The long beach west of the marina changes the name several times according to the access used to reach. The first one, located by the torre Bermeja, gets its name, and it is slightly different from the other - the sand stripe is much larger, so large that is is dayly used to play several football games at the same time.
The sand is dusty, and that means a dominant dusty air in the eastern top of the beach. Nothing serious, but, with children ( as we were) crossing to the seaside needs additional precaution (even the balls) reach frequently the wooden walkways.
Once getting to the sea front, the beach is good, with thin sand and calm waters.
- Family Travel
Built in the XV century during muslim occupation, this was one of the three towers in the area, used to watch the coast and provide smoke communications.
The construction of the marina implied its remotion more inland, to the actual place, a square near the aquarium, where the reddish modern construction around it forces us to ask "why the name red"?
- Historical Travel
Several times awarded as "The best marina in the world", this is, for sure, the best attraction in the artificial Benalmadena. Everything lives to tourism and from tourism, and this complex, not only gathers hundreds of boats, but it also acts as the meeting point for all the thousands of people living a few kilometers around. Restaurants, bars and shops, make this a lively spot during all day and night.
- Sailing and Boating
Cablecar to Calamorro hill
We had rented an apartment for a week in Benalmádena. From our balcony we could see the cablecar to Calamorro hill starting operation daily at 11 am. So we decided to make the trip, and it was the highlight of our stay.
We bought a ticket one way only, because we intended to hike our way down. At the ticket booth we received a map with several hiking trails. Off-season we did not have long ot wait in line, but during peak season yo may want to make a reservation or buy your ticket online. See the phone numbers and the website.
After the 12 minutes ride on the cablecar one has the choice of two viewpoints, upper and lower. Of course we chose the upper one first, which requires climbing the bare summit by some irregular stairs - fortunately with iron railing - to 800 m above sea level. The view was spectacular to all directions. At the lower viewpoint the view is good too, but only along the Málaga coastline, not inland.
From the higher viewpoint we descended to the falconry display, see separate tip.
Our hike down, along some variant of the R-1 trail took us about two hours, all the way back to town and the lower cablecar station.
Price: One way EUR 7:40, return EUR 13,25. Children and seniors pay less.
Schedule: The schedule varies according to the season, consult the website. In winter, January through March, the cablecar is closed for several weeks.
- Hiking and Walking
Valley of the Eagles falconry display
We did not know it, but once on the Calamorro hill we saw that there is a falconry display near the cablecar station twice daily. As we had come early in the day, we had to wait just half an hour for the 1 pm display after coming down from the upper viewpoint.
The show started with vultures. They were enticed by way of feeding them bits of meat to land on the arms of spectators. Then a falconer hid a piece of meat in a hole in the ground where a vulture knew to find it. An eagle too landed on branches held up by a spectators.
Two eagles were released, soaring high into the sky, and were called to land back on the hand of a falconer. When a falconer pulled a mock hare on rope, so that it seemed to run on the ground, we saw how a falcon dropped out of the sky to catch it.
Also an owl was shown to know the falconers in daylight, and fly to them when called.
After the show spectators could pose for a photo with some of the birds.
The display started only after some guests with dogs had been ordered to lead them away. The birds in the air may be reluctant to return to the falconers when they see dogs on the ground.
Schedule: When we visited in October: twice daily, at 1 pm and 4:30 pm, the show lasts about an hour. The schedule probably varies with the cablecar schedule.
Admission: Free, but one has to show one's cablecar ticket in order to be admitted. After the show donations are solicited; you may decide to buy some souvenir for the money instead.
Where to spend the day?
Yes, there are several places where you can go. Selwo Marina park where you can spend without problem half day walking and checking out dolphins, the various small animals, the birds show with cacatuas, the sea lion show and the pinguin aquarium too with various species. There is also the Tivoli world, a big park with lot of attractions and a cable car that can get you to the top of the nearby mountain to enjoy astonishing views of the surroundings, on clear days you can see Africa.
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
The biggest butterfly park in Europe.
Now this is an awesome park (inside park), The Benalmádena Butterfly Park or Mariposario de Benalmádena. It was absolutely breathtaking, butterflies flying all over, sitting on beautiful flowers of all colours. I wished VT allowed for more than 5 photos as I have such beautiful photos from my visit there. Stepping into the park is like stepping into a jungle and it is so humid there, so one cannot stay there for long, but wow, what a visit. I went there with a really macho man, hehe, and he loved it as well, so I guess butterflies are for everybody.
I passed some really big butterflies, which I thought were fake, just there for decoration, only to find out that these were the largest moths in the world, sleeping. I took a photo of them and was almost scared of them, they had hairy spider legs. I was glad that they only come out at night, but they must be a breathtaking sight, these huge multicoloured moths flying around.
On their website they say that there are 1.500 butterflies in the park, wow, one of them even flew into my forehead. Just mesmerizing and a great experience. The park is in Thai style and the building housing it is so beautiful (see my last photo) Thai building. And it is 2.000 m2 large, making it the largest one in Europe.
Admission fee: 8,50 euros for adults.
Highly recommended :)
Tivoli World - Benalmadena
One of the main reasons we stopped off at Benalmadena was to visit Tivoli world park and keep the Small Person amused. I also had fond memories of the park as a child and looked forward to the visit. The park was a short drive from Hotel La Fonda and had lots of easy parking.
There is a very reasonable entrance fee which covers 80% of the rides and activities (a couple of the special rides you have to pay for like The Bungee Rocket, which is one of the park's more unique features and catapults participants 120 metres into the air in under two seconds. It's great fun, if a little bit pricey). A 'Supertivolino' buys you a ticket for 30 of the other rides.
