Best Sights of Benalmadena
Benalmadena is a city of about 53,000 located 20 kilometers from Malaga, located between Torremolinos and Fuengirola. Its name comes from the Arab word “Ibn-al-Madena”, meaning “Children of the Mines”. The city is one of the tourist centers on the Costa del Sol and has a nine kilometer coastline. There is a beautiful paseo maritime (promenade) along the coast with white cement balustrades and very original streetlights.
Benalmadena has 15 beautiful beaches where one can enjoy the waters of the Costa del Sol. These are the beaches at Arroyo de la Miel, Arroyo Hondo, Bil-Bil, Carvajal, Fuente de la Salud, La Perla, La Viborilla, Las Yucas, Malapesquera, Santa Ana, Tajo de la Soga, Torrebermeja, Torremuelle, Torrequebrada, and Torrevigia.
b. Benalmadena Pueblo
The pueblo, or old town, is located on the upper portion of the city. The old town is a white town, where everything is painted white. It is quiet and it has its narrow streets paved with cobblestones. There is a beautiful town square planted with trees, shrubs, and flowers, with a beautiful fountain. The street beside it goes to an outlook where there is a fairly new church. The town sits on top of a hill that is 280 meters above sea level.
c. Precolumbian Art Museum
The Museo de Arte Precolombino Felipe Orlando is new (2005) and is in a modern building. Felipe Orlando was a very rich Mexican (writer, poet, and painter) who lived in Malaga and the coast for many years. He had inherited a very large and rare collection of Pre-Colombian art from his father. He became a close friend of the mayor of Benalmadena and decided to leave his collection if the city built a museum to house it. Mr. Orlando passed away a few years ago, and now the museum has the 3rd largest Pre-Colombian collection in Spain. The pieces there are very interesting and the explanations are very good. The art comes from México, Perú, Nicaragua, Colombia and Ecuador. One can enjoy this museum and learn much about the Indians in Mexico, Central and South America, before Columbus.
Also in the same museum there is an archaeological section that contains many of the Roman artifacts that have been discovered along the coast. There is a collection of small glass jars that contained cosmetics. Did you know that Roman women used eye liner? They were quite advanced with cosmetics.
d. Paloma Park
This large park covers 200,000 square meters and is located about 200 meters from the main coastal road. There is a rectangular lake with a high jet of water and many paved walkways around this lake and the surrounding hill where one can take a walk. The park abounds in birds and there are hundreds of ducks, geese, pigeons, chickens and roosters, and peacocks. What is surprising is that there are also rabbits hiding around the bushes. There is also a cactus garden with many plants from all over the world. At the main entrance there is a little cafeteria. The whole park is fenced, with only a few gates. This is a beautiful park for families and children will enjoy it very much.
Puerto Marina is a marina in Benalmadena that has won the title of "Best Marina in the World" several times. It has 1,000 moorings for boats from 6 to 30 m in length. It has a very unusual, modern, and imaginative Arabian architecture with artificial islands that contain many apartments, so that people can live near their boats. The islands are connected with small bridges and this suggests a modern Venice. The marina has 25 shops, 44 restaurants, and 19 discos and bars, and is famous for its nightlife. There are hotels close to it, so it is a very lively place for entertainment. The marina is the second largest marina in the Mediterranean. It receives 7 million visitors a year.
f. Buddhist Temple
The Buddhist Temple (Stupa) was built in 2004 and is the biggest temple of its kind in Western Europe and is characterized by its golden dome. It is called the Stupa of the Illumination. There are impressive views of the coastline from the temple. The architect was Wojtek Kossowski, who has built 16 other Stupas in Europe. The stupa is 33 meters (108 feet) tall with a base width of 25.8 meters (82 feet) and contains an over 100 square meter (1100 square-foot) meditation room inside. There is an impressive collection of traditional Himalayan paintings, statues, and literature in the temple. The paintings on the walls of the meditation hall represent the life story of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni and have been painted by artists from Nepal. In the basement of the Stupa there is place for exhibitions related to Tibetan Buddhism and the Himalayan culture. The temple holds regular meditation classes and talks on Buddhism. It was built as a desire of Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, the grand Buddhist master of the Himalayas.
g. Bil-Bil Castle
The Bil-Bil Castle is located at Avenida Machado, 78, in Benalmadena Costa and has an Arab style construction with a red facade and decorated with ceramic tile. There are gardens with fountains that look Arab inspired and this gives the castle a beautiful look. The building was built in 1927 by a rich family as a country house. After that it passed through several owners until the city hall acquired it and turned it into a cultural center. Today it is the site of art exhibitions, conferences and concerts. Today it is where there are more civil weddings that are celebrated in the province of Malaga.
h. Colomares Castle
Colomares Castle is located at the Carretera del Sol in Benalmadena Pueblo. It was constructed by Dr. Esteban Martin y Martin, with the help of two masons, between 1987 and 1994. It has the look of a castle in a fairy tale and was constructed with brick, concrete, natural stone, wood, and other materials. It was dedicated to Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the New World.
