Benalmádena is a coastal municipality in the province of Malaga, located on the Costa del Sol, 12 km west of the capital, Malaga. The municipality consists of three main areas: Benalmádena Pueblo, Benalmádena Costa and Arroyo de la Miel.
Benalmádena, like many of its neighbouring municipalities, boasts some of the Costa del Sol’s most attractive beaches. This area covers just over 27 square kilometres, from the summits of the Sierra de Mijas to the sea. It stretches across the Mediterranean coastline from Torremolinos to Fuengirola and is home to many places of interest including the Colomares Castle, the 33-metre-Buddha, the Benalmádena Stupa, the largest Buddhist stupa in Europe, the Benalmádena Marina and the Benalmádena Cable Car.
Benalmádena has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area experienced a remarkable expansion during the period of Muslim domination. Its development was paralyzed after joining the Crown of Castile in 1485, due to the intense privateering activity taking place in the area at the time. Today Benalmádena is one of the main tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol, with leisure facilities including an amusement park, two aquariums, a casino, a cable car and one of the largest marinas in Andalusia.
Historically the region has been occupied and settled by many cultures dating back to the Bronze Age, including the ancient Phoenicians and Romans. As is the case throughout Andalusia in southern Spain, Benalmádena was also considerably influenced by the Moorish. The name itself derives from the Moorish: “Ben al Madina”, meaning sons of the mines, referring to the iron and ochre bed found in the area.
There are two Almenara towers on the coastline which date back to the 15th century. They were originally built to guard the coast and its population from the frequent incursions of Barbary pirates in the years following the Reconquista (reconquest) of the region by Henry IV of Castile.
Today it is one of the Costa del Sol’s most important tourist destinations. The municipality has been subject to an unprecedented urban expansion in more recent years with many new buildings and homes built, sometimes causing environmental degradation.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Benalmádena offers a traditional Spanish village experience in a modern, coastal location.
Benalmádena Pueblo, (village), lies about three kilometres inland at an elevation of approximately 200m above sea level. It is a typical whitewashed Andalusian village, mixed with a variety of more recent buildings. This quintessential Andalusian village still retains its cobbled streets throughout, offering spectacular views due to its elevation above sea level. The village has a 15th-century church and an archaeological museum with locally derived artefacts dating back to the Bronze Age.
The town offers a very special lifestyle for those looking to live in a traditional, picturesque Andalusian village, offering exceptional views to the Mediterranean and its backdrop, the Sierra de Mijas mountains. Well located in the centre of the municipality, Benalmádena Pueblo has got all of the amenities you could hope for within walking distance. The beaches are just a stone’s throw away and it is bustling with delicious restaurants and cafés. A quaint lifestyle immersed deep in history with all of the modern essentials at your doorstep. That is what privileged residents of this village enjoy under the sun, in fabulous weather throughout the year.
Benalmádena Costa is where all the action is. It is a bustling agglomeration of nightclubs, hotels, beaches, shopping centres and a beautiful marina with exceptional architecture. Tourist attractions include a SeaLife aquarium, Selwo Marina, a theme park with dolphins, penguins and seals among other species.
Overlooking the sea, separating Arroyo de la Miel from Benalmádena Costa are the beautiful gardens of La Paloma Park, covering over 200,000 square metres with a central lake, home to many different types of birds. Inside the park nestles the Benalmádena Auditorium where many events are hosted throughout the year, including the Summer Music Festival and the Theatre and Dance Festival. The Park also houses the Benalmádena Library, with enchanting café where you can rest and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by nature.
Next to the park are the Feria Grounds, where the annual town fair is held in August. This is also where the weekly flea market takes place every Friday morning. Right next to the park is Selwo Marina showcasing a spectacular array of wild sea life.
Down by the seafront is where the majority of the large hotels, apart-hotels and timeshare resorts are located. There are also many shops, bars and restaurants, as well as the Museo de Arte (art museum).
Known for its vibrant nightlife, Benalmádena Marina is surrounded by a wide choice of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, open until sunrise. The Marina also hosts important sailing and aquatic sports events.
Arroyo de la Miel
Arroyo de la Miel (Honey Stream), has become the main residential area of Benalmádena. It is located between Benalmádena Pueblo and Benalmádena Costa. This residential district is full of winding backs streets and pretty plazas that adhere to the old village way of life. It is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and it has a large British ex-pat community. Calle Blas Infante is known for its vast choice of restaurants and cafés, with a varying choice of food from typical Tapas to English breakfasts and traditional Andalusian seafood to international cuisine.
The secluded Plaza de España, is a delightful, tranquil square that is accessible from the 18th century Portal de San Carlos, which bears the coat of arms of the town’s founder, Felix Solesio.
Arroyo de la Miel is home to Tivoli World, the largest family entertainment theme park on the Costa del Sol. The setting is a wonderful combination of tropical gardens, beautiful plazas, luminous fountains, exciting rides, theatres, restaurants and much more. There are over 300 rides and attractions. Some of the best Flamenco shows are held here and many important musical artists appear in concert every season. The fabulous outdoor theatre can seat up to 3,000 people and the atmosphere is often electric. For variety and as a contrast to the Spanish Flamenco theatre, there is also a fabulous Far West corner, inspired by the American Frontier Town theme. Tivoliandia is a new section, which has recently been added to the Park, offering 11 rides for the youngest members of the family.
Then we have the famous Teleferico (cable car) which brings you to the summit of the Calamorro mountain, some 769 metres above sea level. Once at the top you can enjoy the magical, panoramic views of Sierra Nevada, Gibraltar and the Moroccan coastline. In winter, the Sierra Nevada mountains are covered in snow. It is a unique experience to be in hot 20+ degrees, weather with the sun shining and have views of the white snow-top mountains of the Granada ski resort, a couple of hours drive away.
One of the most unusual attractions in Arroyo de la Miel is the little known Barbie Museum, located in Calle Andalucía, at the end of the pedestrian street, Calle Blas Infante. Along with an impressive collection of 800 Barbie dolls, the museum, notable for its bright pink façade, has a collectables shop offering superhero and manga comics, animated Disney characters and toy soldiers.
Casa de la Cultura is also located in Arroyo de la Miel, Avenida de la Contstitución, Plaza de Austria. This important Municipal Building, seeped in history and tradition, is of great architectural beauty. It is the centre of cultural activities and Town Hall events.
Avenida del Higuerón 48, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga.
+34 951 385 622
Puerto Marina Dársena de Levante, Locales 23-28, 29630 Benalmádena, Málaga.
+34 952 440 752
Dársena de Levante, Local B5, 29630 Benalmádena, Málaga.
+34 952 913 177
Chiringuito Las Gaviotas
Paseo Marítimo, s/n, 29631 Arroyo de La Miel, Málaga.
+34 952 576 981
Paseo MarÍtimo Rey de España 161, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga.
+34 952 661 012
Taperia La Bodeguita
Av. Antonio Machado, 80, 29630 Benalmádena, Málaga.
+34 952 577 441
Dársena de Levante Local B3, 29630 Benalmádena, Málaga.
+34 952 964 332
Av. Federico García Lorca, 4, 29630 Benalmádena, Málaga.
+34 619 444 731
Edificio MaÍte 1, Av. las Palmeras, 1, 29630 Benalmádena, Málaga.
+34 951 817 476
Calle de San Jose, Pje. Jiménez Martín, 29639 Benalmádena, Málaga.
+34 643 927 102
Benalmádena Golf Golf Torrequebrada
Bil Bil Golf
Colegio Internacional Torrequebrada Novaschool
British School Benalmadena Benalmadena International College