Hiking, a festival, even vegan popsicles!

We just finished up our second week here in Spain. Life is good! Time is passing quickly and we feel like we’ve been in Torremolinos for longer than a few weeks already. Perhaps it’s because we keep a full schedule of work and play, or because we like it here and feel right at home. 🙂

Pinar de los Manantiales hike

We went on our first hike in Torremolinos this past week. Kuba really likes hiking and trekking up mountains. I don’t feel like I’m in the best shape for a rigorous hike just yet, so we started out with an easy hike named Pinar de los Manantiales just outside the city centre.

Kuba found this hike through the WikiLoc app, an offline hiking app full of maps and routes of hikes around the world. This app is useful because you can use it offline, meaning you don’t need cell reception to find your way. It beeps at you if you stray too far off course, and it remembers your route if you decide to venture off the trail. That way, you’ll always be able to find your way back to where you started.

The hike had a slight incline and wasn’t too strenuous. We went further than the map recommended and climbed a bit higher, which was worth it! It took us around two hours including time to stop and film along the way. It was a nice way to break in my new Merrell shoes.

Check out Kuba’s vlog of our hike if you want to see our view of Torremolinos down below. 🙂

Playa de la Carihuela

We like to walk along the beach front promenade in the evening. Sometimes Kuba will go for a quick dip in the sea, and then we’ll toss the frisbee around until he dries off. Usually, we stick to the Playamar beach area just past Playa del Bajondillo because there’s plenty of free space for frisbee and palm trees for shade, but last week we decided to walk the other way on the promenade, South of Torremolinos toward Benalmádena and Fuengirola.


Playa de la Carihuela didn’t seem as busy as the Bajondillo area, but it was still lined with plenty of cafés and shops. Unlike the promenade that goes along Playa del Bajondillo and Playamar, the promenade here was strictly for pedestrians only, as bikes were directed down another path. We’ll need to investigate this alternative path further as we hope to rent bikes one of these days.

We definitely prefer strolling along the beach during the week as it’s less busy. Even though we don’t visit the beach every day, I’m glad we have the opportunity to do so because the beaches here remind me of those in California. The palm trees remind me of the beaches in Santa Barbara; the wide sandy beaches remind me of Venice Beach. I feel right at “home” here. 😉

el Festival de las Culturas

This past weekend the 2nd annual Festival de las Culturas took place in Torremolinos in the Plaza de la Nogalera from Thursday to Sunday. We found out about this festival thanks to Facebook, as we regularly browse through local events just in case we find something interesting.

Various countries were represented in this festival (I think I counted 16) including Mexico, the US, Thailand, and India, among others. Typically they were represented with a food stall or artisan crafts but also with music and dance performances. We didn’t spend much time here since most of the food was meat-heavy (and the smell of grilled meat put us off) but we couldn’t resist these colourful umbrellas.


Visiting local events like this is fun because it makes us feel less like tourists. I’m sure plenty of tourists enjoyed this event as well, but listening to music and unwinding in the plaza, which happens to be a few minutes walk from our flat, is a nice feeling. We’re never in a rush here since we have three months to soak it all in. 🙂

vegan popsicles in Fuengirola


Fuengirola is a quick train ride down the coast so we figured why not explore the city for the first time.

Based on what I found as I browsed HappyCow, Fuengirola is full of vegan-friendly shops and cafés. A vegan-friendly popsicle shop, named Stickhouse, piqued my interest. Kuba and I both tried the chocolate popsicle, and we opted to have it freshly dipped in chocolate and rolled in almonds. Yum!

Not all of Stickhouse’s popsicles are vegan, however, but several of the fruit and chocolate ones were. The man working there was very friendly and knowledgeable about the vegan options. I haven’t had a dipped chocolate popsicle like that in years, so I was happy to indulge. 🙂

In the end, we didn’t find much else to do in Fuengirola besides walking along the beach. We just prefer the quieter beaches of Torremolinos, I guess!

That being said, I wouldn’t mind returning to Fuengirola at some point to tour the Castillo de Sohail since entry is free. (It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 – 14:00.)

the week ahead

This week we plan to visit Nerja (another resort town east of Málaga on the coast) for a hike up the Rio Chillar. We don’t have anything else set in stone besides a day trip to Madrid on the 27th. This will be my third time in the city. We are meeting up with another nomadic vegan couple, as well as revisiting some of my favourite sites. Madrid will always be special to me because it was my first trip to Madrid that inspired me to quit my job in the States and start downsizing my life. 🙂

We are considering visiting Granada or Seville as well. Do you have any recommendations for these cities or any other cities in Spain?

