Fuengirola Sohail Castle in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol is a cultural jewel that the local citizens are incredibly proud of and is a real attraction that tourists visiting the area simply should not miss. Fuengirola castle offers more than just thousands of years of history as it is surrounded by all the activities and amenities a holidaymaker needs for a fantastic day out.
Fuengirola Castle Location
The castle is located at the mouth of the Fuengirola river as it merges with the Mediterranean sea making the area of significant strategic importance. As such the Castle has been fought over for 1000’s of years and has had various occupiers including Romans, Christians, Napoleons French army before finally returning back to the Spanish people.
The castle can be reached via the A7 (N340) coast road. Pass the Fuengirola and Coin exits and look for the huge Miramar hypermarket. Take the turning for the Miramar and go all the way round the roundabout so that you pass back underneath the A7. As the road brings you round you will see the castle and the parking area. If you are coming from Marbella along the A7 you will see the Castle as you approach. Prior to the castle there is a small exit junction which will take you down to a large park. There is a minor connecting road that joins the 2 car parks, which sit on either side of the castle. This road runs between the castle and the beach and provides fantastic views to both sides.
History of Fuengirola Castle
The area that this impressive castle is built on has seen many turbulent times and has changed hands on countless occasions. The first recording of the region show that it was originally inhabited by Phoenicians who were mainly known as traders and the river and sea access made this spot ideal for their ships to transport goods far and wide. The military might of Rome was next to follow and built fortifications that were expanded upon from the 1st Century Ad through to the 10th Century AD.
The longest established occupants were the Moors who took possession and turned the Roman fortifications in to the main castle we see today. It was around this time that the areas name changed from Suel to Suhayl (Sohail) which is where the castles name originates from.
The next change of ownership came when the Christians embarked upon their quest to remove the Moors from Spain. In the 15th Century this was finally achieved and a settled period finally came to the castle and its surrounding area.
Fuengirola Castle once again became of strategic importance in the Napoleonic wars and saw the Polish allies of France defeat a much larger Anglo-Spanish force. When the French were finally defeated Fuengirola castle passed back to the Spanish Army who were it’s residents until it was handed over to the people of Andalucia.
The castle did see a period of decline until the late 1980’s where it was restored and improved to its current former glory and is now visited by 1000’s each year.
Activities at Fuengirola Castle
The first activity is to take the winding climb up the zig zagged paths to the gates of the Castle. The castle is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am until around 6pm. You can make your way up onto the battlements and wander round the manicured gardens whilst taking in the various information posts. The views are unrivalled across the sea and beach and are certainly worth the climb.
Around the base of the castle a whole host of activities have sprung up. There is an activities centre with a climbing wall, 140 metre zip wire across the Fuengirola River, a bouncy castle and pedaloe’s where you can head out onto the Mediterranean.
There is bicycle hire available near to the car park that you enter from the Miramar roundabout. The prices are very reasonable and there are bikes for toddlers all the way through to adults. The bikes give you the perfect mode of transport to explore the area.
On the beach side of the castle there is a well presented, large 30m outdoor swimming pool. You don’t just have to go to swim either as there is plenty of space and sun loungers around the pool for you to spend the day relaxing and soaking up the sunshine. Snacks and drinks are also available.
If you are feeling fit then a run up to and around the castle is definitely on the cards and you really won’t get many better views to motivate you. As you come back down from Fuengirola castle you can drop to the side of the river where you will find exercise machines that focus on building your strength and agility by moving and lifting your body weight.
There is also a hire centre for Stand Up Paddle boards and Kayak equipment.
There is plenty for the children to do along with a play area down by the riverside that comes with swings, slides, climbing frames and see saws. There are also table tennis tables but you will need to bring your own bat and balls.
To top it all you are a 30 second walk from an award winning sandy beach that gently slopes to the Sea. The beach is serviced by a small Churringuito that will keep you refreshed.
Fuengirola Castle Amenities
Next to the activities centre and the bike hire are two little cafes that serve soft and alcoholic drinks along with sandwiches, pizzas, pastries and cakes. These have views of the sea and the river. There is space to sit in the sun or the shade.
If you want something ice cold then head back along the footpath away from the castle and under the A7 again where you will find a superb ice cream shop with every flavour ice cream you could wish for. There is space to sit inside as well as outside on the main terrace.
If you are hungry for a little more just next door the ice cream shop is an Oriental restaurant serving a host of dishes from Asia that will leave you spoilt for choice. It is the ideal spot to round off the perfect day.
Even if all this activity is too much and you prefer to get your exercise walking around the shops then the Miramar hypermarket is just a 5 minute walk. Here you will be able to lose yourself in a multitude of stores and eateries.
Avoid if: We really do have to say that we can’t think of a reason not to come down and enjoy all the activities, amenities, scenery and culture that Fuengirola castle has to offer.
Go If: You want to have fun, experience something different and enjoy a full days entertainment with family and friends.