20 Things To Do In Benalmádena

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From an old Andalucian village at the foot of the mountains down to the golden sands and crystal clear waters of Playa Arroyo de la Miel, the city of Benalmádena offers so much to do, it’s no wonder why over 12 million visitors from over 120 different countries come to enjoy the sun in Costa del Sol each year. The city is divided into three distinct areas, each with a completely different atmosphere, and plenty of places to explore. High above the city centre, Benalmadena Pueblo opens up a window into the past, with narrow cobblestone streets, museums filled with pre-Columbian art, and monuments in celebration of Columbus.

From there, the old village entices visitors to wander to the outskirts for spectacular views of the coast, from the largest Buddhist stupa of the Western world to the Butterfly Park where nature flourishes inside a magnificent Thai temple. In the centre of the city, Arroyo de la Miel attracts those seeking more modern conveniences, such as the Teleferico which brings visitors to where the eagles fly on top of Mount Calamorro, or the shopping district near Avenue Blas Infante.

One thing is certain, the residents of this bustling city are health-conscious and love the sea and the surf. As visitors venture down the slopes from the centre, a wide range of options are ready to keep them in great shape, including the Parque de la Paloma, the municipal sports centre with ice skating and swimming, the badminton courts, and of course, the world-class golf. As they reach the edge of the sea in Benalmádena Costa, the scene becomes even more vibrant as beachgoers fill the long promenade on the way to explore the exhibits in Castillo El-Bil-Bil and the luxury yachts and restaurants of the award-winning Puerto Marina. Now we have a good layout of land, let’s take a closer look at 20 things to do in Benalmádena.

Benalmadena, Spain

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20 Things To Do In Benalmadena

1- Enjoy The Breathtaking Views From The Teleférico ‘Cable Car’ Benalmádena

benalmadena cableway
Riding the cableway is one of the things to do in Benalmadena to enjoy the view.

Just outside of the town square in Arroyo de la Miel, the Teleférico Benalmádena whisks visitors from the city to the top of Mount Calamorro to enjoy the most breathtaking views of Costa del Sol.

With room for up to four passengers, this modern cable car provides 360° panoramic views during the quick 15-minute, 3 km journey.

After reaching the 770-metre summit, four different vantage points provide unprecedented views of the coastline, the Guadalhorce Valley, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


On a clear day, the Rock of Gibraltar and the African coast are visible.

The summit is also home to the Valley of the Eagles, a sanctuary for different birds of prey, with live animal demonstrations.

The Teleférico Benalmádena is at Explanada del Tivoli, s/n, 29631 Benalmádena. Book your cable car ticket here.

2- Watch Eagles Soar At The Valle De Las Aguilas ‘Valley Of The Eagles’

Two Golden Eagles Resting In The Sun
Seeing the birds at the Garden of Eagles is one of the top things to do in Benalmadena.

In the valleys of Mount Calamorro, eagles and other birds of prey soar across the sky, and at the Valle de las Aguilas ‘Valley of the Eagles’.

Thanks to the Teleférico Benalmádena, visitors have easy access to this exclusive event that showcases over 160 different birds from several species, including eagles, falcons, condors and vultures.

At this exhibition, guests can see these magnificent creatures up close, learn more about how they live among us, and watch them fly by at incredible speeds.

This sanctuary is dedicated to raising and protecting these majestic creatures, and it recently grew in fame after successfully raising four Royal Owls.

The Valle de las Águilas can be accessed from the Teleférico Benalmádena at Explanada del Tivoli, s/n, 29631 Benalmádena.

3- Take A Stroll Through The Puerto Marina

boats at benalmadena port and white-washed buildings
Wandering around the port is one of the things to do in Benalmadena.

As the winner of the ‘Best Marina in the World’ several times, the Puerto Marina attracts large crowds of visitors day and night, eager to stroll beside impressive sports boats and luxury yachts.

Opened in 1979 as the ‘Port au Prince’, the marina offers moorings for over 1,000 boats, with several offering sightseeing tours and dolphin watching or you can rent a boat or even try parasailing!

The walkways of the marina wind back and forth, passing by a variety of sophisticated bars offering Spanish tapas, and high-end shopping.

The impressive architecture of Puerto Marina draws the most attention.

By incorporating attractive Arabic, Indian, and Andalusian designs, the marina is distinctly unique, and the perfect place for an afternoon or evening stroll.

Puerto Marina is at C.La Fragata, A11, 29630 Benalmádena.

4- Learn About Aquatic Life At Sea Life Benalmádena

There’s no better way to learn about the creatures of the sea than seeing them up close in their natural habitat.

At Sea Life Benalmádena, visitors can stroll through a recreated sea bed in an enclosed glass tunnel, while sharks, turtles, and other sea animals swim in every direction.

