Benalmadena, on Spain’s Costa del Sol, is known around the globe for its world-class marina. Voted twice the World’s Best Marina, yacht owners and the ultra-rich gravitate here to relax and play in Benalmadena all year round. But, Benalmadena is also popular with families with kids, who love this quaint town for its beautiful beaches, lovely weather and fun family activities.
If you’ll be staying in Benalmadena and have kids, you’ll have one of the bet family vacations ever as there are so many kid-friendly activities to do. These are five of the best.
Tivoli World – The most popular attraction for families and kids in Benalmadena is Tivoli World. Set in a tropical garden jungle, this enormous theme park has more than 300 rides, live entertainment, a Spanish flamenco show, a circus, wild west show, wandering buskers and lots of restaurants and gift shops. Tivoli World has a section for kids under 12 years of age, with mini rides and games and there’s even a Teletubbies show.
Tivoli World is open both during the day and in the evening, when it’s often host to some of the world’s most famous entertainers who give live shows in the 3,000 seat arena. Buy tickets at the gate or through various outlets in Benalmadena. For the best deal, buy the ‘Supertivolino’ pass, as it allows you and the kids unlimited trips on more than 30 rides.
Take the Benalmadena Tourist Train – There’s a wonderful mini train that drives around Benalmadena’s streets, making stops at various tourist attractions along the way. Perfect for little kids, who don’t always want to walk a long way, especially in Spain’s intense heat, you can take it to Tivoli World, the Marina, a castle, a museum, and several other stops around Benalmadena. You can buy a one-way or round-trip ticket, with trips taking around 30 minutes each way, and prices are cheap.
Sea Life Aquarium – Benalmadena’s aquarium isn’t your typical aquarium. It’s one of the first underwater walk-through underwater theme parks in all of Spain — an amazing place where you can get up close and personal with the marine life. You will learn about their feeding habits, see them being fed, rub your hand along their backs and stomachs in the special touching tanks and, of course, walk through that huge underwater tunnel right on the sea bed.
Sea Life Aquarium has 30 large tanks with everything from tropical fish to eels, sharks to stingrays, octopus, jelly fish and more. They’re open all year round and children under 4 years old are admitted free of charge.
Ride the Cable Car – One of the most thrilling things to do for kids in Benalmadena is to take the cable car all the way up Mount Calamorro. The cable car goes from the base of the mountain to more than 800 meters up. At the end of the ride, there’s a restaurant, a falconry show, a horse show, hiking trails and some pretty stunning views over the ocean below.
The cable cars are small and wobble around a bit but kids will have a great time. There’s even a paragliding take-off spot, where they can watch those even more adventurous get their thrills. Catch the cable car just off the parking lot of Tivoli World.
Paloma Park – This enormous park, complete with a big lake, is a wonderful place to relax while the kids run riot. There are huge gardens full of peacocks, ducks, rabbits, emus, turtles, goats and other small animals and birds, fish in the lake, a cactus garden, and a couple of kids’ playgrounds.
Mom and Dad will enjoy sitting at one of the park’s cafes and relaxing over coffee or cake, while the kids will adore the ice cream. Paloma Park is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, just don’t forget to take some bread so you can feed the ducks.