Moving to Benalmadena: What is it Like Living in Benalmadena?

The Costa del Sol coast is still the most popular area for people moving to Spain.

We would love to hear from you if you have moved here and now live in the Benalmadena area.

Many people would be curious as to how you have got on. Tell us what it is like living in Benalmadena. In hindsight would you have preferred to have moved to another part of Spain?

If you are thinking of moving to Spain be sure to see our expat section where we have many stories and interviews.

We interview locals and find out just what living in Benalmadena is REALLY like.

Should you move to Benalmadena?

We attempt to answer all your most popular questions to help you decide whether Benalmadena is the place for you or not.

Are you an expat in Benalmadena? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

Thinking of Moving To Benalmadena?

If you are thinking of moving to Benalmádena, then you HAVE TO read our expat interview with Daniel Martinez of Property Benalmadena below:

Daniel, what would you say are the advantages to living in Benalmádena compared to other Costa del Sol towns?

First of all Benalmádena is one of the closest coastal towns to Malaga Airport which is just 12km away, that’s approximately 12min drive on motorway, but most conveniently the train from Malaga Airport stops at several stations within Benalmádena making it ideal not just for tourists but also for also for residents who commute to work, either to the  airport, Plaza Mayor shopping centre or Malaga city.

The motorway which is situated above the entirety of Benalmádena  also gives good connection to the rest of the Costa del Sol and other popular destinations like “Sierra Nevada” which is one of the main Ski resort  around a 2 hour drive away meaning you can enjoy a holiday on the Beach and Snow all on the same day!

In addition Benalmadena has a good infrastructure of taxi stands, and bus services. This coupled with its many tourist attractions (see below) as well  large public park with lake, Championship Golf course, high street with shops, award winning marina, lovely beaches and its beautiful Andalucian mountain village “Benalmadena Pueblo” make it one of the most desirable destinations as it clearly has something to interest all members of the family. The variety of family activities in Benalmadena (as we will see further down) is immense.  Some of Benalmadena popular tourist attractions include Selwomarina Dolphin Park, Sealife , Tivoli World Adventure Park, Butterfly Park, Cable cars to Mountain, Buddhist Temple, Colamares Castle and Puertomarina.


Would Benalmadena not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides? 

The area of Benalmadena is so diverse that  there should be an area that suits everyone, but I would say one of the biggest downsides like much of the Costa del Sol is that Benalmádena is set upon  mountain so as we walk away from the beach in most areas this becomes an uphill walk, therefore unless you are just walking along the beach then most probably you will have some hilly walks

What proportion of the local population of Benalmadena are Spanish? 

In 2019, just under 70% of the local population in Benalmádena were Spanish, but Benalmádena has different zones and the percentage of foreign born nationals in each differs.

What are your favourite things to do in Benalmadena? 

I personally love nature and the Andalucian way of living, so when I can will spend some time in its Andalucian Village (Benalmadena Pueblo), have a meal there after which  you can take a walk through the village centre towards the chapel and take in the lovely raised panoramic sea views as far as the eye can see.  Also, mountain trekking, one can either walk or take the Cable car (next to Arroyo train station) towards top of mountain and trek along the summit….here you will see plenty of wildlife including wild boar and wild mountain goats called Ibex,  there is also a Birds of Prey exhibition.

There are very few large parks with lakes on the Costa del Sol and we are fortunate to have two large parks closeby.   “Parque La Paloma” located close to beach and just under Arroyo de la Miel town centre is a large park with bars, playgrounds and chickens, ducks, peacocks and rabbits running loose which keeps the young children entertained.

The other park “Parque La Bateria” is located nearby in neighbouring Torremolinos which also has a lake with row boats to hire at just one euro. Four years ago one of my clients encouraged me to take a course for a motorboat/Sailing license, this has always been my dream and never thought it would become a reality….I took the 3 month course in one of the sailing schools within Puertomarina, after passing the exam,  I became a member of a local club which offers a rental scheme without the expensive costs of owning a boat….with this I have use of a 6 metre motor boat or 3 berth 11 metre sailing boat five times a month.

The marina has so many restaurants and bars, my favourite part is the promenade on the east side of the marina which leads to the coastal fishing village of “Carihuela” ( this belongs to Torremolinos), the promenade walk is magical lined with so many “Chiringuitos” (Spanish Seafood restaurants) so you are spoilt for choice.  Having lunch here and then going out sailing is my dream day… and surprisingly affordable.

