- What to see
- How to get here
- More information
- Town history
The entertainment does not stop in Benalmádena, a town which is 20 kilometres from the centre of Málaga and has all the attractions to spend an unforgettable vacation. The offer of tourist attractions is the most complete of the Costa del Sol and is also well distributed between the three cities.
Benalmádena town represents calmness through a picturesque urban landscape of narrow streets and plazas, while Benalmádena Costa brings together good part of holiday offer and a long coastline divided into 15 beaches. Arroyo de la Miel, with strong growth in recent years, is the place where a large number of leisure attractions that complete the attractions of this destination are concentrated.
This has led to almost 5,000 British having chosen Benalmádena as place of residence.
IN BENALMÁDENA YOU CANNOT MISS
Benalmádena offers very original views, as the Buddhist Stupa of Enlightenment, Colomares Castle and Bil Bil Castle and a Moorish-style building stands out in the landscape of the coast, thanks to its red decoration with tiles. In Benalmádena, besides, the tourists can visit the three watchtowers that are conserved in the city: Torre Bermeja, Torrequebrada and Torremuelle.
To explore its historic centre, it is recommended to start with the church of Santo Domingo, next to which there is a viewpoint that offers an extraordinary view of the coast. Close to this monument are the Jardines del Muro, designed by César Manrique. This walk can add two more stages: the sculpture de la Nińa (sculpture of the girl) and La Fonda, whose building is now occupied by a hospitality school.
Culture manifests itself in many different ways in Benalmádena. Felipe Orlando Pre-Columbian Art Museum is a must see for lovers of this genre, as it hosts one of the best collections of Spain. Culture manifests itself in many different ways in Benalmádena.
There are several options to get to Benalmádena from Málaga by car. The best option is to take the MA-20 and then the AP-7 towards Arrabal de Santangelo, getting off at exit 222. It will take about 25 minutes, depending on traffic.
Another option is to take the E-15. This route takes about 30 minutes.
You can also get to Benalmádena on the C1 commuter train line, taking a little more than an hour.
Paloma Park is one of the most emblematic parks of the Costa del Sol with its 200,000 square meters of greenery, where you can enjoy several walking areas, an artificial lake, two playgrounds, trails and the possibility to contemplate the life of free animals. The wide range of catering and picnic areas make the Paloma Park one of the most visited place by tourists and inhabitants of the town. At the Paloma Park, we can also see the Municipal Auditorium, a venue conditioned to host the celebration of different outdoor events.
Benalmádena also has the Casablanca Rustic Park. More than 125,000 square meters conditioned with barbecue areas, picnic tables and trails to spend a great day of leisure.
The Mount Calamoro meets every day to nature lovers. The more adventurous come walking to these two heights, separated by the Old Port, while the rest may reach the same point through a cable car. Whatever the chosen means of transportation, it will be very difficult to forget the view from the highest point of this mountain.
Benalmádena also offers tourists 15 complete and comfortable beaches, among which the Bil Bil, Santa Ana, Arroyo de la Miel and Fuente de la Salud are the most outstanding. But this city also has one of the few nude beaches of the Malaga coast, Benalnatura.
To complete the experience with the best of nature from Benalmádena you can also travel the roads of the Great Path of Malaga thanks to two stages (Mijas - Benalmádena and Benalmádena - Alhaurin de la Torre).
Those who want to see during a visit to Benalmádena, how the animals of all kinds live in water, there are two interesting options: Sea Life, which has several sharks among its 2,000 underwater creatures, and Selwo Marina, whose visitors can share experiences with dolphins, penguins and sea lions from various corners of the world.
The amusement park Tivoli World, ideal for the little ones, and the Ice Club, with skating rinks that can be enjoyed throughout the year, complete Entertainment choices of Benalmádena.
Nature also awaits in Benalmádena Butterfly Pavilion, where children can learn playing around thousands of species of butterflies from all over the world.
