Welcome back.... the first destination blog is from October half term in Mijas Costa in the sunny Costa Del Sol. It's in between Benalmadena and Marbella in the south of Spain.
Let's get the weather update out of the way! The first few days were mainly cloudy yet still warm around 20 degrees, we had one morning of rain and the rest of the week was mid 20's and glorious sunshine ☀️ Not bad for the end of October.
While it was cloudy we took the opportuniy to get out and about. As we have been here before we knew of a couple of gems that would entertain the kids. The first one being a huge outdoor pirate ship playground, with its own rubber crumb waves!! The 3 year old loved running up and down the waves and some of the local children were riding their balance bikes up and over them. There is also a little under 3's area which is fun for the little ones. The park has its own outdoor cafe as well so we got to have a couple of hot beverages whilst watching the kiddos play. The park is situated as you enter Fuengirola.
A short walk from the park and you have quite a few options, you could go and do a spot of shopping in the large Miramar Shopping Centre which also has restaurants and a cinema. It still has a C&A store - I mean when was the last time you saw one of those doors with the cloud shaped handles!! You will also find H&M, Mango, Zara and good old Primark. If you stay locally self catering there is also a large supermarket here!
A short walk towards the coast and you will be in the centre of the town (Fuengirola) Here you will find many shops, restaurants and cafes, again think Mango, Zara and many Spanish shoe shops 😍 As we walked through town we stumbled upon a beautiful food court (as we know them in the U.K.!) It's called La Geleria Gastromercado and there were around 10 different food stalls and two drinks (beer and wine) the food ranged from Sushi, Italian, Spanish and Mexican plus others! The area was dressed beautifully and there were a range of seating areas, there were a lot of Spanish there and it was easy to see why! Above your head were hundreds of paper balls all multi coloured. The kids enjoyed having a look around and choosing their food, they went for chicken noodles and ham & mozzerella sandwich - who doesn't enjoy a classic. The beer was served chilled so needless to say we all enjoyed an hour or so there.
Finally, once you get to the beach front there is a sweeping sandy beach which has numerous restaurants along the sea front. The town behind has lots of cobbled streets and many many restaurants to choose from with a range of prices and cuisines mingled amongst the shops.
Towards the centre of town on the beach front there is a lovely children's entertainment park called Sould Park. You purchase a pre-loaded card and all the rides are taken from the balance of the card so no need for tickets or change!! Roughly around €2 per ride so not too bad. There are a range of rides and activities for the kiddos including trampolines, free steer cars, water bumping boats, train, inflatable slide, indoor soft play and a helicopter ride plus many more. There is a nice bar on site as well if you want a bit of a pit stop from all of the excitement (or arguments over who gets to choose the next ride!!)
Another lovely gem hidden in the backstreets of Fuengirola for a family day out is Bio-Park Fuengirola. It's opposite the town hall again in the centre of the town. You would not expect to see what the park has to offer behind its entrance. I booked our family ticket online so it worked out around €60 for all of us. The park itself is beautifully landscaped and has a range of animals from lemurs to tigers, chimpanzees and crocodiles. The park has 3 cafes on site, a play park (where doesn't these days!) and an auditorium which held numerous show and tell style sessions bringing small animals out for everyone to see. It is all set out beautifully with jungle bridges and coves. The best experience of the day was walking through the lemurs, does what is says on the tin. Approx 20 people enter the entrance cove (to make sure no lemurs escape) where they then lead you through to the lemurs landscape. The lemurs continue their daily fun whilst you get up close to them, they were quite timid and a couple of them came right up to us - the kids were amazed!! It was a lovely day out seeing all of the animals - it has the no 1 rating for things to do in Fuengirola on Trip advisor too.
The remainder of our days we spent walking on the beach or lazing by the pool whilst the kids enjoyed splashing around and going to a couple of kids club sessions in the hotel.
Of an evening there are a few restaurants I would like to mention. The first was Olivia's La Cala - owned by Elliott Wright from The Only Way is Essex. He made a show about opening the restuarant (Playa in Marbella if you fancy a watch if you haven't already seen it!) Elliott and his fiancé were there the evening we visited and were very open to pictures and meeting and greeting all of the customers. Our eldest enjoyed having his pictures taken with them too! We thought we would go and see what it's like and we enjoyed a lovely evening of music, food and a few drinks 😊
Think plush white tables and chairs with a minimalistic bar area. There was a duo entertaining customers for the evening singing soft R&B/soul style music. The food was quite pricey yet enjoyable, I had the duck breast which was delicious and Tom had the full lobster (really) although it was very entertaining watching him fight his way through it with a range of tools! All of the staff were very attentive and the cocktails were very yummy! Overall it's defiantely worth a visit whilst you are there but be prepared to pay.
The other eatery which we stumbled upon in a similar area to Olivia's in La Cala was called The Little Geranium. It is hidden in a back street but is beutifully presented. This time think ditsy tea shop style with blankets on the outdoor seats to keep you warm and a very welcoming atmosphere. Again the staff were very attentive and we discovered from the menu that the chef had previously been a Michelin starred chef - nice!! Again more costly than a standard meal but not too unaffordable. The menu was a la carte and extremely well presented and delicious. As the meals were ready to be delivered to your table the chef would come out and talk to you about the dish and it's flavours - a lovely touch! They also had their own cocktail list - the special was delicious. AND! One of the few restaurants that do things right, they served the kids first - well done Little Geranium.
Finally, the kids choice of eatery was The Streets of London. Off the main road between La Cala and Mijas Costa. Standard menu with lots of choice, think steaks, burgers and pies. However the selling point for the little people was the bouncy castle, park and pool table. Let's be honest it was always going to be a winner for them wasn't it! However, it's very safe and closed in so you know the little ones are safe which means you get to at least get 10 minutes to take a sip of your favourite tipple.
So, that's it for the first location blog. Please share your thoughts on what's been of interest or anything you would like to hear more of for the next one. Thanks for reading, until next time 😘