Apartments for sale in Puerto Marina

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants in Benalmadena?

In Benalmadena Pueblo there is Restaurante La Perla offering various international dishes including traditional Spanish cuisine, Restaurante El Muro offers Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine with the most amazing sea views, for pizza  El Mirador, and for  Italian,  Restaurante  La Pala d`Oro,  these are all lovely choices.  There is also a Michelin star restaurant called “Sollo” located in the Five Star Hilton Hotel on the west side of Benalmadena, this is led by head Chef Diego Gallegos, after your meal there head up to the roof top bar of the Hilton Hotel with its infinity pool and chill out area overlooking the sea!

In Arroyo de la Miel, we have Los Mellizos they have all their freshly caught seafood proudly placed on a large counter, you can choose your fish and they will cook it up, they are renowned for freshness of their seafood.  Casa Rafael is also an excellent choice for seafood in Arroyo.  If you prefer meat then try Rincon Asturiana, this restaurant serves cuisine from the Asturias region, north of the country.

On the coast in Benalmadena Costa, Restaurant La Cala is brilliant for its setting, price and seafood, here you will have beachfront views under a lovely mature tree…….or Las Yuccas, a modern restaurant/bar/cafeteria perfect for a lovely beachfront setting to eat anytime throughout the day,  If you are on a budget try La Bodegita restaurant it’s a very small place, nothing special in its setting but for 10euros you will get a traditional home cooked Spanish meal to include Starter, Main course, dessert and a drink!!! Lime and Lemon is a very popular fusion restaurant , you wont be disappointed but have to book in advance.  There are many more places….but these are just some of the good ones…..


Are there many facilities in Benalmadena such as doctors and dentists, shops etc? 

As well as a relatively new large state hospital there are doctors clinics all around, I use to work many years ago for the NHS as a Toxicologist and I have to say that I’m impressed with the state service here.  There are  state owned clinics everywhere in Benalmadena,  in Benalmadena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel (by train station) and Benalmadena Costa you will find these health centres.

If you prefer private service then one of the most advanced hospitals which is internationally recognised (Joint Commision International)  is located In Benalmadena.  Dentists here are mainly private and you will also find their practises throughout the whole of Benalmadena.

Are there smaller villages nearby to Benalmadena that you might also recommend?

Apart from Benalmádenas own magical village, we are lucky to have Mijas Pueblo close by, this has similar characteristics to Benalmádena Pueblo but is a larger village and higher up the mountain, its definitely worth visiting if you like the Andalusian way of life…….also close by is “La Carihuela” which is an old fishing village, this place has a magical coastal village feel and has such a large selection of seafood restaurants……one of my favourites there is Casa Juan, after eating there go for a long walk along the promenade towards Malaga, you won’t be disappointed!

What are the nearest international schools to Benalmadena and how good are they?  

There are quite a number of International Schools located within Benalmadena, these include those that are recognised by the National Association of British Schools in Spain such as Torrequebrada International School (3-18 years of age), The British College (from Kindergarden to 18 years of age),  The Benalmadena International College (also known as BIC –Kindergarden to 18 years of age) as well as Sunny View (Kindergarten to 18 years of age) which is located close to the border of Benalmadena in neighbouring Torremolinos.  Another International School located in Benalmadena which is partly funded by the government is Colegio Maravillas.  These are all well established Institutes which provide a good level of education.

Is crime in Benalmadena an issue for expats?

Having lived for 31 years in London , I have to say that I’m not concerned about crime in Benalmadena especially during the night if walking back from a restaurant or bar, most of the crime in my opinion would be petty like pickpockets so need to watch your possessions like in most high tourist destinations, but violent crimes are seldom seen.  Burglaries can occur but again my feeling is that these are less common than other places.

Coming onto buying property in Benalmadena, are prices going up, or down or staying the same? 

Market prices before the Covid 19 lockdown had reached a peak, so much so that there was more demand than actual property that suited clients budgets and requirements.  With the current situation everything has frozen with some prices have already decreased but we don’t know how the market is truly going to react until we know which markets will be allowed to visit i.e which flights will be allowed in and which countries.

