One of the most diverse and popular towns on the Coast, Benalmadena, covers an area of almost 30km2 and has 30,000 inhabitants. From Benalmadena Costa on the shores of the Mediterranean to the typical Spanish parts of Benalmadena Pueblo and Arroyo de la Miel, this area offers a choice of different lifestyles, a mild year-round temperature and a light sea breeze.
With its proximity to the airport (only 15 minutes by car) and a huge choice of hotels and holiday accommodation, Benalmadena Costa enjoys a privileged position and has expanded rapidly over the last 20 years to become one of the most popular destinations in the region. The area is lively year round but extremely busy during the summer months, when holidaymakers swell the population by more than triple - up to 100,000 people.
That said, there are some fantastic spots for quiet residential living, as the area is split up into three very distinct areas, Benalmadena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Costa.
Benalmandena Pueblo is a quiet mountaintop village that has retained much of its typically Spanish living, despite an influx of foreigners; small cobble stone streets with white-washed houses, a charming square with quaint Spanish bars and restaurants and a traditional church perched at the very end of the cliff that bustles with gatherings, communions or weddings every Sunday.
Arroyo de La Miel is a busy commercial town centre that separates the pueblo from the sea front. Due in part to an excellent train service running between Fuengirola and Malaga, as well as good road connection, the area has grown rapidly over the years and offers a wide variety of local shops, services and one of the largest man-made parks on the Coast, Parque de Paloma.
Benalmadena Costa consists of a variety of quieter residential areas such as in neighbourhoods around Benalmadena's Golf Course and Torrequebrada Golf, a huge selection of 'Chiringuitos' (beach bars) and the award-winning Puerto Marina.
Being a coastal town, the obvious choice for many visitors and residents alike is water sports and beach activities. There are plenty of different water sports activities to choose from, including surfing, diving, sailing and much more. The beautiful promenade of Benalmadena also allows for a daily morning jog or an evening sea-front stroll.
Benalmádena Port offers a variety of bars, restaurants, shops and nightclubs and is a very popular location, especially during the summer months. The Marina boasts breathtaking views of luxurious sail and speed boats, as well as the Sea Life Aquarium for children. Properties dotted along the port are valued extremely high and are often hard to come by.
The Selwo Marina Delfinarium feature shows with dolphins, sea lions, penguins and exotic birds, with special additional evening shows during the summer months to meet high visitor demands.
The Casino of Benalmádena, located in the Casino Hotel Torrequebrada also has a theater with regular shows for children and adults. Also very popular amongst kids and adults is the Tivoli Amusement park. There are various themed areas including a Western Square with a reproduction of a Western Town, an Andalucían Square with Flamenco shows and, of course, a number of exciting rides and food stalls.
Golf lovers can tee off at the Torrequebrada Golf or at any of the nearby Golf Courses, of which there are plenty to choose from on the Costa del Sol!
Málaga airport is only a short drive away, no more than 20 minutes by car. Train stations in Arroyo de la Miel and Torremuelle connect the area with the airport and the rest of the Costa del Sol.
There are also plenty of bus stops with regular connections to the main towns of the coast and the rest of Spain.
If you would like a quick trip to Madrid, there is a fast train from Málaga train station, which takes less than 3 hours to get to Madrid and connects Málaga to many other places in Spain.
Citizens from European countries can use the European Health Insurance, which can easily be obtained in your home country. This will give you access to health care during your stay.
Residents in Spain have full access to the Spanish health care, which is free for those contributing to the Spanish Social Security system.
There are also a number of Private Health Insurance companies. Rates for Spanish private health insurance are very low compared to many other European countries.
All Spanish health facilities, private and public, enjoy a very good reputation and usually offer free translation services for those who don't speak Spanish.
One of the best private hospitals, the Xanit is located in Benalmádena. There are also a large number of public health facilities.
Education in public schools is free and most offer a variety of extra-curricular activities, transport and tutoring for non-Spanish pupils. Benalmádena has a large number of public schools and children must register at the local town hall to apply.
There are also some fantastic private schools in the area, including the Benalmádena International College and the Collegio International Torrequebrada.