Hiding Out From Pirates in Fuengirola, Spain
Forget Pirates of the Caribbean and a man named Depp, think Mediterranean Barbary pirates, Russian mafia, retired Scandinavians, Chinese buffets, and English breakfasts. Like the layers that peel back from the red-faced, gingerly walking tourists who forgot the sunscreen; Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and now hordes of northern European holidaymakers have all laid their beach towels in Fuengirola. Abd-ar-Rahman III had the castle built back in 956 to protect the coast from raiding pirates. The renowned medieval explorer Ibn Battutah once spent the night and described a harrowing near-miss with corsairs attacking the coast and taking hostages. Today, the fortress serves as the turn-around point for those strolling along the seawalk after dinner at one of the restaurants along Fish Alley—which serve everything from paella to pad thai. Raiding parties are rare these days, but a visit just may turn into your own sequel.