Three town centres in one
In the province of Málaga it is the essential visit to Benalmádena, in the centre of the Costa del Sol. Therefore, it is a tourist destination full of recreational activities.
The town has a total of 17 beaches combined with the charm of Andalusian mountain villages, as it is located in the Sierra de Mijas. From its location you can easily admire the entire coastline. The town is basically gathered in three areas: Benalmádena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmádena Costa.
If you are looking for more, do not hesitate to discover the Route of the White Villages of Málaga or the city.
This is how the old town of Benalmádena is known. Its origins date back to the period when the Muslims settled in the area, when both a wall and a fortress were built. It is popularly known as “el Pueblo”. Walking through its streets you can see that it shares the characteristics of the white Andalusian villages.
Here we find the Jardines del Muro, specifically on the top of Benalmádena Pueblo. In its gardens is the church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, the oldest temple in the town. From its viewpoint the views of the coast are admirable. The design of these gardens is attributed to the Canary Islands artist César Manrique.
Located between the mountains and the coast, it is also called “el Arroyo”. It is an urban centre born in the 18th century after the construction of different paper factories in the town thanks to the Genovese Félix Solesio. Its name comes from the copious number of honeycombs that existed since the Christian repopulation after the reconquest. The implementation of the railway meant a remarkable urban development linking Fuengirola and the capital of Málaga.
Here we find the Tribuna building, from the 18th century. It has survived to the present day as an example of what the paper industry in the town once was.
It is a bronze sculpture, an icon of the town of Benalmádena. It is located in the Plaza de España fountain. The sculpture is a symbol of the economic and tourist take-off, as well as of the hospitality of Benalmádena, one of the main tourist destinations of Andalusia. It is a representation of a girl who, with her arms outstretched, offers water in a shell.
“La Costa” is the area where most of Benalmádena’s hotel offer is concentrated around the best beaches. Apart from feeling the sea breeze here you can walk along the long promenade and visit the Benalmádena Marina.
Benalmádena has almost 20 kilometres of coastline distributed along 17 beaches. Some of them are Carvajal, Arroyo Hondo, La Morera, Bil-Bil, La Perla, Arroyo de la Miel… You can access Benalmádena beaches through a promenade where you can find restaurants and beach bars. In most of them you can practice water activities, others are more relaxed, situated between hidden cliffs.
With an area of more than 200,000 square metres, La Paloma Park is the perfect place to walk in Benalmádena. Its surroundings are very well-kept, it has an artificial lake, recreational areas, gardens, restaurant areas… You can also enjoy the park’s fauna, because while walking around you can sometimes see peacocks, ducks, chickens, turtles, swans and rabbits. Inside La Paloma Park there is a Cacti and Succulent Garden.
If there is one essential thing to see in Benalmádena, it is the Colomares Castle. It is a monument built to pay homage to Christopher Columbus in his discovery of America. It was built between 1987 and 1994. The building brings together different architectural styles such as neo-Byzantine, neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque and neo-Mudéjar carried out with concrete, brickwork, wood and natural stone, among others.
Colomares Castle has different elements that reference the Catholic Monarchs, elements of the journey made by Columbus and the three cultures that developed in the Middle Ages in Spain, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. As a curiosity, a Chinese pagoda can also be seen on the monument as a symbol of the conqueror’s idea of reaching Asia.
It is the largest monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus, with 1,500 square meters. It also contains the smallest chapel in the world. This chapel is dedicated to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. In the building there is also a mausoleum that was built with the idea of resting in it the remains of the navigator.
In a privileged location, Cueva del Toro is located in Cerro del Calamorro. From here you can get a panoramic view of the coast, which makes it an ideal spot for the cave sanctuary. The most outstanding painting in the Cueva del Toro is the representation of a red headless bull, which appears accompanied by some black dots.
Watchtowers of Benalmádena
In Benalmádena there are up to three watchtowers. Some were built on the coast as a fortification system during the period of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. During the Christian repopulation they were restored with the aim of defending themselves from the Berber pirates. They have the distinction of Cultural Interest.
Also known as Torre de Benalmádena, the Torre del Muelle is located at the edge of the coast, near the inlet used during the Roman era for the movement of goods. In this way, it constituted a strategic position through which to control the coast of the Alborán Sea and maintain contact with the other towers thanks to fire.
Unlike other towers on the coast of Málaga, this one was built after the territory was reconquered by the Christians. However, its name comes from previous events. In Roman times and later with the Andalusian Muslims the area was used as a dock thanks to the presence of a well-protected cove in the area.
Located on a steep hill, the Torre Quebrada is so called because it was broken during the 15th and 16th centuries. It communicated with the other towers to control possible attacks. Two pawns were designated to keep watch there. One remained on the watchtower and the other moved to the Torre Bermeja.
It is another of the three watchtowers located on the coast of Benalmádena. Its name comes from the red colour of the land in which it is located. It is believed that it was a Muslim construction dating from the 14th century. Already in 1982, with the construction of the marina, the Torre Bermeja lost its location in front of the sea.
El Bil Bil Castle is almost a symbol of Benalmádena. Its neo-Islamic style, its red exterior and the decorations of tiles and bas-reliefs are striking. The elements found in it were commissioned to the keeper of the Alhambra itself. In this way, the Arab style is completed with the exterior gardens, the triple horseshoe arch doors and the palm trees and fountains.
Benalmádena is a municipality with a lot of tourism, and for them they have great different attractions. On the one hand, the theme park Tivoli World, in which there are also shows.
On the other hand, the Sea Life Aquarium Benalmádena is located in the marina and there you can see protected sharks. The Selwo Marina Dolphinarium and Penguinarium are also located here.
If you are not afraid of heights the Benalmádena Cable Car is an excellent option to see the town in a full view. The cable car connects Arroyo de la Miel to the Calamorro mountain. From here you get a beautiful view of the coast and the sea. On clear days you can even see the Rock of Gibraltar.