Benalmádena is a city of 30000 inhabitants on the Costa del Sol which enjoys an excellent location on the Mediterranean Sea, extending over an area of 30 square kilometers. It is located about 20 kilometers from Malaga airport, with which it is well connected. In recent years it has seen rapid expansion and has become very popular, especially among British tourists.
It is a very lively town, especially during the summer, when it is literally invaded by thousands of tourists.
The beaches of Benalmádena
La Benalmadena coast it consists of almost 10 kilometers of beach. There are beaches dedicated to families, bathed by calm waters, and beaches that offer the opportunity to carry out many activities and water sports for the more dynamic.
To the beach of Malpesquera, near the Nautical Club, you can rent boats and take boat tours along the coast. The beach of Vermilion Tower it is instead suitable for windsurfing and sailing.
What to see in Benalmádena
Although Benalmádena is closely linked with its beaches and its own nightlife, however, it is a city where it is possible to visit various attractions.
Il Benalmádena marina over the years it has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best in the world. With 1.100 berths for boats of all nationalities, which can reach up to 6 meters in length, Puerto Marina is one of the most popular centers on the Costa del Sol by day and by night.
The promenade is populated with many trendy bars and restaurants. During the day you can visit the Aquarium, rent a boat, or participate in numerous water sports, such as sailing, diving, kayaking or water skiing. The nautical center it is also a meeting place for boat enthusiasts, who can participate in numerous events organized daily.
The Puerto Marina area also has a nice one beach with sun loungers and umbrellas for hire. Every year since 1987 she has been awarded the European Blue Flag for excellent service and clean waters.
For those who want to try Spanish tapas, just know that there are at least 20 small terrace bars with a view where they can be tasted. A must-see attraction at the port is the Mississippi Willow, an old American steamer, now converted into a floating bar-restaurant.
A great way to see the harbor is to board the Mississippi for an afternoon cruise around the bay, or wait until late in the evening to join one of the many organized parties.
This zoo is famous for the butterfly species that are kept and cared for inside. The building is in style Thai, so much so that to make the architecture authentic, many materials were brought from Thailand.
within the Butterfly Garden of Benalmádena more than 1500 butterflies are hosted, which can freely fly in a paradise of flowers and rivulets of water, in a recreated environment identical to their natural habitat. Visitors during the tour will be able to admire these specimens of butterflies up close in all their beauty.
Given the short life span of butterflies, the zoo completely regenerates itself almost every two weeks with new specimens. The park is open every day from 10.00 to 19.30, and the full ticket costs 10 euros. There are reductions for both children and pensioners.
This is the ancient core of the city, built inland, on a small plateau. It is a village in typical Andalusian style, where old houses painted in white and some modern buildings still alternate today. This is where the Town hall of the city.
To explore Benalmadena Pueblo, it is imperative to start from Plaza of Spain, in typical Andalusian style. Here stands a statue of a little girl who holds a seahorse in her hands, which has become the symbol of the city.
Not far away is the church of San Domenico, which is located at the highest point of the hill, thus giving spectacular views. Here in the historic center there are both the Archaeological Museum and the Colomares Castle.
The collection of the Archaeological Museum of Benalmádena is nothing more than a donation that the prestigious anthropologist, Felipe Orlando-Garcia Murciano, did in favor of the Municipality of Benalmádena. It consisted of 137 pre-Columbian objects that he inherited from his grandfather, and the city administration decided to build a building that could house the prestigious objects donated by the anthropologist, appointing him honorary director.
In 1970, another 138 pieces from Honduras, Costa Rica and Santo Domingo. Today the museum has been enriched with other archaeological finds, so much so that it has become one of the most important collections of the pre-Columbian period.
The entrance to the museum is free, and is open from Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 16.00 to 19.00. In July and August it has an extended afternoon opening until 20.00.
This monument in remembrance of Christopher Columbus It was recently built by a local artist and is surrounded by a beautiful green setting. Although the building is new, it exudes a truly mystical medieval atmosphere.
The castle is an allegorical construction that symbolizes the discovery of America, with all the new cultures and ways of life coming to light. The symbolic diversity on a structural level was rendered with the use of a mix of styles.
The castle is located on Calle Carretera del Sol, the road that leads from Benalmádena Pueblo to the coast. In summer it is open from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 16.00 to 21.00, while in winter the afternoon closure is anticipated. The entrance ticket costs only 2 euros, making it an essential stop during a visit to Benalmádena.
Activities and tours
For a day of outdoor sports, Benalmádena offers many activities to practice.
Il golf is one of the most popular activities of all Costa del Sol, and sometimes this sport is the reason why many tourists choose to come on vacation here. There are two golf courses in Benalmadena: the Centro Arymerich and Torrequebrada Center. The latter also has an opening time in the evening, to play their games at night.
Benalmadena cable car and mountain biking
La Benalmadena cable car it was opened in 2003 and is one of the most interesting attractions in the city. It is a ski lift that will take you to the highest point of the coast near Malaga in about fifteen minutes, from where you can enjoy an excellent view.
Here on the promontory it is possible to take part in relaxing rides on the back of a donkey or horse, or go bird watching. Bicycle lovers often climb up here and then delight in fun and reckless descents with their mountain bikes, which lead back to the valley.
