A favourite part of the Costa del Sol, Benalmadena has captured the family-friendly holiday market in terms of offering so many things to see and do. Aside from great beaches, a plentiful supply of restaurants and fabulous sunshine, there's an abundance of activities to take part in, and some might come as a surprise. From thrill-seekers through to people in search of rest and relaxation, Benalmadena has something to satisfy everyone.
It's no secret that the Costa del Sol is home to some fabulous beaches, and Benalmadena is certainly no exception to the rule, with over eight kilometres of beautiful sands to choose from. A good bet is to head to one of the Blue Flag-awarded beaches, such as Carvajal, as cleanliness and handy facilities will come as standard, making them perfect for families.
For a more private sunbathing session, head towards the Tajo de Soga Beach and others nearby, which are less central to the region. Remember that the sunshine will follow you everywhere, even if the crowds don't!
Tivoli World is an absolute must-visit attraction for anyone who loves theme parks or has kids in tow, as it's chock-full of amazing rollercoasters and much more. There's a huge amount to experience here, making it a full day out.
In addition to enormous rides, there's a theatre that regularly puts on shows and incredible entertainment for crowds of up to 2,200 people. There's also a Wild West-themed zone, an Andalucian area that showcases the flavours and culture of the region, and even a special area for smaller children too. It's a one-stop fun shop.
For some natural beauty, scaling the heights of Mount Calamorro is the perfect day trip. Standing almost 800m high, it allows for the absolute best views of the entire Benalmadena area – and how you get there is entirely up to you. Experienced hikers might like to take the footpaths up to the top, but for a more leisurely ascent, cars can drive to the top, and there's also a cable car.
The great views aren't the only reason to get to the top, as falconry demonstrations, restaurants and even horse riding hacks are all on offer.
The Puerto Marina in Benalmadena is considered by most to be the best place to indulge in some serious shopping, as it's home to a fantastic mall filled with a wide variety of outlets. Fun souvenirs through to designer goods can all be bought here.
There are also a few markets to walk around, with one being put on every Wednesday and Friday, behind Paloma Park and a Sunday event held in the Tivoli car park. Local produce and handmade goods are sold in abundance here, and it's where many locals head for shopping.
There's more to Benalmadena than just great beaches, as the Pueblo area proves. On the way down from Mount Calamorro, this beautiful little town is a gorgeous look back at what life was like before tourists descended on the Costa del Sol.
Quiet and filled with white-washed buildings, it's seriously picturesque and serves up arguably some of the finest tapas in the whole of Benalmadena. For even more culture, be sure to check out the Buddhist temple that is a place of pilgrimage for people from around the world.
Benalmadena is the host (region) with the most, in terms of restaurants to try. Catering to so many different palates, it's easy to find traditional English, Chinese and even Indian fare, but for a more authentic experience, seek out a fantastic tapas bar that is frequented by the locals. That's how you know it's great food!
Erase Una Vez is considered by many to be the best place to sample exciting and tasty tapas dishes. With friendly owners and reasonable prices, many people visit more than once during one holiday, as it's just that good.
Selwo Marina is an animal park with a serious difference in that it has been designed to let you get up close and personal with amazing creatures from around the world. It's a park with a conscience that teaches you about respecting and protecting the animals, and is great for kids and adults alike.
With firm favourites such as dolphins and penguins, as well as cheeky monkeys and a host of other amazing animals to meet, VIP experiences are very popular, letting you swim and really interact with the creatures you love most.