On the other hand, the Puerto Deportivo de Benalmádena is one of the most complete buildings of its kind in Spain. Its residential offer, which has attracted many tourists who have settled in the Costa del Sol, combined with an attractive design and is very convenient for users of its berthing port facility. The leisure around this resort has been twice awarded the Prize for Best Marine of the World, which allows maintaining a high tourist activity throughout the year.
The third Sunday of June is celebrated as the festival of Pilgrimage of San Juan, and on the night of 23 to 24, the burning of the ""júas" (rag dolls stuffed with sawdust) takes place in different beaches of the town. The festival of Carmen in July is one of the most prominent. During this month, until early September, the Summer Festival takes place, which offers an extensive program of theatre, music and summer cinema for everyone in the Municipal Auditorium of Paloma Park.
The procession of Corpus Christi in spring is one of the most deeply rooted celebrations in Benalmádena. The people of the town adorn their balconies and streets covering them with flowers for this event that shares the spotlight with Easter.
In addition, Benalmádena also hosts an Arab souk in September, Storytelling Marathon in spring and a lively contest of 'drag queens' on the occasion of Carnival in February. The events calendar is full with various activities such as the Ruta del Tapeo (Tapas Route), fashion shows, musical performances and film screenings, among others.
Fried fish and cold gazpacho (refreshing whipped mixture of tomato, pepper, cucumber, garlic, bread and olive oil) are the two great dining recommendations in this area. You can taste them at any beach bar and at many restaurants of Benalmádena Costa and Arroyo de la Miel. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning about cachorreńas soups, made with oranges, the most representative dish of Benalmádena. As for baking, we will not go without trying the Doughnuts and 'arrastras' (a simple sweet of fried sweetened dough).
The earliest settlements in Benalmádena date from the Upper Palaeolithic, as attested by evidence found in the caves of El Toro, Los Botijos and La Zorrera. Archaeological findings have also revealed the presence of the Phoenicians and the Romans, who have been associated with the ruins of several villas and a fish salting factory.
The village"s name is derived from the Arabic phrase "Ibn al-Madin", meaning "the sons of the mines" – a reference to the iron ores found in the area. The Muslims stayed here for several centuries, until the arrival of the Christian troops from the Kingdom of Castile. The Christians conquered the village and razed it to the ground – a punishment for the fierce resistance shown by locals.
In the sixteenth century, Benalmádena was repopulated with old Christians, who found it extremely difficult to settle in an environment that was far from safe. The attacks from the sea never stopped, and the village was constantly being ransacked by enemies. When pirate and Berber assaults became less frequent, the population began to grow.
In 1680, a severe earthquake brought the village to the ground again; even the hills subsided. It was followed by a tsunami that played havoc with the coast and the fishing boats along it. In 1784, a man from Genoa, Félix Solesio, came to buy the farmhouse in Arroyo de la Miel. He built six paper mills to supply the Royal Card Factory in Macharaviaya.
In the second half of the twentieth century, Málaga Province – and Benalmádena in particular – rose to a prominent position in the world tourism industry. Land was bought by international investors to build the first resorts. The first hotel to emerge was the Costa del Sol. La Roca, Siroco, Tritón, Riviera and Alay, among many others, followed suit.
Meanwhile, the town authorities made infrastructure improvement efforts in all three population centres. In the early 1970s, Benalmádena was designated as a Village of Tourist Interest, receiving several prizes and awards for its town embellishment projects.
Those were the days when Tivoli World was established, giving a final boost to the local travel industry. In 1982, they opened the Benalmádena Marina, which has been twice chosen as World"s Best Marina.
“El pescaíto frito” (fried fish) and cold gazpacho are this area’s two great gastronomic recommendations. The best way to enjoy them is at a “chiringuito” overlooking the beach.
You should also give Benalmádena’s signature “sopas cachorreńas” made with oranges a try. Then, for dessert, don’t forget to try “los buńuelos” and “las arrastrás.”
- Inhabitants (+50,000)
- Coastal area