How to Visit Colomares Castle in Benalmadena – Everything You Need To Know

A view of the castle from one of the towers you can climb to. The part that resembles the Santa Maria ship is on the left, whilst the Castilia gate is on the right.

Colomares Castle is a fairytale hidden gem in Andalucia, a place where you would expect princes and princesses to show up at every corner. Located in the village of Benalmadena, the Colomares Monument is a must visit if you are interested in discovering a quirky attraction on Costa del Sol. Even if it’s called “Castillo de Colomares”, the structure is actually a monument.

My first thought when I stepped onto the grounds of Colomares Castle was that it resembles a sand castle. Rather like the ones we used to build on the shore of the sea. You know?, when we were little children, mixing the sand with salty water, letting it drip between our fingers, creating intricate towers, castles with moats. This is exactly how Colomares Monument is!

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Colomares Castle is the attention to detail that went into its construction. From the stunning stonework that covers the walls to the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the castle’s exterior, every inch of the building is a work of art.

Where is Castillo de Colomares?

A wall of the castle on the left hand side, with a window that has a pot with red flowers in the window. On the right you can see the nearby urbanisation, with white villas.

The Colomares Monument is located near the village of Benalmadena, one of the most popular resorts on Costa del Sol. Benalmadena is split into two areas: the old village and the sea resort. The castle is up the hill, in the old village.

How to Get to Colomares Castle?

The interior of one of the towers, with two windows designed in a Moorish style, supported by columns. Each of them has a pot with red flowers in the middle.

The easiest way to reach Colomares Castle is by car, as there isn’t any bus stop nearby. The castle is very close to the A7 motorway.

If you are using public transport, the easiest way to reach Colomares Castle is by bus, from Benalmadena. Take the bus number M-121 and get off at Estupa Tibetana – near the Butterfly Park. Click here to see the schedule of the bus. From here there is a 15 minutes walk to the castle. This is the best option because the walk is down the hill – also, you will be able to visit the Stupa as well as the Butterfly Park. These three monuments make a wonderful day trip from Malaga – especially that they are quite unique in the area.

Another option is to take the C1 train to Torremuelle and then walk, but the road is very steep and it misses the sidewalk in many places. If you are coming from any other parts of Costa del Sol, it’s better to take the train or Benalmadena and then switch to the bus.

Where to Park Near Colomares Castle?

There are two small car parks where you can leave your car while you visit the castle, one just before the gate and another one just past the gate. There aren’t many spaces available though. I visited the castle in February and whilst it was fairly busy, I didn’t have an issue parking the car.

Colomares Castle Tickets

A rectangular fountain following the wall of the castle like a moat, leading to the entrance to a tower.

In order to see the castle, you need to purchase a ticket. You can’t really see it from outside the gated grounds – and it would be a pity anyway not to get inside, as it offers some really cool photo opportunities.

You can buy a ticket to Colomares Castle at the entrance, for a fee of 3 euros for adults and 2 euros for children. The ticket to Colomares Castle also includes a guide that explains each individual fountain, tower, or sculpture in the castle. It is available in many different languages.

You can’t buy a ticket in advance.

Opening Hours

You can visit Castillo de Colomares every day except for Mondays, between 10 AM and 8 PM. In winter, the castle closes at 6 PM. In summer, there is a siesta break between 2 PM – 5 PM, when the castle closes for a few hours.

Visiting the Colomares Castle

A small fountain surrounded by a wall. In the front there is a sculpture of a strange snake/sea creature.

Colomares Monument is one of the most unique places to see on Costa del Sol, it is a tribute to Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the Americas. You can spend a good half an hour visiting it, taking your time to take photos posing in the towers, or in front of the intricate designs.

The Colomares Monument was built in 1987 by D Esteban Martin Martin, without a real architectural plan. Colomares Castle is a fusion of Gothic, Byzantine, and Moorish styles, with intricate details and stunning sculptures that are sure to take your breath away.  

He was helped by two local builders and improvised as he went, finishing this castle monument 7 years later. The castle itself was meant to be a storyteller in stone, with each element revealing another chapter of the voyage over the Atlantic Ocean.

The double arches in a Mudejar style of the main gate to the castle.

The visit starts at the Byzantine fountain of the snake, representing the man and the nature surrounding us. It continues at the Aragon House, which represents the Jewish origins of Christopher Columbus. It has a golden cupola, built in a byzantine and gothic styles, representing the old and the new testament, with a decoration of the Star of David.

The next fountain represents the fountain of the lovers, signifying the meeting of Isabel and Fernando, who later unified Spain. The story follows them to the Casa Castilla y Leon, a tower in a Castellano architectural style.

The next chapter of the story is the marriage of Isabella and Fernando, and Spain coming together as a strong country. This is represented through a large gate with two Mudejar arches, decorated with the coat of arms of Spain, the royal seals, as well as the coin of the unification.

A view of the part that symbolises the Santa Maria ship, seen from the side.

The next parts of the story are focusing on Columbus’s voyage, starting with the water reservoir of the castle. The Fountain of Hope is dedicated to the three ships Columbus sailed with, an homage to M. A. Pinzon, one of the sailors who accompanied him across the sea.

The Oriental Tower represents the dream of reaching India and China by sea. It is decorated with Chinese, Japanese as well as some Indian elements.

The Evangelization fountain represents the blessings of the ships, before leaving on the long trip around the world. The next part is the map of Hispaniola drawn by Columbus, and also the shipwreck of Santa Maria.

A close-up of one of the sculptures in the castle.

The Lighthouse of the Marine Belief is a homage to the people that perished when Santa Maria sank.

The next few chapters are built one inside the other, representing the bow of the ship, that overlooks the west façade of the castle. There are many elements that are symbolising the people of Andalucia and their blend of cultures.

The visit at Colomares Castle finishes with the stern of Santa Maria, in the form of a castle.


A view of the Santa Maria ship from the front, from the balcony of the structure in front of it. You can see the bow of the ship stretching in front, and the towers of the castle in the back.

If you are looking for a different thing to do on Costa del Sol, that is not the beach, I would highly recommend visiting the Colomares Castle. It’s a unique castle in Andalucia, something that I haven’t seen anywhere else. The blend of different architectures and the international influences are so well executed that it feels like you have stepped into a fairy tale.

For more similar articles about things to do near Malaga check out my recommendations below:

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