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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Benalmadena

Benalmadena Holidays

Just 16 kilometres away from Malaga, Benalmadena is ideally located on the Costa del Sol and is fit to burst with attractions and facilities to entice all kinds of travellers and tourists. Try the death-defying thrills and spills of Tivoli theme park and the sweeping vistas atop Mount Calamorro or the peaceful environment of the Parque de la Paloma. And when the sun goes down, Benalmadena's dynamic bar scene comes alive.

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Relax on the beach

The town itself is split into three main urban areas – Benalmadena Costa, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Pueblo. The former is where most of the action is concentrated – running along the pristine shoreline, it is home to the majority of hotel complexes and amenities.

Set slightly further back, Arroyo de la Miel - literally "Stream of Honey" in English - is home to the majority of the region's shops and fine dining establishments, while the Pueblo is reminiscent of other Spanish towns dotted among the mountainous areas of Costa del Sol.

As with almost any town providing cheap holidays to Costa del Sol, Benalmadena's primary draw for most tourists is its amazing beaches. With more than eight kilometres of sandy excellence to choose from, you won't have to stray too far to find somewhere to lay your towel. Malapesquera and Carvajal in particular have been recognised for their high levels of cleanliness and impeccable facilities with the Blue Flag standard.

Arroyo is a great option for those serious about their swimming, while Benalnatura is a nudist beach if you're keen to return home without tan lines. Tajo de Soga and the beaches adjacent to it are secluded tend to be quite private.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • GMT +1

A world of attractions

Holidays to Costa del Sol wouldn't be the same without the world-class amenities that decorate Benalmadena. Families can take advantage of Selwo Marina, an aquatic themed animal park that showcases such diverse creatures as penguins, dolphins, sea lions and crocodiles in as close to their natural habitat as possible.

There's also Tivoli World, an amusement park complete with 37 rides, including log flumes, go-karts and rollercoasters. In addition to this, it also offers a full programme of live shows and entertainment, as well as a market selling all manner of wares every Sunday.

Just across from Tivoli World, you'll find the entrance to the Mount Calamorro cable car station. This 10-minute ride takes you up to a height of 800 metres, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Though it remains one of the most popular attractions in Benalmadena, vertigo-sufferers should be aware – this is only for those with a head for heights.

Get your culture fix

After descending from the top of the mountain, you'll find yourself in sleepy Benalmadena Pueblo. This quaint whitewashed town is the initial starting point for the sprawling metropolis and reflects the relaxed vibe the town used to enjoy before becoming a tourist hub. Labyrinthine streets, picturesque plazas and some of the best tapas going make the Pueblo a worthwhile day-trip if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches and the marina.

The town is also home to one of Europe's biggest Buddhist temples, making it an excellent pilgrimage for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Nearby, you'll find Colomares Castle, a fascinating tribute to the explorer Christopher Columbus.

Combining various different architectural styles including Byzantine, Gothic, Mudejar and Romanesque, the castle is representative of all of the places Columbus visited on his travels, allowing visitors an invaluable insight into the history and culture of the region.

Festival time

If you're booking late holiday deals to Costa del Sol, time it right and you might just be lucky enough to revel in the explosive and enchanting atmosphere of one of the many festivals which happen in Benalmadena throughout the year.

Festivals for Easter - Semana Santa and Christmas - Dia de los Reyes are celebrated slightly differently to how we're accustomed in the UK, but with considerable community spirit. Brightly coloured parades march through the town and the whole comes to together to celebrate these magical moments. Other festivals of note include Corpus Christi in June and La Virgen del Carmen in July.