Benalmádena: A Scenic Marvel

A towering contemporary sculpture of shiny metallic globes near highway exit to Benalmádena center

a treat for the eyes…

Cliffside to seaside, the city’s scenery offers a treat for the eyes — and the mind. Even among many gorgeous towns along the Costa del Sol, Benalmádena occupies a special place. It may not boast the highest peak, but it has an uncanny way of producing gorgeous scenic views from different vantage points.

The proximity of the mountains, which appear to half-encircle the city, and their closeness to the seafront, contribute to the panoramic effect.
One of many original sculptures adorning traffic roundabouts; this one towers above the city near a highway exit.

…AND THE MIND

The mountains here form an organic part of the city whether you’re taking a stroll up in the Pueblo, enjoying the bustle of Arroyo de la Miel, the city’s middle tier, or basking in the sun by the sea.

No matter which part of the city you happen to be in, you can be sure to encounter a choice of scenic views to catch your eye.
The Enlightenment Stupa, designed to be the largest such Buddhist temple in Europe, was inaugurated in 2003 as a symbol of world peace.
Buddhist stupa in Benalmadena offers breathtaking vistas and scenic views

Blue Sea, Golden Beaches, Rocky Cliffs

Pristine waters along the shoreline that features many scenic views
One of picturesque coves in Benalmádena; further along the shore is the neighboring town of Fuengirola
Typical of Benalmadena’s scenic views: a stretch of beaches, dappled with umbrellas and pergolas

soak in the sun…

As an upscale seaside resort town Benlamádena boasts miles of sandy beaches, with several of them winning the prestigious Blue Flag designation.

The Blue Flag label is awarded annually by the Europe-based Foundation for Environmental Education to recognize excellence in such areas as water quality, environmental management, safety and services.
What’s the Costa del Sol weather like in mid-November?

…or have dinner by the sea

The city’s coastline offers much more than just an inviting place to enjoy your day on the beach or a tasty meal at a great variety of eateries nearby. As is the case with the rest of the city, Benalmadena is a place of delightful scenic views from early morning through late at night.

A stroll along the beach and brightly lit promenade is always an inviting proposition.
Scenic views of Benalmadena beach and promenade at night

Puerto Marina: An award-winning harbor with ‘floating’ houses

Lit up by the sun, uniquely designed houses in the marina are reflected in the water creating gorgeous scenic views
With its blend of Arabic and Andalusian architectural styles Puerto Marina has become one of Costa del Sol’s emblematic attractions
Brightly lit up during the night, Puerto Marina is a popular place to enjoy scenic views

a magnet for tourists and locals alike

It’s a must-see place according to reviewers. Indeed, Benlamádena’s harbor, known as the “Puerto Marina,” is a two-time winner of the ‘Best Marina in the World’ award. It has a rather unique architectural design by an award-winning Spanish architect Eduardo Oria, combining Andalusian construction styles with Arabic and Indian motifs.

There’re shops, restaurants and bars galore, many of them busy late into the night. Crowds of soccer fans cheering their teams on large-screen TV’s is a common sight; live music and dancing is no less so.
Officially inaugurated in 1982, Puerto Marina was one of the first successful marinas in the world with islands and “floating” houses. There are four such residential complexes in the harbor.
As originally designed, the marina was built to accommodate nearly 1,200 berths. There are plenty of places for a relaxed stroll to enjoy the sights of elegant — some huge and elegant — yachts and sail boats moored around the harbor.
White yachts moored along residential buildings in Benalmadena's port
Puerta Marina's unique floating houses connected by bridges are a scenic delight
The official Spanish name of the marina is ‘Puerto Deportivo de Benalmádena.’
The marina’s fascinating layout features residential buildings surrounded by water and connected by ornamental bridges.
There are many interesting choices for families. Both parents with children will enjoy a visit to the Sea Life aquarium or a ride on the 130-ft-high Ferris wheel that offers stunning scenic views.

A Park By The Beach And Other Botanical Marvels

There are many scenic views in the Paloma Park seen here with mountains in the distance
Walks around Paloma Park lakes is a favorite pastime for families, with scores of ducks, swans and turtles adding to the fun
A large artificial lake in the Paloma Park overlooks the sea

just what the doctor ordered

Access to green and blue spaces, such as parks and seas, “improves health wellbeing,” wrote the journal The Lancet recently citing new scientific research. All of this is in ample supply in Benlamádena. Its coastline adds a rich green of the park zone to golden swathes of the beaches and blue expanses of the sea.

The green-against-blue effect is further enhanced by the blue skies with only an occasional cloud for an average of 320 days a year.

Among the city’s “green space’ landmarks is Parque de La Paloma, one of the largest and most spectacular parks in the area, often called the “green lungs” thanks to its nearly 25 acres of greenery. Located just a short walk from the seafront, the park features over 90 species of palm trees and has one of Europe’s best open-air collections of bamboos, cactuses and other drought-resistant plants.

