Inspired by the book “Where To Go When” by Lonely Planet, I decided to do a monthly feature on where to travel when. Each month I will highlight a specific destination that would be perfect for the next month, so you will still have time to plan that perfect trip! October is almost coming up and that means it’s the perfect time to visit: Benalmádena, Spain!
Benalmádena is a fishing town in southern Spain, between Torremolinos and Fuengirola, at the Costa del Sol. The nearest international airport of Málaga is only 12 km away.
With a a population of 67.245 people and a surface of 27,2 km it’s considered pretty small. The three main urban areas are Benalmádena Pueblo (the original village), Benalmádena Costa (an agglomeration on the coast) and Arroyo de la Miel (originally a separate village that has become the main residential area). There is a big difference between Benalmádena Costa and Benalmádena Pueblo; Costa is brisk and vibrant with a lot of high-rising buildings and mass tourism. Pueblo on the other hand, is small, scenic and almost perfectly restored. Especially outside of the high season it’s an oasis of peace and quiet. Beautifully shaped white houses, stunning fountains, paved winding roads, a lot of orange trees and adorable churches really make this an ideal place. You would almost forget that you’re on the western Costa del Sol!
Around this time a year Benalmádena offers the best of both seasons, both the high and the low, with temperatures between 17-24 °C. There are no longer massive crowds of tourists, the temperatures are milder and pleasant compared to June. The water will really cool you off since the ocean reaches lower water temperatures. But it looks like those temperatures are slightly changing, because the seasons are being pushed forward. (Sure Mr. Trump, there is no such thing as global warming…) This means that the ocean temperatures are higher too and it’s likely you will be able to swim, so that’s not really a bad thing right?!
Other months to visit benalmadena
Not able to make it next month? No problem, you can always go for next year! Can’t wait till October? In June, July and August it is high season and it becomes a popular destination for those who love a nice beach days, hot summer nights and the vibrant nightlife scene. May and September are also great to visit and good months to beat the crowds.
things to do in and around benalmádena
Benalmádena itself has a lot of great things to offer, with cities like Málaga only a few kilometers away there are numerous of things to do when you visit this great town.
One of the things that’s an absolute must is visiting the Benalmádena Marina. Next to the piers you will find a lot of hotels, apartments, great pubs, ice salons and restaurants. The setting is just really authentic, cozy and romantic. Especially by night time!
Since Benalmádena has a great harbor, there’s also a great offer in boat rentals and boat trips, like a day trip to Gibraltar with dolphin spotting or a 4-day trip to Morocco!
Where there is water, there are likely to be water sports! Take a ride on the banana boat, go jet skiing, paddle boarding or parasailing for example!
Explore the traditional Spanish cuisine with dishes like tapas and paella with a nice sangria on the side!
This 15 minute during cable ride will take you to the summit of the Calamorro Mountain from the Benalmádena Costa. While traveling in the aerial cable car in an altitude of 800 meters, also known as “telecabina”, you will have spectacular views of the coast. At the summit of the Calamorro Mountain you can have a drink at the cafe/restaurant, enjoy a bird prey exhibitions with birds like falcons and eagles, and as you walk down you will have a spectacular view over Torremolinos, Málaga and Fuengirola!
Prison Island is activity that’s suitable for all ages and consists on a Prison with 21 cells; each cell with a different challenge to achieve, inspired by famous TV shows like “The Crystal Maze” or “Fort Boyard”. The challenges are a mix of physical, technical, tactical and logic and all require a good team work capacity to be achieved. All the cells air conditioned and indoor, so it’s also a perfect solution for a rainy (but in October you probably won’t have a lot of rain)!
Buddhist temple stupa
Bring a visit to the impressive white Buddhis temple in Benalmádena and enjoy an amazing view over the beaches and coastline.
Fuengirola is known for its white beaches, hotels with a incredible view over the Mediterranean Sea and beautiful flora. For some culture you can visit the Castilo de Sohail, a derelict castle, or just enjoy the Spanish cuisine in one of the may restaurants at the “Paseo Maritimo”.
This popular bathing area is mostly know for its vibrant boulevard with a great beach, restaurants and cafes, and only a walk down the boulevard from Benalmádena!
If you keel walking the boulevard from Carihuela you will get to the next nearby town Torremolinos. Torremolinos used to be a small fishing town, but since the 80’s it became a popular holiday destination. With the old town, a lot of tourist shops, restaurants and a beautiful beach this town has a certain charm.
And besides that, September and October are festive months at the Costa del Sol when a lot happens at Torremolinos! There are some traditional ferias in the last weeks of September, like Romeria (pilgrimage parade) and San Miguel, where the locals thank patrons and the tourist for their loyal visit.
Take a donkey ride or horse carriage through one of the cutest towns on top of a hill 400 meters above sea level! Besides spectacular views you will also find great architecture, the bull museum, churches and some cute shops and restaurants. This is actually one of my favorite towns!
Málaga kind of deserves it’s own blog for many reasons (and you will probably see one in the future), but I’ll keep it brief for now. This city offers a lot of history with its distinguishing architecture, like the Cathedral. With big shopping malls like El Corte Inglés and a lot of big brands having a store in Málaga it’s also a great place to do some shopping!
Public transportation is well organized in and around Benalmádena, so with a bus it’s really easy to get to the nearby towns. You can buy a travel card that allows you to travel around the area for preferential rates. You can read more about this card here.
Another great way to explore the area is by renting a car. This way you get to see a lot of Spain’s beautiful nature and you can even drive to Marbella in 45 minutes!
so, why benalmádena
Personally, this is one of my favorite places at the Spanish Costa! In October you can escape the mass-tourism and there are a lot of great towns nearby. The characteristic marina with a lot of great restaurants and bars create the perfect scenery for a romantic getaway or a laid back vacation.
What are your thoughts on this adorable Spanish town and would you be up for a visit? What is your favorite place in Spain? Let me know in the comments!