A Brief History of Benalmadena
Around the 8th Century BC trade with the Pheonicians occurred. Fish processing was prominent close to the coast, and the mining of iron ore and silver, along with the quarrying of marble, took place further inland. The area was largely given over to agriculture, and at the time of the Roman occupation the population of the Benalmadena area was small and rural with two distinct centres, the fishing hamlet covered by present-day Benalmadena Costa, and the farm labourer and mine worker village close to Benalmadena Pueblo.
The name of Benalmadena was first heard during the time of the Moorish occupation which began in the early 8th century. The origin, as is often the case with names during this era, is somewhat obscure. The interpretation ‘son of the mines’ written in some accounts seems somewhat exotic. Perhaps ‘son of the town’, or in other words ‘New town’ may be more appropriate. Given that there is archaelogical evidence of a garum factory near the coast (garum is a relish or cosmetic produced by the fermentation of fish innards) it seems likely that the population would gravitate away from the pungent odours and perhaps the expanding Benalmadena Pueblo became the ‘New Town’.
Throughout the Middle Ages coasts of this part of the Mediterranean Seas were susceptible to pirate raids. Watch towers were built to warn of impending attacks, and while the Moors fortified the towers against Christian invaders in the 13th and 14th Centuries, the Christians had to further strengthen the coastal defences against Islamic incursions after the Reconquest in 1492. Two of these towers, with various modifications, still remain, but there are few other signs of Moorish occupation left in the area.
An earthquake in the late 15th Century rendered many of the buildings in Benalmadena unusable and the population around this time was numbered in tens rather than hundreds. Another earthquake in the late 17th Century marked the nadir in Benalmadena before an enterprising Italian brought industry and rejuvenation to the countryside. Paper mills were created in the late 18th century using a system of aqueducts (remnants still remain) and existing waters in the present-day Arroyo de Miel (The ‘Stream of Honey’ named after the numerous bee-hives kept alongside the brook for the purpose of producing honey for food and cosmetic uses.). Fine grapes were grown on the hill sides around Benalmadena Pueblo and for a while the area flourished but disaster struck again. In the mid 19th century the paper-mill industry declined and this co-incided with the import from America by English botanists of the Phylloxera louse. The resulting insect plague eliminated most grape-producing vines in Europe and, combined with drought and famine, the population of this part of Spain markedly declined.
In the early 20th century an upturn in fortunes occurred as tourism slowly evolved. The extension of the railway from Malaga to Fuengirola led to a steady inrease in population close to the station in Arroyo de Miel. The rich turned the sandy beaches around Benalmadena Costa into their playground and built imposing houses, and even castles (Castle Bil-Bil!). Th white-washed walls of .Benalmadena Pueblo remained largely unaffected through the 1950s but with the arrival of package holidays in the ’60s the whole character of the area changed for ever. The commercial centre of Arroyo de Miel moved outwards and upwards, this merged in the south with the expanding hotel and apartment complexes of Benalmadena Costa, and in the north with the seemingly unending need for holiday homes. Although the centre of Benalmadena Costa has retained some of it’s historical dignity, the three urban settlements have largely merged into one urban sprawl.
Although few vestiges of history remain to be seen, the modern Benalmadena has much to offer. The Paloma Park is a soothing and cooling place on a hot day, and the top of the Calamorro Mountain, accessed from Benalmadena by cable-ar i even cooler. The Marina, with it’s vast selection of restaurants and bustling night-life is a joyous place to be, and for a somewhat quirky extra, the Budhist stoupa, at 33 metres high, is the biggest in the western world.
General Climate and Weather in Benalmadena
The Sierra de Mijas.rises to over 900 metres behind Benalmadena, offering shelter from the weather systems that occasionally spread southeast across Spain during the late autumn, winter and early spring. Rainfall is fairly uncommon along the Costa del Sol during the summer months, and with a regular afternoon sea breeze, the intense heat of inland Spain is a very rare visitor. This attractive climate has contributed to the expansion of Benalmadena Costa into one of the premier beach resorts in Europe. Benalmadena Pueblo, at over 200 metres above sea level still maintains a village atmosphere, and the contrast with the coast in culture is enhanced by the perhaps surprising differences in weather and climate.
