Choosing a family holiday destination becomes a lot trickier once you are add teens into the mix. It is important to find somewhere that is bursting at the seams with a range of activities to keep them happy and engaged, but they may also require some time to themselves (as will mum and dad!).
One fantastic choice is Benalmádena – a beautiful town on the southern coast of Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol. This is a great place for teens as it has fun theme parks, inviting sandy beaches and a cool, laid-back atmosphere that you will all enjoy.
Exploring the area? Check out our guide on Malaga’s local culture and history.
The key selling point of Benalmádena is the glorious beaches. Whether you are looking to soak up the sun with a good book, try your hand at thrilling water sports or paddle in the sea, you are well catered for here.
Playa Santa Ana is located near the town centre – this makes it one of the most popular beaches with tourists. It features protected, shallow waters, which means that it is ideal for families looking to swim or paddle in the ocean. It is always busy, but everything you need is at your fingertips and you are able to rent water sports equipment.
Playa Malapesquera/Torrebermeja is a regular Blue Flag winner and another one that is constantly busy. It features large green areas with plenty of shade, so you should be able to find a quiet spot with all the amenities that you need nearby.
If the teens want to try any kind of water sports, I recommend that you head to Playa Fuentre de la Salud to the east of the city centre. Here you can try paragliding, jet skiing, pedalos and more. There are a handful of cheerful seafood eateries nearby too, so head to one of these after a fun day on the beach.
The superb Sea Life aquarium is one of Benalmádena’s major attractions and is very enjoyable for the whole family, especially teens. You are able to get up close and personal to all the weird and wonderful creatures from under the sea, including sharks, giant turtles and rays in impressive displays. You are also able to enjoy unique experiences, including viewing shark feeding, holding a starfish and walking through an incredible underwater tunnel! It’s a magical underwater adventure where you are sure to learn a thing or two as well.
Benalmádena’s very own fun fair, Tivoli World is a wonderful experience thanks to over 300 exhilarating rides and activities, as well as the lively restaurants, bars and various shows throughout the park. This allows you to spend a good few hours here and establish a meeting point – this means that the kids can go and explore whilst you grab a well-deserved drink.
During the summer months, Tivoli World is open late in the evening, so be sure to head here after a day on the beach for some excitement. The Haunted House is a must visit and one of the scariest in all of Spain – it is sure to give the kids quite the scare (even if they pretend it didn’t!).
Up, Up and Away in the Cable Car
Ascend into the clouds with a thrilling cable car ride to the top of Benalmádena’s Calamorror Mountain for outstanding views and an exciting experience (be warned, this may be a bit much for those with a fear of heights!).
The journey up takes 15 minutes in a gondola where you will rise to 800m above sea level. You then exit the gondola with several different walking trails to explore, allowing you to visit different sightseeing points and walk to the very top of the mountain. From here, you can enjoy amazing views of the Atlas mountains of Morocco, Gibraltar and Malaga. You may even get to see birds of prey in their natural environment! There is also a horse show, falconry show and restaurant to check out before getting back in the cable car and beginning your descent down the mountain.
Aqualand & Biopark
Although slightly outside the town, I recommend that you check out these two parks, which are two of Costa del Sol’s main attractions.
Aqualand – The largest water park on Costa Del Sol, Aqualand is ideal on a sizzling hot day and great fun for the family. It is very large, spacious and clean, so even during peak times it never feels too cramped; you could even find some peace and quiet under a sun umbrella if you wish. Aqualand has dozens of restaurants, but you can also bring your own food if you want to save money.
Biopark – Biopark is a zoo unlike any other. The animals live side-by-side in a recreation of their natural habitat, as opposed to being kept separate in small cages and enclosures. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to be; seeing these majestic animals up-close in a natural environment is a special experience that you will all cherish.
How to Get There
You will want to book a flight from London to Malaga (AGP). 9 major airlines make this direct flight, which takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes. There are 167 flights made each week and you can find returns for as little as £40.
By pre-booking a Shuttle Direct transfer, a friendly local driver will be waiting for you at Malaga airport and whisk you along the coast to sunny Benalmádena. You will be at your hotel in a little over 15 minutes.
Where to Stay:
Torreón Del Mar – With lovely views out to sea, this hotel is just a short stroll from the beach. The spacious family rooms come with free Wi-Fi, TV and their own kitchen so you don’t have to eat out all the time, but there is also a restaurant and snack bar with a peaceful outdoor dining area. It also features an outdoor pool. Previous guests have loved this hotel due to its convenient location.
Benalbeach 2 Dormitorios – Just 1 mile from the marina and very close to the beach, this stylish air-conditioned apartment has a brilliant location but also offers plenty of privacy. The apartment features free Wi-Fi, private bathroom, private pool, garden and a fully equipped kitchen. In addition to the central location, other guests have also rated it as excellent value for money when compared to other properties in the area.
Puerto Marina – A stone’s throw from the marina and with ocean views, this hotel is found in the best-rated area of Benalmádena. The family rooms have a kitchen, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi, whilst the hotel also features a sun terrace, garden and a year-round outdoor pool.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct can ensure your holiday gets off to a smooth start with affordable, fast and reliable passage from the airport to your destination. As Europe’s number one airport transfer provider, you know that you are in good hands when you book your journey on our website.
Use the simple online booking form today and leave the rest up to the experts.