While most visitors choose Benalmadena for its glorious beaches, there are plenty of other attractions to keep your family amused. Take a trip out to sea on a boat or a ferry; you can even go whale and dolphin watching. A cable car ride would make a welcome change, or perhaps a visit to Bil Bil Castle. The castle is distinctive with its Arabian architecture, and it hosts concerts as well as art exhibitions. Visit the Sea Life Centre, where you can walk through the transparent tunnels in the underwater park or watch feeding demonstrations; the centre even has a mini golf course. At the end of a relaxing day, Benalmadena becomes a great place for nightlife. Whatever kind of cuisine you are looking for, you are sure to find a restaurant that will suit your family’s tastes.
The Port of Benalmadena, which is at the extreme eastern end of the resort and bordering onto Torremolinos, has been described as “the best marina in the world”. Whilst this is a disputable claim, it certainly is modern, attractive and has an unrivalled ambience. There are over 1000 berth points and 200 shops, bars and restaurants. The architecture has Andalucian, Arabian and Indian influences. It is an attractive place to visit both during the day and at night. Many annual activities take place here as well, which include yacht races, international fishing tournaments, and other holiday and enviromental activities. Boat trips to see the dolphins depart from the marina. The wide range of restaurants include Bobby Peru, Jacks, Coco Bongo, Toro’s, Pepi y Juan, Canas y Tapas and Mamma Leone, Metro, El Greco, El Mero, Ristorante Da Fano and many more.
Benalmadena has sixteen mainly sandy beaches or playas that stretch over nine kilometeres from the Puerto Marina to the village of Carvajal. Their names in that order are, Malapesquera, Malapesca, Torre Bermeja, Santa Ana, Bil-Bil, Arroyo de la Miel, Torrevigia, Torrequebrada, Las Yucas, Las Viborillas, Arroyo Hondo, Torremuelle, La Perla, La Morera, Tajo de la Soga and Carvajal. Do have a drink or a meal at one of the many Chiringuito’s, (beach bars). It’s an experience in itself to see how the Spanish spend their time whilst on holiday.
You may well have visited a Sealife Centre in Britain. This is a British company which has developed such sites all over the UK and Europe. The one in Benalmadena is situated right in the port area. Children love it. All Sea Life Centres are different and reflect the area in which they are situated. At this centre is an exhibit of sea life to be found in the Mediterranean. There is a walk-through Lost City of Atlantis where the sea and its creatures are all around, even above you. There are sharks, a tank of stingrays, pirahnas and a seahorse exhibit. Expect to spend quite a bit of time here. It is both entertaining and instructive, and opportunities to actually touch or feed some of the fish. Most of the centre is indoors so it is a suitable place to visit should the weather be bad, but there is also an outside area with a mini golf course and cafeteria. There are over 30 displays and what is claimed to be the largest collection of sharks in Europe.
Paloma Park is my favourite piece of Benalmadena and Arroyo de la Miel. With landscaped gardens, a large lake with gigantic water flume and wildlife including fowls, peacocks and friendly rabbits running freely, it’s like an oasis in the center of the busy resort. There are two small play parks for the children and three cafes where you can stop for a cool drink. There is also a cactus garden with many species from around the world. At the top of the park is the public library with more water features. At the top end of the park you will find the feria, (fair) ground, where a car boot sale is held on Wednesday mornings.
This compact amusement park is situated in Arroya de la Miel. During the winter, (November to March), it is open every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm until 10pm. It is open daily the rest of the year from 4pm until 1am, in June until 2am and in July & August until 3am. The main areas are Andalucia with live Spanish music and dance, Western Square with live country music and dance and Tivolilandia with children’s rides. The entrance fee includes all entertainment, but Tivolino, the parks own currency, has to be purchased to use the rides which are scattered throughout the park. There is also a 3500 seat theatre which features a variety of events throughout the year. There is a wide range of restaurants, cafes and bars. If you do not have your own transport there are regular bus services and it is not too far from the Arroya de la Miel train station. There are also taxis. The regular Friday market is held in the Tivoli car park roughly between 9am and 1pm.
The lower entrance to the Cable Car or Teleferico is opposite the entrance to Tivoli World. The eight minute journey affords fantastic views across Benalmadena and the coast. On a cloudless day you may even see the coast of North Africa. At the summit of the 800 meter high Monte Callamorro, birds of prey exhibitions are presented. Vultures, eagles, owls and falcons are to be seen. You must have your cable car ticket to attend these shows.
The tourist train is to add a new route to it`s existing Puerto Marina and Arroyo de la Miel routes. The new route will tour the Avda Las Palmeras, towards Benalmádena Pueblo, up to the Stupa, where a stop will be made 45 minutes, in which tourists can enjoy the Butterfly Park and the Stupa.
From here the train will head to Benalmadena Pueblo, where passengers will have free time and having several options to visit, such as the Columbian Museum, or Colomares Castle and the Pueblo itself. After this stop, which will run for 1.30 h, the train will return to the the hotel zone, bringing the tour to an end. The total journey time will be approximately 4 hours, beginning at 9.15 h to 13.30 h. This includes a guided tour, and will cost 11 €