Impressions of Benalmadena / Malaga

Published 9 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Time of Visit: November 2013 and March 2014

* Benalmadena is the yacht-marina closest to the Airport of Malaga (10 Mins by Taxi)

* Location: Just a few miles south of Malaga, and even less to the Airport

* Approach: There is a shoal basically in the middle of the approach but it is clearly marked at day and night. Other than that it’s quite wide and easy to navigate (except in very strong E)

* Upon entering tie up to port at the reception pier right in front of the office at the gas station.  Diesel @ € 1,35/Liter in March 2014.

* Very crowded for small craft – lots of empty space for 18m and up. (Up to 30m Moorings)

* Ample depth even for our 3m draft

* Watch for afternoon winds falling off the mountains behind and quickly reaching gusts of 50 Knots +(!)

* Great rates – at least in winter! We paid € 25.00/day! Interesting long stay deals.

* Deposit for the Electricity-Adapter and electronic access key card (for showers and toilets)

€ 60.00

* Friendliness of staff depends largely on their daily mood. On good days they are nice, on bad days they are competing in arrogance with Marbella – on no days is there much English spoken or understood.

* Infrastructure: The port is built like a small “Venice type” lagoon with lots of (tourist style) shops on the lower level and a range of surprisingly good restaurants on the upper level. Prices range from good to fairly expensive. Noise level OK during the winter, but I would assume that the bars and nightlife along the basin could easily become very noisy all night long affair during high season. Major clientele seems to be Brits, and those sure know how to drink and party! J

* There is even a quite well-stocked supermarket on the upper floor right next to a tiny “marine-land” (fortunately one NOT keeping Dolphins in captivity), but a shame never the less. Quite close to the Office and/or the local sailing school there is a store for nautical stuff. Small but not poorly stocked.

* Facilities: Two blocks with Toilets and Showers on either side of the canal to the “Lagoon”. Only 2 showers / 2 Toilets per gender & block each so I guess it can get congested during summer.  Facilities are kept clean and the layout is quite nice.

* No Laundry on site. The marina offers to call a pickup-service for your laundry but if you want to do your own, there is one quite a little walk away. Head up the hill to the main road, turn left till the next roundabout (the one with the “windmills” – you’ll know what I mean when you see it) turn right, walk up the hill with quite a nice park on your left. At the first traffic light you’ll see a gas station and there, in a glassed-in container also is a Coin-Laundry.

* There is Wifi in the marina, billed separately but reception even at the berths near the office is bad.  You are way better of purchasing one of these prepaid USB sticks from any Spanish phone-provider.

* Access for cars is key-card restricted (billed separately) other than that Marina is open to public.

* There is a boatyard with Travel-Lift to the “rear end” of the marina next to an abandoned Mississippi Wheel Steamer. No information as to the capacity of the lift, but it looks like one of the “standard” 25-30 Tons.

* The Guardia Civil has an entire “fleet” stationed there and they leave at all times of day and night. Speed limits are not what they would care too much about and their mighty engines also are loud.  Another minor “pain in the behind” is a small fleet of excursion boats running hourly and bi-hourly tours in and out of the harbor, and they also don’t care too much about speed limits.

* Maybe due to the lack of tides worth mentioning but the lagoon arrangement does not cater to a water-exchange. Consequently, the water is extremely dirty – may be the reason why the Marina Manager was not keen at all to have an Ocean Environmental Awareness NGO station one of their boats there in the summer.

* Excellent Sailmaker nearby: Any Longarella of UK-Sails, +34-629-311 422 (mobile) – he really is excellent, fast and efficient and no rip-off, consequently you might want to call ahead or allow for some time. Do not let him refer you to his “colleague”.

* There is also a very nice guy renting cars, “Diesel Rent-a-car”, Mr. Javi, +34-628-559 930 with excellent rates and cash-deals possible. ..and it pays to rent a car in Benalmadena since all the major chains for your provisioning needs are between there and Malaga, as well as shops offering pretty much everything you might need. (Malaga is a major town after all). Also, a very nice day’s excursion to drive via Malaga to the medieval town of “Ronda” and return via Algeciras-Bay and the coastal road. A nice day on the road.

Summary: Great location to fly in/depart – nice setup of the Marina – absolutely all kinds of shops within reach – great wintering rates with a mild climate – safe in most all conditions – likely to get VERY noisy during season – In dire need to develop some environmental consciousness.

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