Benalmadena for toddlers: our first holiday abroad as a family of four

Back in January we ventured abroad as a family of four, and it’s only now I can bring myself to write about it!

It was a bit of a disaster:

– we hoped for some winter sun but actually had a storm on our first few days!

– my OH was in bed for most of the week with man flu

-S lost one his shoes half way through the week… and obviously I’d only packed one pair

– S also smashed my iPad to smithereens

– just to add a cherry on top, when coming into land on the way home, the pilot nearly had to divert us to Birmingham due to low-lying fog. I nearly cried. Luckily he was able to land and the whole plane cheered!

Still, we tried to make the best of the situation. My OH’s parents were staying in a hotel down the road so were able to join me and the boys for lunchtime help while OH was on his deathbed!

Beach life

Every day I took the boys for a walk down the beach where they were happy to just play with the pebbly-sand, pushing it down the slide in the playground and the like!

Sealife centre

When my OH was well enough and the weather was a bit naff, we spent a lovely hour or so in the Sea life centre. It’s quite pricey for the size of it but (being out of season) we pretty much had the place to ourselves which was fab and so easy to whizz through! We saw turtles, small sharks, jellyfish, otters, lots of fish… and W was delighted there was a little dinosaur fossil digging area!

Benalmadena marina

From the Sealife centre we took a walk round the large marina… known for its unusual architecture. It was pleasant enough but would be good to see it in full swing in the summer!

Paloma park

Had a great couple of hours here with the boys and in-laws. It’s a very large park in a central area, full of birds and animals (eg rabbits). The boys loved chasing the pigeons etc, but also there’s a brilliant, massive play area there as well as plenty of scenic areas for adults like the selection of cacti!

Buddhist Stupa

And one attraction I did without the kids was grab a taxi up to the Buddhist stupa, a beautiful monument and fantastic location looking down over miles of coastline!

The butterfly park is right next to it and as much as I would have loved to go in, I didn’t want to on my own… I think the boys would have liked it!

So there we have it, certainly a memorable holiday! There was loads to do in the wider area that we didn’t get a chance to do, or places were closed out of season… water parks, zoos and wildlife parks, a crocodile park… Costa del Sol is a great family destination and we did like our family-friendly hotel: the Benalmadena palace

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