Weather in Benalmadena in January
|Average Maximum 16C/61F||Average Minimum 8C/46F||Days with rain falling 7|
There is usually plenty of sunshine both inland and on the coast during January and the rain, when it arrives, normally lasts, on and off, for 2 or 3 days before the sun returns for a week or more. Temperatures, although not especially high, do feel pleasant enough in the afternoon sunshine, although a chill wind sometimes blows down the valleys, On 2 or 3 days in the month, the temperature may approach, or even exceed, 20 Celsius (68F), but on the cloudy and wet days maxima could be no higher than 10 Celsius (50F) with Benalmadena Pueblo perhaps shrouded by low cloud. The evenings during January will almost always feel chilly, and on rare occasions, the larger gardens on the outskirts of the town may have a frost on the grass for an hour or two around dawn.
Weather in Benalmadena in February
|Average Maximum 17C/63F||Average Minimum 8C/46F||Days with rain falling 6|
This month can be described as early Spring, with flowers blooming and, by the middle of February, the famous Andalusian almond blossom begins to appear. Temperature levels are not dissimilar to January, and the evenings and nights remain cool. However, as the heat from the sun increases, an afternoon stroll from the Windmill roundabout to the marina becomes more comfortably warm. Rain, as in January, usually comes in a spell that may last for 2 or 3 days at a time before clear blue skies follow. It can turn very windy for a while after a wet spell, but these strong winds seldom last for more than 36 hours.
Weather in Benalmadena in March
|Average Maximum 19C/66F||Average Minimum 10C/50F||Days with rain falling 5|
Some delightful days occur in March but the early risers usually enjoy the best of the weather. A typical March day will start cool and sunny with a gentle wind blowing down from the mountains. Temperatures will rise rapidly and by midday values will be around 19 Celsius. A few puffs of cloud may form over the sierra, then quite suddenly the wind on the coast will shift right round and blow in from the sea. The sea is as cold as at any time of year in March, so once the sea breeze has become established during the afternoon the promenade is best avoided. Up in the Pueblo, the sea breeze may not arrive and the afternoon remains pleasantly warm. As for rain falling, perhaps a short-lived showery inconvenience once or twice a week.
Weather in Benalmadena in April
|Average Maximum 21C/70F||Average Minimum 12C/54F||Days with rain falling 5|
Only the very hardy souls would venture into the sea off Benalmadena Costa during April. A morning of unbroken sunshine and temperatures nudging 21 Celsius tempt many people to the beach, but around midday the inevitable sea breeze arrives and temperatures fall to a less than comfortable 17 Celsius on the promenade, although in the bars flanking the vast sands by the marina it stays warm and on some days the sea breeze fails to reach Benalmadena Pueblo. In most Aprils there are 2 or 3 days when the land breeze is quite strong and in the absence of the sea breeze the temperature can rise to 25 Celsius, or more. Once or twice during the month a short unsettled spell will probably occur, and heavy, thundery rain could spoil the occasional day.
Weather in Benalmadena in May
|Average Maximum 24C/75F||Average Minimum 14C/57F||Days with rain falling 3|
This is arguably one of the best months to visit Benalmadena if bathing in the hotel or villa swimming pool is preferred to a dip in the sea. The mornings are usually sunny and warm. Around midday, just as it begins to feel uncomfortably hot, the sea breeze sets in and the afternoons are normally sunny and pleasantly warm, although there is often a lag of an hour before the sea breeze becomes established in the Pueblo. Of course, it is very easy to get sunburnt during May, especially as it is not generally too hot to think about avoiding the sunshine. On 2 or 3 occasions during the month, the temperature can exceed 30 Celsius (86F), but in most Mays there are 1 or 2 short-lived unsettled spells.
Weather in Benalmadena in June
|Average Maximum 27C/81F||Average Minimum 18C/64F||Days with rain falling 1|
The sun beats down relentlessly from a clear blue sky. Not completely true, but certainly a close approximation to the weather in June. The sun appears hazier as the air trapped under the sea-breeze inversion becomes more polluted, but clouds are rare. Occasionally, say once or twice a month, a band of cloud may spoil the sunshine and this could produce an hour or two of rain. High-level thunderstorms, moving north from Morocco, may produce a few spots of dust-laden rain, otherwise sunshine, and just the odd unpleasant day when the temperature exceeds 38 Celsius (100F). The nights remain confortable although on some occasions the higher parts of Benalmadena stay above the night-time inversion and remain very warm.
