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We all know Marbella and what’s associated with it, glamour, wealth, jet set, etc. I suppose it’s human nature to be liked to be seen and noticed, and the visitors of Marbella are no exception! However a 25 minute drive east along the AP-7 and you will find a totally contrasting town in Fuengirola.

The foothills of the mountain range behind the town to the south are the site of Sohail Castle, which contains remains of an early Phoenician settlement, later occupied by the Romans, which became a town known in antiquity as Suel. The town is surprisingly steeped in history as far back as 1st century AD, with the Battle of Fuengirola taking place 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 Blayney.

Modern day Fuengirola is a cosmopolitan and a vibrant metropolis, with large hotels and tapas bars, restaurants and chic boutiques for shopping. There are 8 km of beaches, making it perfect for relaxing on! The main square, Plaza de la Constitución, has been re-designed but still retains its unique enchantment, with great bars and restaurants to people watch. Suburbs such as Los Boliches, are thriving, a small town with fantastic transport links, great restaurants and cafe bars, well worth a visit.

Fuengirola offers it all but in a very understated way, in my mind the town doesn’t need to shout from the roof tops like it’s big brother Marbella, it just seems to get on with it, attracting holiday makers all year round and it’s well worth a visit!

So the answer to the question, is Fuengirola in the shadows of Marbella? In some respects yes, but who wants to be in the spotlight all the time?

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