Guide to Benalmádena
10 interesting facts about Benalmádena
- Benalmádena is a coastal town located in Málaga province in southern Spain.
- The town is divided into three main areas: Benalmádena Pueblo (the village), Arroyo de la Miel (the stream of honey), and Benalmádena Costa (the coast).
- Benalmádena is known for its beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, and vibrant nightlife.
- The town has nine beaches, each offering something different for its visitors.
- The town is known for its traditional Spanish culture, with many shops and restaurants that offer local cuisines such as tapas and paella.
- Benalmádena has one of the largest and most modern marinas in Andalusia, offering a wide range of activities such as boat and fishing trips and dolphin and whale-watching excursions.
- The town has several museums and historical sites to explore. One is the Benalmádena Palace, a Moorish-style palace dating to the 19th century.
- Benalmádena is surrounded by natural parks, like the Sierra de Mijas Natural Park, which offers hiking and cycling trails and the opportunity to spot some local wildlife.
- The town has several golf courses, including the Torrequebrada Golf Club and the Benalmádena Golf Club, which are popular with golfers of all skill levels.
- Benalmádena has many spas and wellness centres. The Thalasso Spa and the Wellness Centre at the Hotel Sol Don Pablo offer various treatments and therapies.
The history of the city:
Benalmádena Pueblo is a small village in the hills above the coastal town of Benalmádena. The village’s history can be traced back to the Moorish period when the town was known as Banal-Madinat. In the 15th century, the Catholic Monarchs conquered the area, renaming it Benalmádena and making it an agricultural centre. In the 19th century, modernisation brought new residents and increased trade. In the 20th century, it became a tourist destination known for its traditional Spanish architecture, narrow streets, and stunning views.
Today, the village offers a glimpse into the past and is a popular tourist destination.
Arroyo de la Miel:
Arroyo de la Miel became the centre of the town at the end of the 18th century when an Italian man bought a house with the same name as the town, as he needed a place to make paper for the royal paper factory, which he owned. After this, the first houses were built for the workers to live in. In addition, they also opened an inn where travellers could sleep.
The factory went bankrupt in the 19th century. Then the land was sold in plots among the creditors, which led to the creation of the “Plaza de España”. Today, this square is considered the centre point of the Arroyo de la Miel.
Urban growth was due, among other things, to investors looking for land cultivation, the railway, which came into being in the 20th century and tourism, which started back in the 1960s. It was also only then that the town was made into the cosy town it is today. Street lighting was installed, the streets were paved, and water and sewage networks were created.
Benalmádena Costa has a rich history, going back to ancient times. The area was initially settled by the Phoenicians and later by the Romans and the Moors. During Moorish rule, the area was known for its agricultural production, especially its sugar cane and wheat fields.
In the 19th century, the town began to develop as a fishing town. It remained a small, modest community until the 1950s when the Spanish government began promoting tourism on the Costa del Sol. Benalmádena Costa quickly developed into a popular tourist destination by constructing hotels, apartments and other tourism infrastructure.
The city underwent rapid expansion in the 1960s and 1970s as more and more tourists flocked to the area. This led to the construction of many new buildings, including the famous marina, which is now one of the city’s main attractions.
Today, Benalmádena Costa is a well-developed tourist destination known for its beaches, marina and nightlife. It remains a popular tourist destination while maintaining its historical heritage and natural beauty.
Benalmádena as of today:
The town, which is an old mountain village, is charming and cosy! The city contains many different amenities, such as the town hall, the police station, restaurants, cafes, sports facilities and even a bullring. In addition, the church is up at the top of the mountain, accessible through the small pedestrian streets, which have a breathtaking view of the coast.
The story about La Niña started over 800 years ago when Andalusia was the homeland of the Moors. Still, she was first “born” in 1968. La Niña, located in the heart of the city, has, over time, become Benalmádena’s trademark. If you enjoy a dinner at one of the restaurants around the square, you can study La Niña at your leisure.
This is also where the Danish department for specialised rehabilitation is located. Montebello is part of the Capital Region’s offer for patients who need specialised rehabilitation.
Arroyo de la Miel:
This part of town functions a bit like a big city, so it can be considered the centre of Benalmádena. Since 2006, the city has developed. The town now has pleasant squares, restaurants, bars, and lovely pedestrian streets. One of Costa Del Sol’s major attractions is the cable car, which is worth a trip! You can easily park right next to it.
This cable car, which links the Arroyo de la Miel with the top of the Calamorro mountain, is a big tourist attraction. At the top, there is a restaurant and an eagle reserve, where you can see the eagles being fed every day. On a clear day, you can easily see Africa’s north coast from the top as well.
In addition, Arroyo de la Miel also has an indoor ice skating rink, which is currently used for rollerblading. Another sporting facility for families with children is the sports centre “El Tomillar”, where football and hockey are taught, among other things.
Benalmádena Costa is just the right place for tourists today! There are many tourist attractions and a large selection of restaurants and activities.
Which to mention, among other things:
Puerto Marina – The beautiful marina
Selwo Marina – An animal and leisure park where dolphin shows can be seen
Parque Paloma – An animal park
Sea Life Centre – An aquarium
The town here is down on the coast and stretches for several kilometres on both sides of Benalmádena. You will find beautiful sandy beaches, with plenty of life in the summer.
