Benalmadena is split into two sections with Benalmadena Costa the part of most interest to the many tourists who visit this popular Costa del Sol resort every year. The resort lies 15km south west of Malaga airport between the resorts of Fuengirola and Torremolinos. Benalmadena Costa is a purpose-built coastal resort extending 8km along the coast which climbs steeply up into mountains behind. The cable car from the coast up to the top of the mountain is a well worthwhile trip but not recommended for those with a fear of heights.
This whole section of the Costa del Sol from Torremolinos going west to Fuengirola and encompassing Benalmadena is characterised by high-rise tourist developments meeting the demands of mass tourism. Having said that recent developments have gone ahead with much stricter planning regulations than in the early days with a focus on better quality tourism which is reflected in the marina of Benalmadena Costa which has been tastefully developed and can handle more than 1,000 boats and yachts of all types. The marina is the focal point for Benalmadena’s social scene and is central to the resort.
Benalmadena has more than 8km of blue flag beaches some of which are in small coves and often have rocks at the ends of them. The sand is not as fine as some of the other resorts but a lot of work is done to maintain the cleanliness of all of the beaches. There are sun loungers and shades available for rent all the way along the front.
From Benalmadena marina you can walk all the way along a flat promenade to Torremolinos with plenty of little bars and restaurants on the way for refreshments. Look out for the ancient Moorish watchtowers. Alternatively you can walk in the other direction along the promenade to the western edge of the resort.
Above Benalmadena Costa on the side of the mountain is Benalmadena Pueblo which is still an attractive old Spanish village with the typical whitewashed houses on cobbled streets. A refreshing escape from the newer developments on the coast.
You’ll find all the eating out options you’d expect of an established resort from fish and chip shops to quaint tapas bars and plenty restaurants with an international theme. More authentic dining can be found up in the Pueblo.
Benalmadena Costa Hotels
There is no shortage of accommodation in Benalmadena Costa with a whole range of hotels and self catering apartments to suit every pocket. Such a range attracts budget conscious family visitors as well as the yachting fraternity. The front line Torrequebrada Hotel is home to one of the coast’s top casinos. It has great facilities and easy access to local golf courses. For family holidays the Hotel Benalmadena Palace deserves consideration being located near the beach and offering a great activity programme for children. With two great swimming pools, and easy access to the beach and marina the Bali Hotel is another fine option for family holidays.
A personal favourite for a relaxing break within easy walking distance of the beach and marina is the Palmasol Hotel. Relaxing around the pool surrounded by lovely gardens is a great way to spend the day before heading down to the marina in the evening to one of its excellent restaurants. If you’d prefer a self-catering option take a look at the 3-star Don Gustavo Apartments which offer a selection of well equipped apartments with sea views and a lovely swimming pool.
Things to Do
There’s plenty entertainment to amuse the kids, parents and the 18-30 brigade alike. Tivoli World amusement park in nearby Arroyo de la Miel has Wild West and flamenco shows and a cable-car ride. Equally popular are the Selwo Marina Dolphinarium and the Sealife Centre which has the biggest shark collection in Europe. There are water-sports facilities at the yacht club and plenty of golf courses in the vicinity. By night there is no end of bars and nightclubs and there is a casino at the upmarket Hotel Torrequebrada.
The most popular excursions from Benalmadena include Marbella, Fuengirola market and Mijas. Slightly further afield are the Caves of Nerja and Malaga city tour. Full day tours are available to Granada to visit the Alhambra Palace, Seville, Cordoba, Ronda, Gibraltar and even Tangier in Morocco. Take a look at our Costa del Sol excursions page for more information.
If you don’t fancy a scheduled coach tour you can always find a taxi for local outings and there are regular coastal bus services up and down the coast. There are trains into Malaga city every 30 mins which is well worth the effort to see the Moorish ruins of the Gibralfaro and the new Picasso museum which has been established in the house where Malaga’s most famous son was born.