Barcelona is one of the most exciting places to visit in Spain and oftentimes is the most affordable gateway into the country.

As such, the latest tourism reports are quite surprising as one lesser-known beach city is reigning supreme over Barcelona and other notable Spanish destinations.

Of course, it’s not shocking travelers are making their way to Spain’s shoreline as the country is one of the best beach getaways in all of Europe.

Seeing as much as a 51% increase in tourists, the beautiful coastal city of Benalmadena is taking Spain by storm as the new trendy tourism hotspot.

Where Is Benalmadena?

Benalmadena is a beautiful coastal city along Spain’s highly desired Costa del Sol, so in that aspect, the surge in popularity is not entirely surprising.

beach chairs on beach in benalmadena spain

What is surprising is the other cities it’s beating out in the tourism sector, like Barcelona and Benidorm.

The sunny Costa del Sol stretches for miles along Spain’s southern coast toward Gibraltar with many idyllic vacation spots to choose from.

Malaga may be the most well known as the capital of the region and Benalmadena is only 40 minutes away, making for easy access as a smaller beach city of only 68,000 residents.

The Shining Star Of The Costa del Sol

If you asked travelers in the past where they recommend visiting along the Costa del Sol, you’re likely to hear mixed answers of Malaga, Marbella, maybe even Torremolinos.

Beach Bil-Bil

Now the answer may very well be Benalmadena, and rightfully so. Overshadowed by the greatness of Malaga, it’s now Benalmadena’s time to shine with 15 incredible beaches to choose from.

Ranging from quiet and tranquil to jam-packed with fun activities, you will surely find a beach to match your vibe.

The best part is that this city’s beaches are notoriously well-kept and clean.

Plus, now that Benalmadena is making a name for itself, it’s actually one of the best times to visit before it risks losing its unique charm and authenticity.

The Delights Of Old Town

Colomares Monument Castle

Travelers marvel at the delights in and around the city’s quaint Old Town district (Benalmadena Pueblo), which feels more like a separate Andalusian village.

Tucked away from the beach, tourists will find winding cobblestone streets lined with historic Santorini-esque white buildings transformed into cozy boutique hotels and restaurants.

Here is about as laid back as it gets – beautiful weather year-round where you can peruse the charming streets sampling wine and tapas on the go.

Just down the road is the unmissable Colomares Castle, honoring the life of famed explorer Christopher Colombus.

row of historic white buildings in benalmadena

Now that we’re over 700 years past his heyday, say what you want about the guy, but the castle is a must-visit and only $10 for a tour.

Some Of The Best Views In Spain

When it comes to coastal getaways, ideally you would want to take in some of the best views, right? Benalmadena has just the place.

Seeing the beautiful beaches at ground level is one thing, but venturing toward Mount Calamorro takes it to another level.

cablecars in benalmadena spain

The Teleférico Benalmádena gives visitors the chance to dine, hike, or simply put the ‘fun’ in funicular by riding the cablecar up and down the scenic mountain.

Guests can take in amazing views from various outlooks, including patio dining and mountain overhangs.

Beloved Theme Park Set To Reopen

One of the top attractions in Benalmadena before the pandemic is the decades-old Tivoli World theme park.

Beloved by tourists across the globe, as well as locals, Tivoli World was one of many business casualties around the world.

tivoli world theme park benalmadena spain

According to the Spanish publication The Olive Press, plans are in full force to reopen the park as soon possible, although no official date is set.

The park will surely be revamped as it’s been sitting for 3 years, but tourists can expect much of the same with a ferris wheel and thrilling rides like one of park guests’ favorites, the Torre de Caida Libre (the Free Fall Tower).

While this theme park remains closed for now, no matter where else you visit in Spain, remember the country is laying down some new ground rules for all tourists.

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