Weather in Benalmadena in July
|Average Maximum 29C/84F||Average Minimum 20C/68F||Days with rain falling <1|
Rain is so rare in July it is not worth a mention. Bands of high cloud occasionally prevent a day of full sunshine but the normal July pattern of weather is this. After a warm and fairly humid night, there is a dip in temperature to 19 or 20 Celsius around dawn, although the hillier parts often remain warmer.. The morning then heats up rapidly, reaching around 29 Celsius between midday and 1 pm. The light wind on the beach then quite quickly becomes a steady breeze off the sea, and this breeze spreads inland, although at Benalmadena Pueblo the maximum temperature for the day may be 2 or 3 degrees warmer than on the coast.. With sea temperatures generally around 23 Celsius in July, the afternoon breeze is very refreshing on the beach. Occasionally the sea breeze fails and it becomes very hot. with temperatures above 38C/100F everywhere.
Weather in Benalmadena in August
|Average Maximum 30C/86F||Average Minimum 22C/72F||Days with rain falling <1|
During this month it becomes increasingly unpleasant for those without air-conditioning. Although temperature levels are only slightly higher than those of July, the humidity is elevated, the pollution levels are greater and the sea breeze is usually lighter and less refreshing. Nevertheless, the sea is pleasantly warm, and the weather is normally reliably sunny. On rare occasions, most likely late in the month, a thunderstorm may occur, and on 2 or 3 days the failure of the sea breeze may result in temperatures over 38 Celsius (100F) by day, and not falling below 30 Celsius (86F) by late evening.
Weather in Benalmadena in September
|Average Maximum 28C/82F||Average Minimum 19C/66F||Days with rain falling 2|
September in Benalmadena is a summer month. The first week or two can be very hot and humid, and nights with temperatures remaining above 23 Celsius (73F) is not uncommon. Pollution levels often appear high, and the chance of relief from refreshing rain is almost nil. Occasionally, an upwelling of cold water can occur with cold sea fog lapping the beaches. This can happen at any time during the summer months but fortunately it is rare and only lasts a day or two. The phenomenon is poorly understood at present, and unlike the slightly more common Spring sea mist, it is unpredictable.
It does, however, produce a marked temperature contrast between Benaolmadena Costa and Pueblo.
Weather in Benalmadena in October
|Average Maximum 23C/73F||Average Minimum 16C/61F||Days with rain falling 4|
October weather in Benalmadena is something of a lottery. The statistics say that it is the wettest month of the year with over 100 mm (4 inches) of rain, but they don’t say that the rain falls in crashing thunderstorms with walls of water that often last for less than 2 hours. The sea usually remains very warm, partly the reason for the severity of the storms, but the adjacent land also stays pleasantly warm and without the intense heat from the sun. On balance, this month is probably the 2nd best, behind May, to visit this part of Spain, and by the end of the month nights are becoming comfortably cool again.
Weather in Benalmadena in November
|Average Maximum 19C/66F||Average Minimum 11C/52F||Days with rain falling 6|
The nights are long in Benalmadena at this time of year, but not as long as they are in northern Europe, and even in 24 Hour Square it’s sometimes comfortable in shirt sleeves through the night . Of all the months, November probably offers the best contrast between the grey and cold of northern latitudes and the sun, and relative warmth, of the Costa del Sol. Early in the month, temperatures regularly reach 20 Celsius, or more, and to have 2 consecutive cloudy days is rare. The weather is thundery at times, and rain can sometimes be very heavy, but pollution levels are low and, early in the month, and in some years even late in the month, the sea is warm enough to bathe in.
Weather in Benalmadena in December
|Average Maximum 17C/63F||Average Minimum 8C/46F||Days with rain falling 6|
There can be some bad weather days in December anywhere in Europe, and even Benalmadena has 3 or 4 days of windy, wet and relatively cold conditions with temperatures struggling to reach 12 Celsius. However, this is the exception and, although not warm, there is sufficient sunshine to cheer a visitor from the north. The evenings and nights are normally quite cold, and in sunnier Decembers a frost may occur on the grass in larger gardens away from the coast. Occasionally the temperature may reach 20 Celsius (68F), but higher temperatures are often accompanied by a brisk wind blowing down from the hills.