The Paloma Park has earned an Editor´s Choice billing from TripAdvisor and a must-see designation from numerous travel sites.
Parque de La Paloma scenic views include an amazing Cactus Garden featuring some 450 species.
Cactus garden in Paloma Park boasts an impressive variety of species
Bright red flowers decorating a traffic roundabout

The greenery, however, is not limited to the Paloma Park. Despite the scarcity of rainfall in the area, the use of efficient irrigation systems and continuous maintenance create park-like feel throughout the city.

In Benalmadena, a tree-high whimsically shaped cactus is as common a sight as an elegant palm tree or a multicolored flower bed or a jacaranda tree in full bloom.

The lush greens of several popular golf courses produce their own brand of outstanding scenic views.

Gifts of Light: Night Streets and Sunsets

Speaking of sunsets…

Picturesque rose-colored sunset over the mountain is typical of Benalmadena's scenic views
Multicolored displays put on by the sunsets add to Benalmadena’s scenic charm.
Palm trees silhouetted against an orange sunset

sky is the limit

Sunset is said to be one of the most photographed natural events in the world. If that is so, Benlamádena is the right place to see why.

The interplay between the sea and the mountains offers nature lovers and photography enthusiasts countless opportunities to capture the magnificent displays of colors across the sky.

Contrary to a popular belief, it’s not pollution that makes sunsets brighter. Experts say that it is in fact clean air that helps the sun and the clouds to produce the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

The idea that it’s actually clean air that contributes to the vividness of sunsets will not come as a surprise to Benalmadena residents since Costa del Sol boasts some of the lowest level of air pollution in all of Spain.
Scenic orange sunset with mountains and rocky shoreline

After dark: A well-lit, friendly town

Family walking with children at night under bright street lights
Well-lit streets make a nighttime stroll a popular pastime.
Well-illuminated seaside promenade at night with pedestrians

An illuminating approach

There’s not much dispute about the notion that good street lighting provides many benefits in making cities more livable.

Proper street illumination can help “reduce social isolation, improve physical and mental well-being and increase community pride,” noted The Conversation website citing recent research.

As you walk Benalmádena streets after dark you get a sense that the town’s municipal authorities wholeheartedly embrace scholarly research about the benefits of excellent street illumination.

Be it roadways or residential streets, all parts of the city have modern illumination and late-evening strolls are a common practice for all ages.
Safe and well-lit city street at night

Cityscape: A panoply of scenic views

White and red apartment houses with scenic views of a mountain
Residential buildings outlined against the mountains are only 300 ft from the seafront.
Modern villa, lush greenery and traditional houses

the opposite of dull

Tastes in city architecture differ of course, but for someone who is used to a certain monotony in city residential construction and cookie-cutter nature of many suburban subdivisions, Benalmádena will offer a refreshing look — and scenic views.

There is a mixture – some may say, clash – of styles, when villas of super modern design will sit right next door to traditional Andalusian homes.

The resulting effect, however, is the opposite of dull.

There are colorful roofing tiles and brightly plastered facades creating an eye-pleasing variety that is further enhanced by the surrounding rocky hills and abundant greenery.

Buildings with eye-catching architectural style

The art of the traffic roundabout

A sculptural group of life-size elephants marching across a roundabout
Little doubt here who has the right of way…
Benalmadena roundabout windmill street art sculpture

creative solutions for the mundane

Roundabouts are ubiquitous in Spain — and elsewhere in Europe — as an effective method of regulating four-way intersections. Instead of stopping at traffic lights, drivers slow down and cautiously wait to enter the traffic flow and then circle around toward their exits.

Glorietas enhance Benlamádena’s appearance and facilitate traffic management.
The advantages of roundabouts are increasingly recognized in the US as well. The Federal Highway Administration says they help reduce traffic congestion and the seriousness of crashes and improve fuel consumption.

Benlamádena, of course, is no exception with countless glorietas, as they are called in Spanish, spread around the city.

So, what’s so special about a street junction, you may wonder. Well, Benlamádena is a perfect example of how a seemingly mundane road feature can be made into a panoply of landmarks with its own type of delightful scenic views.

‘Reflection of the People’ says the inscription on this gigantic copper sphere in the Arroyo part of the city. To some, however, it brings to mind the famous chocolates, so many call it the ‘Ferrero Rocher’ sculpture.
Benalmadena roundabout sculpture in Arroyo de la Miel, street art
Benalmadena Sails roundabout sea view

Wherever you drive in the city you are sure to encounter imaginatively designed and assiduously maintained roundabouts.

They range from simple but elegant compositions of plants and rocks to elaborate artistic creations featuring statues, sculptures and street art-type of exhibits in a variety of styles.

In a town that boasts an award-winning marina, images of sails seem to be everywhere, be it out at sea, or in the midst of moving cars.
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