Benalmadena is one of the most popular holiday resorts on Costa del Sol in Spain. But apparently not that many people know that the coast isn’t the only part of the town. In fact, Benalmádena has three main parts and each has something different to offer. In this post, we’ll focus on the best things to do in the old part of town called Benalmadena Pueblo, which unexpectedly charmed us and became one of our favorite places in Andalusia.
An interesting fact to start with. The name Benalmádena probably originates from the Arabic ‘Ben-al-Madina. It means “Children of the Mines” as the area had plenty of iron ore mines, centuries ago.
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Best Things To Do In Benalmadena Pueblo, Spain
Benalmadena is located in Andalusia in the province of Malaga, on Costa del Sol. It’s a great starting point to explore other places in Spain that are nearby, like Mijas Pueblo, Malaga, Ronda, Caminito del Rey, or Antequera
Benalmadena is known for one of the most beautiful marina in the world, many amazing beaches including Santa Ana Beach and Bil-Bil Beach, the town’s old quarter – Benalmadena Pueblo, and Colomares Castle – a stunning piece of architecture.
Yes, locally it’s called Benalmadena Pueblo and unfortunately, it’s frequently overlooked in favor of Benalmadena Costa. But it’s a real Andalusian gem that you shouldn’t miss.
Benalmadena old town is located about 7km from Benalmadena Costa, on a hill, at an altitude of about 200m a.s.l.
We cannot answer otherwise than… of course, Benalmadena Pueblo is absolutely worth visiting. Whitewashed houses decorated with colorful flowers, narrow streets, beautiful views over Costa del Sol, one of the most stunning pieces of architecture you’ll see in your life and so many more great attractions and things to do are waiting for you in Benalmadena Pueblo. To be honest, we weren’t expecting anything special, we thought it’ll be just another Andalusian white town, but it really surprised us, and we fell in love from the very first steps there. So think no more and add Benalmadena to your bucket list, you won’t regret it.
Three parts of Benalmadena, Spain
Throughout the years area evolved and right now consists of three distinct parts:
- Benalmádena Pueblo – calm traditional Andalusian village, located on a hill, at the foot of the Sierra de Mijas (at a height of about 200m a.s.l) overlooking Benalmádena Costa
- Benalmádena Costa – holiday resort area, known for its sandy beaches, many tourists attractions, and vivid nightlife
- Arroyo de la Miel – main residential area where most of the local population lives
As we really enjoy old Spanish villages and towns and want to share their beauty we’ll show you attractions and the best things to do in Benalmádena Pueblo, so let’s go and just explore that.
Things To Do In Benalmadena Pueblo, Spain
Benalmadena Pueblo Old Town Streets
Benalmadena’s old town retained the authenticity of a typical Andalusian village. Of course, it’s full of narrow cobbled streets, and whitewashed houses generously decorated with colorful flowers. Just wander around in this mesmerizing labyrinth and discover what each corner has to offer. You can for example sit on one of many squares, enjoy coffee or tapas, and observe the town’s slow life.
Plaza España in Benalmadena Old Town
While wandering around the Old Town, there is no way that you’ll miss Benalmadena Pueblo’s old town main square, Plaza España. It’s a pretty little square with orange trees, restaurants, and a fountain with a small girl – “La Niña” (The Girl).
Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman
The church is one of the oldest buildings in the Benalmádena Pueblo. Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman(es. Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán) is from the 17th century. Possibly raised on the foundations of a previous smaller temple and the last time it was restored in the 20th century. The church is located in a small garden – Jardines del Muro.
Jardines del Muro
César Manrique (mostly known for his work on the Canary Islands) designed Jardines del Muro. Gardens offer spectacular views of the town, Castillo de Colomares, and the coast. You can also find playground, benches, shaded areas, a waterfall, and a restaurant there.
Castillo de Colomares
Castillo de Colomares (eng. Colomares Castle) is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture you’ll see in your life and definitely the most interesting and unique attraction in Benalmadena Pueblo. It looks like a fairy-tale castle but in reality, it’s a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America. The look is one thing but the most fascinating fact is that it was built by only… 3 people!
Learn more: Castillo De Colomares In Benalmádena, Spain
Estupa de la Iluminación de Benalmádena
One of the most interesting Benalmadena attractions is Estupa de la Iluminacion de Benalmádena (eng. Stupa of Enlightenment Benalmádena), or just Benalmádena Stupa was built in 2003. It is a Buddhist temple for peace, harmony of the world, and a place of meditation. The temple was the idea of Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, the Buddhist Master from Bhutan. The government of Benalmádena approved and supported the construction, and so this beautiful, peaceful building came to life.
Benalmádena Stupa is beautiful from the outside, but from the inside as well. Once you’re inside, it’s best to walk around in a clockwise direction just to honor the tradition. Many believe that wishes made near a Stupa will become true, so don’t forget to make a wish. It is also the place where you can join guided meditation on Sunday evenings.,
Outside the Benalmádena Stupa, you can admire beautiful views of the Costa del Sol and after that, you can visit a souvenir shop that offers traditional ceramic figures or books to learn more about Buddhism.
The entrance is free. Opening hours can be found on the official website.
Mariposario de Benalmádena
Mariposario de Benalmádena is located right next to Benalmádena Stupa so there is no need to travel much to see both at once. There you can walk amongst 1500+ butterflies from all around the world, flying freely above your head, between artificial waterfalls and many flowers.
Opening hours: every day from 10 am to 7:30 pm
Normal tickets cost €10.5 & children €8.5 when bought online at the official website. However, prices at the ticket office onsite are slightly higher: €12 & €9.5 (May 2023).
