What with the recent “polar vortex” in the U.S.A. and the endless rain and floods in the United Kingdom, maybe it’s time for a Spanish vacation — as the old adage goes, “Life is a Beach” in Fuengirola, Spain. It has certainly been a long, hard winter, even on the sunny Costa del Sol in southern Spain. Fuengirola itself saw some nasty weather this winter, with driving, cold and gale-force winds, but now spring is definitely making itself felt along the coastline.
Warm sunshine is the order of most days even though, on the very horizon, it is still possible to see the snow topping the Sierra Nevada near Granada like a generous helping of ice cream, around 90 kilometers away from the town. With a history dating back to the Phoenician, Roman and Arab civilizations, Fuengirola is now a modern and popular seaside town with so much to offer to the tourist. First and foremost, there are around seven kilometers of wide, clean and sandy beach all the way down the coast, together with an attractive promenade for strolling. If feeling energetic, you can actually walk all the way from the town’s well-preserved Sohail castle of Moorish origins, down the coast, passing the town’s fishing and leisure port to the outlying villages of Los Boliches and Carvajal. A worthy bit of exercise indeed on your Spanish vacation in Fuengirola, where life is most definitely a beach. Below is a video taken back in December 2013 which gives a photo slideshow of Los Boliches beach in Fuengirola on a midwinter’s day: While the Mediterranean often appears to be a mere calm pond, it does have it’s interesting moods and when beach-combing you will notice that each day the beach can be very different. After a night of rough waves, there may be just a clean, smooth beach near the water’s edge. Other days, the beach can be peppered with attractive shells of many different kinds. On yet more days, you find a series of grey, black and white smooth pebbles dotting the sand.
Just yesterday, the beach was littered with something a little less pleasant, as the rough waves washed up a whole load of smallish jellyfish – around 40 were found in a one kilometer section of the beach. A couple of weeks back, a much bigger version was found, pictured left. Fortunately, this is a reasonably rare occurrence. As you stroll on your Spanish vacation, you can admire the fishing boats just a short distance out at sea, plying their trade with seagulls surrounding them hoping for a treat. The seagulls and terns are often seen crowding together on the beach, or floating like ducks a little offshore.
All this healthy strolling does, however, give one a hearty appetite. All the way down the coast in Fuengirola, you will find attractive beach bars and restaurants, known locally as “chiringuitos”, serving fresh fish and seafood as well as other tasty meals. Each chiringuito has its own bathroom facilities, as well as a beach area with thatched parasols and hammocks to relax and soak up the sun and salty sea air.
On the promenade itself, there are many cafes and restaurants serving everything from local Spanish cuisine to Chinese, Italian, Indian, Mexican, Swedish, Dutch and even Lebanese cuisine. No one can say the food is boring in this town! The many major hotels along the promenade area offer live entertainment, as well as a comfortable bed and good food. So if your life is getting boring and you are up for a great Spanish vacation, come and relax on a beach in sunny Fuengirola, Spain. You won’t regret it and, to badly paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’ll be back!
Opinion and travel guide by Anne Sewell
Photos & videos by and © Anne Sewell