The summit of the Calamorro mountain offers one of the best panoramic views of the Costa del Sol – on a clear day it’s possible to see around 150km in either direction, from Gibraltar in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Granada province to the east! And experiencing the amazing view is no longer the sole domain of shepherds and climbers – you can see it for yourself with an exhilarating ride to the top on the Teleférico cable car out of Arroyo de la Miel, near Benalmadena.
From Select Benal Beach to the Teleferico base station and ticket office – adjacent to the popular Tivoli World amusement park – it’s a mere 5-minute drive, or 30 minutes on foot, and the cable car experience makes for a terrific day or evening out during any Costa del Sol holiday.
Seating four people in smooth comfort, the modern cable cars glide up and over the Tivoli World park and soon leave the densely populated Arroyo and Benalmadena Costa conurbation spread out way below. As you rise ever higher, the outlook turns to one of rugged mountain slopes with sheer walls of rock, only to be surpassed as the full extent of the Malaga coastline comes into view.
The ride to the top of the mountain takes about 15 minutes, and although it’s only at a height of 769m above sea level, the stunning views make it feel like you’ve arrived at the ‘top of the world’. Once you arrive at the summit and plant your feet safely back on ‘terra firma’, the ride may be over, but there’s still plenty to see and do on the top of the mountain.
Holidaymakers keen on walking and hiking can enjoy exploring some 2,750m of well maintained and clearly signed footpaths, which effectively open up the entire summit and provide access to a series of viewing points – called ‘miradors’ – situated at various locations overlooking the coastline. There is a 360º aspect, with yet more spectacular views of the mountains inland to the north, and although getting to the viewpoints does take a little time, the effort is well worthwhile!
From the top station, looking straight ahead (south) is the Mediterranean Sea, while to the left (east) is the Malaga cityscape and the airport. Still further east, it is usually possible to see the Sierra Nevada mountains, which will be clearly snow-capped during the cooler months from December through to April.
Look to the right (west) and you will be able to pick out the granite mass of Gibraltar’s impressive ‘Rock’ and opposite, just to the south and usually only in ideal viewing conditions, it is possible to see the Rif Mountains that lie behind the northern coast of Morocco – and that’s in Africa!
It’s hard to tear yourself away from such immense views, but should your camera trigger finger eventually tire, follow the signs and head for ‘The Valley of Eagles’ falconry show. It’s a great opportunity to get really close to some seriously impressive birds of prey, in a display that features a succession of eagles, falcons, owls and vultures.
The show includes a superb free-flying exhibition, in which rare red kites and eagles show off their aerial skills with a stunning combination of raw power and sheer beauty, swooping and soaring high over the top of the mountain. The experienced handlers also offer a unique insight into their important breeding and conservation programmes, designed to preserve and protect some of the most severely endangered species on the planet.
As ever in Spain, there is a lively café bar available for drinks and snacks, with the same incredible views to be enjoyed while you take your refreshment.
One-way tickets can be purchased by anyone hardy enough to walk back down the mountain side to the coast. Well-marked paths are easy to follow although, in places, the going is somewhat rough underfoot. The paths pass around or through stands of rare Spanish pinsapo pines and a huge variety of mountain vegetation native to the Mediterranean region, including wild mountain thyme and rosemary, pretty rock roses, colourful wild lilies, fragrant spearmint, cantuero and spicy marjoram.
Throughout the peak summer holiday months of July and August, the cable car runs until midnight, which offers a unique opportunity to witness a stunning Costa del Sol sunset from one of the best and highest vantage points available anywhere in southern Spain.
For Members and guests staying at Select Benal Beach, the Teleférico cable car makes for a great day – or evening – out with a difference. It’s an experience that will last a lifetime in your memory, and also in your inevitably impressive souvenir photos!
The cable car opens at 11.00am every day, all year-round (weather permitting) with closing times adjusted according to the seasonal demand.