The present name of Benalmádena comes from the Arabic sound Ibn al-Madin, which means "sons of the mines"
in reference to the iron deposits located in the area. The Muslims inhabited these lands until the Castilian troops arrived.
In 1784 the Genoese Félix Solecio bought the Arroyo de la Miel farmhouse as he needed to build six paper mills which were necessary to supply the Royal Playing Card Factory in Macharaviaya.
In the second half of the 20th century, Benalmádena’s tourist potential began to be appreciated. Investors began to acquire land next to the sea to build the first hotels. The hotels Siroco, La Roca, Tritón, Riviera and Alay, among many others, were built.
In the early 70’s Benalmádena received the title of Villa de Interés Turístico and various awards for the beautification of the town.
At the same time, the leisure offer was extended, and the Tivoli amusement and show park was inaugurated.
With the inauguration of the Benalmádena Marina in 1982, which was twice awarded the title of the Best Marina in the World, Benalmádena became a tourist destination for sea lovers.
Benalmadena offers a wide range of tourist attractions, spread over its three well-defined urban centres, providing all the necessary services for your family:
– Benalmádena Pueblo with a very picturesque urban landscape with star streets, with its decoration of flower pots, and village houses. In its streets you can breathe tranquillity.
– Arroyo de la Miel, an intermediate area between the coast and the village, with a strong growth in recent years, where the less seasonal population is concentrated, with a greater concentration of shopping, leisure and the train station, which communicates directly with the airport and Malaga.
– Benalmádena Costa has a considerable part of the holiday offer, it has a wide coastline where you can enjoy numerous beaches, a marina and a golf course.
Benalmádena has some magnificent beaches, among which are the Fuente de la Salud (next to the port), Santa Ana, Arroyo de la Miel and Bil Bil. It also has one of the few nudist beaches on the coast of Malaga, Benalnatura.
PLACES WE RECOMMEND VISITING:
In Benalmádena town:
You can visit its historic centre, visiting the sculpture of La Niña, on the way to the Santo Domingo church, next to it we have a viewpoint with a wonderful panoramic view of the coast. Next to it we have the Jardines del Muro, designed by César Manrique.
The Felipe Orlando Museum of Pre-Columbian Art houses one of the best collections in Spain.
The Buddhist Stupa of Enlightenment is the largest Buddhist temple in Europe. This shining golden beacon was inaugurated in October 2003.
Next to the Buddhist Stupa is the Benalmádena Butterfly Farm, a grandiose Thai temple where you can stroll and contemplate more than 1,500 exotic butterflies from all over the world flying free in a tropical paradise amidst waterfalls and flowers.
The Colomares Castle was built by Dr. Esteban Martín y Martín as a tribute to the Discovery of America and of course to Christopher Columbus, you can’t pass through Benalmádena without visiting it.
Casablanca Rustic Park. More than 125.000 square metres equipped with barbecue areas, camping tables and with paths enabled to spend a great day in the middle of nature.
In Arroyo de la Miel:
Right in the centre we have the Edificio La Tribuna located in the Plaza de España, it is the oldest building in the town and which functioned as part of the paper factory in the 18th century, paper which was used to make playing cards.
Monte Calamorro is a favourite spot for nature lovers. The more intrepid ones will reach its two peaks, separated by the Puerto Viejo, on foot, while the rest can reach the same point by cable car. The views from the highest part of the mountain are impressive and the native flora along the way is very rich.
For hiking enthusiasts, from Benalmádena you can also access some of the paths of the Gran Senda de Málaga thanks to two stages (Mijas – Benalmádena and Benalmádena – Alhaurín de la Torre).
Tivoli World, the attractive amusement park for the little ones, and the Ice Club, with skating rinks that can be enjoyed all year round.
Next to the amusement park is the exit of the cable car up Mount Calamorro for breathtaking views of Benalmádena. An experience not to be missed.
In Benalmádena Costa:
When we see a Moorish style building, which stands out in the landscape thanks to its red colour, and its decoration with tiles, we are in front of the Bilbil Castle, which is located on the first line of the coast.
On the coast you can also visit the three watchtowers that are preserved in the municipality: Torrebermeja, Torremuelle and Torrequebrada.
The Parque de la Paloma is one of the most emblematic parks of the Costa del Sol thanks to its 200.000 square metres of gardens, a large artificial lake with its ducks and swans, two playgrounds, a wonderful cactus garden, one of the best collections in Europe of Cactaceae and other succulent plants. It has a walking area from where you can watch the life of animals in the wild. The wide range of restaurants and the spacious gardens make the Parque de la Paloma one of the most visited places by tourists and residents of the municipality. In the Parque de la Paloma we can find the Municipal Auditorium, an enclosure adapted to host the celebration of different outdoor events.
Next to the Parque de la Paloma, we find Selwo Marina, whose visitors can share experiences with dolphins, penguins and sea lions from various corners of the world. Exotic birds, dwarf crocodiles and snakes are on display. You will find a wide representation of flora and fauna species from the Amazon area.
The Benalmádena Marina, with a large residential offer, has been the favourite place for lovers of the nautical world, who have settled on the Costa del Sol, with an attractive and very comfortable port facility for the users of its moorings very close to their homes. The leisure offer around this complex, twice awarded the Prize for the Best Marina in the World, allows it to maintain a high level of tourist activity throughout the year.
In the Port itself we have Sea Life, an aquarium with 2,000 underwater creatures and where you can see legendary sharks, Japanese Giant Crabs or the Green Turtle, as well as feed the rays, it will be an unforgettable visit.
After visiting Benalmádena, you will fall in love with this town and its wide gastronomy for all tastes. We have residents from all over the world, it is a city that welcomes all cultures.
It has a wide variety of English public schools, and has a Danish school, which means that many foreigners have taken up residence with their families in the town.