With over 1 million visitors from Ireland to Spain each year, the resort of Fuengirola tends to get overlooked.
It’s probably for that reason that I like it so much! Unlike some other Spanish Resorts you don’t feel like you are on O’Connell Street when walking through the town at night. In fact it’s the opposite, it attracts many Spanish people and has a feeling of authenticity about it. Yes, there are lively English bars but not to the extent of the other resorts along the Costa del Sol. The beach stretches over 7km so the resort itself is quite spread out. The main centre known as Constitution Square still has a Spanish feel to it, with a beautiful church in the centre and plenty of pedestrianised streets with boutiques surrounding it. Although you find some high street stores like Zara and Mango, it doesn’t feel like a city or a holiday resort, more like a town that locals inhabit. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of tourists but it just feels more subtle than its neighbours, Marbella or Benalmadena.
There are so many good restaurants that it is hard to only mention a few! Along Calle Moncayo, or ‘Fish Alley’ which it’s more commonly known, there are numerous restaurants side by side, each as good as the next and very reasonably priced. You can get a three course meal with wine for €10 here, and the quality is exceptional! Casa Roberto, just off the square is excellent, and again relatively inexpensive for the quality of the food. My personal favourite is El Toston, tucked behind the local bus station. Its full of locals because the food is so good! It’s primarily a tapas bar but you can have a full ala carte menu if you prefer. The steak on the stone is just perfection and if you like tapas, try the pata negra ham and the wild boar croquettes – amazing! By the way Mamma Mia‘s serve great pizza, so if tapas are not your thing don’t worry, there are restaurants a plenty to suit every taste.
With all of those food recommendations, I can only suggest staying in an apartment or if it has to be a hotel, make it a room only or on a B&B basis. I like the Illunion Hotel, it’s right across the road from the beach and only about 15 minutes walk to the centre. The beach bar, Madrid Playa offers a great lunch menu and you can get two sun beds plus a bottle of cava for €5 per day – how can you beat that! They will even keep them at the waters edge for you if you ask the day before!
Fuengirola is a great choice for a sunshine break without breaking the bank – go try it for yourself.