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 :)
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.
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.
Castillo de Bil-Bil.
Castillo de Bil-Bil is located by the Paseo Maritimo in Benalmádena, right by Playa de Bil-Bil :) It has got distinct Arabic influences. It is a Cultural center (Centro Cultural) and hosts exhibitions from the town hall.
In the garden there is a statue of the famous botanist and pharmacist Ibn-al-Baytar who was born 1197 in Benalmádena and died 1248 in Damascus.
SEA-LIFE AQUARIUM BENALMADENA
A wonderful way for a family to spend the day is at SEA-LIFE AQUARIUM BENALMADENA.
New for 2008 is Medusas Jellyfish. With their primitive anatomy, there are few animals more intriguing than jellyfish. Did you know that jellyfish are more than 95% water and have no heart, no bones and no brain! Yet they are hauntingly beautiful.
One of the first things you come across is Rocky Depths (Fondos Rocosos), then it's the Ray Tank (Tanque de Rayes) - fascinating creatures aren't they!
Next was my favourite - the Nursery (Guarderia) - all the babies.
Then came the Interactive Zone, the Jellyfish and the Turtle Reef (Arrecife de Tortugas).
Amazonia, Tropical Lagoon (Laguna Tropical) Tropical Reef (Arrecife Tropical) and Discover Nemo.
Admission is 11 Euros. Brochures with discount coupons can be found in various shops,hotels and the tourist info center.
STROLL ALONG PASEO DE LAS ISLAS
On a lovely, sunny afternoon, there is nothing better to do in Benalmadena Costa, than to take a STROLL ALONG PASEO DE LAS ISLAS. You can have your pick of many ice-cream kiosks, many shops and boutiques, terraces galore. The idea is to see and be seen. You will see local families with their children dressed up so cute. Perhaps you would like to buy some "day old bread" and feed the fish in the waters of the Marina.
Hans and I picked a lovely day to visit Benalmadena and there were many out doing the same. I enjoyed snooping in many of the little shops and boutiques. Prices were a little steeper here than in Torremolinos, for the same things.
Feeding the fish at the marina.
There are many fun things to do at the marina in Benalmádena, one of them is feeding the fish in the harbour in Puerto Deportivo. While walking there you can spot a lot of big fish swimming there around the yachts. Try feeding them and if you thought you had seen many fish before, then you are in for a surprise. They will almost jump out of the water and fight for the bread.
There is one café/ice-shop which sells bread especially for the fish, Chiringuito la Torre, and one bag full of bread is 1 Euro.
The art-work in Paseo Maritimo in Benalmádena.
The Paseo Maritimo promenade is extraordinary. All along the promenade all the way down to Playa Santa Ana there is beautiful art-work in the pavement, you literally walk on it. I just wanted to add this tip here with the pictures of some of the art-work, as this is the most beautiful Paseo Maritimo I have ever been to and would not want to miss out walking there. Absolutely lovely :D
Paseo Maritimo and beaches in Benalmádena.
The Paseo Maritimo - the promenade in Benalmádena is just wonderful, with a lot of artwork along the way (see my next tip). There are shops and restaurants all along the promenade, it is quite a lovely walk and at night the night-life is very lifely, with artist and painters and lots of stall with things for sale.
The beaches at Benalmádena stretch all the way down to Fuengirola, I have only been down to the casino though, but the beaches I've been to are lovely. The beaches closest to the marina are called Playa de Arroyo de la Miel y Los Melilleros. Then there are Playa Santa Ana and Playa de Bil-Bil. A lot of shells on these beaches :D
There are some fabulous sea creatures, including several different species of seahorse, angel fish, lobster, cardinal fish, yellow-tailed sturgeon, scorpion fish, conger eels, jellyfish, sea slugs and crabs. The decorative tanks, several with shipwreck themes, have magnifying and minifying glass which work effectively to give a three-dimensional wide-ocean feel.
Visit Aquarium Sea-life by the marina.
I just loved my visit to Aquarium Sea-life by the marina! There are just so many fish to see, and I pay Sea-life a visit every time I visit Costa del Sol. My favourite is the glass tunnel you walk through with sharks and sea-turtles swimming over your head. And the sea-horses, they are very lovely. I am a bit of an animal-nut so I am very easily impressed by all the various kinds of fish on display. And it doesn't hurt that Sea-life is committed to marine conservation.
It is open all year round from 10 a.m. and there are many discount tickets you can get, f.ex. 2 for 1, 2 Euros off, 4 Euros and 5 Euros off, so before visiting and paying the entrance fee of ca 11 Euros, find these discount tickets at your hotel or the information centers. I found 4 Euros off at the hotel and the Bus-terminal, but on my way to Sea-life I came across a discount ticket for 5 Euros off at one shop in Torremolinos.
Visit the marina at Benalmadena.
The yacht-marina, Puerto Deportivo, at Benalmadena opened in 1982 and has on several occasions been awarded "The Best Marina in the World".
It is such a magical place and looks like a small Arabic town with its whitish yellow houses. It is buzzing with life and has got a great night-life, in one part there are lots of discos, bars and international and local restaurants. In another part there are shops, boutiques, cafés, the Aquarium Sea-life, street-vendors etc. There are a lot of activities for the kids there as well and a small train which takes you around the streets of the marina.
From the marina you can catch several boats, be it a ride on a pirate ship, a 2-hour-dolphin trip with Joven Maria II and parasending to name some.
I have added more pictures from the marina in a travelogue.
25 acres of fairground and gardens contain attractions for all the family. The entrance fee includes more tham 30 rides and thereare restaurants, bars and shops. live shows take place nightly, and frequently feature " big name " performers. Tourist office will have current details. Open daily May June and September 16.00 - 01.00hrs, July August 18.00 - 03.00hrs rest of year weekends and holidays 13.00 - 23.00 hrs
- Theme Park Trips
The Tivoli Amusement park is located in Arroyo de la Miel a complex within the Benalmadena town limits. Tivoli world has been the only amusement park of its kind on the costa del sol for more than 20 years now.
Tivoli has Flamenco dancing shows, Wild West shows, Live music, Restaurants and
- Theme Park Trips
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