Eco-friendly travel guide to Benalmádena advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Benalmádena, Spain.
- Air quality: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 4.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$55 - $95
- Budget per day: US$104 - $200
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Benalmádena is a beautiful coastal town located in Costa del Sol, a southern region in Spain. It is a municipality of the Málaga province. The city homes about 67 thousands of Spanish people, and spreads over an area of 27.2 square kilometres. Benalmádena is quite a popular holiday destination amongst tourists that are travelling with their family or with their partners. It is home to many stunning white sand beaches, some of which are nudist and private ones. If you want to travel in an eco-friendly manner and responsibly, then you need to be conscious of your actions.
- While visiting such a vacation place, you ought to respect the local Spanish communities and the environment. You can do this by opting for local businesses instead of international retail stores. By doing so, you will be able to learn a lot about the local culture and discover some fantastic craft items as well.
- The local communities and government have maintained the pollution levels to low rates; therefore, you need to avoid the use of any products or service that may cause harm to the local environment.
- Also, you should prefer using public transports instead of private taxis, boats, and motorbikes. It is because; public transportations are better options as they cause relatively less harm to the local environment.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Benalmádena is void of any pollution or harmful gases as the city is more of a vacation spot, and not many industries, manufacturing units, or plants are present. The local communities are very conscious of their environment and try to keep it clean.
- PM2.5 – 23
- O3 – 32
- Pollution Level – Low
Respect the Culture
Before you visit Benalmádena, try to research about the various laws. It will help you in avoiding unfortunate incidents. While visiting and exploring the city, you need to show the utmost respect to the local communities and the environment, or you will be seen as an irresponsible tourist.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Puerto Marina Benalmádena: It is located in Costa del Sol and is one of the top marinas in the world. You will find many restaurants up here, shopping attractions and does have a lively nightlife attached to it which makes it a perfect place to visit. It has won the title of Best Marina in the world Many times.
- Benalmádena pueblo: It is an old village that lies about 3 kilometres inland from Costa del Sol. It has a geographical elevation of approximately 200 meters about the sea surface. This village has typical white architecture like Andalusian village; now you will find recent buildings with modern architecture. Near to this village, you will find an archaeological museum that consists of artefacts dates back from the bronze age.
- Parque De La Paloma: Is also called a dove park which is located in Costa del Sol and is the most beautiful of all. It is located in the centre of Benalmádena and has become an authentic green space in the city. You can find animals roaming free, and you can also take a walk around its green areas to enjoy a scenic view. You can come here and disconnect from stress, and the routine gives one chance to connect with mother nature.
- Butterfly Park of Benalmádena: It is also located in the heart of Costa del Sol and 20 minutes from Málaga. It is home to more than 1500 exotic butterflies from different regions around the world roaming freely in this tropical paradise, with waterfalls and a wide variety of the flora up here. You can also enjoy learning metamorphosis, the cycle through caterpillar evolves to a beautiful butterfly.
- Castillo de Colomares: This moment monument is dedicated to the Adventures and life of Christopher Columbus and was made between 1987 and 1994. It covers an area of about 1500 meters. It is the largest monument in the world dedicated to the Explorer And has the smallest church in the world covering an area of 196 m².
- Selwo Marina: It is the smallest marine park located in Benalmádena and covers an area of about 1.67 hectares. Mainly the park comprises of 4 regions -'Las Hondonada', 'Antillas', 'Isla de Hielo' and 'Amazonia'. Lost Hondonada is a place where the shows of birds and snakes take place. Antella is the place where dolphins and sea lions are located for the pool show. Isla de Hielo means island of ice and is home to the collection of penguins. Amazonia is a small place area containing a tank of snakes, fish, lizards, caiman, and other reptiles.
- Plaza Espana Benalmádena: This place is located in Coster del Sol, and it is an authentic Spanish square. It contains some lovely bars and restaurants including a Haunted Fountain Bar. These bars, restaurants, and cafes serve fantastic tapas at great prices. Here you will find Victoria's pizzeria who is famous for its home-made pizza along with a bar named Bar Torreon, which offers excellent food at budget prices. It is a lovely square to have lunch or drinks, and a great place to wander around.
