Spain is very much a family-orientated country and for this reason there is a wide abundance of parks and children’s playgrounds all along the Costa del Sol. When enjoying a beach holiday, there are always several small playgrounds dotted along the beaches and most public plazas or squares have a small playground including swings, a slide and other fun rides for the kids.
However, possibly the best options for parents to relax on a bench or enjoy a picnic on the grass while the kids play are the various beautiful parks located all along the Costa del Sol. The following are some of the recommended top parks in the major seaside resorts of the coast, starting in Benalmadena Costa and heading down the N-340.
Benalmadena Costa – Parque de la Paloma (Paloma Park) – View Map
Parque de la Paloma is located in Arroyo de la Miel, just above the main town. The park covers around 200,000 square meters and offers much for the whole family. With shady trees and lush green lawns surrounding a lake (pictured above), it is perfect for a relaxing stroll or family picnic. Even better, the park offers a fun climbing and activity centre along with a children’s playground with all the normal trimmings.
Not surprisingly due to the name, there are also hundreds of birds in the park, including not only pigeons as the name suggests, but also ducks, geese, peacocks, chickens and roosters. There’s even a pen with lovable emus and the kids can also visit the famous mountain goats of Spain in the park. They might even spot the odd rabbit running around.
Parque La Bateria, Torremolinos – View Map
Opened back in 2007, this hidden gem of a park used to be a military barracks and artillery position to protect the coastline. Nowadays it is a fun visit for both children and parents alike. While much of the fortification dates back to World War II, the area was also used by the Moors and the kids will love visiting the 15-metre fortified tower with its spiral staircase, still in an excellent condition and with amazing views over Malaga.
The park itself covers around 74,000 square meters, beautifully landscaped with a variety of different tree species and garden areas. Within the landscaping is a children’s adventure area with everything they could want for fun and exercise. There’s even an artificial lake where boats are available for rental.
One fun aspect of the park is what is known as the “Arbol de los Chupetes” or “dummy tree.” Should your child finally give up on that favourite dummy while you are away on holiday, you can place it in a plastic ball, signed and dated, and leave it hanging in the tree for posterity.
Parque de Poniente (Pirate Ship Park), Fuengirola – View Map
Children love playing pirates, and Poniente Park in Fuengirola is perfect for a few hours of fun. The park itself is around 16,000 square meters and is located a little inland from the beach and was built to pay homage to the sea and to sailors. The best part for the children is the giant wooden galleon in their dedicated playground, surrounded by simulated waves. This area also offers the normal swings and slides.
Besides the children’s playground, for older kids the park offers a skating area, football and petanque pitch, as well as exercise equipment to keep adults busy and fit while the kids have fun.
The park is located just off the N340 highway on the beach side, opposite Miramar Commercial Centre (mum might want to go shopping while dad takes the kids to the park) – look out for the red and white flags along the roadside.
Paseo de la Muralla and the Botanical Gardens, Mijas Pueblo – View Map
When heading a little inland to the charming Andalusian white village of Mijas Pueblo, the kids will love the botanical gardens, situated up on the ancient fortress walls of the town. Not only are there winding paths through the various indigenous and foreign plants to explore, there is also an amazing view right across to the Mediterranean Sea – on a really clear day you can even see Morocco on the horizon.
Right next to the garden on the Paseo de la Muralla, the kids can enjoy a fun playground (pictured top of article) with all the usual climbing frames and swings, surrounded by padded tiles to avoid injury. Parents can relax and gaze at the amazing views or enjoy a coffee or cool drink in the café close by.
Parque de los Tres Jardines (Three Garden Park), San Pedro (near Marbella) – View Map
For a restful few hours close to the popular city of Marbella, the Parque de los Tres Jardines has much to offer. Situated on the northern side of San Pedro de Alcantara, the park offers green open spaces where the children can run free and includes several children’s playgrounds as well as refreshing fountains and a lake. In line with its name, the park also includes different species of plants including the normal Mediterranean flora along with Arabic and sub-tropical gardens.
When you find you’ve had enough of the sandy beaches and normal seaside fare, enjoy the above options for some green spaces and great fun for the kids.