Benalmádena is a typical Spanish seaside town, just 15 minutes west along the coast from Málaga airport. It's an easy drive down the A7 if you're bringing a car, but just as easy by train which runs directly from the airport. With 11 beautiful beaches and a plethora of attractions within easy walk of the Benal Beach complex, you won't run out of things to do. Listed below are some of our favorites.
Just in front of your apartment you will see the local landmark Castillo de Bil Bil. This Moorish style house looks fairly plain from the outside, with its smooth red plaster finish, but inside it is decorated with the beautiful tiles and bas-relief styles of the Nasrid tradition. It is open to the public and houses art exhibitions and concerts. In the surrounding area you will find its gardens and Moorish fountains.
Benalmádena's marina is internationally recognized for it's architecture and is home to approximately 1,000 boats from all over the world. It is also the home of some of Benalmádena's best shopping, restaurants and nightlife...definitely worth checking out and only a 10 minute walk from your apartment.
Benalmadena Marina is home to the Sea Life aquarium. You can watch sharks and sea turtles from the under water tunnel, play with rays in touch pools or enjoy the sight of gamboling Otters. With seemingly endless tanks to investigate, you may well find Nemo (or at least several of his Clownfish friends) swimming with Paracanthurus hepatus (yes. that would be 'Dory'). Sea Life is usually a big hit with the children, but then who doesn't want to watch them feed the Piranhas!
Across from your apartment you can see the expansive beauty of Parque de la Paloma. Meaning, literally, the park of the dove, this 200,000m² greenscape in the heart of Benamádena (and right next to the apartment) is a peaceful oasis in which the whole family can relax. There are rabbits, peacocks, goats, emus and two donkeys ('Milagros' and 'Dotty' to their friends), not to mention ducks, turtles and swans in the lakes. It's a great place to just sit and relax, but if you're feeling more active you can rent quadracycles (small, pedal powered 'cars' for 4 people) and tour the whole place. If you didn't bring a picnic, no worries, there are 3 cafes to choose from.
Selwo Marina is directly behind your apartment, featuring:
Just a 20 minute walk from your apartment is the famous Tivoli World amusement park, home to many wild ride attractions, including roller coasters, carousels and rides including the Twister, Jurassic Adventure, the mysterious ship, the 60m free-fall tower, Tivoli Dragon, the Passage of Terror, Tivoli Water, Grasshopper, Giant Ferris Wheel and more. For those not in a white knuckle mood, catch a show at the Tivoli Theater or grab some BBQ at Plaza West (a reproduction, Texas style, western town) or stroll through the Plaza de Andalucia and absorb the atmosphere, architecture and food of the area.
For a more peaceful day, tour the Castillo de Colomares. This quirky folly is a monument to Christopher Columbus, built in the style of a castle. It's about a 10 minute drive or you could combine it with a trip to Benalmádena Pueblo, from which it is just a few minutes walk.
Just over a 10 minute drive, you can find yourself experiencing over 1,000 butterflies flying around you. Adults and children alike can learn the butterfly life cycle and see the myriad of species flying around the lush gardens. You'll enjoy majestic panoramic views of the sea and mountains as well as the Buddhist Temple. Pack a picnic and relax or grab some refreshments at the cafe and gift shop.
If you want a break from the sea, just take a 20 minute bus ride or 10 minute car ride up to Benalmádena pueblo (old village) where you will be delighted with a traditional Andalucian village with its cobbled stone narrow streets and a myriad of white picturesque homes and restaurants. The beautiful church and La Niña fountain in the square are a must see while enjoying a cold drink.
Just a 20 minute walk from your apartment, you will find the Teleferico Cablecar that you can take from Tivoli Park. When reaching the peak of Mount Calamorro, as well as enjoying the best views of the Costa del Sol, you will be able to walk its paths and viewing points, admire the Birds of Prey or Horses in their demonstrations, discover the Milky Way in the open air Planetarium in the summer. This certainly is a must see!
Use the handy commuter train service (usually running every 15 minutes from the station just minutes from your apartment) to head out to Fuengirola and check out BioParc - a zoological park that champions a new model of respect for nature and the preservation of natural species. Animals live side-by-side in recreations of their natural habitat so that visitors feel like they are inside a real life documentary. Four distinct zones are modeled here, the forests of Madagascar, Equatorial Africa, Southeastern Asia and the islands of the Indo-Pacific. You will see animals as diverse as the Galapagos giant tortoise, Africa Meerkats, Bornean orangutan and Sumatran tigers. This is trip everyone will remember.
The local area is replete with fantastic golf courses. From the truly spectacular La Cala shown in the picture, to the 9-hole, par 3 Benalmádena Golf Center with its friendly golf school, club house bar and restaurant with amazing sea views. Another strong favorite is Golf Torrequebrada, with a course that could give a pro a run for their money. If pitch and putt is more your style, check out Bil Bil Golf for a more relaxed day - if there are those if your party that don't fancy swinging a club, perhaps theys might enjoy the paddle tennis court there too.
If your day doesn't end just because the sun went down then head to Puerto Marina or Plaza Solymar (aka 24-hour Square).
At the Marina, you might start off at Boal's Ice Bar, where everything, and we mean everything, is made from ice. Salsa your thing? Check out La Cubana for hip moves that seem to defy the laws of biomechanics. The well dressed head to the ritzy and spacious Discoteca Aqa.
24-hour Square is where you'll find the largest and most popular nightclub, Kiu, with 3 separate dance floors and round the clock fun. El Elefante on the other hand is a family friendly place featuring top UK comedians and fresh new music acts. It even has a bouncy castle for the children!