Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient castles, roman theatres, fashion museums, wildlife adventures or seek to uncover the true history of Picasso at his Birthplace Museum Entrance, there is something for everyone in Costa del Sol. Tick a trip to King’s Walkway Tour off your bucket list, where you can explore the true beauty of Costa del Sol’s turquoise waters on a scenic hike.
Alameda Park is in Marbella’s town centre between the Avenida Ricardo Soriano and the Avenida del Mar and is probably best known for its beautiful Virgen del Rocio fountain and its botanical gardens. The park has marble walkways filled with trees and there are some beautiful ceramic benches under huge banana palms, for you to sit and take in the lovely surroundings and enjoy the lush and natural environment.
This is a place where the locals gather to chat while enjoying the shade. It’s quite frequent to find organised events and street markets as it’s one of the most active places in the city. There are many bars, cafes, and restaurants for you to sit and spend a while having a drink or a meal or just watching the world go by.
As a treat why not hire a horse-drawn carriage to take you around the city of Marbella?
Avenida del Mar is a modern urban square linking the Alameda park with the Paseo Maritimo (seafront promenade). It is adorned with fountains, pergolas, and a collection of sculptures by Salvador Dali. The square is lined with shaded seating beside the ponds and fountains and there is plenty of room to walk around the sculptures in order to fully appreciate and admire them.
There are ten sculptures in total, with the centrepiece being the Avenida del Mar which is a 1992 pyramid shaped fountain honouring the architects Roberto Barrios and Elisa Cepedano. It is quite amazing that you are able to see these incredible statues, which are equal to any museum collection, in the street and at no charge.
You can walk up through the park and fountain into the old quarter, another beautiful area with a number of bars and cafes and well worth a visit.
The Balcon de Europa in Nerja is situated on a rocky headland and was formerly a fortress designed to keep out British pirates and privateers. Today it is the focal point of the town, providing stunning views along the coastline past the Calahonda and Burriana beaches to the picturesque village of Maro and the Nerja Caves.
The Promenade is completely pedestrianised, as are the adjoining streets and it is lined with cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours and at night it comes alive with artists, the odd musician and is a place where people just stroll along soaking up the atmosphere or having a leisurely meal or drink.
The Balcon de Europa is also the location for various concerts and ‘fiestas’ throughout the year, including the ‘not to be missed’ New Year celebrations with firework displays, music, and dancing until dawn.
Situated on the main road just a short walk from the marina, the Benalmadena Exhibition Centre is found in an unpretentious brick building designed by Angle Canizares and Raul Gante. The Moorish theme to the building is also reflected in the main entrance and exit doors.
The Exhibition Centre has air conditioning and humidity control, keeping the centre at a steady temperature of 18ºC – 20ºC and the exhibitions are regularly changed with 6 to 8 exhibitions being held each year, including painting, archaeology, historical artefacts, photography, sculpture, and architecture.
Approximately 8 million people visit the Centre and over a million Costa del Sol residents have had some kind of training in classes held there.
This is a small but elegant centre is well worth a visit. There is no charge, just wander in and admire the exhibits in your own time with no hassle.
Benalmadena Pueblo dates back to Moorish times and sits on a hillside with marvellous views across Malaga bay and still retains its charm as a typical Andalucian village, with its whitewashed houses, narrow cobbled streets, and balconies decorated with flowers.
The main village square in the centre of the pueblo is Plaza de Espana and contains the statue known as Fuente de la Nina, (a young girl who has become the symbol of Benalmadena).
There are many places of interest to visit, including the Archaeological Museum, the Castillo Colomares, which looks a little like a fairy castle, the Church of Santo Domingo and just outside the village is the Benalmadena Stupa which is the largest Buddhist monument in the western world.
After all that sightseeing why not visit one of the many tapas bars and restaurants to visit where you can take refreshment and people watch.
The Marina of Benalmadena officially opened in 1979, with the name “Port au Prince” but in 1982 was renamed Puerto Marina Benalmadena. It is one of the Costa del Sol’s busiest centres, with plenty of lovely shops, bars, and quality restaurants.
The marina has in excess of a thousand moorings so there are lots of yachts and boats to look at. Why not spend some time satting in the beautiful Costa del Sol sunshine, admiring the fantastic boats and watching the hundreds of fish swimming around in the lovely clear water?
There is a land train that takes you on a tour around the marina while the guide tells you all about the area and its attractions. The ride lasts approximately 30 minutes and is well worth taking.
In the evening there is a choice of sophisticated bars and clubs if you fancy a drink and a dance.
Bil-Bil Castle is located in Benalmadena and stands on the seafront next to the promenade. It was built in 1927 and since the 1980s has been owned by the City Council.
A beautiful deep-red coated Arabic-style structure that entices you to go inside and wander through its interior, admiring the brightly coloured tiles, arches, lattice windows, plasterwork, and flower displays. Fountains flank the castle and there is also a typical Moorish courtyard with delightful gardens to stroll through.
Many events such as art exhibitions, concerts and conferences are organised by the Town Hall in the Bil-Bil Castle, making it well worth a visit. Because it is such a beautiful building it’s is not surprising that the Bil-Bil Castle is where so many people choose to hold their wedding.
Once it gets dark, the moon and lighting make it an even more delightful spectacle.
Castillo de Colomares is a monument, in the form of a castle, dedicated to the life and adventures of Christopher Columbus. Looking at this exquisite fairy-tale castle you would never guess it was designed by a doctor and built by two local builders. The design unifies various architectural styles: Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic and Arabic. It took them seven years to create this wonderful monument, completed entirely in their spare time.
The interior of the castle is home to the world’s smallest chapel, (according to the Guinness Book of Records, measuring just under two square metres. The stained-glass windows inside the castle are a sight to behold and there is even an empty mausoleum there, apparently, there is hope that one day the remains of Columbus will be laid to rest there.
There is a car park on site and a cafeteria if you should want refreshments.
It is well worth taking a day trip to Gibraltar if you are on holiday in the Costa del Sol as this British territory offers unrivalled shopping opportunities, with duty-free prices on many goods, and top British stores on Main Street.
Whichever resort you are staying in you will be able to take a coach trip to Gibraltar, or of course, if you prefer you could go by car. However you get there, you will not be disappointed with its many attractions including the legendary Rock of Gibraltar rising out of the sea, St. Michael’s Cove where you can see the Barbary apes and Europa Point with its lighthouse.
Once you have taken some refreshment in one of the many cafes and restaurants, why not browse all the fantastic shops and boutiques, including the famous Gibraltar Crystal, where you will find many beautiful items made of quality crystal?
Parque La Bateria is a fairly large municipal park in Torremolinos that was once a military fortress and has four preserved cannons and two underground bunkers from the 1930s. This park is virtually a botanical garden, with plant life from around the world all beautifully laid out with well-maintained trees, shrubs, and lovely ornamental fountains.
At the centre of the park is a boating lake where you can rent a boat and there is also a children’s play park which is very clean and arranged by age so there’s something for everyone. There are some adult exercise machines and the park itself is beautiful so you can get some fantastic pictures from the top of the tower.
It is best to take snacks and drinks with you as there is no cafe on site, just vending machines. There is parking nearby and the park is suitable for those with mobility issues.