Benalmadena became the holiday destination for thousands of tourists not only from Europe, but also from all over the world. It is not a surprise because the well-kept and sandy beaches are only some of its advantages. It is a part of Malaga agglomeration, and it is situated between Torremolinos and Fuengirola. There is one of the most important harbours in Spain, to which yachts from all over the world come. We used to live there for a few years, so I have a lot to say about Benal… ☺

 

A BIT OF HISTORY

First traces of  human settlements in the area come from around 20 000 BC as indicate the archaeological remains found in three caves situated near Calamorro mountain: Cueva del Toro, Cueva del Botijo and Cueva de la Zorrera

In the seventh and eighth century, the Phoenicians came to Benalmadena looking for mineral deposits, which they exported to the Mediterranean Basin. Next, Phoenician settlements have been replaced by the spreading Roman Empire. The today’s name of the city was given by Moors in the eleventh century – “Banu Al Madena”, which means “the son of mines”. In the middle ages, the inhabitants of Benalmadena lived insides walls that protected the city and the castle. The walls were also supposed to protect the coast between MIjas and Malaga. In 1456, as a result of Reconquista,  the walls and other fortifications were almost completely destroyed, and there was little left of the city. The survivors were taken to Mijas where they could rebuilt their homesteads. 

In 1485, during Ferdinand II’s last exhibition, the city was again raided and completely destroyed together with its castle. The city was completely destroyed by the ongoing pirate attacks, earthquakes and tsunami. ..

Today you can still see the remains of three towers built in that time: Molo, Quebrada and Bermeja (this one is situated in front of the harbour). 

In the eighteenth century, the slow reactivation of the local economy was started by building six paper factories, and the cultivation of grapevine, sweet potatoes, almonds and figs. Later, the area was raided by various epidemics and depressions. And so the life was going slow, from one day to another, until the mid-sixties of the twentieth century, when the city and its beautiful beaches got noticed and acknowledged outside Spain due to the rapid development of commercial tourism.  This development still continues, and Benalmadena is on the best resorts on the sun coast when it comes to the visits, and it is one of the most popular holiday resorts in Spain!

 

WHAT TO SEE?

The city is divided into three main parts:

  • Benalmadena Pueblo – it is the oldest part of the city with the typical Andalusian architecture: characteristic colourful flowerpots with lavish flowers ornamenting whitened house walls next to narrow, pave alleys. Well-kept, charming plazas invite you to spend afternoons there, i.e. near Plaza de Espana or Plaza Andalucia. Over the city, there is a charming church Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzman, offering beautiful view of the coast. The old town is a place you really should see.
  • Benalmadena Costa – it is the new part of the city situated alongside the coast. You will find there mainly hotels, promenade, modern settlements and various services, as well as a developed harbour. 
  • Arroyo de la Miel – at first it was a separate settlement situated between Benalmadena Pueblo and Costa. It is mainly a residential district and it is the one focused mostly on trade. There is a train station connecting the “tri-city”: Fuengirola – Benalmadena/Arroyo de la Miel  - Torremolinos with Malaga. 

 

PLACES WORTH SEEING IN BENALMADENA COSTA
  • Yacht harbour and marina (Puerto Deportivo de Benalmadena “Puerto Marina”) – it was finished in 1979 and is characterized by rare Andalusian-Moorish architecture, for which it became world famous (in 1995 and 1997 it was named the most beautiful marina in the world). In front of the marina, from the city side, there is Torre Bermeja – a watch tower 3 m wide and 10 m tall, built by the Muslims at the end of the fifteenth century. 
  • Sea Life Benalmadena Aquarium – marine aquarium with various species of animals.
  • La Paloma Park – takes 200.000 square m of area. It is a home for many species of plants and animals (including donkeys, peacocks, guinea pigs, chickens, roosters, deer, does and many others). There is a lake in which many animals, including turtles, live. 
  • Selwo Marina Dolphinarium – waterpark with dolphins, penguins and seals. 
  • Tivoli World Amusement Park – a perfect place for children
  • Teleferico de Benalmadena Scenic Railway – it is 5 565 m long and can be used to go on the top of Calamorro mountain (771 m ASL). It offers a perfect view of Costa del Sol and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, and if the weather is nice, you can also see Gibraltar rock and the outline of the coast of Morocco. Going to the top, it is good to check what time the show of predatory birds flights start. It is a great lesson about nature for the whole family! Link to more information.
  • Castillo Bil Bil – a characteristic building with Arab architecture. It is situated right next to the beach. The castle serves as a public building, hosting artistic exhibits and music performances. It is the most famous place for civil marriages in Malaga!

