Situated between Torremolinos and Malaga, Benalmadena is one of the most important population centres on the Costa del Sol. There are three urban centres that give Benalmadena its unique identity: Benalmadena-Pueblo, the original town located in the mountains, still retains its peaceful and serene character of an Andalucian mountain town.
Benalmadena is a rapidly growing resort on the Costa del Sol, second only to Torremolinos in popularity. The area is divided into two main parts: the traditional village and Arroyo de la Miel in the mountains, and Benalmadena Costa on the coast. The village has retained its quiet charm, despite the many new developments surrounding it. Benalmadena boasts excellent services and amenities, including top-notch sports facilities. An indoor pool and ice-skating rink are currently under construction.
But that’s not all! Benalmadena is home to a variety of tourist attractions, including Selwo Marina, Sealife Aquarium, and a popular cable car. Not to mention its fabulous beaches! Keep reading to discover more about what Benalmadena has to offer!
Benalmadena has a rich history that spans back to prehistoric times. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was inhabited by humans as far back as 20,000 years ago during the Upper Palaeolithic period. The Phoenicians and Romans also made their mark on the region, with the Phoenicians establishing mining operations in the area.
In the 8th century, the Moors arrived and brought significant development to Benalmadena. They built a fortress and a wall around the village and introduced new crops such as sugar cane, figs, and mulberry for use in the textile industry. Benalmadena grew under Muslim rule, but natural disasters and pirates halted growth after joining Castile in 1485.
Arroyo de la Miel, a district of Benalmadena, emerged at the end of the 18th century as a result of hydraulic installations and paper and playing card-producing facilities created by Felix Solesio. The area was named after a sugar and honey cane factory, with Arroyo de la Miel translating as “Stream of Honey”.
Benalmadena Pueblo, founded by the Arabs in the eighth century, is the original town located in the mountains. The name “Ben Al Madina” translates as “children of the mines”, referring to the former iron ore mining in the area.
Today, Benalmadena is a popular tourist destination on the Costa del Sol, known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and variety of attractions.
Places to visit
Benalmadena is a popular tourist destination on the Costa del Sol, known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and variety of attractions. There are many places to visit in Benalmadena, including Benalmadena Pueblo, Benalmadena Costa, and Arroyo de la Miel.
Each of these areas has its own unique character and attractions to offer visitors. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone in Benalmadena. Come and explore this lively resort town for yourself!
Feel free to check our Benalmadena map to explore the surroundings, as there are many more places to visit in the area.
Benalmadena Pueblo is the original town located in the mountains. Founded by the Arabs in the eighth century, it still retains its peaceful and serene character of an Andalucian mountain town. Take a stroll through its winding cobbled streets and admire the traditional architecture, white-washed houses, and groves.
- Benalmadena Pueblo (The Old Village): A traditional Andalusian village with winding cobbled streets, white-washed houses, and traditional architecture.
- Plaza España: A pretty square lined with sweet smelling orange trees, the centrepiece is a fountain, featuring Benalmadena’s symbol ‘La Niña’. (Map)
- Colmares Castle: A castle constructed in 1984, in honour of Christopher Columbus, and is said to house the smallest chapel in the world. (Map)
- Santo Domingo church: A church perched on the peak of the hill, affording wonderful views across the coast. (Map)
- Benalmadena Archaeological Museum: A museum with a unique and prized collection of pre-Columbian artefacts from South America, said to be the best in Europe. There is also an permanent exhibition of local antiquities and relics from pre-Roman era. (Map)
- Buddhist Temple: This temple is located on the viewpoint of El Retamar in Benalmadena Pueblo and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with fantastic views. The monument itself is beautiful; it seems that in Buddhist tradition this kind of monuments is normally sealed, but this one here has inside a large meditation hall. (Map)
- Plaza de España: Plaza España is a delightful small square tucked away off the main pedestrianized area of the town. (Map)
Arroyo de la Miel
Arroyo de la Miel emerged in the 18th century due to hydraulic installations and paper and playing card-producing facilities. It was named after a sugar and honey cane factory, translating to ‘Stream of Honey’.
