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Pocket Guide: Benalmadena

Visiting Benalmadena

Benalmadena is a coastal resort town in the Costa del Sol, in the Andalusian region of southern Spain. Benalmadena is known for its golden sandy beaches, the Tivoli World theme park and landmarks such as the fairytale Colomares Castle, the religious site of the Benalmadena Stupa and the Benalmadena cable car. The nearby Calamorro Mountain is rich in wildlife, including kestrels, owls and mountain goats.

Where to stay in Benalmadena

Benalmadena has a number of fascinating areas to choose from. For instance, if you decide to stay in a Benalmadena hotel near to the Puerto Marina, you’ll be close to plenty of nightlife. Alternatively, you could stay in the Old Village area, which will charm you with its quaint, winding streets. Or you could find accommodation outside of the town in a nearby tranquil village such as Arroyo de la Miel, which translates as “honey stream”. Whichever Benalmadena hotel you choose, you’re sure to be enchanted by this radiant town.

Accommodation choices in Benalmadena

There are a variety of Benalmadena hotels to suit a range of budgets and preferences. For 5 star opulence, consider the Vincci Seleccion Aleysa Hotel Boutique & Spa, which includes an outdoor pool, spa facilities and a contemporary design interior. A mid-price option is the 4 star Best Triton, a beachfront hotel that includes a spa, free Wi-Fi and an outdoor pool. A budget choice is the family-friendly 3 star Medplaya Hotel Bali, which offers a swimming pool, a children’s pool and a restaurant. Whatever your budget, there’s a Benalmadena hotel that is right for you.

What to do during your stay in Benalmadena

Benalmadena’s beautiful stretch of golden sand is over six miles long and offers everything from family-friendly beaches to secluded coves. The town also boasts a variety of historical sites and entertainment attractions. The promenade area has charming views of luxury yachts and floating hotels, plus a variety of restaurants and shops. It’s also the location of the Sea Life Centre, a popular attraction that’s home to sharks, jellyfish and stingrays. The centre includes rock pools where you can stroke starfish and crabs, plus has daily opportunities to feed seahorses.

The lively Puerto Marina is made up of artificial islands and is thought by many to be the best marina in the world. It’s rich in shopping and nightlife, and looks magical when lit up in the evening. Marina activities include paragliding, boat trips and dolphin watching.

Beyond Benalmadena’s stunning seafront there are many other attractions to enjoy. The Tivoli World theme park includes rides such as a giant ferris wheel, a rollercoaster, the Jurassic Adventure, the Tivoli Dragon, the Passage of Terror and the 60-metre free-fall tower. La Paloma Park includes a lake, waterfalls and gardens, plus peacocks and exotic birds. Selwo Marina was created to mimic South America and includes crocodiles, sea lions and dolphins. Butterfly World is also a lovely nature-based place to visit.

The Benalmadena cable car will take you 800 metres high up the mountain to enjoy views all the way to the African coast. The cable car will also take you to the village of Arroyo de la Miel, which is known for its good restaurants, bars and shops. Make sure you also make time to see the 33-metre high Buddhist Enlightenment Stupa, which is the largest stupa in Europe. Or you can wander over to Benalmadena’s Old Village area and explore its winding streets and traditional white stone houses. An unmissable attraction is the fairytale castle of Castillo Monumento Colomares, which is a monument to Christopher Columbus. The Castillo also houses the smallest church in the world, which is just 1.96 square metres in size.

The nearby city of Malaga is a major resort known for its high-rise hotels. Malaga attractions include the Renaissance cathedral, the Basilica of Santa Maria, the Sacred Heart Church and the Hans Christian Anderson statue. Gardens and green spaces include the Jardin Botanico-Historico La Concepcion which is a 23-hectare, 19th century botanical garden, the gardens of the ruined castle of Gibralfaro and the remains of the Alcazaba citadel. The English cemetery is also a peaceful spot.

Andalusian foods to try on your visit include fried fish, shellfish, gazpacho soup and pestinos, a deep-fried honey pastry.

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