Malaga, and Benalmadena specifically, are nice places as a home-base for doing small trips in this part of Andalusia. We had three days, and we decided to spend each of the afternoons exploring another destination. You can easily do everything in half the time, but we didn’t want to rush with the baby.
Our first (and the best!) destination was Mijas village. Beautiful, small village on the slopes of the mountain, white houses decorated with flowers in blue pots. Many shops with leather goods, nougat, spices, honey and other delicatessen produced locally. Amazing view of the coast and the mountains! Definitely check Parque La Muralla with church Iglesia Inmaculada Concepción and amazing views of the mountains and Alboran Sea. I would highly recommend to get lost in the narrow streets of this cute village.
The Colomares Monument, Butterfly park and Stupa
Our second destination, the Colomares Monument is a castle-style monument honoring Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the new world, America. This monument was built between 1987 and 1994 by Esteban Martin Martin and his two co-workers. A great place to take some interesting pictures! It’s not big, but it feels intense because of the number of ornaments. It is a mix of many architectural styles and materials: brick, stone and cement. One part of the monument resembles of the stern from La Santa Maria, the largest of the three Spanish ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. You can love it or hate it. We had vastly different opinions, so check it yourself in what camp you’ll fall!
After a 30-minute walk along the main road, we reached the Butterfly Park and Stupa of Enlightenment. At the entrance you will receive a small list of different butterfly species with names and photos to see if you can spot all of them. This place looks like a big greenhouse, very hot and humid with a lot of plants, not unlike being in a tropical forest. The most spectacular species we spotted were Greta Oto, a butterfly with transparent wings, the bright blue Morpho pheleides and the black Parides iphidamas with its big red dots on the wings. Besides the butterflies, you can see their small wallaby and very colorful, rainbow finches, both native to Australia. It’s a great place for older kids. Young toddlers can have difficulties to spot the butterflies and if they do, you need to be careful and not let them damaged the fragile butterflies as some do get very close to visitors.
El Calamorro Monte
El Calamorro Monte, panoramic view of Benalmadena. It has several access points, but we decided to take the Benalmádena Cable Car, which runs along its slope from Arroyo de la Miel (next to the old Tivoli amusement park) to the very top of the mountain (approximately 780 metres above the see level). There are a few beautiful view points and a show featuring birds of prey at the top. You can also start hiking from there in various directions or even cycle downhill (you can take your bike by cable car, though you might need to detach a wheel to get it in the cabin). We were too late for last show with birds of prey (3:00 pm) but we enjoyed a small tour around the peak, remember to take some extra clothes, with wind and clouds accumulating around the peak, it can get chilly.
- Playground, Patio de Juegos, next to Parque La Muralla in Mijas. We spend there a lot of time, this amazing playground has attractions for each age group. Our one-year-old baby loved it and it not so easy to find a playground that suits her age.
- Castillo Colomares - entry 3 euro per adult, 2 euro for seniors and kids
- Butterfly Park - we bought tickets online, 8.50 euro per adult, seniors 7.50 euro. The online ticket system was a little strange. After paying, you should get a code via mail that can be redeemed for the tickets at the reception… We never got that mail though. As for the tickets with PayPal fortunately the order ID was also included in the PayPal order confirmation. You need to buy tickets at least one hour before the visit. More on the official website
- Benalmadena cable car - tickets bought on spot, 16.90 euro per adult, seniors 12.90 euro
- You can check how to travel by bus by reading practical info section of my related blog post It took us 40 min from Benalmadena to Mijas (Butterfly park was half-way to Mijas) by line 121, 126
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