Benalmadena Marina

Benalmadena.

Today Benalmadena has so many things to offer you. Tivoli World Entertainment Park, The five star Torrequebrada Hotel and Casino, Marina World, Local Market, Plaza Major (leisure and enjoyment centre) and Benalmadena Marina.
 
 
The Best Marina in the world.

Situated at the heart of the Costa del Sol or at latitude 36 36' N and longitude 4 31' W, for those in the know, is the stunning marina of Benalmadena. The Benalmadena Marina was the brainchild of architect Eduardo Oria, the marina took nearly ten years to complete, opening its doors in 1982. Combining the water and boat moorings with commercial buildings and residential property built upon islands, the unique effect created, is that of a whole community, unlike many other marinas where a sharp definition between landlubbers and 'yachters' seems to prevail. Since its inauguration, the marina has won the much coveted "Best Marina in the World" award twice and since 1987 has been awarded the Blue Flag of the Clean Seas of Europe by the European Community in recognition of its waters and services.

Moorish Architecture.

The architecture of Benalmadena Marina on shore is a mix of Indian, Arabic and Andalucían and is surprisingly harmonious. Several little bridges span the water giving access to the innovative residential islands where three blocks of luxury apartments are housed. Cars are parked unobtrusively under awnings supported by huge carved pillars and small leafy gardens hide amphorae lying like lost treasure. Mosaic walls depict the sea's waves while the staircase leading to one of the entrances is a shimmering mosaic fish. The overall effect is pleasing and relaxing and whichever way you look you are surrounded by water.

Private Islands.

As I wandered around the Marina I thought how nice it would be to step out of your door, board your own speedboat and putter out of the marina before heading out onto open water. Or perhaps keep a sailboat moored in the harbour for weekend getaways. With these thoughts milling around my mind I headed off the islands - only I couldn't, I was locked in. I had strolled in through the gates as some people were unloading their shopping unaware that the islands are private and for residents only.

I stood on the little bridge pondering my situation and the embarrassment it would cause me if someone didn't show up soon! Someone did a kind Irishman and his son who let me out whilst explaining just how nice it was to live on the islands. He also told me that in the four years since he bought his apartment in Spain, it has gone up in value a staggering 100%.

Shops and Restaurants.

The main part of Benalmadena Marina which looks out to the islands across the masts of the water's inhabitants is also adorned with huge mosaic pillars, the largest belonging to a large gateway where benches underneath beckon for a quick sit down to admire the surroundings. Shops abound with big names such as Swatch mingling with smaller boutiques and leatherwear outlets. You could eat your way around the world with American, Spanish, Mexican, Italian and Argentinean restaurants tastefully vying for your custom or spend a lazy hour in one of the many waterside cafés dotted all around the marina.

Sea Life.

The port is also home to Sea Life, a fantastic modernistic aquarium with over 30 displays including an incredible tunnel where you walk seemingly submerged in the ocean whilst sharks cruise above you. Sea Life is open all year round from 10am.

Ferry and Cruiser.

If being so close to all that water proves too tempting, why not jump aboard and head out to sea. There are a multitude of options if the ocean wave is calling you; for simply getting from A - B, a ferry service operates between the Benalmadena Marina and Malaga, Fuengirola and Torremolinos running several times a day taking in the coastal sites en route. If you fancy getting more involved, several sail boats go out to sail in the Bay of Benalmadena, most offering you the chance to hoist the mainsail and weigh anchor. Cruisers also ply the bay where you can sit on deck enjoying a nice G & T and let someone else do all the work.

Dolphins and Chinese trips.

Alternatively you can fly out there by speedboat and feel the rush that only these jet set craft can give or for a really different outing, an authentic Chinese junk all the way from Hong Kong is moored in the Marina. On most of the trips you will spot dolphins racing in the bow wave and occasionally may even be lucky enough to spot turtles, sunfish and whales. You can also learn to sail, windsurf, kayak and scuba dive if you are the energetic type! If all that has left you a little breathless and you would prefer to keep your feet on terra firma and simply look out to sea, then a whole calendar of boating events is laid on by the Port authorities including regattas, deep sea fishing competitions and local fiestas such as the Fiesta de la Virgen Del Carmen.

Renting a Boat.

Tempted to become your own captain? Several boat dealers are on hand within the port offering everything from dinghies to luxury cruisers and yachts and moorings are also available. Full maintenance services are available as well as a list as long as your arm of other boat related services on offer at the port. With over 1000 moorings, it's proximity to Malaga International Airport and world glass golf courses, it's competitive rates and abounding services, the marina is the ideal place to keep your tub while you are away and is well worth checking out if you are looking for mooring facilities in the area.

Extending the Marina.

Eduardo Oria's dream is far from complete. There are ambitious plans afoot with the project to expand the port to accommodate more than 1000 new boats and new facilities for all lengths of craft including large cruisers. The work will take approximately four to five years to complete but once finished it promises to make Benalmadena Marina one of the most important pleasure ports in Europe. For now the marina is a perfect place to wander around and relax, take to the water in whatever fashion takes your fancy, eat drink and be merry and for those lucky enough, a perfect place to live.

 

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