The Cable Car in Benalmadena, at the Costa del Sol in the South of Spain, is one of those local attractions that my family refuses to go to. Because too touristy, too lame and certainly not cool. Even with a promise of sweeping views and an easy hike down the mountain they can’t be persuaded.
Of course, I could go on my own, but where is the fun in that?
After seven years at the Costa del Sol, I finally found another person to accompany me on this trip. Thank you, Cezar.
Benalmadena Cable Car
So here we go and oh boy, is my family wrong. Because the fifteen minutes trip up in a tiny cabin is not for the fainthearted. Those with fear of heights and those with claustrophobia will not dig this ride. The cabin has only four seats and windows on all sides allowing the passenger to look down the mountain, whilst gently swinging from side to side.
Once arrived at the Peak of Mount Calamorro at more than 771 metres altitude, you have sweeping views of the Mediterranean, the Sierra Nevada and, on a clear day, on Gibraltar and the Moroccan Coast. On the peak, there are three footpaths that take you to different viewpoints. In the valley of eagles, you will find a bird of prey exhibition, a good opportunity to see these majestic birds, like falcons, eagles, owls and vultures, alive from close up.
Hiking and cycling
From the peak, one can cycle or hike back down to Benalmadena or to Alhaurin de la Torre. Hiking back to the Benalmadena takes about two hours via the R1. From the station go left, follow the dirt road till you see the R1 signposted. Here you go right and follow the trail. It is an easy walk down but requires some degree of fitness and preferably sturdy footwear. The scenery is nice, but because the path follows a valley you won’t get those spectacular views like on the summit.
The R1-trails ends somewhere in town from where you will have to find your way back to your car or the train station, as the station is not signposted. Although the cable car can be seen from most points, it is still wise to use a GPS (on your mobile) to navigate back, otherwise, you end up needlessly walking up and down those steep mountain roads adding unplanned distance and height to your hike.
- This is a fun family trip, the little ones will enjoy seeing the birds of prey and the cable car ride.
- To avoid the crowds it is probably best to go early in the morning and preferably on a weekday.
- Check the Benalmadena Cable Car website for opening hours and tickets.
- Tickets can be bought at the cashier’s desk or online.
- If you decide in advance to hike down buy a single ticket.
- The Cable Car is walking distance from the Benalmadena train station.
- Check the weather in advance, with high winds the installation closes as it becomes too dangerous.
- Wheelchairs can be taken if foldable. Even though not all areas are wheelchair accessible, the peak is still worth a visit.
- You can take bicycles up for three Euros extra.
- There is food at the cafeteria. The restaurant has a terrace and serves rather expensive, but tasty fast food.
Enjoy the ride!
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