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Is Benalmadena Worth Visiting? 10 Things to Do in Benalmadena, Spain

Located in Spain’s Costa del Sol region, there are many fun things to do in Benalmadena, an idyllic Mediterranean town. Where is Benalmadena, Spain? The city is south of Malaga, which is a large urban hub. While many visit Benalmadena on a day trip to Malaga, the charming town deserves more time.

Benalmadena offers a quiet getaway close to local attractions and Malaga’s best sights. If you’re wondering, “Is Benalmadena worth visiting?” I highly suggest visiting! Here are my recommendations for what to see in Benalmadena and can’t-miss Benalmadena things to do.

10 Reasons to Visit Benalmadena (Spain) in 2023

Where is Benalmadena?

Benalmadena is conveniently located on Costa del Sol, only 20 minutes from the international airport in Malaga. The city lies between the famous coastal resorts of Malaga and Marbella, which you can easily access via bus or train.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Benalmadena ToursClick here to check out the top Benalmadena tours
Best Benalmadena Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Benalmadena
Best Benalmadena Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Benalmadena

How to Get to Benalmadena

If you’re flying into Malaga, catch a train to Benalmadena at the airport. There are multiple daily trains to Benalmadena’s Arroyo de la Miel station, and they’re generally quick and reliable. After collecting your baggage, hop on the C1 train, which stops at the airport.

You can also catch a bus to Benalmadena from the airport after a short walk to the neighboring Villarosa bus stop. Take the M-110 bus to Benalmadena Costa. After a 40-minute ride, get off at the Puerto Marina station near the town center. Plan accordingly if you’re staying near Playa de la Carihuela or Torremolinos, as you might want to get off a few stops earlier.

If you take a taxi from the airport, expect a 20-25-minute ride. Renting a car is also a good idea, especially if you want the freedom to drive up and down the coast. Car rentals are available at the Malaga Airport, but check rates in advance—you may save money picking up a car in Benalmadena.

Benalmadena What to See: 10 Things to Do in Benalmadena

Once you arrive and settle in, it’s time to start planning what to see in Benalmadena. Top Benalmadena things to do include beaches, waterfront restaurants, and the Tivoli World Theme Park. Don’t miss attractions in the surrounding area, and I highly recommend a day trip to Malaga.

1. Tivoli World Theme Park

10 Reasons to Visit Benalmadena (Spain) in 2023

Established in the 1970s, Tivoli World Theme Park offers thrills for all ages, making it one of the best places to visit Benalmadena. The park has many rides, including multiple Ferris wheels, rollercoasters, and interactive experiences like the spooky Mansion of Terror.

Check Tivoli World’s schedule, as it often hosts live performances, events, and games. There are also restaurants and gift shops available inside the park. Depending on where you stay in Benalmadena, you can take a bus or walk to Tivoli Park.

2. Teleferico Benalmadena

10 Reasons to Visit Benalmadena (Spain) in 2023

Also known as the Teleferico, Benalmadena’s mountain cable car is just south of Tivoli World. The cable car ferries guests to Mount Calamorro’s peak— a short ride accompanied by an audio guide. As you travel, enjoy the expansive views of the city, the Mediterranean Sea, and surrounding mountains. 

Once you arrive at the peak, you can explore at your own pace. The Mount Calamorro summit has hiking and bicycle trails and ample bird-watching opportunities. The area is home to a bird-of-prey sanctuary that hosts falconry presentations when the cable car runs.

Several viewpoints around the peak are a quick hike from the cable car station. If the weather is clear, you may glimpse the African coast! The path to the Southern Lookout is an easy, family-friendly walk. Meanwhile, the hike to the Northern Lookout is more strenuous. The Central Lookout area is next to the cable car station and features the La Cima Restaurant. 

If you’re up for the challenge, opt for one of the mountain’s longer trails. Watch for mountain goats, native plants, and fascinating reptiles while you hike!

3. Arroyo de la Miel Beach

Playa Arroyo de la Miel is one of the most popular things to do in Benalmadena. Thanks to its central location, the beach is easily accessible. It offers beautiful views of the coastline and open sea, restrooms, and is located near many waterfront bars and restaurants. Walk up Las Palmeras Avenue for more drinking and dining options. 