I’ve been in business for 16 years and through the last crisis, but its difficult to predict the property market in the next coming months since this depends not only on our government but on others and unpredictability of the virus.  My opinion,  is that at least for most of this year,  the market for buyers is going to be a national one,  with investors looking to place any excess funds into bricks rather than lose money sitting in the bank. Also, those nationals who had sold in areas of high density such as Madrid and have the capability of working from home may find it more attractive to move here. For sure there will be foreign interest again once flights are allowed in, various clients have already enquired and are wanting to take opportunity but we will have to just wait and see how this unfolds since little is known regarding Covid 19 impact.

Is this a good time to buy property in Benalmadena and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy? 

The property market had reached a peak and seem to have reached a plateau just before the lockdown, there was more demand than properties matching the clients budgets, causing the plateau in sales.  Some reasonably priced properties made sense as they could be purchased not just as a holiday home but as a business to rent to holiday makers to earn a decent income, this would require application for a special tourist license ….but certain communities would need to be avoided since a new law in place has allowed some communities to block any new licenses.  The banks no longer have any decent bank repossessions.  Given the current Covid 19 situation there will now probably be some good opportunities in the market appearing.

What urbanisations are there in Benalmadena and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?

Benalmádena has hundreds of different urbanisations, to simplify the description of these,  its better to distinguish the different areas of Benalmadena. There are still so many Urbanisations which I won’t include simply because there are too many but the generalisation which follows should partially explain Benalmadena and its areas.

Benalmadena Pueblo: Ideally suited for those who like the Andalucian lifestyle, mainly residential.  This is a quaint white washed village with a traditional village square (La Niña) surrounded by tapas bar,  traditional Spanish restaurants, leading to, a lovely chapel with picturesque  terraces overlooking the sea.  Some choose to live here because it offers an authentic piece of Andalucia and being part of the Andalucian community, as well as the village shops, and restaurants. One can enjoy beautiful country walks below the Pueblo or above it along some mountain treks. The heart of Benalmádena is composed mainly of “Casamatas” these are your typical Spanish townhouses which often don’t have terraces, parking or use of a pool.  But these dwellings are mainly owned by older generation Spanish residents which give the Pueblo its authentic Andalucian way of life.

There are a few urbanisations of villas, townhouses and apartments with community pools within short walking to centre of Pueblo but the majority are on the outskirts.  The urbanisations of villas close to the Pueblo are “La Vista”,  “La Hacienda” and “Rancho Domigo”. This latter urbanisation has a handful of  historically classified villas whose design was attributed to the famous American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, it was his disciple Byron Keeler Mosher who was responsible for its promotion back in the 1950´s.  These villas are truly magical and there is a spirit about the place, gardens here are large and full of mature vegetation.

Arroyo de la Miel:  This is the town centre of Benalmádena, suited for those who want to be close to many shops, restaurants and within a relatively short distance by car to beach (5mins) It also benefits with a train station , high streets, church, large market on Fridays, Ice skating Rink, and Supermarkets.  Here we will find primarily apartments in the centre followed by  townhouses, and villas on the outskirts. Urbanisation of Villas which are closest to Arroyo centre is “La Leala”, followed by “Sol y Mar”, heading a little further from Arroyo we have the Urbanisations Montealto and Veracruz, all these were established in the 1980´s.  Way above Arroyo de la Miel we have newer Urbanisations which are a short drive away but too steep for walking for example Urbanisation of Santangelo and Santangelo Norte.


Benalmadena Costa: This area best suited for holiday makers or those who like want to live by the beach.   “Benalmadena Costa” term is often given to the area of Benalmadena coastline which is highly touristic, i.e between Puertomarina and Sunset Beach Hotel, although in many cases it may be used to describe the whole coastline of Benalmadena, from Puertomarina to Carvajal. The area between Puertomarina and Sunset Beach is mainly composed of Apartment complexes. Some of these complexes are purely touristic and composed of 1 bed and studio apartments but there are still many complexes with 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom apartments. Most of the urbanisations in this area were built from 1970s and 80´s.  There are only a few Urbanisations of villas in Benalmadena Costa, namely Sol y Mar, and Hacienda de Torrequebrada which is a 10 minute walk from beach, Also some Urbanisations of townhouses but not many.

There are many other Urbanisations not described here, some with small commercial areas and transport links to further amenities. But given the size of the area, not feasible to describe all in this article.

How much are the typical property prices in Benalmádena for apartments, villas etc?

