Just west of Malaga Airport is Fuengirola, the essential resort of the Costa del Sol. The once drowsy fishing town is now home to thousands of settlers from all over the world.
The name Fuengirola in Europe is famous for miles of its beautifully landscaped beaches, thriving nightlife and shopping. Take a closer look and you'll see that this isn't just another holiday destination.
Step off the beach and walk through the city and you will find fascinating historical monuments and beautiful parks. The old harbour, once the city's commercial centre, is still the main supplier of fresh fish to Fuengirola – you have to try espeto, sardines grilled on a needle above an open fire on the beach, an Andalusian summer tradition. Climb a hill to a 10th-century Moorish castle – long abandoned – it was recently restored and now hosts festivals and concerts during the summer months.
A jump from a few thousand in the 1960s to 72,000 permanent residents today, a quarter of whom come from abroad. Far from being an English enclave of popular fantasy, you'll meet Irish, Swedes, and the largest Finn community outside Scandinavia. The English-speaking population is now large enough to have its own programme of cultural and social groups.
If you get tired of the sea... then shop. Fuengirola is a retail paradise with a truly stunning array of stores. From supermarkets and large Spanish department stores to designer shops, quirky boutiques, and bazaar shops, Fuengirola has everything your heart desires. And don't forget the street markets three times a week if you want to buy some gems.
Malaga Airport is just 15 miles away and can be reached by regular buses from all over the Costa del Sol. The A7 motorway quickly takes you along the south coast, as does the C-1 suburban rail service that runs from the city centre.
One of the main attractions for many people is the wide range of properties. From apartments in one of the many waterfront complexes, to townhouses further into town and low-rise villas stretching further inland from the coast, you will definitely find something that suits your taste and budget.
Tourism is the main source of work. With such a large English-speaking population, it may be easier for you to find a job here than in some smaller summer towns. And since many people have decided to retire and live in Fuengirola, care for the elderly is another important source of employment.
Fuengirola has many Spanish state schools, and several international schools which are easy to find.
There are several public health clinics to choose from in the city, including a 24-hour emergency service.
A wide range of shops means prices are competitive, so in Fuengirola you will be able to live reasonably cheaply at costs similar to those in nearby Malaga.