The cable car is part of the complex of Selwo Parks, and the station is in the neighborhood of honey Creek. It has special times from season to season, so it is advisable to consult the local tourist office to find out about the openings.
If you are looking for a day of fun for young and old, you can choose to visit a water park. In fact, not far from Benalmadena there are two structures, the Aquamijas Park and Parco Aqualand.
In addition to offering a series of water games and fun attractions, both parks offer dining areas, picnic areas, areas equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas to relax, as well as shops for shopping. On the official websites of the parks www.aquamijas.com and www.aqualand.es, where you can consult openings, costs and find many other useful information.
Excursions in the surroundings
There are very many excursions you can do around Benalmadena. These are visits that can be done in one day, relying on organized local tours or organizing themselves in full autonomy. Here are some ideas.
In addition to a visit to the British town known for its Strait, Gibraltar is ideal forsighting of dolphins. In Gibraltar you can take part in exploration in the caves or undertake trekking routes to visit the zoological center, where species of monkeys are looked after.
Ronda is an Andalusian town known for its past, at the center of Arab domination. This is where the oldest bullfighting arena in Spain is located.
Ronda offers spectacular views across the Andalusian landscape, and the famous bridge and aqueduct still remain from the Arab period, connecting the old town with the new one.
The cultural capital of the Costa del Sol certainly cannot be missed, as it is located a few kilometers from Benalmadena. Malaga offers a lot: you can decide to visit the Picasso Museum, visit the Pompidou Art Center or take a tour on an open top bus. Malaga with its cafes and tapas bars is undoubtedly a cosmopolitan and vibrant city.
Jerez de la Frontera
Known for its annual motorcycle race, Jerez is so much more. Here is the Royal School of Equestrian Art, therefore, you cannot miss a performance of horses and riders, to end the day by taking part in a tasting tour in one of the cellars, where the famous sherry is produced.
Where sleeping in Benalmádena
- hotel in benalmadena they are mostly concentrated in the part near the port. They are structures that enjoy an excellent position and all belong to a good standard.
Often equipped with swimming pools and other amenities, they still offer reasonable rates. We go from hotels that are real tourist villages to smaller structures, ideal for those in search of tranquility.
In the Pueblo district there are also accommodations that offer authentic accommodation and more in contact with the traditions of this land. They are real guest house, family run. This choice is an even cheaper alternative for those who have few pretensions and want to get away from the chaos of mass tourism.
Another option that can be considered when choosing accommodation is that of Rent an apartment. The apartments are located both along the Port and in the other districts. They are also found in modern and recently built structures, suitable for both couples and large families.
How to get there from Malaga airport
Once you have landed at Malaga airport, you have various options to reach Benalmadena.
- Train: there is a railway station near the airport. For a few euros each, taking the train to Fuengirola, in 20 minutes you will arrive in Benalmadena, where you can get off at Arroyo de la Miel station.
- bus: another option compared to the train, which we do not recommend, is to take the M128 bus. The time taken is greater, the frequency of transport is lower and the cost remains more or less the same.
- Private shuttles: there are also private airport shuttles that can be booked in advance or on site. These are minivans that carry up to ten people. You can choose to rent one privately or share the trip with other tourists. Often some luxury hotels guarantee the transfer when booking the stay.
- Rental car: the ideal solution for those looking for the greatest possible autonomy and independence even on vacation. Virtually all car rental companies are present at Malaga airport, from the most famous to small local companies.
How to get around the city and its surroundings
Like all other coastal towns on the Costa del Sol, Benalmadena has a bus service which connects it with other nearby towns and directly with Malaga. There is no actual bus station, but there is a main stop called Benalmar / Puerto Marina. Here there is also a kiosk used for the sale of tickets for regional routes.
Benalmadena also has one railway station which is located along the Malaga - Fuengirola network.
Those who plan to move along the coast and want to have maximum autonomy, the advice is to take a rental car. The prices are low, the roads in excellent condition; you will find the right balance between independence and speed of movement.
Where and what to eat
In Benalmadena the choice of restaurants it's really wide. Most of them are located near the port, which is the center of nightlife and gastronomy. Here you will find tapas bars, vegetarian restaurants, Michelin-starred restaurants, and taverns offering you authentic Spanish cuisine.
In addition to the local cuisine, there are many kiosks and restaurants that offer Chinese and Indian dishes. The spread of these oriental cuisines was brought above all by the requests of tourists.
In addition to the dozens and dozens of tapas that you have to try for all tastes, do not miss the excellent dishes based on the catch of the day. From squid to sardines, the Benalmadena cuisine it will not disappoint you.
Brief history of the city
Of interest both from the times of the Phoenicians and the Romans, who exploited its lands for the production of wine, Benalmádena experienced its great development only centuries later. The city was founded during the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century, and was originally named Ben-Al-Madina by the Arabs, which translated meant sons of the mines, this is because at the time there were iron deposits in the area.
Later it was then reconquered by the Spanish Kingdom; in modern times it has experienced a revaluation and expansion in conjunction with all the tourist interest it has received Costa del Sol.