What to see in Benalmádena, the heart of the Costa del Sol
Geographically speaking, Benalmádena is located in the exact centre of the Costa del Sol, just 11 kilometres from Málaga airport. There are plenty of good reasons that it’s a favourite destination for tourists visiting the province: its beautiful landscapes, magnificent coast, monuments, restaurants and numerous other tourist attractions. These help to explain why its population increases significantly during the summer. Because there are endless things to do and see in Benalmádena.
In addition to its coastal area, the focus point of most of its tourist services, Benalmádena also has a beautiful old town that retains its traditional Andalusian charm and boasts views of the whole coastline. The town of Arroyo de la Miel connects inland Benalmádena Pueblo to Benalmádena Costa on the coast. In other words, it’s a town inside a town, with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other.
Nine kilometres of coast in Benalmádena
Let’s start with Benalmádena Costa, the area of the town on the seafront, and its nine kilometres of clean, well-looked-after beaches with outstanding services. There’s space for everyone because lively beaches alternate with secluded coves. What’s more, the coast can be enjoyed all year round because here the holiday spirit never ends. From Fuente de la Salud beach at one end to Carvajal beach at the other, Benalmádena invites visitors to come and enjoy its coast and crystal-clear waters. It’s a land where the sun almost always shines and the yearly average temperature is 22 degrees.
What to do in Benalmádena
Travellers visiting Benalmádena have countless options for enjoying their holiday in the town. Benalmádena Pueblo alone is home to magnificent Colomares Castle, the personal vision of Esteban Martín Martín who decided in 1987 that he wanted to erect a monumental building to tell the world, in his own way, about Columbus’ discovery of the Americas and the explorer’s exploits. The 1,500 m2 castle opened in 1994 after seven years of hard work and is a remarkable feat itself; it was built from brick, stone, wood and cement in various architectural styles: Neo-Byzantine, Neo-Romanesque, Neo-Gothic and Neo-Mudéjar.
Neighbouring Bil-Bil Castle is a little older. This Moorish-style building was constructed in 1927 by an affluent Andalusian family. Today it belongs to Benalmádena Town Hall and is a public building that hosts the most weddings in Málaga province. This is probably due to its eye-catching red exterior façade and beautiful decorations with tiles and Nasrid-style bas-reliefs. It also has spectacular gardens with fountains. The castle is open to the public and entry is free.
Benalmádena from on high
If you’d like a panoramic view of Benalmádena and its neighbouring towns on the Costa del Sol, take a ride on the Benalmádena cable car that sets off from the Explanada del Tívoli. You can reach the summit of Mount Calamorro at an altitude of over 700 m in just 15 minutes. It’s the perfect place to follow a hiking route through an area with several excellent viewpoints. Alternatively, you could take your bicycle up the mountain in one of the cable car cabins and then ride it down along one of the signposted routes.
Another fun plan is visiting Parque de la Paloma in Benalmádena, a 200,000-m2 oasis of green spaces just moments from the beach. It’s listed as one of the 25 most beautiful parks in Europe along with Parc Güell in Barcelona, El Retiro Park in Madrid and Hyde Park in London. It opened in 1995 and has been a favourite spot of local residents ever since. It has a small zoo, a cactus park, a large lake, cafés and restaurants. The park is the ideal place to spend a relaxing day in Benalmádena, especially if you’re travelling with children. It also has a varied programme of activities packed with concerts, storytellers, film screenings, etc.
1,100 moorings in the marina
Don’t leave Benalmádena without having experienced the attractions of its marina, two-time winner of the “Best Marina in the World” award. Its facilities are home to Sea Life Benalmádena aquarium and have 1,100 moorings with boats of every size from all around the world. You can also enjoy its lively nightlife with a wide range of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The marina is a benchmark for the world of regattas and fishing championships.
Fun at Tívoli World theme park
Another big attraction in Benalmádena is its show and amusement park, Tívoli World, an entertaining experience and an opportunity to spend a fantastic day with family and friends. There are over 30 rides to thrill visitors of every kind: a 60-metre free-fall ride, a 9-metre free-fall ride for children, a giant Ferris wheel, a rollercoaster, mystery boat, tourist train, haunted house, go-karting track, bumper cars, etc.
What else is there to do in Benalmádena? One thing you certainly mustn’t miss is a stroll through its old town where you can wander through the well-preserved, old structure of a typical Andalusian village with enchanting narrow, white streets. The origins of the town can be traced back to the fifteenth century—the time of the Catholic Monarchs.
Golf lovers are in luck if they head to Benalmádena to visit its tourist attractions because there are lots of first-class facilities in the area, such as Golf Torrequebrada, considered to be one of the best golf courses in Spain; the Bil Bil House complex, the only golf course in Andalusia with 18 Pitch and Putt holes, and Benalmádena Golf, a course with a 48-tee golf school.
So remember, if you’re travelling to Benalmádena, brace yourself because fun times lie ahead with endless opportunities for enjoyment in this beautiful town at the geographic heart of the Costa del Sol.