- Tivoli World: Tivoli World is an amusement park which has more than 40 attraction and rides. It also hosts great shows and has bars, restaurants, and beautiful gardens. The famous attractions of the Tivoli world is a rollercoaster, water rides, go-karts and bumper boats where you can hang around with your family for full amusement. As these rides give joys, boosts up your adrenaline and provides family-time with precious memories. You can find typical Spanish restaurants, bars, a burger joint, and even some Chinese restaurants.
- Garden of Eagles: It is located on Monte Calamorro and is also known as Jardin de Aguilas. It is a zoological garden which is geographically 250 meters above sea level. You will find more than 160 bird species throughout the day. Here you will find owls, falcons, kites, hawks vultures, and even eagles. This centre is specifically dedicated to raise and protect many species of birds of prey. It cost about €6 for adults and €5 for children included in a cable car ticket.
- Sealife Benalmádena: This aquarium is owned by Merlin Entertainments and is one of the sea life centres in Europe that is located in Andalusia, Spain. You can discover the fantastic creatures via a window in the ocean.
Benalmádena is a famous town that is famous for its beaches and Tivoli World Theme Park – located in southern Spain's Costa del Sol. There are plenty of options available to explore this culturist town. From modern Puerto Marina – home to the Sea Life Benalmádena aquarium and moored yachts to various monuments, museums, and landmarks including a massive Buddhist temple – Benalmádena Stupa, this place is a beautiful destination to explore more about the Buddhism traditions and cultures.
- Parque de la Paloma
- Rustico Casablanca Park
- Parque de Perros
- Selwo Marina
- Bosque de Benalmádena
- Mariposario de Benalmádena – Butterfly Park
- Playa Tajo de la Soga/ Playa Carvajal: This beach is situated between the shores of Benalmádena and Fuengirola and is a favourite among locals, with lots of excellent restaurants and the best beach clubs nearby. Being one of the wildest beaches in Benalmádena – a perfect spot for those who want to spend a day in an intimate atmosphere, it is directly connected with Playa Carjaval – a completely different site as it's full of life with noise and beachgoers.
- Playa Malibu/ Playa Arroyo Honda/ Playa Bonita: A famous beach among holidaymakers and residents, Playa Malibu beach, is a must-visit place to spend your quality time with close ones. It is also renowned for its calm water and the amenities – being centrally located in Benalmádena, the beach consists of three beaches in one, i.e., Playa Arroyo Honda, Playa Bonita, and Playa Malibu. A perfect beach for children to go swimming as they have breakwaters in the sea to stop massive waves from entering the coves, making it safe for children.
- Playa La Viborilla: Playa La Viborilla is by far the most beautiful beach on the coast of Benalmádena – hidden between various palm trees and a little tropical forest. This beach has a unique ability to appeal to people who love exploring the underwater life. While relaxing amid the beautiful and serene environment, you will be able to feel like you're on a paradise island as cliffs surround it on the other side.
- Playa Benalnatura: Benalmádena Beach, located in a small cove surrounded by lush vegetation – is one of the nudist beaches on the Málaga coastline. This beach is allowed to only limited beachgoers to ensure their privacy. The only way onto Benalnatura is through the beach bar that acts as the gateway to the beach area. The rule over here is that people must have identification checked (over 18 years only) and all clothing has to be removed to enjoy the beauty of the beach.
- Playa Santa Ana: Playa Santa Ana – an extension of the beach that runs from Puerto Marina – is a perfect place for family get-togethers and picnics, due to its protected, gently sloping banks, and shallow waters. This beach itself has many advantages like its centrally located; Benalmádena’s hotels can be spotted nearby; and more popular tourist areas, making it the best choice to enjoy your summers and weekends.
- Benalmádena Pueblo (The Old Village)
- Castillo de Colomares
- Buddhist Temple
- Plaza Espana Benalmádena
- Castillo de Bil Bil
- Santa Domingo Church
- Benalmádena Museum
- Centro de Exposiciones de Benalmádena
- Jardin de Las aguilas (Fundacionvalle de las aguilas)
- Garden of Eagles
- Villa Romana De Torremuelle
- Stupa Buddhist
In Benalmádena, you will find dozens of restaurants and bars serving food from all corners of the world – being one of the most famous cosmopolitan areas on the coast and famed for an abundance of British restaurants and stylish bars. You will be amazed as there are many choices in the Marina, there are steak houses, noodle bars commingled with traditional seafood and fish restaurants, and pasta and pizza trattorias waiting to fulfil your hunger.