4. Carihuela Beach

10 Reasons to Visit Benalmadena (Spain) in 2023

Located east of the town’s center, Carihuela Beach is one of the area’s most expansive beaches. Known for its soft dark sand and tranquil shoreline, this is an excellent alternative to busier local areas. Carihuela Beach is located in an upscale neighborhood with many bars, cafes, and restaurants. It is an easy 20-minute walk from the heart of Benalmadena, making it one of the best things to see in Benalmadena.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

5. Benalmadena Butterfly Park

Located outside town, the Benalmadena Butterfly Park is a fantastic day trip. It’s housed in a charming Thai temple and is 20 minutes from town. The serene setting is perfect for the park’s 1,500 tiny inhabitants. Butterflies from around the world give this tropical haven color and life—guests can learn about their incredible life cycles while strolling the gardens. Set aside at least two hours to tour this hidden gem.

6. Stupa of Enlightenment

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After exploring the Butterfly Park, wander over to the Stupa of Enlightenment. This bright white structure is a Buddhist temple open to the public. Inside the temple is a meditation area, a small reading section, and a gift shop selling traditional pottery. The temple is fascinating and unique, making it one of the top Benalmadena things to do.

7. Boat Tours

Consider booking a boat tour in Benalmadena with one of the many local companies for a new perspective. Options include catamarans, private tours with water activities, and dolphin-watching excursions.

Most boat tours depart from Benalmadena’s marina, and you can choose different tour lengths depending on your schedule. If you’re asking yourself, “Is Benalmadena worth visiting during the off-season?” I suggest booking a boat tour since the water will be too cold for swimming.

8. El Muro Gardens

Located a short drive or bus ride outside of town, Benalmadena’s Muro Gardens are some of the best places to visit Benalmadena nature. The gardens are a fantastic place to relax and enjoy lunch from a nearby restaurant. The Colomares Monument Ocean Viewpoint offers unparalleled vistas of the Mediterranean coastline. While there, take a short walk to Colomares Monument, a castle-inspired structure with impressive views. Visit at sunset to watch dusk settle over the region from this unique vantage point.  

9. Parque de la Paloma

10 Reasons to Visit Benalmadena (Spain) in 2023
cr: Sergio

Parque de la Paloma is a must if you’re wondering what to see in Benalmadena. This casual destination has a pond, leafy trees, and many picturesque spots to settle down with a good book. Enjoy the cactus and succulent garden in the northern park and visit the Buddha Temple on its southern edge. Visit early in the morning before the crowds begin arriving.

Quick Tip: View my full Europe packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Europe Essentials shopping list here.

10. Torremolinos

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Wrapping up this guide to the best things to do in Benalmadena is taking a short trip up the coast to Torremolinos. This coastal community has many idyllic beaches and noteworthy cultural sites. The town’s Pablo Picasso Cultural Center houses paintings and sculptures, and visitors can also admire artwork in the building’s gardens. Casa de los Navajas, a Moorish-inspired palace from 1925, should also be on your “Benalmadena what to see” list.

Where to Stay in Benalmadena

Quick Tip: Looking for somewhere to stay? I have just the best options for you!

Luxury Hotel
Sahara Sunset
Hotel Best Siroco
Hotel Benalma Costa del Sol

Mid Hotel
Ona Benalmar
Boutique Hotel Pueblo
First Flatotel International

Budget Hotel
Hostal Sol y Miel
BED & BREAKFAST Benalmádena
Arroyo de la Miel centro

Benalmadena Travel Guide Planning

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads, check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance. I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here.

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers cheap flights with cashback. Use code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise, Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight-searching platforms.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Israel?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options available!

🚗 Where can I book rental cars or private transportation?

I strongly recommend using RentalCars. They are available in over 60,000 locations and have customer service support in over 40 languages.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices, and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices, which you can read here. I use GlocalMe to use a physical SIM card or local carrier.

Regarding my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling. Rather than swapping out my regular SIM card, I can download the app and buy a virtual one. I recommend using either Airhub or Alosim. Both have excellent coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The best platforms that I use are,, and Expedia. They offer great deals and multiple options, so I check all three for the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products I recommend, which you can check out here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack.

Things to Do in Benalmadena: Final Thoughts

Is Benalmadena worth visiting? Definitely! I hope this list of 10 Benalmadena things to do inspires you to plan a trip. There are endless options for what to see in Benalmadena, making it ideal for Spanish tourists.

Author’s Bio

visit benalmadena,benalmadena spain,things to do in benalmadena

Lucia is a travel blogger living in Southern Spain. On her travel blog, Viva La Vita, she shares her discoveries of beautiful locations, hidden gems, and stunning historic sights.

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