Located at Costa del Sol, Fuengirola and Torremolinos are two of Malaga’s famous vacation hotspots. Both coastal cities enjoy moderate temperature all year round, offer excellent shopping facilities and dining establishments, and both boast of having kilometres-long urban beaches. Both cities are also good as starting point for visits to other tourist destinations in Malaga such as Marbella, Ronda, Gibraltar and Mijas.
Coming from Gibraltar, we arrived first in Fuengirola and stayed here for three days (Feb. 16-18, 2016); then drove 20 kilometers further to Torremolinos (skipping Benalmadena) and stayed here for another five days (Feb. 19-23, 2016). On both places, we were fortunate to find a good parking area for our beloved D’Traveller.
- Parking, Playa El Ejido-El Castillo
Coordinates : N : 36.52290 W : 4.62944
This is a mix-parking for Castillo Sohail and Playa El Castillo. Donation of 1 euro is obligatory, but a special price of 2 euros is asked for campers. City center is about 2 kilometers away, which could be reached by a long walk along the nice beach promenade or by biking.
2. Calle del Castillo del Ingles (near Plaza Cantabria)
Coordinates : N : 36.61763 W : 4.49949
This is an ordinary parking infront of Edificio Castillo Santa Clara, near Plaza Cantabria. The city center is about 15 minutes walk, and there is an easy access to both Playa La Carihuela and Bajondillo.
Just like any of other coastal cities, Fuengirola enjoys having kilometres-long of beaches. Its 8 –km of beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag by European Union because of excellent quality of its water and sand. Three of its famous beaches that we have visited are Playa El Castillo, Santa Maria and Fuengirola. These three are urban beaches with more than enough chiringuitos and beautiful beach promenade.
During our stay in Fuengirola, we visited the Castillo Sohail, which is just a stone-throw’s away from our parking. Entrance is free; and there is a very nice path in going up to the castle. From there, we had a wonderful view of the coast of Fuengirola. Then we visited the city center, which is somewhat full with small shops and restaurants. We did a little window shopping, and gladly, I was able to score a pair of shoes!
Another thing which is not to be missed in Fuengirola is its weekly open air market held every Tuesday. It is a rather big one, where almost everything is sold, from small souvenir items to clothes to vegetables! Even though we didn’t have to buy anything, it was fun to roam around the market, to inspect the commodities on sale, to observe the business going on, and to listen to the mixture of languages being spoken!
Situated just 20 kilometers from Fuengirola is another coastal city, Torremolinos. It is a bit smaller than the previous one, but personally, we found it more interesting and more pleasant than Fuengirola. It has charming plazas like Plaza San Miguel, Nogalera and Independencia. There is a long shopping street in Calle San Miguel that leads further to the typical district and to Playa Bajondillo via winding steps flanked by small souvenir shops on both sides.
Hans and I enjoyed long walks on the Paseo Maritimo, along the beach promenade of Bajondillo, Playamar and Alamos. These urban beaches have chic appearance with nice restaurants and small private beaches with beach benches and umbrellas. Walking past Bajondillo, we came to another typical fishing village, the La Carihuela. It also has a long sandy beach with a nice promenade and lots of shops, bars and restaurants. Found in the inner streets of La Carihuela are some small white-washed houses. Our walk ended up by following a kind of concrete stairs going up which led back to our camper.
CARNIVAL IN TORREMOLINOS
It was a coincidence that we were in Torremolinos in time for the carnival! We were able to watch two small parades; one on Saturday evening and another one on Sunday noon. The carnival in Torremolinos is just a small one compared to that in Cartagena, but it had its own charms. The main event was the parade on Sunday noon which was participated by a musical group and lots of small floats with “queens”. There was a makeshift podium at Plaza Remo where various chirigotas or carnival music groups were performing while waiting for the parade to pass by. The culminating activity was the burning of Sardines effigy at the beach.
Our visits to these two cities have given us refreshing experiences on city life : busy , cozy, full of ambiance, loud, and yes, also expensive! Time to go somewhere inland again!