Things to do in Benalmadena Costa on Costa del Sol
If Benalmadena’s Old Town isn’t enough for you, you can check out Benalmadena Costa attractions. It’s Here are highlights of the best things to do there:
- Bil Bil Castle (es. Castillo de Bil Bil) – a beautiful red-colored castle built in Moorish style, featuring gardens and a fountain is unquestionably Benalmadena’s Costa symbol. It was built between 1927-1936 and now serves as a cultural center.
- La Paloma Park (es. Parque de la Paloma) – beautiful and very well-kept park, perfect for walking, relaxing, or going on a picnic. It was named one of the most beautiful parks on the Costa del Sol.
- Marina Benalmadena – one of the most vibrant and busy ports in Spain. It’s considered one of the best marinas in the world – two times it has won the award of ‘Best Marina in the World’.
- Benalmadena beaches – town has almost 10km of coastline along which you can find 17 beaches. Most popular ones are: Playa Arroyo de la Miel, Playa Malapesquera, Playa Carvajal and Playa de Santa Ana.
- Benalmádena Cable Car – 15-minute journey up Mount Calamorro from which you admire great views of Costa del Sol.
- Sea Life Benalmadena – an underwater park that takes you on an interesting stroll along the seabed in a glass tunnel.
Benalmadena Wednesday and Friday Markets
There are two weekly outdoor markets in Benalmadena. Wednesday’s flea market takes place in Benalmadena Costa, in the car park right next to Paloma Park (9AM-2PM). The second market, Benalmadena’s Friday Market, is located in the Arroyo de la Miel area, in the Aparcamiento de Tivoli, right next to the end station of Benalmadena Cable Car (9AM-2PM).
How to get to Benalmadena Pueblo?
Benalmadena Pueblo is located only about 7km from Benalmadena Costa, 8km from Mijas Pueblo, 25km from Malaga, and 35km from Marbella. The most convenient way to get to Benalmadena Pueblo is by car or by bus.
Where to park in Benalmadena Pueblo?
Your best option is to leave your car in Benalmádena Pueblo Free public parking.
How to get to Benalmadena Pueblo from Benalmadena Costa?
Benalmadena Pueblo is located only 7km from Benalmadena Costa. To get there you need to take a bus or taxi. The journey by bus takes only 20 min (€1-3) and starts near Paloma Park. A taxi ride takes about 5 minutes and costs about €6-9.
Airport near Benalmadena Pueblo, Spain
The closest airport to Benalmadena Pueblo is located in Malaga, only 15km away. From it, you can reach the town by bus, car, or taxi. You can check the connections you are interested in on the rome2rio.com website.
To Benalmadena Pueblo by bus
You can easily also get to Benalmadena Pueblo by bus. There are direct and usually cheap connections from many places like Mijas, Malaga, Marbella, Estepona, or Nerja. Please check the connections you are interested in on the rome2rio.com website.
To Benalmadena Pueblo by train
Unfortunately, there’s no train station in Benalmadena Pueblo. But thanks to the line connecting Fuengirola and Malaga you can reach Benalmadena Arroyo De La Miel by train and from it take a walk (4km), taxi, or bus to Benalmadena Pueblo. Here is a map of train stations on the Fuengirola-Malaga route.
Best Things To See In Benalmádena Pueblo – Summing Up
Now you know all about the best attractions and things to do in Benalmadena Pueblo and also Benalmadena Costa. Be sure not to skip them during your upcoming trip to Andalusia as you may very easily find Benalmadena to be one of the most charming old towns on Costa del Sol in Spain.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Benalmádena Pueblo?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Benalmádena Pueblo:
Where to sleep in Benalmádena Pueblo?
Hotel Casa Rosa
Hotel Casa Rosa is a cozy and charming hotel offering comfortable and well-appointed rooms with traditional decor and modern amenities, a terrace with panoramic views of the sea and the mountains, and a convenient location close to the beach and the city's attractions, including the marina and the Tivoli World amusement park. With its warm and homely atmosphere, this hotel provides a perfect option for travelers looking for a peaceful and authentic stay in Benalmádena.
Sahara Sunset is a family-friendly resort located in Benalmádena, offering spacious and fully equipped apartments with modern decor and amenities, an outdoor pool, children's play area, a fitness center, and a convenient location close to the beach and the city's attractions, including the marina and the Sea Life Aquarium. With its fun and lively atmosphere, this resort provides a perfect option for families or groups of friends looking for a relaxing and entertaining stay in Benalmádena.
Boutique Hotel Pueblo
Boutique Hotel Pueblo is a charming and elegant hotel offering beautifully decorated rooms with traditional Andalusian-style decor and modern amenities, a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the sea and the mountains, and a convenient location close to the beach and the city's attractions, including the marina and the Tivoli World amusement park. With its intimate and romantic atmosphere, this hotel provides a perfect option for couples or solo travelers looking for a luxurious and peaceful stay.
Medplaya Hotel Riviera (Adults Only)
Medplaya Hotel Riviera is a modern and stylish hotel offering comfortable and well-appointed rooms with contemporary decor and amenities, an outdoor pool with a sun terrace, a restaurant serving delicious international and Mediterranean cuisine, and a convenient location close to the beach and the city's attractions, including the marina and the Sea Life Aquarium. With its exclusive and sophisticated atmosphere, this hotel provides a perfect option for couples or solo travelers looking for a relaxing and indulgent stay.
THB San Fermin Hotel
THB San Fermin Hotel is a modern and affordable hotel located in Benalmádena offering cozy and functional rooms with basic amenities, a large outdoor pool surrounded by a sun terrace, a restaurant serving international and local cuisine, and a convenient location close to the beach and the city's attractions, including the Selwo Marina and the Tivoli World amusement park. With its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, this hotel provides a perfect option for budget-conscious travelers looking for a comfortable and convenient stay.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com
Benalmádena Pueblo, Spain - Map of places
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