Benalmádena (Spanish pronunciation: [benalˈmaðena]) is a town in Andalusia in southern Spain, 12 km west of Málaga, on the Costa del Sol between Torremolinos and Fuengirola.
Benalmádena is rich in attractive beaches and interesting places like the Colomares Castle, the 33-metre-tall Buddhist Benalmádena Stupa, the largest Buddhist stupa in Europe, the Benalmádena Marina and the Benalmádena Cable Car.
Benalmádena covers an area of just over 27 km2 that extends from the summits of the Sierra de Mijas to the sea, falling in some places as a cliff. The territory is crossed from east to west on Highway A-7, which connects with the provincial capital and other centres of the Mediterranean coast.
With 61,383 inhabitants according to the INE census of 2010, Benalmádena is the eighth most populous municipality in the province and the third largest metropolitan area, behind Málaga and Torremolinos. The population is concentrated in three main centers: Benalmádena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmádena Costa, although the high urban growth and demographic tends to unify the three cores.
Benalmádena has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Benalmádena experienced a remarkable development during the period of Muslim domination. Its development was paralyzed after joining the Crown of Castile in 1485 due to various natural disasters and the intensity of the activity of privateers in the area. The paper industry and vineyard cultivation reactivated the local economy during the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the early 21st century Benalmádena is one of the main tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol, with leisure facilities including an amusement park, two aquariums, a casino, a cable car and one of the largest marinas of Andalusia.