Traditional Local Restaurants
- Las Gaviotas
- La Taberna
- Plaza Ole
- Plaza Sol Y Mar
- El Mero Los Mellizos
Vegetarian and Vegan
- The Bacchus Terrace
- La Zanahoria
- Pho Saigan
- La Charata
- Gamba's al Pil-Pil (Pil-Pil Prawns): This famous dish is a must-try during your visit to Benalmádena as its fish prawns are a mainstay in the Málagan diet that involves prawns being flash-fried with garlic, fresh chillies, Paprika, and white wine. Food-lovers love the cooking method of this dish as it includes all the natural flavours of the prawns along with delicious sauce which can be perfectly mopped up with a slice of crispy bread.
- Albondigasen salsa de Almendras: This delicious dish has a vibrant taste of almonds, although served all over the country yet it's slightly different in this region thanks to the sauce which is laced with ground almonds. People love the delicate flavours it gives that are a perfect accompaniment to the Spanish style meatballs and give it a southern twist. It's best to have while exploring Benalmádena.
- Porra Antequerana: This cold soup is a tomato-based soup that uses bread instead of the water or cornflour to thicken it up, making it a light meal to brighten your day. The dish is usually topped with a chopped boiled egg and ham which has a unique richness in its delicious smoky flavoured dish that comes from the charming town of Antequerana. If you're near the city, don't forget to try this delicious meal.
- Fritura Malaguena: Fritura Malaguena is a deep-fried fish that is served with a lemon slice. It can be found at any of the best restaurants, bars or even on local street-food corners in Benalmádena and especially in the Puerto Marina area where you can drink and eat at the picturesque harbour and watch the city life. This food will surely be your one of the favourite food you will ever taste in this town.
- Espeto: If you want to experience Málaga's most typical and traditional street food, then Espeto has to be it. These freshly caught local street food delicacies are skewered and roasted over the barbeque, so order these by the beach with a cold drink and enjoy the fantastic multi-flavoured dish full of nutrients and healthy fats along with a coffee and a slice of the finest Tarta Malagueuna.
In Benalmádena, several bars and restaurants are ranging from the truly awful to the excellent. Puerto Marina's nightlife combines upmarket restaurants with clubs and bars, attracting both locals and tourists from all over the world. Prices are cheap by British standards hence Benalmádena’s public and tourists go crazy to enjoy the drinks along with amazingly prepared seafood. Benalmádena is coupled with extraordinarily cheap foods and beverages, especially considering the quality.
- Black Tea
Tap-water is generally safe to drink in Benalmádena – many people choose bottled water due to taste preferences; however, there is no scientific complaint that bottled water is healthier. Drinking water accessibility is very high due to fewer pollutants in the atmosphere, making tap-water easy and beneficial to take in. You may find no such problems as the water here is tested every day according to strict international water quality standards, and the local water company publishes the results in this town.
- Red Rocks Café
- Meeting Point Café
- Cinnamon Club Benalmádena
- Mango Café & Tea Room
- The Lemon Tree
- Uppa Crust
- GrupoCervezas Alhambra
Benalmádena provides you with the best of options and loads of things to do and fun attractions to visit. The beautiful coastline of Benalmádena is lined with an array of all-inclusive ranges of daily activities which indirectly helps you in acknowledging Spain’s culture, traditions, and whatnot. This place offers you to get engaged in many other activities, ranging from incredible landmarks and museums to delicious delicacies of the streets. You may also experience some unforgettable memories by indulging in all these adventurous activities and have a great trip to Benalmádena.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga retreats allow you to take time from ordinary daily life and help you in maintaining perfect health and a longer lifespan. There are highly qualified yoga teachers and instructors, providing you with the best services in town. In Benalmádena, you might also experience Therapeutic Yoga that aims to maintain, recover, and improve health on a physical, emotional, mental, and energetic level. There are certain places where if you come with a group of friends you can enjoy the organized mini-retreat, including yoga and brunch.
