Although they've only been up and running since 2003, the Benalmadena cable cars have already established themselves as a must-do on your holiday to this part of the Costa del Sol. Offering outstanding views, the cable cars in Benalmadena travel to the peak of Mount Calamorro, which stands an impressive 771 metres above sea level. You can catch the cable cars from the nearby station in Arroyo de la Miel. From there, it's a 15-minute journey to the mountaintop, giving you ample opportunity to get your camera out and snap a bird's eye view of the surrounding countryside.
Take a Benalmadena cable car to the top of Mount CalamorroThe cable cars in Benalmadena can carry up to four passengers, allowing you to share the experience with friends or family. You can choose to buy either a single or return ticket, depending on whether want to use the easy way back down or explore one of the six hiking trails that lead back down the mountain. Once you've arrived at the top, you'll find three viewing-points with incredible scenery, everywhere you look. To the west, it's possible to see as far as Gibraltar while, to the east, you can make out the Sierra Nevada. Look to the south, and on a clear day, you can even make out the coast of Africa.
What's at the top?The top of Mount Calamorro is also home to the Garden of Eagles, where visitors can watch birds of prey in action, before hopping aboard the Benalmadena cable cars or hiking back to the bottom. The aerial displays are held in Spanish, English and German and feature a variety of birds, including hawks, vultures and eagles. You'll also find a mountaintop café, where you can grab a drink and a snack before making your descent. It's worth taking a hat if you want to see the birds on show, as the displays take place in the air and the sun can be blinding.
Getting back downIf you decide to leave the cable cars behind and make your way down on foot, you'll find six hiking trails to choose from. The paths are clearly marked out and easy to follow, allowing you to watch the view change, as you get further down the mountain. Mount Calamorro acts as host to a variety of wildlife. Plant enthusiasts and those with interest in cooking will find the indigenous plants fascinating, such as rosemary and thyme, dwarf palm-trees and marjoram. If you prefer your wildlife to have legs, there's an exciting range of creatures to spot, such as ocellated lizards, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, foxes, an abundance of mountain goats and the occasional wild boar. There are three viewing-points along the hiking trails, allowing you to take a break and admire the stunning panorama.
Cable cars by nightHowever, you don't have to use the cable cars in Benalmadena solely by day. During the summer months of July and August, the cars are open by night, giving you the chance to see the starry skies from a unique perspective. To put the cherry on the astronomical cake, book tickets to the outdoor planetarium that makes its home at the top of Mount Calamorro. The planetarium is open from ten at night and, once you've climbed out of the Benalmadena cable cars, you can explore the night skies under the guidance of experts from the Society of Astronomy of Malaga. You'll be introduced to constellations, distant galaxies, the planets within our solar system and enjoy unparalleled views of the moon.