Fuengirola had the privilege
of having the rumble of 10-15000 Harley-Davidson motor cycles in 2007.
The 16th Annual European HOG Rally was held at the fairgrounds in Fuengirola
with an amazing array of different motor cycles, plus Harley clothing and
items for sale. The Rally ran from 21 June 2007 to 24 June 2007 -
with the finale being a parade on Sunday, when all the thousands of Harleys
left the fairgrounds simultaneously and toured the town...
Fuengirola is a town
and municipality on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain in the province
of Málaga and the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is a major
tourist resort on the Costa del Sol, with more than 8 km of beaches, and
home to a mediæval Moorish fortress.
The area enjoys a subtropical
Mediterranean climate, with annual average temperatures of 18°C.
The town has its origins
in Phoenician, Roman and Arab civilisations. The foothills of the
mountain range behind the town to the south are the site of an Arab castle,
which contains remains of an early Ibero-punic or Phoenician settlement,
later occupied by the Romans, which became a town known in antiquity as
Suel. Suel was identified by the Roman historian, Pomponius Mela, as one
of the towns of the coast, and was cited by Pliny in the 1st century A.D.
as a fortified town (oppidum). A later historian, Ptolemy, identified it
during the 2nd century A.D. as being located in the region of the bastulo-penos
The inscription on the pedestal
of a statue found near the castle mentions Suel as being a Roman "municipium".
A funeral urn found in the same area has an inscription containing the
word "Suelitana". Roman baths were discovered in 1961 and, close by, the
remains of a Roman villa containing two sculptures, one of which is the
well known "Venus of Fuengirola" exhibited in the town's museum. A series
of architectural components, probably transported from the Mijas quarry
during the Roman era, were discovered in Los Boliches in 1984; these have
now been mounted to form a temple entrance, and can be seen on the promenade
at Los Boliches.
The castle was built by Abderramán
III in the mid-10th century. The city of Suel ceased to be mentioned at
the beginning of the Middle Ages. After several centuries, the name of
the settlement changed from Suel to Suhayl, which became the name of the
castle and surroundings during the Arab occupation. Suhayl became a fairly
large settlement, which included farmland and small villages. Most of the
area seems to have been used as pasture for the Moorish rulers' camels.
But in the early Middle Ages
the town was set on fire and its inhabitants fled to Mijas. Suhayl became
a mound of ruins, and even its name was changed to the Romanised Font-Jirola,
after the spring arising at the foot of the castle, according to historian
Alonso de Palencia.
In 1485, when only the fortress
remained, the settlement was reconquered by the Christian Monarchs. An
attempt to repopulate the site with 30 people failed, and in 1511 it was
registered as uninhabited, apart from the fortress and a watchtower. Land
originally set aside for Fuengirola was reallocated to Mijas.
In the 17th century, a new
urban settlement developed, once the threat from Turkish and Moroccan pirates
disappeared, and at the beginning of the 18th century, an inn was opened
near the beach, offering accommodation to travellers, muleteers and seafarers.
A few huts were built nearby, forming a small village.
The Battle of Fuengirola
took place in the area during the Peninsular War, on October 15, 1810,
when approximately 200 Polish soldiers of the Duchy of Warsaw defeated
a mixed British-Spanish force numbering some 3,000 soldiers under Lord
In May 1841, Fuengirola was
detached from Mijas; at the time its inhabitants were mainly engaged in
fishing, agriculture and trading with ships that dropped anchor in the
bay. For over a century, fishing and agriculture remained the main activities.
It was only in the 1960s
that Fuengirola entered a new phase, to become a leading tourist centre.
Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen
Fuengirola Street Scenes
Bioparc Fuengirola (Zoo)
International Feria 2005
Fuengirola Marina & Fishing
Fuengirola Beach Scenes
Fuengirola Train Station
Fuengirola now offers all
the facilities to be expected of a major tourist centre - hotels, restaurants,
bars, discotheques, sports clubs, a yacht harbour, and broad beaches along
a promenade extending east and west from the town, that includes smaller
Of the approximately 60,000
inhabitants registered in the municipality, 25% come from other countries,
mainly European (United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland and Sweden, among others),
and also from Morocco and Argentina. In the summer especially, the town
plays host to throngs of visitors both Spanish and foreign, but in particular
British. The English community in particular is large enough to support
a fully developed programme of activities and local groups.
Fuengirola Zoo is well known.
Once an old-fashioned collection of cramped cages, the zoo was modernized
in 2001 to feature "tropical-forest" dwellings. The zoo specializes in
captive breeding for endangered species, chimpanzee-group research and
Although Fuengirola is a
comparatively developed resort it does also have a number of historical
sites and open parks. The old port is still used by the local Spanish fisherman.
The Arab castle of Suhayl, or Sohail, remained an abandoned ruin until
renovations began in 1995. In 2000 the interior of the castle was completely
renovated and the Sohail castle begun to host festivals and concerts throughout
the summer. Additional landscaping was completed in 2002 and the castle
is now one of the highlights of Fuengirola's cultural and historical scene.
The town is largely urban
in character, with many high-rise blocks - many towards the sea-front -
although some narrow streets can be found with many low-rise villas. Considerable
commercial development is underway further inland, towards to the north
of the town, with the recent construction of a large shopping centre and
retail park and ongoing development of housing areas.