1. The enviable winter sun attracts Fuengirola
Located on the southern coast of Spain, Fuengirola is a city of foreigners, with a third of its population coming from somewhere else. In addition to the British, Finns form one of the largest and most visible groups in the city.
The most attractive on the Sunshine Coast is a pleasant climate. Temperatures can drop to twenty degrees in the middle of the deepest winter when in northern Spain its cabin in chilly rain. Even if the actual beach weather is not available, you can enjoy the sun all year round. The average annual temperature is 18 degrees.
Fuengirola has grown up with the neighboring Mijas. The cities merge so seamlessly that on the same street, another half of the residents may live in Fuengirola with their neighbors living on the Mijas side.
2. The second largest number of Finns outside Finland
The Finns have taken over Fuengirola and its surrounding areas. Immediately after Sweden, most Finns live on the Sunshine Coast outside Finland – it is estimated that more than 25,000 people, many of them over the winter alone.
Initially, mainly retirees moved to Fuengirola, but today the Costa del Sol also attracts young people and families with children. For many, Colegio Finlandés, a Finnish school in Fuengirola, makes it easy for the whole family to move to Spain. You can go to school up to the high school level.
3. Mini-Finland started in Los Pacos
Did you know how sports are related to the migration of Finns to Fuengirola? Finnish entrepreneur Teuvo Hakulinen began construction of the resort village of Los Pacos in Fuengirola in the late 1960s. The place became the first Finnish concentration in Fuengirola, where it was moved in the 70’s.
One of Fuengirola’s trump cards was considered good training conditions for athletes. Hakulinen set up a training center in the city, which took advantage of the mild winter weather. Finland’s darkness and snowy training terrain escaped to the Sunshine Coast.
Many Finns still live in the Los Pacos area. The street called Avenida Finlandia reminds us of where it all started.
4. All services for Finns
Thanks to thousands of Finnish residents, almost all services in Fuengirola are available in Finnish. In addition to domestic food products, Fuengirola offers Finnish health and beauty services, real estate, renovation assistance and day care.
Finnish magazines are published in Fuengirola, where you can work or work in Finnish for a Finnish employer. You don’t necessarily need to know Spanish or even English to cope with everyday life and business.
Fuengirola has also established its own Finnish music festival, Fugefest, which is held annually in October. The event has been celebrated since 2015 under the direction of Finnish artists.
Also read: No homesick on a Spanish holiday! Five Finland bars in Fuengirola
5. City of Blue Flag beaches
Many Finns moving to Spain are attracted by the idea of a year-round beach life. In Fuengirola, beach holidaymakers are in good hands, as all four beaches in the city have received Blue Flag recognition. This is a label awarded by the European Environment Foundation, which guarantees that the beach meets certain quality criteria.
In 2018, a total of a record 25 Blue Flags were awarded to the Costa del Sol in the province of Málaga. The beaches of Fuengirola are called El Castillo, Fuengirola, Los Boliches-Las Gaviotas and Carvajal.
Also read: This is what the Spanish mini-Finland looks like – can you find familiar places?
Text: Maria Hietala
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