8 places to visit in Costa del Sol
Are you ready for the next package of useful information about the Málaga region? Previously, I told you about how to go around Málaga and where to see a traditional flamenco show. If you did not have a chance to read it before, click here! Today I would like to tell you a little bit more about Málaga surroundings and what I have visited there.
Fuengirola – the city of 100 faces
Let’s start my story with the small town where I had the pleasure to stay and work for three months. Fuengirola is a small town located next to a beautiful sandy beach. This town offers everything that you need to enjoy a sunny holiday in Spain. You can find there a beach with all kind of water attractions (mostly during summer season), plenty of good restaurants and pubs (from typical tapas bar to Irish pubs), and other attractions for the whole family like Bio Park or fan parks. In this post, you can read about the places and events in Fuengirola that, in my opinion, are worth visiting.
Fruit market on Tuesdays
Every Tuesday many tourists and locals visit a famous fruits and vegetables market in Fuengirola. According to the Berlitz’s pocket guide about Andalucía, it is the biggest of this type of market in the area.
I just loved this place. It is full of colors and local products. It is nothing better than different types of fruits and vegetables from local producers and with lower prices than in the supermarkets around.
The address where you can find this market is: Calle Recinto Ferial, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain
When: Every Tuesday between 9 a.m and 2 p.m
Read more about local markets here!
Flea Market on Saturdays
You can find a flea market on Saturdays in the same place where the fruit market takes place on Tuesdays. Who does not like to visit those places where you can find different types of treasures as well as trashy souvenirs?
In Fuengirola you can really find everything and anything. From old clothes, books and toys through old posters, instruments and up to even furniture and antiques. I heard and read a lot about this place before visiting it, but still, I got surprised and even overwhelmed with the greatness of it.
Feria de Pueblos (April)
For one week at the end of April, the marketplace changes for a big international fair called Feria de Los Pueblos. It is a place where different countries promote their cuisine, culture, and music. This fair is a perfect place to go with friends/family for dinner (street-type food), drinks or for a long dancing night. In addition to eating and drinking, you can also buy local products, jewels or ride the carousel.
If you visit Fuengirola at the end of April, be sure to visit Feria de Los Pueblos. You will not have problems finding the place. You only need to follow the people from Los Boliches train station. At this time almost everyone is going to the fair.
Another City located in Costa del Sol that is nice to visit is Benalmádena. The city is divided in two parts: Benalmádena Costa and Benalmádena Pueblos. It is located 13 km from Málaga Airport, and the same distance from Fuengirola. You can reach it easily by train, which goes between Fuengirola and Málaga. Benalmádena has many things that are worth visiting.
Let’s start first with Benalmádena Pueblo:
Looking to the mountain direction from Carvajal Beach you can see a big white building. It made me curious the first time I saw it. I checked the Berlitz Guidebook and I found out that it is The Buddhist Enlightenment Stupa.
The Buddhist Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmádena is the biggest of this type of building in whole Europe. Here people can come to meditate. According to the girl who works there and the Buddhism believes, it is a place of unlimited energy source. You can read more about the history of Stupa here.
For me it was a nice opportunity to learn more about Buddhism and the history of Buddha. The guide inside was knowledgeable and friendly, so the visit was even more interesting. During summer you can join different types of activities there, like for example yoga classes, meditation sessions or even lectures about Buddhism.
How to go there
When I found out what it was, I decided to visit it. One sunny Sunday I took my backpack, a bottle of water, and started my walk up the mountains. From Carvajal it took me around 1 hour and 15 minutes, with stops for pictures, to reach my destination. Walking was mostly on local roads and mostly without a proper sidewalk, so be careful when walking there. However, it was worth doing it.
After 3.5 km walking up the hill, I finally reached the Stupa. It was worth every drop of sweat and pain in the legs. The view from up there is stunning. You can see almost the whole Costa del Sol. I recommend visiting the Stupa early in the morning so you can enjoy it without a crowd of tourists.
