Benalmadena has fast become one of the Costa del Sol’s most popular holiday destinations. Split between Benalmadena Costa, the 6 miles of coastline, and Benalmadena Pueblo, the more traditional Spanish village set up in the hills, you really can have the best of both worlds. The seafront is lined with modern hotels and apartment buildings as well as a busy promenade with many shops, bars and restaurants overlooking the coast. The impressive marina is a hub for activity both day and night, with plenty of boat trips on offer as well as some fabulous restaurants and bars. In contrast, Benalmadena Pueblo offers a more laid back atmosphere with panoramic coastal views. Set 200 metres above sea level, the town is a maze of cobbled streets and charming restaurants serving authentic Spanish cuisine.
If you’re after some retail therapy you’ll find lots of shops in Puerto Marina, selling clothes, accessories and souvenirs. For local crafts and handmade gifts, there is a flea market held every Friday in the Playa Arroyo de la Miel district of Benalmadena. Browse the market stalls, pick up some souvenirs and enjoy some delicious tapas at one of the cafes. There are plenty of mini markets as well as some larger supermarkets for stocking up your villa.
If you’re looking for authentic tapas and traditional Spanish cuisine, explore the cobbled streets of Benalmadena Pueblo. Along the coast you will find a cosmopolitan collection of international bars and restaurants, with an abundance of British menus, as well as some chiringuitos offering paella, grilled meat and freshly caught seafood. Puerto Marina has a varied choice of food from all over the world, from steak houses and pizzas to fresh catch of the day. Benalmadena is also famed for its night scene. The area around the marina is home to a number of cocktail bars and clubs with top DJs, live jazz and salsa dancing till dawn.
Benalmadena Costa has over 6 miles of beautiful beaches to choose from, many of which have been awarded Blue Flag status. There is a mixture of sand and shingle coves, with some offering sunbeds and parasols to hire, watersports and activities such as volleyball. Carvajal, Torre Bermaja and Sana Ana beaches are all popular with families.
The famed Butterfly Park, located in Benalmadena Costa, is home to over 1500 butterflies set in tropical gardens and well worth a visit. Alternatively, Paloma Park is a landscaped garden in the middle of Benalmadena Costa with rocky waterfalls running down to a splendid lake. All kinds of creatures roam freely, including chickens, rabbits, goats and peacock- great for families! There are 2 playgrounds for children and 3 cafes for when they run out of steam, as well as a cactus garden with species from all over the world. Beside Paloma Park is Selwo Marina, an adventure park modelled around different locations in South America. You can get up close and personal with sea lions, crocodiles, dolphins, exotic birds, penguins and snakes.
For spectacular views, take the cable car to the top of Monte Calamorro. From there you can see for miles on a clear day, sometimes even as far as the North coast of Africa. If you tire of the beach and want to explore more of Benalmadena, why not take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour and discover the town?
One of the most prominent landmarks on the Costa del Sol, the Benalmadena Buddhist Stupa stands as a symbol of world peace. Designed by Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche to be one of the largest Buddhist Stupa’s in Europe, the stupa stands at 108 feet tall. Inside there is a vast meditation hall decorated with artwork depicting the life of the most famous Buddha, Sakyamuni. There are also some wonderful Buddhist and Tibetan relics and artwork displayed in a basement exhibition room.