Benalmadena is one of the most popular tourist locations in the entire Costa Del Sol. Located in the south of Spain, this sun-drenched town is the perfect getaway for travellers who want to experience that famous Spanish heat without the hustle and bustle of Barcelona or Madrid.
Benalmadena is divided into three distinct districts. These are Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmadena Costa, and Benalmadena Pueblo. Each of these districts has its own unique flavour, but none is more historic than Benalmadena Pueblo.
In today’s article, we’re going to be looking at Benalmadena Pueblo and everything it has to offer. We’ll tell you about its history, how you can get there, and what you should do when you arrive. Let’s get started!
The History Of “The Old Town”
Benalmadena Pueblo is also known as “The Old Town” or “The Old Village”. As these nicknames suggest, it is the oldest portion of Benalmadena and is the village in which its earliest residents lived.
The area has been inhabited by humans for more than 20,000 years. It saw major development during Roman occupation at the beginning of the common era and enjoyed another boom in growth under Muslim control in the Middle Ages.
The original village became something of a ghost town following a failed colonisation attempt in the late 1400s and more or less remained in this state until it became a factory town 300 years later.
From the 18th century on, Benalmadena experienced great development. In the 1950s, its population boomed, as more and more expats began to call the town home. Today, the effects of this boom present themselves in the form of modern architecture and recently-established hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
However, The Old Town area remains almost untouched, ready to transport visitors into the past.
Malaga Airport To Benalmadena
Before you can visit benalmadena pueblo (The Old Village), you must first find your way from Malaga Airport to Benalmadena itself. Thankfully, this is an easy journey and can be made a variety of ways.
You can take a train from Malaga Airport to Benalmadena for just €2.05. This train leaves the airport every 20 minutes, with free wi-fi while you wait. The train has two stops close to The Old Village.
The first, Arroyo de la Miel, is one of Benalmadena’s three districts. The second, Torremuelle, is in the municipality of Benalmadena and is only a short journey from Pueblo.
The train from Malaga Airport is certainly the most convenient way to reach Benalmadena. However, those who prefer private transportation also have the option of travelling by taxi.
There is a large taxi rank right outside the main arrivals gate of the airport, so you won’t have to wait too long to get going. The journey itself takes 20 minutes and will cost you about €30.
If you intend to do a lot of sightseeing during your time in Spain, you might want to consider hiring a car for the duration of your trip. Vehicles can be rented from one of the several rent-a-car agencies operating in Malaga Airport and cost around €30 per day.
It’s important to note, of course, that many of these agencies insist on a minimal rental period of one week.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to travel directly from Malaga Airport to Benalmadena by bus. The bus service which once made this journey has been discontinued, with the only alternative being to travel into Malaga itself and board the M110 bus to Benalmadena.
This journey takes almost two hours, making any of the above means of travel a much better option.
Benalmadena To Pueblo
Once you are in Benalmadena, you’ll have several ways of reaching The Old Village to choose from. Perhaps the most convenient of these is the bus. The M103, M112, M121, M124, and M126 buses all stop in Pueblo.
Be sure to check the routes and times for each of these buses to determine which is best suited for you. Regardless of the bus you choose, you can expect to pay about €2 for the 10 minute drive.
While there is no train to Pueblo, many taxis wait at the Arroyo de la Miel train station for the sole purpose of bringing travellers to The Old Village. A taxi to Pueblo from Arroyo de la Miel will set you back €10. You could, in theory, also get a taxi from the Torremuelle train station.
However, you’d have to book this taxi in advance, as Torremuelle is less popular with tourists, so most taxi drivers don’t waste their time waiting for walk-ups at the station.
Local Travel Card
One of the great things about travelling in Benalmadena is that the whole town is part of the Metropolitan Transport Consortium of Malaga. This means the Malaga Travel Card, which allows holders discounted bus rides throughout designated districts, can be used on all buses bound for The Old Town.
The Travel Card can be purchased from a variety of outlets, including machines at the airport and Benalmadena’s local tobacconists. Cards differ in price, but sell from a minimum of €5.
As well as being used on local buses, they can also be used on certain trains, including the Benalmadena to Malaga train. You can even use your card to rent a bicycle in Malaga City!
Why Visit The Old Village?
Whether you’re visiting Benalmadena for a party holiday or a relaxing vacation, we seriously suggest making time in your schedule to see The Old Village. What makes Pueblo such a must-visit site? Let’s take a look.
One of the great allures of Pueblo is its history. Occupied by humans for 20,000 years, The Old Village offers a glimpse into unrecorded history; a period of time that is unimaginably different. It also bears reminders from the great civilizations that have ruled over it, from the Roman Empire to the Muslims of the Middle Ages.
Spain can be a tough spot for travellers on a budget. If you’re trying to keep costs down during your time in Benalmadena, The Old Village is the place to go. The shops and restaurants here are among the most affordable in the entire Costa Del Sol.
On top of that, transport to Pueblo is extremely reasonably priced – as we’ve already discussed – making it the perfect spot for a day trip.