Thank you for reading! ❤

Our first week on Costa del Sol

We’ve been in Torremolinos just over a week now and I really like it! I feel like Kuba and I are on holiday because our work schedule is casual, we’re eating as much fresh, ripe fruit as we care for, and we walk along the beach almost every evening. 🙂

We’ll be based in Torremolinos for three months. Last summer, I hopped around Europe every couple of weeks or so. I much prefer this slower pace since we have time to relax and we’re not pressured into seeing all the sites in one go. We can take it easy and enjoy life just like the locals.

The beaches here are clean and surprisingly, they’re never too busy during the week. Calle Peligro, a winding path lined with shops and cafes, leads us to the beach from the city centre. (It’s a dangerous street, indeed, with all the stairs!) From there, we stroll along the beachfront promenade until we reach our preferred section of the beach, a bit further away from the end of Calle Peligro, since it’s always empty and perfect for frisbee. 😉


We lucked out with the location of our flat because it’s conveniently located. We’re staying in a studio flat in a residential area next to the city centre. Walking to the beach takes us only 15-20 minutes. This flat is spacious and well-lit with a balcony. The sun shines through the window in the early morning but the flat stays nice and cool during the rest of the day.

I give you a little tour of our flat in my first Torremolinos vlog. 🙂

fruterías are life

The best part about living in our flat is that we have a little fruit shop down the street. We’ve been purchasing all of our produce from this shop because it’s much cheaper than produce at big-box stores like Mercadona. It’s also better quality and delicious. Lucky us!

Even though we’ve been eating as much fresh produce and whole foods as we like, we still have only managed to spend around €106 on food in our first week. This has to be one of the best perks of living in Spain. Keep in mind we only ate out once that week with two scoops of vegan ice cream on our way to the beach. (Couldn’t resist.) Focusing on whole plant-based foods and cooking at home means our food costs are half of what they were in the UK.

In my latest video, I explain our food expenses and what we’ve been eating during our first week in Spain. I also offer some money-saving tips to help you keep your food budget low while travelling.

Jardin Botanico Molino de Inca

We visited the botanical gardens here since they are listed as one of the “must see” attractions in Torremolinos. It only cost €1 to enter and is located a short walk from our flat. The gardens were nice, full of palm trees, and even include a small Japanese garden. Sadly, they also have wild birds in cages on display in one area of the gardens. We weren’t aware of this prior to entering, otherwise, we’d have skipped it. Just beware of that if you’re considering visiting it.

Check out Kuba’s vlog for a sneak peek of the gardens.

Parque de la Batería

We also scoped out Parque de la Batería the other day since it’s close to Carrefour, a massive supermarket full of international foods. I shopped at Carrefour when I stayed in Barcelona last summer, so I hoped we could explore the Mexican and Asian food options there. We found cheaper tortillas for our burrito bowl lunches and delicious vegan dark chocolate in their organic section. Score!

Anyways, back to the park. 😛 Parque de la Batería is the largest green space in Torremolinos so we had to visit it. We found plenty of shady park benches, water fountains, and even some California palm trees! We visited the park in the early afternoon and it was practically empty. Good for us, bad for our photos since we like to photograph people. At any rate, it was a beautiful sunny day for a walk in the park.


We climbed the tower (which also comes equipped with a lift) for a nice view of the beach and city down below.


a quick trip to Málaga

Málaga is a short train ride away so we ventured there this past Friday. I needed to buy some new hiking shoes (my other barefoot shoes were defective!) so we figured why not explore a new city. Our flight from London put us in Málaga but since we arrived late in the evening, we didn’t have time to walk around before heading into Torremolinos.

Málaga is a port city similar to Torremolinos with its sandy beaches and resorts. However, with a population of roughly 569,000, it’s much larger than Torremolinos by 500k.

After securing new Merrell hiking shoes at Corte Ingles, we wandered through Málaga’s Old Town and strolled through Paseo España, a shady palm-lined garden along the water. We continued on the Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso and ate cherries at La Playa de Malagueta.

We also noticed several pieces by French artist Invader. The first time I saw one of his pieces in person was when I visited Ljubljana last summer. Now I keep an eye out for them. 😉

I think I prefer the smaller city vibes of Torremolinos since the beaches here are never that busy. Still, we’ll need to revisit Málaga again before we leave this part of Spain. Fortunately, we have until the end of August.

Spain was one of my favourite destinations last summer and it still is. I could definitely see us settling down in Spain someday! Not anytime soon though, we have van plans starting next year. 😉


Have you visited Spain’s Costa del Sol before?

What sites do you recommend?