- Málaga Yoga Retreats
- Centro Satya Málaga
- Yuktah Yoga
- Free International Yoga Center
Benalmádena offers you all types of accommodations you require to plan your trip here. There are plenty of options and opportunities available to select the best accommodation based on your budget and requirements.
- MedPlaya Hotel Riviera
- Holiday World Polynesia
- Medplaya Hotel Bali
- Green Views Benalmádena
Hostels and Guest Houses
- Hostal Sol y Miel
- Torrequebrada Golf & Beach Guesthouse
- Hostel Solymar
- Benalmádena Costa
There are plenty of options available for renting apartments in Benalmádena for travellers who appreciate space of their own. Apartments here gives you a perfect feeling of home away from home. If you’re visiting Benalmádena, then the best way to save money is by spending on apartments ranging from low to high budgets can be seen here:
- Sahara Sunset Club
- Edificio Hercules
- Apartamentos Seven Village
- Puerto Marina Waterfront Apartment
Couchsurfing is something many tourists usually prefer as it is a travel community with millions of members around the world. The best way to find accommodation and meet up with locals and travellers is via Couchsurfing. Currently, there are about 358 hosts in Benalmádena.
For camping, there are only a few options available for travellers to experience and organize their campsites in Benalmádena. See the complete list of all camps nearby along with a filter based on many criteria or availability.
- Cabopino Camping
- Camping Torremolinos
- Camping Fuengirola
- Camping vilsom
How to Get There
There are many indirect ways to reach here because there are no direct routes or means to Benalmádena. International trains and airports are not yet built, but there is an airport which is only 17 km away from the city. Because of such close distance, the town never felt the need for getting its Airport. So if you want to reach the city, you must be present in Spain to use the railway network or other transportation networks.
There is no airport in Benalmádena, but the nearest Airport is at a distance of 12 kilometres. This Airport is in Málaga and is known as Málaga airport. It is a public airport with an elevation of 16 meters and is connected to over 60 countries worldwide. Málaga Airport is the fourth busiest in Spain with a record of 18.6 million passengers in 2017. This Airport has three terminals and two runways. This Airport has its transportation hub with an underground station for computer trains. It also has a bus station underground the Airport along with a car parking facility with a space of 3700 vehicles at a time.
There are no international buses that run to or fro from Benalmádena. You have to be present in one of the major cities in Spain to reach Benalmádena by bus. Buses can be a cheaper option as they cost a minimal amount and are available from Marbella. The shortest route to get to Benalmádena by bus is to take the bus from Málaga. It will take about 30 minutes to get to this beautiful coastal town.
There is the central train station in the city which connects it to other cities in Spain. The trains run every 20 minutes and are very efficient. They are generally air-conditioned and comfortable. The ticket price is not too high, so this is one of the inexpensive means of transport to reach this city. You have to take an indirect route to come here if you live outside Spain.
Hitchhiking is possible in Benalmádena because there are a lot of people who travel to this city from Málaga for work and other commercial purposes. It is a safe city for tourists, but you must be cautious of the person with whom you ride. Hitchhiking is a way of travelling where you ask for a lift from any person who is going to the same route for free.
There are ways other than aeroplanes, buses, and trains available to travel to Benalmádena. These include a private taxi or a ferry ride. You can get private taxis at low costs. If you would not like to harm nature and make your tour completely eco-friendly, then it is advised that you must not use such private services. These personal vehicles emit a lot of harmful gases that will contribute to an increase in the pollution levels of Benalmádena.
The area of this city is only 27.2 square kilometres, so this gives a lot of options to move around by walking or using vehicles like bikes, electronic cars, etc. Also, there is no inter-city train or trams available because the bus network is so strong that the local people do not feel the need for any railway network.
Walking is considered safe in this city because the crime rates are meagre—also, the city as a relatively smaller area which makes walking an excellent option to visit places. Not only walking is considered to be pocket-friendly, but it also has various health benefits like reducing stress which is good for the heart, strengthening the muscles, boosting the immune system, and much more. Even tracks for walking are present, which means the government of Benalmádena supports walking. Many tourists who have visited Benalmádena considered walking as the right choice.
