Fuengirola guide

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Fuengirola is a large 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. In common with much of this coast, it houses considerable urban development, much of it higher rise blocks of flats. The area enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with annual average temperatures of 18°C. 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 adjacent villages. Of the approximately 60,000 inhabitants registered in the municipality, 25% come from other countries, mainly European (England, Ireland, Scotland, 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 tropical-forest education. 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 of flats - 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. A large branch of El Corte Ingles opened in 2006 in the inland suburb of Las Lagunas.

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