You can also reach there by taking the bus M- 121 and M- 103 from Benalmádena. You need to take the bus at the bus stop called: Arroyo de La Miel, in direction to Estupa Tibetana.
From Fuengirola there is no direct bus to Stupa (according to google maps), so you will need to go first to Benalmádena by bus M – 120 or by commuter train C1 and then switch to bus M-121.
Colomares Monument - Castillo Monumento Colomares
On my way back from Benalmádena Pueblo I took another way down. As an explorer type of traveller, I try to not take the same path twice . That was a very good idea. While walking down the hill I saw a beautiful castle that to me it resembled a Disney Castle. As a big fan of Disney Movies, that was the first association in my head.
When I came closer, of course, I realized that this building does not have anything to do with the famous Disney castle. This monument was created to commemorate the discovery of the new world misnamed America by Columbus and was ready for visitors in 1994. The building is a mix of different styles and you can find there a ship that represents the discovery, the crown of Castile and his Queen Elizabeth who supported Columbus when no one believed him, as well as his mausoleum.
On this day I did not enter the Colomares Monument because of lack of time and an empty stomach. The entrance ticket costs around 4€ and you can buy it at the entrance.
Benalmádena Costa has also a lot to offer to its visitors. From a romantic walk next to the sea, through beautiful views from the peak of the mountain, up to nice beaches with plenty of restaurants and pubs. I will not write here about all the attractions that you can find there. My idea is to share with you my experience and show you the places that I have visited.
Benalmádena Car Cable – Teleférico de Benalmádena and Falconry Show
Teleférico is one of the not-so-many paid attractions that I visited in Costa del Sol. However, it was worth every penny to go there. The easiest way to reach the Teleférico Cable Car from Malága is to take the commuter train C1 in direction to Fuengirola and get out in Benalmádena Arroyo de La Miel stop. From the station, you will need to walk around 200 m and you will get there.
The cable car will take you to the highest point in Costa del Sol. There you will find a small restaurant with tasty coffee, a falconry show, and the most important: a stunning view over the whole coast. When the weather is great you can even see the African Continent.
Twice per day, you can see a falconry presentation up in the mountain. Shows are at 1 p.m and 5 p.m. They have a big variety of different types of birds, so you can learn many interesting facts about them.
I have mixed feelings after attending this show. The first thing that I saw was a beautiful falcon chained to the ground in a short chain so he could only sit and look pretty for tourists. Is it ok for this amazing bird to be chained as a prisoner? I do not think so.
The second doubt I got when at the end of the show, one of the employees took a basket with newly born falcons, and let people touch them and take pictures. When I asked him if their mom will not be refusing them after it, the answer was that they are taken from their parents immediately after birth, so they can be prepared for shows.
I am against all tourist attractions where animals are imprisoned. There are so many ways to learn about animals and we do not need to harm them. Build a sanctuary, teach people how to act in balance with nature. Do not make a show where people will eat popcorn and applause for a trick that caused pain to an animal.
Summarising I can highly recommend the cable car, but not the show. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and sun protector when going there. You can walk around the top and see the views from different balconies.
Benalmádena Port and Passeo de Maritimo
After the cable car, I decided to go see the famous Benalmádena port and walk through a path by the coast line. I got positively surprised. Compared to Fuengirola, this Paseo de Maritimo is way more beautiful. It is located between the sea and buildings, where you can find many small restaurants, shops and pubs. I think it is place that you should visit being in Benalmádena.
Park de la Paloma
On the way from the cable car to the harbour, I found a great place for green–area lovers. Parque de la Paloma is a big green area with a small lake in the middle. You can meet there mostly local people and free roosters 😊. It was nice to see how Spanish people spend free time with family, making picnics, barbeques, or taking a nice family walk by the lake. I am sure that I will come back there and explore more one day.
That would be everything for today. If you have any questions about the locations that I put on my list worth to visit leave a comment or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the road,