Is Benalmadena Worth Visiting? 10 Reasons To Visit Benalmadena

Have you asked yourself the question: “Is Benalmadena worth visiting?” Then you’re in the right place. I’ve been to Benalmadena more times than I can count and we recently spent over 3 months housesitting there.

I love the town and if you ask me, it’s one of the best towns in Costa del Sol! But there are pros and cons of visiting Benalmadena that I’ll cover in this post so that you can decide if it’s the ideal holiday destination for you or not.

There are plenty of great attractions like the Colomares Castle and the old hillside village, besides, the beaches are spectacular! Benalmadena has a bit of everything which is just one of the reasons I love it so much.

But there are definitely some backsides too and I’ll go through it all so you can decide if you want to set your vacation in Benalmadena or not!

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A beautiful beachside promenade - Is Benalmadena worth visiting.

Is Benalmadena worth visiting?

Pros of visiting Benalmadena

  • Plenty of attractions
  • Great beaches
  • Restaurants and bars open all year round
  • Vibrant marina
  • Charming old town with views
  • Good hiking opportunities nearby
  • Easy to reach from Malaga Airport

Cons of visiting Benalmadena

  • Things are far apart

Reasons to visit Benalmadena

Beautiful beaches

The beaches in Benalmadena are all urban with all the amenities you’ll need. In the summer, there are lifeguards, toilets, sunbeds and parasols for rent, showers, and beach bars where you can get food and drinks.

But even if you visit Costa del Sol in winter, the beaches are great. Fewer people means you get them nearly for yourself and even I have gone for a dip in December on a hot day, though I see people swimming all year round.

Is Benalmadena Spain worth visiting - beautiful beach with a white and blue wooden boat in the foreground.

Charming old town

Benalmadena Pueblo sits on the hillside overlooking the glittering coastline and is one of the most charming white villages near Malaga.

Cobbled streets weave their way through whitewashed houses, cute shops selling handicrafts, and colorful pot plants.

On the main square, you find a central fountain and restaurants and bars where you can grab lunch. On the tip of the village, you find a magnificent viewpoint and the main church.

Benalmadena Pueblo

Colomares Castle

Visiting Colomares Castle is one of the best things to do in Benalmadena. The fairytale castle sits right below Benalmadena Pueblo and boasts sweeping coastal views.

It was built as a monument commemorating Christopher Columbus and the Age of Discovery. I love that you can walk up some of the towers and get a different view of the castle.

Though it wasn’t used as a castle like most other castles in Malaga, it’s up there with the most beautiful castles in Andalucia!

The fairytale Colomares Castle with spires and towers overlooking the Mediterranean is one of the top reasons to visit Benalmadena.

Great park life

Who doesn’t love a town with great park life? Benalmadena is definitely great for that with the grand Paloma Park.

I love this park, it’s basically got it all. A duck pond (and a second smaller pond,) benches, free good quality exercise machines, a cactus garden, several cafés, great playgrounds for the kids, and goats.

Cactus and flowers on a sunny day in Paloma Park is why visit Benalmadena.

Fantastic hiking opportunities

If you’re like me, you’ll pick a place with hiking opportunities nearby. And Benalmadena has plenty!

Whether you want to hike to the best views at the Calamorro Mountian or venture into the deep caves at Minas de la Trinidad, Benalmadena’s hiking trails are epic.

I’ve hiked there for years and the views are among the best in Costa del Sol.

Vibrant Marina

Benalmadena Marina is a vibrant, energetic, and embracing marina with plenty of activities. You can catch any boat tours in Benalmadena from there whether you want to enjoy the sunset or search for dolphins.

There is great shopping but also a lot of restaurants and bars to have lunch or even a drink in the sun.

You also find Prison Island at the marina where you can challenge yourself in one of the escape rooms. There’s also a Ferris wheel at the marina where you can enjoy the views from above.

Benalmadena Marina.

Water activities

If you’d like to enjoy the water either by paddleboard, jet skis, or go snorkeling, you’ll find it in Benalmadena.

Rentals of paddleboards, kayaks, pedaling boats, and jet skis are accessible on the beaches. For snorkeling trips, head to the marina where you can either rent a boat or join a boat trip that includes snorkeling and swimming.

Home to the tallest stupa in Europe

Atop an outcrop in the hillside overlooking Benalmadena Costa, you find the tallest stupa in Europe. The Buddhist temple is stunning and well worth a visit.

It’s actually the first time I’ve seen a noteworthy stupa in Europe at all. While the views are nothing short of spectacular, the interior is also incredibly beautiful.

It’s a nice balance between minimalist and colorful wall paintings. At the altarpiece, you will see plenty of fruit offerings to Buddha and there’s a sweet scent of incense giving it a peaceful atmosphere.

Benalmadena stupa with a backdrop of mountains.

Great base for day trips

There are also plenty of day trips from Benalmadena that you can take easily. Whether you want to explore nearby towns and cities on Costa del Sol, you can take the train or a bus.

But you can also take an easy Benalmadena to Gibraltar day trip to see the tiny British territory at the bottom of Andalucia.

A day trip to Ronda from Benalmadena is also popular and you might want to explore Caminito del Rey, which was once the most dangerous hike in Spain.

Of course, you can visit Malaga easily too with the train ride only being half an hour.

Gibraltar monkey

Easy to reach from Malaga Airport

When choosing your vacation destination, you should also consider how easy it is to reach from the nearest airport.

Malaga Airport has a direct train to Benalmadena (line to Fuengirola) which only takes 20 minutes and costs just a couple of Euros one way. Even if you prefer taking a private transfer, it’s really affordable as it’s so close.

The verdict: Is Benalmadena Spain worth visiting?

So, is Benalmadena Spain worth visiting? If you enjoy a destination where there are plenty of things to do, Benalmadena is a great destination with a vibrant marina, energetic beach culture, and a charming old town.

There isn’t much not to like about Benalmadena as long as you don’t mind walking long distances or taking public transport or an Uber occasionally.

However, if you want everything within a short walking distance, there are other beach towns near Malaga that might be a better fit for you, like Fuengirola or Nerja.