Bicycles are available on rent at various rental shops. Renting a bike might cost you more money than any other conveyance. The rental price is about 24 Euros for eight days or above whereas for two to four days it would cost a minimum of 20 to 28 Euros. If you have a big budget, you can rent a bicycle and move around this city. There different types of equipment which are also available on rent such as helmet, gloves, special shoes, bicycle lock and its insurance that have varying costs per day. There are different tracks built for cyclists to provide them with an adventurous but safe experience while cycling.
Electronic vehicles are present in Benalmádena but only in a limited quantity. Tesla has planted some charging stations at different places surrounding the entire city of Benalmádena. Renting anyway could be costly because they are present in a limited quantity, and their demand amongst tourists is very high. However, you can rent an electric scooter at a low cost. Using an EV can help you in being a good tourist as EV is pollution-free, and you will support the city in maintaining its pollution levels.
Public Buses are available in Benalmádena for moving around. These are located at a 20 minutes walk from the Airport. Travelling by public bus will save a lot of your money and will help in reduced traffic. You can pay in cash, but there are chances of unavailability of change so if you have the exact amount of money for paying the bus fare you can very well pay in cash. The other option is a local travel card which can help you in availing great discounts. If you are staying in Benalmádena for a longer time and you want to use public buses regularly, then you must buy a travel card. These cards are readily available at the local tobacco shops near the sunset beach club.
Tram, Train and Subway
There are no trains which run in the city or can be used for moving around different areas. However, trains can be used to reach Benalmádena. Because the town is too small, and there are no trams or subways networks. There is a cable car that runs only on the mountains and is used to gain spectacular views.
Sustainable shopping is quite trendy in European countries. It has not only a good effect on your health but also to the local environment. Benalmádena has many second-hand stores and eco-friendly food markets to support sustainable shopping amongst the locals and tourists.
- Carrefour Market
- Pescaderia Los Mellizos
- Supermercados MAS
- Rastro de Benalmádena
- Brittiläinen Kirpputori
- Rastro Torremolinos
- Recinto Ferial Fuengirola
Second Hand Stores
- Casa Vista Store
- Martinsa Motor
- Seen and unseen
- RENACER shop
- The giant efforts
- Desván Vip
- Pepe Jeans
Recycling is a process of reusing waste materials by converting them into new ones. There are three types of recycling in Benalmádena - primary, secondary, and tertiary. In Benalmádena recycling, various materials like plastic, glass, paper, metal or steel are not that prevalent because they have a profound impact on the environment. It is one of the main reason why pollution levels are so low.
The waste management of the city is good and very systematic. The government has made strict policies for dumping the garbage. Even the factories are regularly monitored for dumping their trash in the proper place. They use waste in different forms. Wastage, including peels of vegetables and fruits, are used for making fertilizers, and steel scraps are reused for making various elements. So we can conclude that this city has a sound waste management system.
Work and Study Abroad
There are different job opportunities available here. Starting from English speaking jobs as this is a tourist area and most of the tourist visiting this city speaks English. Hence, they require people who can speak fluent English. Other positions are also present that depend on your educational qualifications.
There is an international college in Benalmádena which offers a student exchange program every year connecting to different European countries. The student exchange program is a program in which some students are sent abroad to one of the partner institutions. This College offers long term exchange plans in which the student is transmitted to other countries till he completes his education degree. This program helps the student to develop his social skills, personality, and boost his self-confidence while making him independent. Other than this, it also helps a student to expand his general knowledge on a global basis.
Au Pair is a person or a couple who helps a family by taking care of their responsibilities in exchange for money or self-satisfaction. You can also become an au pair by registering yourself on the au pairing website and meeting all their requirements.
Volunteering is not much required in Benalmádena as it has a population of about 65,000 only. Therefore, the poverty rates are low, and the local communities tend to help each other out regularly.
- Asociación Sociedad Fidelio
- Asociacion ASIS
- Cruz Roja Española
- Family Friends
- Club Triatlón Benalmádena
You must participate in the volunteering activities of such organizations so that you can play your role as a responsible human being.