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Benalmadena: Worthwhile Mediterranean Coast in Andalucía

Situated within the province of Malaga with three primary urban areas, Benalmadena has grown as very quickly to become one of Costa del Sol’s prime attractions along the Mediterranean coast. Andalucía claims quite a bit of seafront property, including the cities of Malaga and Marbella, 12 km west and 42 km east of Benalmadena, respectively.

The climate is sub-tropical year round, with pleasantly warm winters and summers that can regularly reach into the upper 30s ºC, averaging about 32 ºC. Not to worry: the breezes coming of the Mediterranean waters cool everything down and make the long season more manageable to get through.

Among the three main urban areas of Benalmadena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel, and Benalmadena Costa are various attractions. The biggest draw would have to be the picturesque beaches at Benalmadena Costa, representative of some of the finest golden sand the Mediterranean has to offer. Whether shopping or fine dining is your calling card, there are plenty of options for all tastes year round. Make no mistake: this is more than just a mere resort town, so getting bored is not an option!

Diverse Cuisine and Eateries

No matter what kind of cuisine you enjoy, you will find what you are looking for. Of course, there is seafood fare with the customary rice that is common in the area, but there are also tapas bars and cafes for low-key lunching and dining experiences. Chiringuitos are beach bars which are worth a look, if only to see the fisherman doing their jobs to catch your dinner. For a snack, you can order a caña – what locals call a small beer – and you will be served with a small portion of tapas free of charge at some of the more traditional bars.

Some restaurants to keep a look out for include Panorama Bistro Bar, praised for its wide variety of excellent types of food and kind owners who have created a warm atmosphere, as well as The Drunken Sailor for its Sunday lunch with a view. For those with a sweet tooth, check out Gelateria Di Porto Marina; check out the ‘leche merngada’ flavour, it’s to die for!

Promenades, Shopping, and Animal-Watching

The Puerto Marina has shopping and dining to spare, so it’s worth a walk by day or night. Or, if living vicariously through millionaires is your cup of tea, you can take a peep at their floating hotels and yachts, or get to know one and party in the area at night for a festive nightlife.

If natural attractions are your preference, check out La Paloma Park for a plethora of farm animals and exotic birds, plus well-cultivated gardens. Curated waterfalls lead down to the lake, and nearby Selwo Marina and Selwo Adventure Park offer exhibitions of different sea life you would find if you were to travel to South America. Alternatively, if butterflies are insects that really excite your grandchildren, you can always visit the Butterfly Park of Benalmadena. Otherwise, larger winged creatures are on display at the Jardin de Las Aguilas (or Garden of Eagles).

Benalmadena Pueblo is the original settlement, not on the coast proper, but instead sitting at about 200 meters above sea level at the base of Mount Calamorro. This quaint village is worth a look for its labyrinthine alleyways, buildings of traditional white-washed Spanish stone, and plazas that will remind you of an earlier period in Andalucía. Not a few minutes away lies Mijas Pueblo, a rustic destination where you’ll find donkey’s trekking along a well-trodden path, and various other shows. A world’s largest commemoration of Christopher Colombus stands in the form of Colomares Castle.

And speaking of the world’s largest, the biggest Stupa to be found in the Orient resides in Benalmadena Pueblo as well in the 33 meters tall Buddhist Enlightenment Stupa.

Bars, Theme Parks, and other Entertainment

Tivoli World is a theme park with numerous attractions which includes typical circus fare like rides and games, but also has a bunch of restaurants and bars for families and adults to enjoy, respectively. If memorable (or strange, depending on how you look at it) souvenirs and knick-knacks strike your fancy, then make sure to visit for the Sunday market for your choice of craft that can live on your living room shelf.

For those of you who like to get a drink or two at night, Picasso’s Show Bar is noteworthy thanks to its low cost drinks at such a luxury venue. Meanwhile, for lovers of the beautiful game (as there are many of in Spain), The Harpenny Bridge is a great place to watch La Liga – or even the Bundesliga, Serie A, or the Premiere’s League. This being an Irish pub, the whiskeys on hand are well worth the visit, alone. (And don’t forget to ask for the elusive black vodka while there). Finally, Monkey Business is a bar run by fun Irish folks as well, with food and drinks worth recommending.

Tours are available both within the municipality proper on Segways, or outside of Benalmadena’s three main areas, if that is something you prefer. Malaga, Marbella, Ronda, Estepona, Algeciras, Cadiz, Sevilla, and Gibraltar are all easily accessible, but be advised that the latter requires a passport, ID, and even possibly a visa depending on the nationality of the traveller.

If golf is something you love to do, Benalmadena Golf is home to some excellent driving ranges, putting greens, and a 9-hole par three course to lower your handicap. For further practice, a nearby 18-hole course can be found in nearby Torrequebrada Golf, offering a greens for all levels of golfers to try their hand at. The views are marvellous while it offers privacy from the neighbouring urban areas.


The local hospital is called Xanit Hospital. As a privately run hospital in Benalmadena, your medical inquiries and emergencies can be directed here. Of course, as always it is recommended that register with the nearest Centro de Salud (the Health Centre) if you are going to be visiting or living for any extended period of time.