 

PLACES WORTH SEEING IN BENALMADENA PUEBLO
  • Illumination Stupa (Benalmadena Stupa, Estupa TIbetana, Estupa de la Illuminacion) – Buddhist stupa (a sacral monument) that is 108 feet tall (33 metres), which makes it the largest stupa in Europe. In the lower part, there are regularly hosted exhibits related to Tibet Buddhism and Himalayan culture. 
  • Mariposario Benalmadena – a place with the exhibit of butterflies, plants and exotic animals. It is situated right next to the stupa. 
  • Castillo de Colomares – building raised to honour Christopher Columbus and his achievements. It is the largest building dedicated to the traveller. Its architecture is composed of three styles: Byzantine, Roman, Gothic and Moorish. 
  • The Museum of Archaeology (Muceo de Benalmadena) with local exhibits dated to the Bronze Age. 

 

GOLD BEACHES

Benalmadena consists of almost 20 km of coastline and 17 beaches that altogether are 8 520 m long! Some of them are sandy, and some are pebbled.

• Arroyo Hondo, Carvajal

• Bil-Bil, La Morera

• Arroyo de la Miel

• Benalnatura – one of the first nudist beaches in Spain

• Fuente de la Salud

• La Perla

• Las Viborillas

• Las Yucas

• Malapesquera / Malapesca / Torre Bermeja

• Melilleros

• Santa Ana

• Tajo de la Soga

• Torremuelle

• Torrequebrada

• Torrevigía

 

FOR FANS OF WILDLIFE
  • Climbing Calamorro – it is best to leave your car near Calle Oregano and then take the track leading upwards. The track is not steep and offers amazing views of the coast, Malaga and local mountain ranges, Sierra Nevada mountains  with Mulhacen summit way off in the distance. Without the railway ticked you will not be able to see the show of predatory birds flights on the top. The shows are help at different times, you can check the schedule – CLICK HERE

 

WHERE TO EAT

Those are my personal recommendation, but if you know a nice place, please let me know in the comment section under this article:

 

Benalmadena Costa:

• Lime & Lemon

• Panorama Bistro Bar

• La Cubana

• Erase Una Vez

• Taperia de Bodeguita

• Pocho's Bar

• Harry's Restro – very good Indian cuisine

 

Benalmadena Pueblo:

• Restaurante La Fuente

• Restaurante El Muro

• La Tajea Gastrotaperia

• Resteurante LA Perla

 

Arroyo de la Miel:

• La Alternativa – a typical Spanish bar, a bit overly focused on “tourists”, but the food is fresh and tasty

• Tribu – meat, vegetarian and vegan lunches, healthy cuisine

• Tio Blas

• Rincón Asturiano

• La Taverna dei Sapori – a charming couple of “Spanished” Italians – delicious Italian food

There are lots of restaurants to choose from – everybody will find something nice and suitable for themselves. 

 

HOW TO GET THERE

If you are looking for a calm place to go on a holiday with your family or if you are thinking about moving, Benalmadena will meet your expectations for sure. It is a beautiful, green, well-kept city with beautiful beaches and parks. It is very well communicated with other cities. If you have any questions about Benalmadena, write a comment below!

 

 

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USEFUL SPANISH:
el puerta, la marina harbor
los vacaciones holiday
el hotel hotel
Dónde Está? Where is?
¿Cuánto cuesta? How much
Por favor Please
Perdone Excuse me
La playa Beach
no entiendo I do not understand
el parque park
BENALMÁDENA Andalusia
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ANTEQUERA Andaluzja
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