A holiday on the Costa del Sol usually means sun, sand and azure waves. However, if you want time off from indulging in its gorgeous beaches to have a fun family time, Costa del Sol delivers equally well and Benalmádena is one such place with plenty to discover.
A castle out of a fairytale – Colomares Castle
Colomares Castle, also known as ‘Castillo de Colomares’ is a fascinating and magical attraction on the Costa del Sol. It is the largest monument dedicated to the life and adventures of Christopher Colombus, and was built by Dr Esteban Martín Martín. The design of the castle brings together Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar traditions of Spanish architecture. The castle has stunning representations of the explorer’s travels and discoveries intricately carved. One such beautiful statue is of the three ships that made the trip to America. Inside the castle there’s a book relating the details of the voyages of Columbus along with more meticulous carvings. Another intriguing detail of the Colomares Castle is that it houses the smallest church in the world, as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Sea Life Aquarium
The aquarium’s underwater tunnel makes you feel like you are in the deep blue sea watching the amazing sea creatures swimming around you. There are over 2000 creatures to see here while you can get up close with some of them. You can touch and hold a starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and hermit crabs at the Rockpool Experience. There is also an Otter Oasis showcasing the aquarium’s Asian short-clawed otters.
Garden of Eagles
This wonderful Birds of Prey garden overlooks the Mediterranean Sea at 250m above sea level. The best way to reach it is by cable car. Under the supervision of multilingual expert handlers, the 160+ birds take flight and descend, displaying their majesty and power. There are displays throughout the day. The centre is dedicated to raising and protecting many different species of birds of prey.
The Butterfly Park
This is Europe’s largest butterfly park. Situated next to Europe’s largest pagoda, it is home to over 1500 butterflies from 150 different species. You can see all stages of a butterfly’s life from caterpillars and chrysalis to new butterflies hatching in cages. Other animals include a tortoise, a wallaby and a Komodo dragon.