A quick glance on the map around Malaga will leave you spoiled with choice for short weekend breaks or even one day trips.
The luxury of a short train drive gives me plenty of options to explore the coastline and villages nesting on top of hills.
I was surprised how much Benalmadena had to offer.
Beautiful beaches stretching for miles, pretty harbor, gorgeous large park with some of the biggest cactus species I’ve seen in my life, and lastly a charming old town with Castillo Colomares stretching right next to it.
With a few interest points saved on the map, I ventured there on one weekend to celebrate the newly found freedom post lockdown and explore my new neighbourhood.
From the train station, we headed straight to Paloma Park which is close to the coastal area. Thank God the walk was downhill the whole time as it took a while to get there on foot, only to find out that we have arrived at the wrong side of the park with the gates firmly closed.
After a wander around we found ourselves inside the glorious park, with different sections dedicated to specific plants and trees, the cactus being the absolute highlight for me. I will follow this up with a separate blog post with more details from the park as it was glorious!
We spent over an hour walking around the park and enjoyed ice cream in the small cafe that’s next to the cactus garden. They had waffles with nutella which was just the right thing you need before you head further for search of lunch.
After a stroll along the coastline, you arrive in the marina. It’s not quite Puerto Banus, but very charming with restaurants lining the edges and a small shopping mall.
There is also a seaworld for kids of all ages, which was closed when we were visiting.
There were barely any people around there, a very visual reminder that we’ve just came out of a strict lockdown that lasted two months.
Everything was just slowly opening up and there were plenty of options to take boat trips from the harbor, which went really high on my next trip wish-list.
We decided to head up to the hills to see the old town. I’ve heard it’s very pretty and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
We walked all the way to the edge of the village to Jardines de Muro, with this gorgeous church and spectacular views.
The place below is called La Cupula Lounge and we ended up having a dinner there, after our visit to Castillo Colomares. They have amazing views and really cool setting, even live music at weekend.
Heading back to the old town, we settled down for dinner at Restaurant La Fuente, right in the middle of small square with a fountain.
There was barely anyone around, so its the perfect spot to watch life pass by while enjoying a lovely dinner.
If you’ve got more time to spare, apart from visiting the Castillo Colomares, there is also a Butterfly Park just outside the village, right next to Stupa Budista (Budhist temple) that can be seen from as far as Fuengirola.
I am already planning my next visit to the town and I can’t wait what more is there to explore.
Until then, have a wonderful weekend wherever you are!
Most Popular Activities & Day Trips in Benalmadena
Here is a selection of some fun activities and day trips from Benalmadena – these are independently organized tours with pick-up from the town. To see available dates and check the prices please click on the link for each activity.
- Caminito Del Rey Guided Tour – with pick up from Benalmadena, a guided tour of the famous walkway along the El Chorro Gorge, with transportation, entrance fees and tour guide included.
- Dolphin Watching Boat Trip in Benalmadena – explore the coast of Benalmadena from a boat, enjoy a trip that includes spotting dolphins in their natural habitat, swimming and sunbathing on the boat.
- Day Trip to Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas – see one of the wonders of Andalusia, the Puente Nuevo in Ronda with one of the oldest bullrings in Spain, and admire the houses built into massive rock formations in Setenil. Includes pick up from Benalmadena, a tour guide, a glass of Ronda wine, and entry to Palacio Mondragon.
- Day Trip to Granada with Tour of Alhambra – see one of the most famous monuments in Andalusia, the palace complex of Alhambra with a tour guide with a pick up from Benalmadena.
- Day Trip to Gibraltar – enjoy a trip to the UK territory with free time for shopping and an optional visit to the Nature Reserve with a guide.
PIN for Later
Southern Spain Travel Tips
BEST CAR RENTAL
To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, an award winning price comparison site for car rentals.
BUS & TRAIN TICKETS
To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.
Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.
I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.
If you would like to leave your luggage behind to explore the city on your last day, you can use Radical Storage service, which lets you book luggage storage in all the destinations in Spain.
LOCAL SIM CARD
If you want to avoid surprising extra charges from your operator, you can use a service like Airalo, where you can buy digital packs for e-sim cards.
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