Castillo de Colomares (Bénalmadena, Málaga)
From where can I plan this day trip? The easiest place to visit this landmark from would be from Bénalmadena itself, but if it’s also an easy day trip from Málaga (city center) or any of the other surrounding coastal towns in the province.
What is it? Despite its appearance and the presence of Byzantine, Roman, Gothic, and Mudéjar architectural styles, this is not a centuries-old castle at all. In fact, it was basically a labor of love funded and constructed by Dr. Esteban Martín Martín, with the help of just two bricklayers. Over the course of seven years (1987-1994), the small team constructed the magical-looking monument in homage to Christopher Columbus and his adventures. Each section of the masterpiece tells the story of a different stage of his life, exploration, and ‘discoveries.’ There is not much of an ‘indoors’ to this castle but it’s a beautiful monument to walk through and around.
How to prepare ahead of time: There is very little preparation required before visiting the Castillo de Colomares although it would be recommended, of course, to review the opening hours before you plan a trip. The site closes at lunchtime, has an extended afternoon schedule in the summer but a truncated afternoon schedule in the winter, and is closed entirely on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Pro-Tip: Entrance to the Castillo is a mere 2€ and the website claims they even offer guided tours, talks, and other activities (in a variety of languages) at no added cost! We were unaware of this when we recently visited and thus cannot comment personally but the site receives rave reviews on forum like Tripadvisor—many of which mention the friendly and helpful staff—so we recommend making a direct inquiry with them here if interested.
How to get there: Bus, Train, or Car
This monument is located within walking distance of the Bénalmadena pueblo (a much further walk from the coast, but doable if you’re in good health and it’s not too hot). If you’re coming from another town on the coast without a car, you can grab the 112, 116, 121, or 126 bus to Bénalmadena pueblo, from which point it is about a ten minute walk. If you’re coming from Málaga city center on public transportation you’ll want to take the Cercanías C1 train to the Bénalmadena stop and then follow the above directions. If driving, having GoogleMaps (or whatever other GPS system you use) on call is a good idea as it’s easy to miss a turn and get stuck on a long, winding road for awhile before you reach a point at which you can turn around.
Recommended time of year to visit: Year-round
Coastal towns definitely draw more of a crowd in the summer, meaning that most people have visited and will recommend visiting this landmark in the summer months. However, keep in mind that summer in the south of Spain can get very hot and thus, at that time, a midday visit may not be suitable or at least not the most enjoyable as it is an outdoor attraction. We visited in the winter and still had beautiful weather and less crowds meaning we got to really take our time (and snap all the photos we wanted) without any problems.