Benalmadena is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol. The municipality is divided into four areas: Benalmadena Costa, Benalmadena Pueblo, Torremuelle and Arroyo de la Miel. The resort offers a diverse range of activities for holidaymakers of all ages.
Far removed from the hustle and bustle of Benalmadena Costa
, Benalmadena Pueblo, set high above the coast, is a traditional whitewashed village. The origin of the town, dates back to the eighth century and the Moorish invasion. It’s original name was Ben-al-Madina, which meant ‘Children of the Mines’, as the area was rich in ochre and iron deposits.
The village is home to Benalmádena’s town hall and is a great place to start your local experience.
See and Do
A village it may be, but don’t underestimate the number of cultural activities and sights there are to enjoy, in and around Benalmadena Pueblo.
The ‘pueblo’ itself, is a typical Andalusian village, peppered with colourful flowers that bedeck the whitewashed houses. The central Plaza España, is a pretty square, lined with sweet smelling orange trees, the centrepiece is a fountain, featuring Benalmadena’s symbol ‘La Niña’. You can take in the surroundings at one of the square’s pleasant restaurants.
Within the pueblo we highly recommend a visit to Colmares Castle
. The castle was constructed in 1984, in honour of Christopher Columbus, and is said to house the smallest chapel in the world. Just above the castle, you can visit the Santo Domingo church; perched on the peak of the hill, the church affords wonderful views across the coast.
Benalmadena Pueblo is the location for the Benalmadena Archaeological Museum; a recommended visit to view the unique and prized collection of pre-Columbian artefacts from South America, said to be the best in Europe. There is also an permanent exhibition of local antiquities and relics from pre-Roman era.
Staying in Benalmadena Pueblo means you are just a couple of minutes from the AP7 motorway, so you can jump in the car and easily reach Malaga City, Fuengirola, Marbella and other coastal and inland towns and villages. Benalmadena Costa is just 5 minutes drive downhill, and around 45 minutes walk, although you’d have to pretty brave to make the walk back up again, which will probably take you quite a bit longer! The stretch of coast
Places to visit
Just outside of Benalmadena Village there are several highly recommended attractions:
Butterfly Park (Mariposario Benalmadena): This amazing space is really worthwhile a visit during your stay. A 2,000m2 climate controlled indoor butterfly park, built in the style of a Thai temple; it houses over 1,500 butterflies, flying around freely in a tropical environment. There is also a chameleon, tortoises, birds and even a kangaroo! Tropical plants have been specially flown in from Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica.
The Enlightenment Stupa Benalmadena has become an iconic monument in the area. Run by the Asociación Cultural Karma Kagyu de Benalmádena, this Buddhist stupa is one of very few in the world that has opened its inner structure to the public, as a meditation hall. The serene structure, is set high above the coastline; in a wonderful location perfect for a moment’s reflection. The Stupa holds weekly meditation classes, temporary exhibition and Buddhist festivals.
If you’re a family with children, then you’re beautifully located to visit one of the Costa del Sol’s premier amusement parks. Tivoli World has been around for over 40 years, and they’ve managed to finely hone the full agenda of attractions and entertainment for the whole family.
Catch a lift to heaven on the Teleférico cable car, which you pick up from Tivoli World to the summit of Mount Calamorro, some 771 metres above sea level!
Check out our article on the Best Family Attractions in Benalmadena.
Gastronomy and nightlife
The village’s local restaurants offer traditional and international cuisine in pretty Andalusian surroundings. The central plaza has a good selection of restaurants and dotted around the village, you’ll find Spanish, pizza & pasta and bistro eateries. Benalmadena Costa and the port area, just five minutes drive from the village, offer a huge choice of dining establishments, bars and music clubs.
Benalmadena Pueblo offers ample amenities for holidaymakers, but it’s advisable to hire a car to visit the beaches, a wider choice of shops and to enjoy the attractions and neighbouring resorts of the Costa del Sol.
The area is an ideal destination anytime of the year. The mild winter climate makes it an excellent destination for winter holidays.