Famous for it's beaches, the Costa del Sol or 'Sunshine Coast' is located along Spain's southern Andalusian coastline and is a wonderful place to spend a vacation. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, the Costa del Sol enjoys beautiful golden beaches along the Mediterranean coast and is full of great coastal towns to pick from when visiting this area. We chose to stay in the town of Benalmadena and fell in love with the area. Not only are the beaches along this stretch of coastline beautiful, but the area offers easy access to numerous day trips throughout the white-washed towns of Andalusia that are a true joy to visit and explore. Here are the highlights of what to visit in the town of Benalmadena.
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WHERE TO STAY
For our time in Benalmadena, we based ourselves at the Pueblo Evita. We loved the convenient location as it was a quick 5 minute walk to Playa Arroyo de la Miel and the area was full of numerous restaurants and shops. The Andalusian-style resort offered large apartment like rooms with full kitchens, laundry facilities on site, large balconies and a wonderful pool. We loved our stay at the Pueblo Evita and would recommend this spot to anyone looking for a lovely holiday along the Costa del Sol.
CASTILLO DE COLOMARES
To start off our day in Bendalmadena, the first sight we headed to was the Castillo de Colomares. The Castillo de Colomares was built by Esteban Martin Martin between 1987 and 1994 whose fascination of Christopher Columbus drove him to build this monument to honor the life and memory of Christopher Columbus. The castle/monument is a mixture of many different architectural styles and offers a visit that tells the story of Christopher Columbus and his famous journey. Make sure and stop at each of the marked points along the way through the monument to learn about the famous expeditions of Christopher Columbus. Sadly for us, we were only able to view the monument from the outside as the exhibit was closed the day we showed up - apparently, they are closed on Mondays - so make sure and pay attention to their open hours before you visit!
BENALMADENA PUEBLO (OLD TOWN)
The historic city center of Benalmadena is known as Benalmadena Pueblo or Old Town and is a wonderful area to spend some time exploring when visiting Benalmadena. Retaining the old time charm of a white-washed Andalusian village, you will fall in love with the cobblestone streets, white washed houses and colorful flower covered balconies. While wandering around the labyrinth of streets, keep an eye out for the Santo Domingo Church and Plaza Espana.
Santo Domingo Church: Built in the 17th century, the beautiful Santo Domingo Church is the oldest church in Benalmadena and is situated in Plaza Santo Domingo, offering beautiful views out over the coastline - on a clear day you can even see across to Africa. This is a lovely area to wander and enjoy the scenic views.
Plaza Espana: Located in the middle of the historic center of Benalmadena is Plaza Espana. This typical Andalusian square is lined with beautiful orange trees and includes a fountain with a bronze status of La Nina - which is the symbol of the pueblo and is a sign of friendship of the community. All around the square you will find restaurants and bars, making this a great place to stop and relax. Grab a beverage and enjoy the sights and smells of this lovely Andalusian square.
BENALMADENA CABLE CAR
After spending most of our morning exploring Benalmadena Pueblo, we headed to the Benalmadena Cable Car. Offering a scenic cable car ride up to the top of Mount Calamorro, this was a highlight of our time in Benalmadena and is a great activity for families as our son absolutely loved riding in the cable car. The cable car or Teleférico takes you on a 15 minute ride to the highest point in the Costa del Sol at about 2624 feet above sea level. Once at the top of the mountain, spend some time enjoying the panoramic views out over Benalmadena and the Costa del Sol and on a clear day you can even see Gibraltar and the coast of Africa. Numerous hiking trails are also available, as well as a Birds of Prey Exhibit featuring over 60 types of bird species. Our personal favorite though were the chicken's wandering about - our son absolutely loved the chickens who became our quick friends as we tried to enjoy a snack of cheese and crackers!
PLAYA ARROYO DE LA MIEL
With so many beaches to pick from along the Costa del Sol - specifically the many choices to pick from right in Benalmadena it's tough to know where to start! For us, we spent our beach time enjoying Playa Arroyo de La Miel and Playa Bil Bil as they were central to where we were staying.
Playa Arroyo de La Miel is a medium sized beach offering clear waters with darker colored sand and was a great place to spend an afternoon with our 2 year old son. We couldn't have asked for a better day building sandcastles and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea!
PLAYA BIL BIL & CASTILLO BIL BIL
Located just a few minutes walk down the road from Playa Arroyo de la Miel is Playa Bil Bil. Named for the bright red castle that overlooks the beach, we loved visiting this beautiful beach! Built in 1927, Castillo Bil Bil was built in the Moorish architecture style to look like a defensive castle overlooking the beach - today it is government owned and is used for cultural events. The bright red building will definitely catch your eye as you visit Playa Bil Bil. Spend a few minutes wandering around the outside of this building - beautiful gardens, fountains and a promenade of palm trees surround the building and also provides for a great view looking out over the golden sands of Playa Bil Bil.
Winner of the 'Best Marina in the World' numerous times, with 1,000+ mooring slips, wandering thru this area of Benalmadena is a must do while visiting the Costa del Sol. Lined with upscale restaurants and bars, this is a great place to visit in the day or night. Wandering along the waterfront in the evening makes for a memorable stroll and is a great place to grab a bite to eat.
Interested in planning your own trip to Benalmadena, Spain? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!
One Day in Benalmadena: Castillo De Colomares €2 (open 10-2, 4-7), Benalmádena Pueblo (old town) - includes: Santo Domingo Church, Plaza Espana. Then Benalmadena Cable Car (€13), spend the rest of the afternoon at Playa Arroyo de la Miel and Playa Bil Bil, check out Castilo Bil Bil. Stroll Benalmadena Marina in the evening.