- Parish Church of La Inmaculada Concepción: One of the landmark features of Arroyo De La Miel is this lovely Parish Church. (Map)
- Plaza Adolfo Saurez: Located in the Arroyo De La Miel district, this big square brings you onto Arroyo DecLa Miel Railway Station. There are some great pubs, bars, and restaurants on this public square and great views of the mountains. (Map)
- Plaza de la Tribuna: (Map)
- Cablecar: A cable car that takes you up from Arroyo de la Miel to the top of Mount Calamorro, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Costa del Sol, hiking routes and birds shows. (Map)
Benalmadena Costa is the area that comprises the entire coastal strip of Benalmadena, from Torremolinos to the border of Fuengirola. It is an important tourist center on the western coast, offering many attractions such as excellent beaches, first-class hotel facilities, a marina (Puerto Marina), a casino and golf courses.
The marina has exclusive apartments, moorings, shops, restaurants, and bars on man-made islands. Beaches are clean and well-maintained.
Here is a list of places to visit and tourist attractions in Benalmadena Costa:
- Puerto Marina Benalmadena: A beautiful marina built in a romantic Moorish style, home to many fine yachts and boats. There are restaurantsa and shops, it is ideal for a walk. (Map)
- Parque De La Paloma: A park that is home to a variety of animals and birds all living and feeding together. (Map)
- SeaLife Aquarium: An aquarium that offers visitors the chance to see a variety of marine life up close. (Map)
- Selwo Marina: A marine park that offers dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as penguin feeding sessions. (Map)
Events and Fairs
Benalmadena is a vibrant town that hosts an array of festivals, fairs, and events all year round. Some of the most notable events include:
- Carnival: In February or March, Benalmadena comes alive with Carnival celebrations that include parades, masquerades, and competitions. The festivities last for 10 days and feature costume contests and a grand parade.
- Easter: During Holy Week, processions take place in Benalmádena Pueblo and Arroyo de la Miel. One of the highlights is the reenactment of the Passion of Christ “El Paso” in the hills of Benalmádena, where locals become actors for a day.
- Corpus Christi: This festival is particularly enchanting in Benalmádena Pueblo. Residents decorate their balconies and line the main streets with carpets of fresh flowers and herbs, creating a beautiful backdrop for the procession.
- San Juan Fair: Benalmadena’s largest festival runs from June 24th-29th, with music, dance, performances, and events for locals and visitors. The day fair takes place in Plaza de la Mezquita while the night fair is held at the fairgrounds.
These are just a few examples of the many festivals and events that take place in Benalmadena throughout the year.
How to get
To get to Benalmadena from Malaga airport by car, you can travel comfortably on the A-7 motorway, also known as Autovia del Mediterraneo. Benalmadena is just 19 km west of the airport and it should take approximately 18 minutes by car. Here are the step-by-step directions:
- Head northeast toward Av del Comandante García Morato
- Turn right at Av del Comandante García Morato
- Continue straight to stay on Av del Comandante García Morato and go through 1 roundabout
- Take the ramp to N-340/Av de Velázquez
- Turn right at N-340/Av de Velázquez and continue to follow N-340
- Merge onto E-15/A-7 via the ramp to Algeciras/AP-7/Benalmádena
- Take exit 217
- Slight left toward A-368
- Turn left at A-368 (signs for A-7/N-340/Málaga/Benalmádena/E-15) and go through 2 roundabouts
If you need a vehicle, you can rent a car at Malaga airport and reserve it without having to pay in advance, with free cancellation.
For taking the M-110 bus to Benalmadena, you will need to walk from the airport to the bus stop located by the main MA-21 highway. The estimated walking time from Malaga airport is around 20 minutes
It’s important to note that the walk from Malaga airport to the Cruce Aeropuerto bus stop, located by the main MA-21 highway, may not be suitable for those carrying more than hand luggage. Additionally, during high season, the bus can often be crowded. If you prefer not to rent a car or take the bus, you can also consider taking a transfer from Malaga airport to Benalmadena. This can be a convenient and comfortable option for getting to your destination.