The aquarium contains 30 different tanks filled with aquatic life from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans and the Red Sea.

On display are moray eels, tropical fish, sea horses, octopuses and jellyfish.

In the rockpool exhibit, guests can reach in and hold a crab or touch a starfish.

Feeding demonstrations also take place several times during the day.

The animals held in the aquarium were once sick or injured and nursed back to health by the staff.

Sea Life Benalmádena is at Av.del Puerto Deportivo, s/n, 29630 Benalmádena. Skip the lines and book tickets here.

5- Wander The Streets Of The Benalmádena Pueblo ‘Old Village’

Beautiful Colorful Streets Of Old Colonial Town
Shopping in the old village is one of the things to do in Benalmadena.

Tucked away at the foot of Mount Calamorro, the Benalmádena Pueblo served as the first settlement in the area, but following an earthquake in the 17th century, it became inhabitable.

As Arroyo de la Miel began to grow a century later, the population returned to the village to rebuild.

Thanks to the tourism boom in the 1950s, the village now thrives as one of the most charming destinations in Costa del Sol.

With traditional Andalusian whitewashed houses, and narrow cobblestone streets adorned with flowers, the sleepy little village entices visitors to wander about to discover the next quaint cafe or boutique gift shop.

Just below the village centre, in the Los Jardin del Moro, the Iglesia de Santo Domingo overlooks the coastline and city high atop a massive cliff, 270 metres above sea level.

Just down the street, visitors can relax in the Plaza de España and admire the beloved ‘Nina la Benalmádena’ statue and fountain in the centre of this old Spanish square.

6- Ponder Pre-Columbian Art At The Museo de Arte Precolombino Felipe Orlando

On the main street in Benalmádena Pueblo, the Museo de Arte Precolombino Felipe Orlando transports visitors to Latin American civilizations from centuries ago through their impressive collection.

First opened in 1970 through the generous donation of 275 artefacts inherited by Felipe Orlando-García Murciano, the famous anthropologist and artist, the museum contains one of the best collections of pre-Columbian art in Europe.

Divided between three floors, visitors can discover artefacts dating back to 200 A.D., including small figurines, sculptures, ceramic bowls, hand tools, and clothing.

Entry is free for this fantastic museum, and the staff are kind and welcoming, ready to answer any questions or tell stories about the history of the pieces.

The Museo de Arte Precolombino Felipe Orlando is at Plaza de las Tres Culturas, 29639 Benalmádena.

7- Explore The Castillo Monumento Colomares

Colomares Castle In Benalmadena, Spain
Exploring Castillo Monumento Colomares is one of the enchanting things to do in Benalmadena.

In remembrance of Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America, the Castillo Monumento Colomares symbolises Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, the three distinct cultures present during mediaeval times in the country.

Located below the old village, the elaborate monument combines elements of Byzantine, Gothic, Romanesque, Moorish and 15th-century Spanish architecture.

Completed in 1994, the fairytale castle took seven years to build by hand, using brick, concrete stone and wood.

Dr Esteban Martin Martin and two local stonemasons worked without machinery to construct the monument with techniques similar to those used during the Middle Ages.

The Castillo Monumento Colomares is at Finca la Carraca, Ctra. Costa del Sol, s/n, 29639 Benalmádena. Join a castle tour to discover historic gems.

8- Soak Up The Sun At The Arroyo De La Miel Beach

deck lounges and umbrellas on benalmadena beach
Relaxing on the beach is one of the top things to do in Benalmadena.

With over 10 km of beachfront inside Benalmádena’s city limits, visitors have plenty of options for soaking up the sun.

For those looking to avoid the massive crowds but still have all the amenities nearby, Playa Arroyo de la Miel (Beach) near the El-Bil-Bil castle offers the best of both worlds.

Also known as ‘Los Melilleros’ the beach is named for the small village just above, and earned its European Blue Flag status for its golden sand, crystal clear waters, attentive lifeguards, nearby bathrooms, and overall high environmental standards.

Stretching 600 metres down the coast, with an average width of 40 metres, the beach leaves plenty of space for families and friends to enjoy.

9- Exercise In The Parque De La Paloma

Located in the heart of Benalmádena Costa, the Parque de la Paloma or ‘Pigeon Park’ rates as one of the top green spaces in the Costa del Sol, and features newly installed exercise equipment.

Inside the 200,000 square metre park, winding cobblestone paths lead up and down through the rolling hills, and in the lowest area of the park, visitors can stroll around a man-made lake, with ducks, swans, and elusive turtles.

On weekends, families and friends picnic in the lush green grass, and the kids keep their eye out looking for the rabbits, chickens, and peacocks known to roam the grounds.

