As the bright Spanish sun sets at the end of the day, the waters light up in reflection of the orange rays reaching out over the horizon on your Benalmadena holidays, before giving way to the explosion of colour that emanates from the many nightclubs that line the shores, beckoning to the wannabe dancers and obscure shape throwers who venture out to enjoy the thriving nightlife of Spain – Benalmadena perfectly capture Spain’s energetic culture.
Benalmadena is perfectly situated along the southern coast of Costa del Sol to allow for winter sun as well as comfortable summer sunshine, although if you get a little home sick after trading in the winter cold for a slice of sunny Spain, you can always head to Boal’s Ice Bar during your holidays to Benalmadena and chill out, quite literally, in the country’s very first ice bar. As well as the ice bar you’ll have a variety of nightclubs from which to choose from, whether you want an authentic salsa experience in La Cubana or to bust a move on one of Kiu’s three dance floors, you’ll be sure to feel right at home in this party capital.
If you’d rather relax in the evenings with a quiet drink to wash down the tapas during your holidays in Benalmadena, then the plethora of Chiringuitos and cosy beach bars provide calm atmospheres in which to indulge, whereas Sunset Beach Club supplies live music on most evenings in case you just want to sit back and enjoy the show. If you’ve had a night of partying hard on the town, or if you just want to drain yourself of the tensions everyday life has created, morning yoga classes are a good way to unwind or fight off the hangover; getting in touch with your spiritual side being the best way to combat what ails you.
However, if you’ve embarked on your holidays to Benalmadena with the idea of having a splashing time, then Aqualand won’t disappoint. Costa del Sol’s biggest water park is worth sliding on down to and is something the whole family can enjoy, not just the kids. Another must-visit attraction will take you to Malaga; the winding castle walls of Gibralfaro climb a picturesque hill, providing princely views over the pleasant landscape.
The resort is home to one of the coast's best 9-hole par three courses, with a family-friendly atmosphere and an extensive range of lessons on offer. Open to all standards of golfers, the complex also houses a fine fusion-cooking restaurant, a bowls green, stunning views, and well-maintained surroundings.
With an extensive coastline and number of beaches, the area offers a string of water-sports activities for the active holidaymaker. Boats and jet skis can be hired out at Torre Bermeja beach, with windsurfing, swimming, fishing and sailing also available.
For thrill seekers, Benalmadena offers more white-knuckle activities such as downhill extreme bike-riding in Tarifa, paintballing in Fuengirola, the chance to roll down a 200-metre hill in a giant inflatable ball in Torremolinos, and quad bike and buggy safari adventures through the Marbella Mountains.
Other outdoor pursuits include a horse-riding trek through the local countryside with barbeques served throughout the summer months along the way, playing tennis in the ideal Spanish weather, clay-pigeon shooting at the Marbella Gun and Country Club and a dolphin safari over the area where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean.
The old village of Benalmadena Pueblo is home to a number of quaint and friendly, authentic tapas bars for a taste of real Spain, while the marina has a varied selection of delicious, freshly-caught fish and fish-food places.
The secluded beaches of Tajo de Soga and La Perla offer a tranquil atmosphere to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and sunbeds and loungers are available to rent all along the Benalmadena's eight kilometres of Blue Flag beaches, as well as rocky coves and inlets to explore.
Take a stroll along the promenade to enjoy breathtaking views over the Mediterranean and pass the Bil Bil Castle along the way, with local artists selling their work. Couples can also enjoy a cable-car ride with views over Gibraltar and Africa, with a donkey-ride tour available at the summit.
The Fair Ground at Paloma Park and Tivoli World theme park both host large flea markets each week, selling everything from fruit and veg, to vintage clothes and shoes, leather goods, toys, accessories, gifts, paintings and handmade jewellery.
Located a short walk from the seafront, Bonanza Square offers a variety of family-friendly eating places to cater for all taste buds. The Robin Hood serves food and drink all-day and late into the evening, and Bitto's Café is well known for its English breakfasts. If traditional Spanish tapas and a relaxing atmosphere is what you're looking for, The Lounge of Pinoccios on the coast of Benalmadena serves a variety of fresh produce, complete with stunning Mediterranean sea views.
There are a number of child-friendly beaches in Benalmadena with Carvajal Beach being a firm, family favourite. Jet skis and boats can be rented out at Torre Bermeja Beach for the more adventurous of families, with other amenities including car parking, public toilets, showers and a children's park. The more secluded Tajo de Soga Beach offers a tranquil and less busy atmosphere.
A trip to the Junco China pirate ship offers an hour's ride along the coastline of Torremolinos and the marina in Benalmadena, with the opportunity to spot dolphins along the way. Tourists can also take a cable car 750 metres above sea level where, on a clear day, views of the Atlas Mountains in North Africa can be seen.
Benalmadena is home to attractions such as the largest theme park on the Costa del Sol, Tivoli World Park in Arroyo de la Miel. The Sea Life Centre at the Benalmadena marina provides a fascinating and educational day out for all the family, and the Mississippi Willow, a restored paddle steamer, will provide kids with an enjoyable cruise around the bay.
As a cosmopolitan town, eating out in Benalmedena can range from traditional Spanish cuisine such as Paella Valenciana to fish and chips. Puerto Marina offers plenty of fresh fish, meats and traditional foods, as well as Mexican, Moroccan and French dishes. Go to Pachinos at the marina or Rose and Crown for English food and karaoke.
Head to La Morera Beach for a young crowd, many of which often camp out here, cooking their own food and making their own entertainment. For a more bar-friendly beach, the lively Torre Bermeja beach has a variety to choose from, with fun activities such as volleyball and windsurfing also available.
The Puerto Marina in Benalmadena is host to a variety of raucous clubs come nightfall and Discoteca Aqua is among the most popular spots. With a large, outdoor terrace and guest DJs to pull in the crowds, the club is particularly busy during the summer months. Several of the bars overlook the boats at the marina with dance floors and live music at weekends.
Benalmadena is a thriving resort full of nightclubs and late-night bars. 24-hour Square boasts one of the largest and most popular clubs, Kio, playing a mixture of Latino, dance and chart music into the early hours. Boats Ice Bar is completely made of ice, from the bar to the walls and even the glasses you drink from, while Banana Café offers an extensive cocktail list and a young crowd. A party boat is also available for groups up to 24.