Even a laid back town like Benalmadena can get rowdy late at night. For those who’d like some time away from the revellers, The Old Village offers the perfect break. While it is not without its watering holes, Pueblo generally attracts a more mature crowd that does not disturb the blissful peace which engulfs the district.
As mentioned earlier on, much of Benalmadena features contemporary architecture which wouldn’t seem out of place in any other European town. In Pueblo, however, you’ll see quintessential Andalusian and other unique sights that you simply won’t encounter anywhere else in the world.
Lots To Do
Despite its name, The Old Village promises many contemporary activities to keep you and your family entertained. Whether you’re visiting on a couple’s holiday or have the kids in tow, you won’t have any trouble passing the day (or days) in Pueblo. You’ll find some of the most noteworthy activities the district has to offer outlined below.
Things To Do
Many people consider the centerpiece of The Old Town to be its Archaeological Museum. More officially known as the ‘Museo Arqueologico’, the museum is home to a plethora of historic finds, some of which date back as far as the Bronze Age.
The museum is particularly renowned for its collection of South American pottery, which has been traced to pre-Colombian times. Also present are artifacts from Roman and Muslim occupation, which add two distinctly different flares to the museum.
Unfortunately, the Archaeological Museum has next to no official web presence. Don’t worry, we have all the information you’re going to need right here.
The museum is open from 09:30 to 17:00 Tuesday through to Saturday (though closes for 90 minutes at 13:30). On Sundays, it’s open from 10:00 to 14:00. Admission on all days is free.
Castillo De Colomares
Castillo de Colomares – often referred to in English as ‘Colomares Castle’ – is one of the most unique castles in the world. We say that because, unlike most castles, it wasn’t built 1000 years ago. Nor has it been home to any royalty or heads of government.
Castillo de Colomares was built between 1987 and 1994. Its purpose is not to house any wealthy individual, but to serve as a monument to the life of Christopher Columbus. And boy does it do just that. Covering a staggering 1500 meters, this is the largest tribute to the explorer in the entire world!
The inside of the monument is every bit as breathtaking as its exterior. There, you will find art and architecture inspired by Columbus and the civilizations which he spawned.
You’ll also find the world’s smallest chapel, which earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records with its 1.6 square-meter size. The castle even boasts a tomb, which currently lies empty in anticipation of Columbus’ remains someday being laid to rest there.
Admission to Castillo de Colomares begins at €1.50 for children and pensioners. It rises to €2 for adults. Guided tours are available for those, but, if you really want to pay tribute to Columbus, you are permitted to explore the monument independently.
Known in Spanish as ‘Mariposario Benalmadena’, The Old Town’s Butterfly Park is one of the most unique experiences you’re ever likely to have.
The largest butterfly park in Europe, Mariposario Benalmadena is home to over 1500 exotic butterflies. All are free to roam the park’s 2000-square-meter climate controlled mock habitat.
Along with its many breathtaking species of butterflies, Mariposario Benalmadena boasts several other animals, including a tortoise and a kangaroo. Unsurprisingly, this makes it a very popular spot among those visiting Pueblo with young children.
An adult can gain admission to the Butterfly Park for just €10. For children and pensioners, it is cheaper again, at €8.50. Tickets can be purchased in advance – and at discounted rates – from the official Mariposario Benalmadena website.
The Enlightenment Stupa
The Old Village offers many traces of the Muslim occupants who ruled the region in the Middle Ages. However, visitors can also expect to encounter the pronounced presence of another faith: Buddhism.
The Enlightenment Stupa is a Buddhist temple operated by the Asociación Cultural Karma Kagyu de Benalmádena, a group that seeks to make Buddhism more accessible to Westerners.
In order to achieve this goal, the organization has gone against long-standing Buddhist tradition and opened its meditation hall to outsiders.
Visitors to The Enlightenment Stupa are welcome to participate in whatever meditation session happens to coincide with their visit. Admission is free, although you do have the option to watch a €2 exhibition on Tibetan Buddhism. The stupa also contains a shop, in which visitors can purchase traditional pottery.
Just outside of Benalmadena Pueblo is one of Costa del Sol’s top amusement parks. Tivoli World is a favourite of tourists and locals alike and boasts a plethora of rides and activities to keep all the family entertained.
Among the most beloved attractions of Tivoli World are the Techno Jump, Drop Tower, and the Mansion of Terror. There are also restaurants and regular performances, for those who would just like to get a bite to eat and enjoy a show.
Admission to Tivoli World begins at just €7.50. It’s important to note, however, that visitors have to pay for rides using ‘Tivolinos’, which is the park’s own currency.
One Tivolino can be purchased for €3. Alternatively, visitors can purchase the Supertivolino bracelet, which allows them to go on 27 rides (with some exceptions).
Combine Tivoli World with the activities mentioned above, and The Old Village could conceivably keep you busy for days on end. If you don’t have days to dedicate to visiting the district, you can be certain that you’ll be captivated by whatever activities you manage to fit in!