Origins of Fuengirola
The origins of the Fuengirola date back as far as the Phoenicians who colonised the area. The Romans called the city 'Suel' after a star which can clearly be seen from the castle.
In 53 A.D. the town was granted the title of 'Municipality' in the Roman 'Betica' region, later to become Andalucia. The Roman thermal baths at nearby Torreblanca and the ruins of the ancient Roman highway bear witness to the importance the town acquired during this period. In fact the marble used for the in 'Plaza de Castilla' in Los Boliches was taken from the remains of a ancient Roman highway.
During the Eighteenth Century the area was conquered by the Moors who renamed the town 'Sojayl', the likely origin of the modern name for the castle - 'Sohail'. The City was finally re-conquered by the Catholics.
The castle has become one of the town's most recognised symbols. Situated just outside the town on a hill, it commands an impressive view over Fuengirola and the sea. The castle is most likely of Roman origin although it was restored in the Tenth Century by Abderrajman III under the Moorish reign of Andalucia.
The Paseo Maritimo
Although the castle may be the town's most recognised symbol, Fuengirola is probably better known for its beaches. Seven kilometres of coast in all with the entire section marked by the 'Paseo Maritimo' (beach front promenade).
The paseo is a focal point with locals and tourists alike who use the area as a meeting point and to enjoy the sea air. Some of the beaches have been awarded the 'Blue Flag' by the European Community, signifying their cleanliness and the high standard of services provided.
Along the beaches you will find numerous 'Chiringuitos' - a mix between a beach bar and a seafood restaurant. Recently there has been a big fuss in Spain because most were built without permission. Fortunately, this now appears to have been resolved with most now allowed to remain open due to the recognition of their economic importance to the region.
On the menus you will find a host of different fresh fish and seafood including many local specialities.
There are special areas designated for Windsurfing, beach volleyball and other water sports The Marina is home to some impressive yachts and leisure craft, while not on the same scale as Puerto Banus or Marbella, it is nevertheless a relaxing stroll were you can enjoy watching the fishing boats going out to sea.
Tuesday is market day (El Mercadillo), open in the morning, it is the biggest outdoor market on the coast and attracts visitors from nearby resorts as well as the locals. It is well worth going down to browse at the wide range of wares for sale, from fake designer clothes and watches to more traditional Andalucian produce.
The many complexes that surround Mijas Costa are home to a large proportion of ex-pats. Fuengirola is full of bars and nightclubs that caters for most tastes.