Benalmádena is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, part of theautonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. The municipality is situated approximately 12 kilometers to the west of the city of Málaga, on the southern coast between Torremolinos and Fuengirola, in the heart of the Costa del Sol and Alhaurín de la Torre in the North. It forms part of the metropolitan area of Málaga and resides in thecomarca of the Costa del Sol Occidental, the joint board the Commonwealth of Municipalities of the Costa del Sol Occidental and the judicial district of Torremolinos. It caters for a large number of tourists. The town is also home toBenalmádena Stupa, the largest stupa (a structure important in Buddhism) in the Western world, standing 33 meters tall.
It covers an area of just over 27 km 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 centers 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: Benalmadena 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 would be paralyzed after joining the Crown of Castile in 1485 due to various natural disasters and the intensity of the activity of privateer in the area. The paper industry and vineyard cultivation reactivated the local economy during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Currently, Benalmádena is