs and flags at each chiringuito you pass. The Mediterranean is usually thought of as being a calm and warm blue pond, but often the waves can get pretty strong. Besides this, on some days the water can look very calm, just lapping the sand, but there can still be danger lurking a little out into the water in the form of nasty currents or even a whole bunch of irritating jellyfish.
In the busy summer months there are lifeguards strategically placed along the beach, but it is always a good idea to check the flag before heading out into the water. Admittedly, they are getting a bit sun-worn these days (the flags, not the lifeguards!), but it is still possible to make out the colours, which are as follows:
- Green flag: Safe bathing conditions, go for it!
- Yellow flag: Bath with caution. This could mean dangerous currents further out or might just refer to some jellyfish swimming close to shore.
- Red flag: Don’t even think about it – stay safely on the beach.
There is also the problem of toilet facilities. There are some public loos along the beach, but it is usually more convenient (and possibly cleaner) to use those on offer at the chiringuitos. As you normally have to request a key before using them, please buy at least a bottle of water before taking advantage of the facilities.
Castle Bridge and Sohail Castle
Right, let’s get back to our beachfront trek. We start at Sohail Castle and head along the sea front promenade, or as it is known the “Paseo Maritimo Rey de España.” At this end of the beach you will find an unusual and attractive suspension bridge running over the Fuengirola River and in this area, incidentally, a water park has been set up with pedalo boats, picnic spots and other attractions alongside the water. There’s even a doggie beach for those who brought their furry pals on holiday with them.
Fuengirola Port and Leisure Marina
As you head closer to the centre of Fuengirola you encounter the port. A combined working fishing port and leisure marina, Fuengirola port offers several excellent restaurants and bars, some overlooking the water itself.
On passing the port, we arrive at the attractive seaside “suburb” of Los Boliches. One of the more attractive stretches of beach in Fuengirola, Los Boliches curves around displaying a mountainous background stretching, on a clear day, all the way to the Sierra Nevada. During winter and early spring the more distant mountains are often dusted with snow making for a surreal scene of people in bikinis and swimsuits, backed by chilly mountains!
Los Boliches is a more multi-cultural area of Fuengirola with many Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, German and English residents, which means that there is quite a range of food on offer at the local restaurants.
Passing Los Boliches, we come to another suburb, Torreblanca, which has several apartment blocks close to the sea. The rest of that suburb curves up into the hillsides with some pretty impressive views. Right at the end, if you make it that far, we hit Carvajal Beach. Framed with a rocky hillside, this portion of the beach tends to be relatively quiet all year around.
After this brief introduction into the great beaches on offer in Fuengirola, have a wonderful holiday. You will be sure to return for more!
All photos are copyright and courtesy of Anne Sewell.