Tucked away among the eucalyptus, palm, and cypress trees, is the cactus and succulent garden, one of the very best in Europe, with over 450 different plant species.

Parque De La Paloma is located at: Av. Federico García Lorca, s/n, 29630 Benalmádena.

10- Find Peace and Harmony At The Stupa of Enlightenment

Designed to be the largest Buddhist stupa in the Western world, the Stupa of Enlightenment welcomes thousands of visitors each year on a quest for peace, harmony, and enlightenment.

Inaugurated in 2003, the Buddhist shrine came from the imagination of the Buddhist master Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche who came to Spain to give talks to the faithful followers at the meditation centre in Vélez-Malaga.

As his relationship grew with the Spanish people he gained residency to spend more time sharing his teachings with people across the country.

After meeting the local mayor, the two collaborated on this grand idea and decided it should be located in one of the best vantage points in Benalmádena, with stunning views of the coastline below.

The Stupa of Enlightenment is at Av. Retamar, s/n, 29639 Benalmádena.

11- Surround Yourself In Nature At The Mariposario de Benalmádena ‘Butterfly Park’

Blue Butterfly
Visiting Butterfly Park is one of the things to do with kids in Benalmadena.

Housed inside an elegant Thai temple, the Mariposario de Benalmádena ‘Butterfly Park’ transports visitors into a dreamlike world filled with nature, as over 1,500 exotic species of butterflies dance gracefully through the air above their heads.

Located next to the Buddhist stupa, the indoor park contains stunning landscaped gardens with plants native to the butterflies’ respective countries of origin.

The ornamental flowers supply more than just a tranquil setting for the butterflies to thrive, they also provide nectar for food and a place to lay their eggs.

From egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, the park displays all stages of beautiful insects’ biological cycles.

With a little luck, visitors may also catch a glimpse of the baby kangaroo who also resides inside the park, quietly wandering through the flowers.

The Mariposario de Benalmádena at C. Muerdago, s/n, 29639 Benalmádena.

12- Marvel At The Dolphin Show At The Selwo Marina

Packed with exciting live animal shows, the Selwo Marina takes visitors on a trip around the world to visit over 800 different species of animals in their natural habitats.

The marine park is divided into four sections.

In Las Antillas ‘The Antilles’, spectators are treated to entertaining bottlenose dolphin and sea lion shows.

Flora and fauna fill the Amazon ‘Amazonia’ rainforest section, where fish, amphibians, reptiles and lizards, thrive in habitats similar to the world-famous river.

In the Hollow ‘La Hondonada’, live performances feature snakes, cockatoos, parrots and other exotic birds from the Amazon and South America.

Visitors can feel the chill of Antarctica inside the Ice Island ‘Isla de Hielo’ exhibit, where penguins roam freely in a frigid zone like their native home.

From May through September, visitors have the unique opportunity to swim with sea lions or feed the penguins at an extra cost.

The Selwo Marina is at Parque de la Paloma s/n, 29630 Benalmádena. Skip the line and book your tickets here.

13- Go Ice Skating At The Ice Club Benalmádena

When the midday sun bears down on the Costa del Sol, why not take a break from the heat and take to the ice?

Known for being the only ice rink in Andalucía, the Ice Club ‘Club de Hielo’ Benalmádena features a 900 square metre ice rink, perfect for birthday parties and other events.

The facility also offers lessons in figure skating and ice hockey for all levels and ages.

To take advantage of this great opportunity to ice skate, visitors can either purchase a daily pass or monthly membership which also includes access to the gym and swimming pool.

The Ice Club Benalmádena is inside the Palacio de Desportes at Av. Cdad. de Melilla, s/n, 29631 Benalmádena.

14- Discover The Exhibits At Castillo De El-Bil-Bil

As one of Benalmádena’s most iconic structures, the Castillo de El-Bil-Bil stands out on the long beach promenade for its Moorish design and vibrant red exterior.

Constructed in the 1930s to resemble a fortress, the tile work and intricate relief sculptures are reminiscent of Mudéjar style palaces found in the region.

The small castle was once a residence for a wealthy businessman but at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, it was abandoned and later purchased and restored by an American couple named William and Elsie, and their son William (hence the name El-Bil-Bil).

The building now serves as a cultural centre for the city, where guests can enjoy art exhibits on a rotating schedule, hold conferences or weddings, or learn more information about the city from the tourist office inside.

Castillo De El-Bil-Bil is at Av. Antonio Machado, 78, 29631 Benalmádena.

With sunshine nearly every day of the year, the local golf courses in Benalmádena are the perfect place for golf lovers to hit the links and dial in their swing.

From Arroyo de la Miel to Torrequebrada, there are three different courses to choose from.

For those looking to improve their short game, Benalmádena Golf offers a nine-hole chip and putt par 3 course and driving range.

