Owners and their pets relax on the Playa Castillo in Fuengirola. / SUR

Fuengirola judged top dog as Spain's pet-friendly destination 2022

This year the Costa del Sol resort triumphed over other Spanish holiday hotspots such as Benidorm, Gran Canaria, Mazarrón and Santiago de Compostela

Tony Bryant

Fuengirola has been selected as the Best National Pet-Friendly Destination 2022 in Spain, an award scheme that emerged in 2017 with the aim of encouraging relationships with animals and with a special emphasis on pet-friendly tourism.

Fuengirola was voted third best destination in the initiative, which is organised by the platform Premios Travelguau, in 2020 and in 2021, and this year the resort triumphed over holiday hotspots such as Benidorm, Gran Canaria, Mazarrón and Santiago de Compostela.

The award was announced by the town’s mayor, Ana Mula, who said: “This makes us very proud because it recognises the commitment of the municipality to encourage respect and coexistence with animals: this is in addition to the development of initiatives that promote the creation of spaces for those who have animals, always from a sustainable point of view.”

Since 2014, Fuengirola has carried out numerous initiatives to make the town more attractive for pet owners. It currently has seven canine zones, and a dog-friendly beach on the Playa Castillo, which has a shower and drinking fountain specifically for dogs. Fuengirola, which has more than 15,000 registered pets, was also one of the first towns in Andalucía to allow dog access on urban public transport.

The town hall promotes campaigns in schools to educate children about animal care and the responsibility of ownership as well, and encourages adoption by covering all the necessary veterinary fees.

The mayor explained that among the latest actions carried out to consolidate the town's position as a pet-friendly destination is a new digital guide to inform visitors about the different public places dedicated to pets, along with a list of establishments that admit the entry of pets, such as hotels and bars.