The marina is known for its cosy atmosphere and magnificent design construction. There are over 1,000 boat berths in the marina, so naturally, there is plenty of life here. In relation to water sports, it is also possible here. Examples include water skiing, sailing, fishing trips, diving, canoeing, etc.
Living in Benalmádena:
The name Benalmádena is Arabic, meaning “son of the mines”, and the whole area is home to over 25,000 inhabitants and has fabulous beaches stretching over 9 kilometres.
There is plenty to do, both in summer and winter, such as a cable car trip, a walk along the Puerto Marina, water sports or golf, which is very popular in this area.
Today, Benalmádena is a charming Andalusian village known for its traditional Spanish architecture, narrow streets and stunning coastal views.
The village still offers an insight into the past and is a fantastic place to experience traditional Spanish culture.
In general, Benalmádena is a really nice area to settle down in. Whether you are a family with children, alone or a couple who loves to play golf, there are opportunities for everyone!
In Benalmádena, there are some excellent primary and secondary schools. Both Spanish and International schools can be found here. There is also a Danish school called “Bifrostskolen” in Arroyo de la Miel.
Benalmádena Costa is where it is all happening regarding the nightlife.
The marina has a lot of nightclubs frequented by the locals. There is also Plaza Solymar (Solymar square), where there are many nightclubs. This area is very trendy among tourists and ex-pats alike.
Benalmádena Pueblo is a typical whitewashed Andalusian village, and Arroyo de la Miel is a busy residential area. The award-winning beaches of Benalmádena Costa are among the most happening tourist attractions on the Costa del Sol.
Attractions we recommend:
This modern construction from 1994 honours Christopher Columbus and his discovery. The story of the achievement of the discovery of a new world is told through the castle’s stones.
Niña de Benalmádena:
An emblematic sculpture by Jaime Pimentel is an emblem located in the “Plaza de España” and in the heart of the historic city. La Niña has become Benalmádena’s trademark. She can be found on postcards, in various writings and in the middle of the fountain in the centre of Benalmádena Pueblo.
Benalmádena also has a unique park called “Mariposario”, dedicated to butterflies. The park houses up to 1,500 exotic butterflies from around the world, flying freely around the tropical paradise among flowers and waterfalls. A beautiful sight!
The park is open every day in the summer, and tickets cost between € 7.5-8.5 if bought online.
This is one of the tallest Buddhist temples in Western Europe, which can be found in front of the butterfly park. The temple is more than 33 metres high. It is crowned by a gold cone that can be seen from the entire coastline between Benalmádena and Fuengirola. The temple’s base is 25 metres long and 25 metres wide. Inside the temple is a more than 100 square metres meditation room.
In general, the town of Benalmádena Pueblo is charming to walk through – it is an old Spanish village, “The Old Village”, as the city is called and has a lovely view over Benalmádena itself and the Mediterranean Sea. The town contains many cosy corners, cafes, restaurants and shops.
Restaurants we recommend:
Toro Puerto Marina:
Toro Puerto Marina is a restaurant located in the marina of Benalmádena Costa. The restaurant has a modern and stylish decor, with a terrace overlooking the marina.
The restaurant specialises in Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on seafood dishes. The menu features a variety of dishes, including paellas, fresh fish, and seafood platters. The restaurant is known for its fresh seafood and friendly staff.
The restaurant has good reviews online and is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the area. Many customers praise the quality of the food, the friendly service and the beautiful views of the marina.
The restaurant also has a good wine selection. Some reviews mention that the wine pairing perfectly matches the seafood dishes.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and making a reservation in advance is recommended, especially during the high season and weekends.
Overall, Toro Puerto Marina is considered a good option for seafood lovers looking for a unique dining experience with a great view.
This restaurant is known for its thoroughly fantastic Japanese gastronomy, including sushi, where the fish is of the highest quality.
You will experience an authentic atmosphere with a sea view. The staff and atmosphere is inviting and makes the guests feel welcome to a great extent.
Other visitors will call this place the Japanese gem outside of Japan. This restaurant is highly recommended if you are a sushi lover and prefer a good view.Read more on their website here.
This restaurant offers a café, restaurant and cocktail bar. You will experience a calm and intimate atmosphere where you can enjoy a fantastic sunset view.
Everything good from the sea is served here, where quality fish is given priority. In addition to fish, the restaurant also offers a vegetarian menu and rice and pasta dishes.
If you visit the south coast during winter, you can sit back and enjoy your meal inside a warm dome – shared by only you and your loved ones.
Yucas is a popular restaurant with locals and tourists alike.
Trocadero is a traditional Spanish restaurant located in Benalmádena Costa, specialising in seafood and Mediterranean cuisine.
The restaurant is known for its fresh fish and seafood dishes, as well as its paellas and traditional Spanish tapas. The menu also features a variety of meat dishes and vegetarian options.
The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, with a fabulous terrace overlooking the sea. Reviews mention that the service is friendly and attentive, and the quality of the food is exquisite. The restaurant also has a good wine selection, with various Spanish wines to complement the dishes.
Trocadero is open for lunch and dinner, and making a reservation in advance is recommended, especially during the high season and weekends.
Also, visitors can go down to the beach from the restaurant by direct access.
Read more on their website here.