Really depends on which area,  better value is achieved away from the central coastal area, but as a generalisation on resale properties, studios tend to start at 80.000€, 1 bed units at 100.000€, 2 bed properties 150.000€, 3 bed townhouses 230.000€ and villas from around 350.000€.  In most cases properties will need some refurbishment, modern properties tend to sell at higher prices. Premium prices are paid for properties in prime areas with sea views which have great success in rentals as this will generate a good income.

Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Benalmádena or surrounding area?  

Take your time, given the complexity of the area best to use a good local agent who can explain all the areas in great detail, using this, take your time and get a feel for your area of choice, rent there or pay visits at different times of day night before making a decision, once you know the exact place you  prefer keep in touch with your agent for opportunities that arise there.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or villa on a long- term rental basis? 

Depends on the type, and area but as a generalisation studio apartments from 400€ a month, 1 bed apartment from around 500€ a month, 2 bed apartments 700-800€, 3 bed townhouses from around 1000€ and 3 bed villas from around 2000€

Daniel, this was one of the best interviews we have ever done, I’m sure our readers will truly appreciate your knowledge of the area and should they wish to contact you we have your details below…

property benalmadena Property Benalmadena®-Selective Sales Collection

Address: Complejo Benal Beach, Block 2
Planta 2, Local 6,Avda del Parque 3,
Benalmadena CostaMalaga 29630


Phone: 0034 669 769 794
Alt: 0034 951 778 130


Living in Benalmadena

If you are thinking of moving to Benalmadena, then you must read our expat interview with Lisa Richards of Silversea Worldwide Properties S.L. below:

Lisa, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Benalmadena compared to other Costa del Sol towns?

Well firstly, it is situated on the direct train link from Malaga airport to Benalmadena. You can reach your destination in just approx. 20 minutes.

Benalmadena is broken up into 3 distinct areas: Arroyo de la Miel where the train station is; Benalmadena Pueblo (quaint white washed traditional village) and Benalmadena Costa. Therefore whether you are looking for beach, shops or sightseeing, it has it all.

Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?

None at all because there are excellent transport links from the top part of Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Pueblo and Benalmadena Costa offers all the beach and activities something to suit everyone!

What are your favourite things to do in the area?

Visit the natural Parque de Paloma, Tivoli World, Sealife centre, open air theatre, Butterfly park, cosmopolitan Benalmadena port, eat tapas in the local bars, relax in local spas and meditate in the Buddhist temple and of course swim in the sea!

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants in Benalmadena?

There are too many to mention to suit every person tastes, whether a la carte, tapas, British, Scandinavian, Dutch, Chinese, Italian, Thai, steak houses… the only insider tips are visit as many as you can and enjoy the culture.

Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?

Yes. There is a private hospital called Xanit, local surgeries, dentists, opticians, physicians of all kinds in nearly all languages nobody need worry about being taken cared of. An array of shops to suit everyone from health food shops to shoe shops.

Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?

Smaller villages such as Nueva Torrequebrada and Torremuelle are great for golf, beach coves even a nudists resort.

What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?

British College, The Benalmadena International College, Colegio Internacional Torrequebrada

Is crime an issue for expats?

What a sad question which I know people ask all the time but yet when buying in their own country do they ask this question, of course there are opportunists everywhere including in your own back yard! The funniest question we get asked a lot of ´why are there bars on the windows, is it because of crime´ and the reply is simple it is the Spanish way of building! It can be for many reasons some extraordinary and some very ordinary like air flow!

Coming onto buying property in Benalmadena, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?

Prices seem to have leveled out but we are seeing a rise very slowly in prices each quarter.

Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?

This is an excellent time to buy as prices are realistic. There are many properties to buy for the keen investor from the banks or from owners looking for a quick sale.

What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?

There are too many to mention ranging from your beachside urbanizations to your country urbanizations. Some are gated some are not. Most have communal pools and gardens. Some have 24hr reception service while most have security guards or security service. Some have underground parking while others have communal parking. There are so many to choose from again something to suit each person’s needs.

How much are the typical property prices in Benalmadena for apartments, villas etc?

Typical prices for 2-bed, 2-bath apartment are 150.000; townhouses from 200.000; detached villas start from 280.000.

Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Benalmadena or surrounding area?

Buy now before the prices increase and live life in the sunshine!

Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.

Lisa Richards
Property Advisor

Silversea Properties Silversea Worldwide Properties S.L

Móvil : (0034) 656 199 863

Benalmádena Office:

Centro Comercial Torrenueva,
Local 13, Nueva Torrequebrada,
29630, Benalmádena Costa
Malaga, Spain.


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