Inside there are beautiful glass windows.
i. Statue of the Girl of Benalmadena
In Benalmadena Pueblo in the Plaza de España, there is a beautiful bronze statue of a girl with her arms outstretched, in the middle of a little fountain. This was the work of the artist Jaime Pimentel, and now is the symbol of the town. It is supposed to be the image of friendship for a cosmopolitan city.
j. Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman
In Benalmadena Pueblo there is the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman, which is the oldest church in Benalmadena. It used to be the center of the town. The church has been remodeled several times and the last time was in 1998. The church has beautiful modern stained glass windows. It is medium sized and a beautiful setting for weddings. Around the church there is a very wide terrace edged with wrought iron railings, where one can see the seacoast, with very beautiful views.
k. Watchtower of Torrequebrada
This watchtower was used by the Christians to guard against a Moorish invasion. It is located along the coast of Torrequebrada. "Torre quebrada" means broken tower. The name was given to this watchtower because it was broken many times during the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1504 it was repaired by Cristobal de la Parra and in 1567 by Pedro de la Chica. The tower has seven meters in height and a fire was lit on top of it when there was danger. Two men would stay in the tower so that there would be a guard at all times to look for danger from the sea.
l. Watchtower of Torrebermeja
This watchtower was constructed by the Moors during their last years. It is eight meters high and now is located at the entrance of the sports port. The location was a good place for a watchtower because the whole coast to Torremolinos could be observed from it.
m. Casino of Torrequebrada
In the western part of Benalmadena one can find the Casino of Torrequebrada, which consists of a big four star hotel with a gambling casino, dining room for seeing spectacles, theater reviews and flamenco, a pier, golf course, tennis courts, and a shopping mall. There are many bars, restaurants, and night clubs. The Sala Fortuna has a great variety show that includes flamenco.
n. Tivoli World
Tivoli World is a very popular amusement park which has a theater where musical performances are given by famous singers. There are rides and all sorts of entertainment. There is a Western Square, which is a reproduction of a western town, a barbecue, and a show of can-can dancers. There is an Andalusian Square where flamenco dance is featured. The Jungle Square has mimes dressed as wild animals. There is a Show Boat with a pirate show. This amusement park is one of the best in the Costa del Sol.
o. Arroyo de la Miel
Arroyo de la Miel is the part of Benalmadena which is a residential area. It maintains the Andalusian character in its streets and plazas. Plaza de España is a beautiful square in the heart of Arroy de la Miel. In the 18th century this part of town was started by an Italian entrepreneur called Felix Silesio, who bought plenty of land to build a paper factory, which is long gone.
p. Exposition Center
The Exposition Center is located at Avenida Antonio Machado, 33. It was inaugurated in 2004 and the architects were Angel Cañizares and Raul Gante. The design is minimalist and constructed using brick, to resemble Moorish walls. There are four floors that have a space of 600 square meters of space for exhibitions. There are plans now to increase the size of the center to occupy the whole block. The center expects to have between 6 and 8 exhibitions a year of art, architecture, sculpture, history, archaeology, and photography.
q. Ice Club (Club de Hielo)
The Ice Club is located at Avenida Ciudad de Melilla and is a big ice rink that occupies a space of 900 square meters. The ice rink is the first covered ice rink in Andalusia. The center gives ice skating lessons. This center is part of a sports complex of 7000 square meters that has swimming pools, a fitness gym, activity center, and a medical center.
r. Jardines del Muro (Gardens of the Wall)
The Jardines del Muro are located at Santo Domingo in Benalmadena Pueblo, at the top of the pueblo, beside the mirador (viewpoint). The gardens were designed by the artist from the Canary Islands Cesar Manrique. From the gardens and viewpoint, one has views of the coast line and during clear days one can see the African coast.
s. La Fonda
In Benalmadena Pueblo at the street of Santo Domingo, there is a beautiful building that is now used for the Hotel School and the Hotel La Fonda. The building has the traditional Andalusian architecture and was restored according to the designs of the famous artist Cesar Manrique.
Sea Life Aquarium is located in Puerto Marina and shows a large number of fish species that can be found in the Costa del Sol. There are more than 30 different aquariums, that are a great educational resource. There are more than 2000 fish that can be found here, from sharks to the smallest and rarest of fish. One of the most popular attractions is to feed and caress the manta ray.
u. Selwo Marina
The Selwo Marina is located at the Parque de la Paloma in Arroyo de la Miel. The amusement park shows the marine mammals and birds of South America. There is a place that has two types of intelligent dolphins. It also has a penguin habitat made of ice that is the first constructed in Andalusia and shows different types of penguins. The park has shows that feature the dolphins, sea lions, penguins and exotic birds. There is a place for children to play.
v. Telecabina (Cable Car)
Beside the Tivoli Park in Arroyo de la Miel there is the Cable Car. It goes up the Calamorro Mountain, which is 771 meters above sea level. One has spectacular views of the coast and on clear days one can see the coasts of Africa. The cable is 5565 meters long and rises 635 meters at a speed of 5 meters/second, so one can reach the top in 10 minutes. This cable car was finished in 2000 and has proved to be one of the more popular attractions in Benalmadena and the Costa del Sol.