The great thing about this park, is you can go late at night and it is warm! Tivoli World won't appeal to adrenalin junkies, but there are enough rides to keep kids from 2 -12 years old amused ('tiny tots' have a rides section all to themselves) and there are shows, gardens and restaurants within the park for the adults. Spend an evening there strolling around. It's all at a very relaxed pace and we had a very enjoyable evening without the usual hassles of an amusement park.
The park offered a 'flamenco' show - The dancers were of a very high standard, but I should point out if you are a flamenco fan, this is not authentic, more classical Spanish dance. You can eat at an outdoor cafe while watching a show in the central square, sourrounded by cheeky peacocks strolling around the tables - (nice for small people). There are also exhibitions, theatre etc to keep you culturally amused.
Addtionally, you can get the cable car to Mount Carramolo from the entrance of the park, we didn't have time, but it looked like a cool thing to do for some great views, and apparently there are donkey rides for the kids at the top.
Returned Aug 06, par open until 2 am, weather was lovely and warm, enjoyed by all.
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
Train from Airport to Benalmadena
Don't waste money on an extortionate taxi ride from the airport into town. Get the train, it's so simple! Come out of arrivals, cross the road and walk through the car park to the other side. You can then see the 'station' ahead of you. For less than 5 euro's you can get the train into Benal', it takes about 30 mins and will cost about a 5th of what a taxi ride will cost you.
Hiking on the Calamarro mountain - the lower route
Coming down from hiking on the upper route of the mountain we decided on taking the south panoramic hiking route as well. This turned out to be a much easier route with a great view of Costa del Sol. At the end of the route there is a big covered view platform where you can sit and enoy the views.
I recommend going there more than taking the upper route - at least on a very hot day.
Hiking on the Calamorro mountain - the upper route
Up on the Calamorro mountain there are several hiking routes, one of which leads you to the top of the mountain. We decided on taking that route. It was ever so hot this day and the stone-trail was so slippery and the railing was so hot! I was amazed at how dangerous this route was and would never take this route again - at least not on a very hot day. We were holding on to the hot railing for our lives while slipping again and again and there was an abyss down below.
But the view was amazing at the top so it was worth it, but this is not for people with vertigo! There were 2 view-platforms at the top and telescopes.
People were hiking with their kids and wearing sandals and having difficulties sliding on the hot stone-trail. Hiking shoes are recommended here.
Take the tourist train in Benalmádena.
There is a tourist-train which takes you around Benalmádena. The train runs from Puerto marina to Tivoli and back. We bought the tickets at the ticket-office at Puerto marina in Benalmádena. We were going to The Teleférico cable-cars opposite Tivoli (see my tip) and wanted to make a day of it and thus decided on riding on this small train. What a ride it was, it lasts for 45 minutes and it was ever so bumpy and slow and I would not decide on taking it again. We bought a return ticket but decided on walking back.
The train-stops are at Puerto Marina, Parque Selwo Marina and Parque de la Paloma, Teleférico cable car and Tivoli and back.
A round-trip costs 4 euros.
Teleférico - a cable-car trip 800 m up a mountain.
Taking a trip on the Teleférico cablecar was something I had wanted to do for the longest time, but my fear of heights had stopped me from going. The trip was awesome. It takes you from Benalmádena Costa up to the Calamorro mountain, which is at an altitude of 800 meters.
The cable-cars are so small and we were a bit anxious, but it turned out to be so worth it! And at the top (or almost the top) of Calamorro mountain you have the most breathtaking views of Costa del Sol.
At the top there is a restaurant, a bar, shows of birds of prey (check out at what time, as we came to late for that) and hiking routes up to the top of the mountain (see my tip on two of the routes).
A return trip on the cable-car costs 13 euros but with a discount we paid 11 euros. You can get the discount leaflet all over.
Take a ride on a pirate ship at the marina.
There is a pirate ship which departs from the marina in Benalmádena, It is called "Junco Chino (Chinese Junk)" and takes you for an hour´s + ride around the marina in Benalmádena and the coast-line of Torremolinos. From there you have a lovely view of the beaches of Torremolinos and view of Malaga. You can also see dolphins on the way and other sea-animals.
The ship is originally from Hong Kong and was made in 1972.
It sails all day long every couple of hours from 10:00 until 20:00 at night and at nights it is all lit up. A very popular ride.
The price of one ride is 15 euros for adults and 10 euros for kids and includes one drink.
Parque de la Paloma.
Parque de la Paloma is my favourite park in Costa del Sol. It is vast with a lovely lake with fish and turles, ducks and swans. You can also find roosters and hens with their chick running around the whole park and their crows fill the garden. There are also a lot of rabbits in the park running around free and they are very popular amongst the children. There are also Barbary sheep and emus fenched in, but what I like the most are the peacoks which run free in the garden and I have gotten plenty of private shows of their splendour. I caught on camera a fantastic mating ritual by the peacocks while visiting the garden once, I will add that here later on. You can feed bread to all the animals apart from the sheep and emus.
The park is 200.000 sq.m. and one of the main green areas in the municipality.
There is also a big cactus-garden and a library, 3 cafés, streams and a fountain, bicycles for rent and family-bicycles. There are 2 play-grounds for children and every time I have been there there have been groups of school-children visiting the park. It is so lovely and so much fun being there, I recommend it to anybody visiting this area. I could sit there for days reading a book or just admiring the lake and animals. The lake is man-made and the park is on a hill so the view is fantastic there.
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
- Save Up To 50% On Hotels
- Orbitz.com Find great deals on Orbitz & pay no hotel change or cancel fees