Gaudi glitz at the Puerto Marina – Benalmadena, Spain

If you walk along the seafront promenade at Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol, you’ll eventually reach the Puerto Marina. By day the marina is quiet and relaxed but by night it comes alive with crowds flocking to promenade, have a drink in the bar that’s owned by Antonio Banderas and generally see and be seen.

Puerto Marina at Benalmadena, Spain

Puerto Marina at Benalmadena, Spain

The residents of Benalmadena are pretty proud of their port, with trophy yachts moored up, and expensive apartment buildings with curvy balconies and Moorish lines, that are inspired by Gaudi architecture. The apartments are set on artificial islands, separated from the main promenade by the water so that the beautiful people who own them can sit on their balconies, watching the rest of the world pass by without actually having to mingle with them, although most of them looked pretty deserted with little sign of life.

The Gaudi theme continued into the shopping centre with brightly coloured stairwells and Gaudi inspired mosaics. This is the place where you can easily part with your holiday spending money in one evening, buy some inexpensive jewellery, have your hair plaited, or have your photo taken in a period hat like a 20s flapper. If you’re feeling flush you might invest in a fake D & G or Louis Vuiton handbag from the African street sellers with watchful eyes, ready to run if the police turn the corner. Look carefully and you’ll see the strings criss-crossing the sheets they lay their wares upon, so they can grab the bundle and disappear in seconds. You may even be chatted up by a charming boat captain, ready to sell you a trip on a Chinese junk that will take you up the coast and back.

Puerto Marina at Benalmadena  , Spain

Puerto Marina at Benalmadena , Spain

When we walked through the Puerto Marina after our seafood dinner in the Chiringuito, we heard that the Virgin festival was being held that evening. I had visions of some smart yachting event sponsored by Richard Branson, but it turned out to be the local feast day, when the statue of the Virgin Mary is paraded from the church to a boat and then sails out of the harbour at Torremolinos, with an escort of the local fishermen with their boats decorated with lights. We were too late to see the statue being paraded but we did catch a glimpse of the flotilla of boats circling around the harbour. The crowds were out in force for the fiesta and so, it turned out, were the pickpockets, as unfortunately my friend had her purse stolen from her handbag. I clutched my bag tightly after that, thinking about the expensive camera and video equipment that I’d been carrying around. The next day she joined the queue at the police station to report the theft with a large number of others who’d suffered the same experience.

It was a shame, but we tried not to let it spoil our evening, catching a few noisy fiesta fireworks on our way home. I can highly recommend the ice creams at the Gelateria di Porto Marina– they were huge and delicious.

Compare prices and book hotels near Benelmadena with Hotels Combined

More places to see on the Costa del Sol in Spain

A visit to Ojén – the Pueblos Blancos of Andalucia
A monument to the Peseta – in Fuengirola, Spain
Seafood on the beach at the Chiringuito in Spain



heatheronhertravels' Spain - Malaga photoset heatheronhertravels’ Spain – Malaga photoset

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  • Reply
    August 27, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for your recent posts on the Costa del Sol – I’m going in November 2010 and have enjoyed getting a preview of what lies in store for me here 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    September 1, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    @ Sunee – I haven’t written about it yet, but I really enjoyed the Picasso museum in Malaga in a beautifully restored palace

  • Reply
    November 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I recently visited a beautiful, serine village along the mediterranean coast called Frigiliana, 6km away from Nerja.
    I was reccommended to visit the villiage by a close friend of mind who has previously visited with her partner.
    I had an amazing time here, learning and exploring all about inner spain in an anti-tourist way, really capturing the tearm ‘adventuring’.
    It is a number 1 reccommendation when travelling the mediterranean coast!

    Located north of the traditional Andalusian costal town, Nerja, with its enchanting beachside resort and exquisite restaurant district, lies the flowering whitewashed town of Frigiliana . The town sits at the edge of the Natural Park of the Almijara, Tejeda, and Alhama mountain ranges where one can endlessly explore the many fruits of nature encountered in the Axarquía area. Frigiliana is a place where a variety of cultures and traditions have mixed together to form the very essence of what a traditional Spanish town encompasses and also prides itself for its most welcoming acceptance of foreigners, who along with the locals have helped to cultivate the complex social-cultural system present within its borders. Come visit this fabulous town, with its breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the spectacular mountains, try the traditional local cuisine, have a stroll through its narrow flower-adorned cobblestone streets, and be amazed by the purest beauty of this award-winning Andalusian village packed with cultural activities, traditional places to explore, fiery fiestas, and much more.

    I booked my stay using http://www.rentin-frigiliana.com which is a perfect site for all your booking needs, you’re sure to find the perfect place, for your perfect stay !
    Happy travelling !

  • Reply
    Gente - Isaac Opium Mar
    October 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

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  • Reply
    April 23, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to Benalmadena marina, have lived here for over 20 years and always like taking friends and family there in the evenings for a meal and drinks.

    It used to be quite expensive but with the recession bars and resturants are now bringing there prices down by quite alot.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      April 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      @Dave It was certainly a place with a buzzing atmosphere at night, a place for a good night out with friends.

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