At Bil-Bil-Golf, golfers can push their skills even further on an 18-hold par 3 course located in the heart of the city.

Lessons from the course pro have helped many players improve their game.

At Golf Torrequebrada, golfers can enjoy sea views as they make their way around one of the best 18-hole courses in Costa del Sol.

The varied terrain with steep slopes adds to the challenge of this course.

16- Swim Laps At The Palacio de Deportes

When the Mediterranean Sea water temperatures plummet during the cooler months, the Palacio De Deports ‘Sports Palace’ provides a perfect alternative for those eager to take a swim.

Also known as the municipal sports centre, the recently renovated facility offers a wonderful 25-metre pool with eight lanes dedicated to swimming laps.

There is also a smaller pool equipped with hydromassage jets for those looking to simply relax in the warm water.

Guests can take advantage of the swimming pools on a walk-in basis or by signing up for a monthly membership which includes access to the gym and swimming lessons for all ages.

The Palacio de Deportes is at Av. Cdad. de Melilla, s/n, 29631 Benalmádena.

17- Hike the Coastal Path in Torrequebrada

Benalmadena Panoramic View over rooftops towards the ocean
One of the things to do in Costa del Sol’s Benalmadena. is simply enjoying the view.

Between the long sandy beaches of Benalmádena and Fuengirola is an area known as Torrequebrada, where the coastline becomes rugged and rocky with cliffs that drop down sharply toward the sea.

Along the top of the massive rock formations, hikers can travel across the 2-km ‘Sendero Litoral’, a scenic walking route that stops at several incredible panoramic views of the sea.

Tucked in between the large outcroppings are some smaller cove beaches which are protected from the wind.

Surrounded by pine trees and cliffs, these beaches are perfect for private sunbathing.

Playa La Viborilla offers more sweeping views of the coastline to the south, while Playa de Benalnatura provides the unique opportunity to soak up the sun in the buff.

18- Play Badminton At The Club Bádminton

Badminton Balls In The Stadium
Playing badminton is one of the free things to do in Benalmadena.

Carrying on the legacy of a popular British sport, the Club Badminton in Arroyo de la Miel opened in 1986 and offers multiple courts for training and recreation.

As a spectator, badminton appears to be relatively easy compared to tennis, but actually, the sport requires lightning-fast reaction time and agility.

The venue has hosted many prestigious badminton tournaments over the years, including Andalusian Spanish junior opens, where the best players from across Europe competed for the junior title.

The courts are open year-round for recreational games and anyone can come and join in this exciting sport that originated over 2,000 years ago.

The Club Bádminton Benalmádena is at C. Orujo, 2, 29639 Benalmádena.

19- Ride The Ferry To Fuengirola

Riding the ferry to Fuengirola is one of the best things to do from Benalmadena.

With spectacular views across the Alboran Sea and the Sierra de Migas Mountain Range, the ferry from Benalmádena offers the best way to take a day trip to the nearby city of Fuengirola.

Departing from Puerto Marina, the trip takes approximately one hour, and during the scenic voyage, passengers can enjoy drinks and snacks from the onboard bar.

The ferry arrives near the centre of Fuengirola, just a few streets from the historic Plaza de la Constitution, a bustling hub filled with upscale restaurants and boutique shops.

Departures occur every two hours from 10.30 am to 6 pm, which leaves plenty of time for visitors to explore the promenade and local stores.

The ferry to Fuengirola departs daily from C. La Fragata, 6, 29630 Benalmádena. Book your tickets online now.

20- Find Bargains At The Fairgrounds Market

Every Wednesday, the fairgrounds (Recinto Ferial) in Benalmádena hosts the local flea market, offering great bargains on clothes, home goods, and locally made products.

Conveniently located next to Paloma Park, the market contains over 50 vendors selling new clothing and accessories, household items, and vintage electronics and clothing.

It’s best to arrive early to catch the best deals.

The flea market runs from 10 am to 2 pm but some of the vendors pack up early during inclement weather or when the crowds begin to dwindle.

The Fairgrounds Market (Recinto Ferial Arroyo De La Miel) is at Av. de Rocío Jurado, 6H, 29630 Benalmádena.

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Grant Doremus
Grant Doremus is a freelance writer from the United States, eager to share his travel experiences and knowledge about some of the best destinations in the world. He grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, and after a successful career in finance, he decided to chase his dreams of becoming a digital nomad. As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast he went on a road trip across the U.S. visiting 26 states, exploring most of the country's national parks, and climbing some of the highest peaks in the country. After a year on the road, he headed to Europe where he backpacked through 10 countries before finally settling in Spain. Grant loves to write about Spanish culture, its rich history, and traditions. His favourite destination so far is Mallorca, but he hasn’t finished his travels just yet!