Benahavis Area Guide

Benahavis white mountain village

Where is Benahavis?

The municipality of Benahavis is situated at the western end of the Costa del Sol, slightly inland and between Estepona and Marbella. Benahavis has great connections and is within easy access to national and international connections in Malaga as well as other popular destinations on the Costa del Sol.

What’s Benahavis like?

The municipality covers a large area of approximately 150km2 and stretches from the coastal area to the mountains between the two municipalities of Marbella and Estepona. It is very different to other Costa del Sol resorts – at the heart of the extensive area there is the tranquil and traditional village of Benahavis set in the mountains and which has maintained the Andalusian feel.

Benahavis is one of the richest municipalities in Spain thanks to the large number of high-end developments that surround the village. Golf resorts such as La Quinta and Los Arqueros belong to Benahavis as does La Zagaleta, an exclusive gated estate, home to some of the most expensive properties in Spain. Nearby Villa Padierna with its 5-star GL hotel and golf resort hosted Michelle Obama and her family in 2010.

How diverse is it?

The village might be small, but the municipality itself is large. It includes numerous mountain ranges, river valleys and woods, making it one of the most beautiful places on the Costa del Sol. Home to many Golf Courses and exclusive residences, the natural surroundings combined with a very low build density mean that Benahavis is highly sought-after as somewhere to buy property on the Costa del Sol, particularly among foreigners looking for a haven of peace and quiet within easy reach of Marbella.

What’s the population of Benahavis?

The population of Benahavis is just over 7,100 people.

How many foreigners live in Benahavis?

Like most of the resorts on the Costa del Sol, Benahavis is home to a lot of foreigners – nearly 4,500 in fact. Over 40% of them are British.

What’s the weather like in Benahavis?

Benahavis enjoys the lovely weather that the Costa del Sol is so famous for. Expect at least 320 days of sunshine a year. The village’s inland mountain position mean winter temperatures are slightly lower than in nearby Marbella and Estepona, and it can be a little warmer in the summer.

How do I get to Benahavis?

Easily! There’s a good road (A-7175) that runs to the village from the A-7 highway between San Pedro and Estepona (turn off at Guadalmina). If you’re coming along the AP-7 highway, turn off at San Pedro and follow signs for Benahavis. Journey time takes around 15 minutes.

How far is it to Malaga Airport from Benahavis?

Malaga Airport is 71km from the village. Allow about 50 minutes to get there.

How far is it to Gibraltar Airport from Benahavis?

Gibraltar Airport – a good alternative if you’re flying from the Costa del Sol to the UK – is around 70km away. Allow an hour for the journey plus extra time for border controls.

How far is it to Marbella from Benahavis?

The well-known resorts of Puerto Banus and Marbella are around 20km away.

What are the main attractions in Benahavis?

Top of the list of attractions in Benahavis are its natural surroundings. Few places on the Costa del Sol enjoy such uninterrupted views of mountains, woodlands and rivers. The village itself is a succession of well-kept narrow streets and squares, flanked by Andalusian whitewashed houses.
The lovely Parque Torre Leoneras park at the south end of the village contains the ruins of a medieval tower and large lake. The Montemayor Castle, built in the 10th century, is mostly ruined but still has several sections of the walls and the Queen’s Tower intact. Views of the Costa del Sol from here are stunning.
The Sunday market, held in the grounds of a shrine on the way to the village, is one of the most popular markets on the Costa del Sol. Its car boot sale stalls attract buyers and sellers from all over the coast and make a great Sunday morning activity.
The Guadalmina River provides great canyoning opportunities – making your way down the river through waterfalls and plunge pools ranks as one of the top adventure activities on the Costa del Sol. There’s also a lovely river walk that takes you across a spectacular bridge and along a traditional Moorish irrigation channel.

What are the beaches like near Benahavis?

The nearest beaches to Benahavis are located in Marbella and Estepona, and take around 10 minutes to reach. Choose from family-friendly beaches in San Pedro de Alcántara, happening beach clubs in Puerto Banús (Ocean Club, Buddha Beach, La Sala by the Sea…) or quieter sands on the beaches to the west of Estepona.
To combine a trip to the beach with boutique shopping and gourmet dining, Laguna Village is just 20 minutes away. You can relax at Purobeach Marbella beach club – by the pool or on the beach itself – and treat yourself to a meal at Camuri restaurant.

And things to do in Benahavis?

Owning a property in Benahavis provides a great opportunity to get out and about in the lovely countryside. Not only can you go hiking in the mountains or along the river, you can also make the most of the outdoors at one of the golf courses in Benahavis.
The village has one of the best selection of golf on the Costa del Sol with no less than nine courses on its doorstep. These include the prestigious Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club, designed by golf legend Seve Ballesteros and the exclusive Marbella Club Golf Resort. There’s even a Golf Academy complete with practice ground and putting green in the village itself.

What cultural activities are there in Benahavis?

Like all villages in Andalusia, Benahavis has some deeply-rooted traditions and these make up the main cultural activities during the year. The Holy Week processions are small, but also some of the loveliest on the Costa del Sol. The annual Benahavis Fair takes place over five days during mid-August when the whole village enjoys processions, fairground rides, fireworks and eating and drinking. The other important event in Benahavis is the pilgrimage in honour of the village’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Rosary, on 7 October.
In the summer, Benahavis holds concerts and other musical events as part of its annual cultural programme. Regular culinary events take place too in the many Benahavis restaurants.

What about eating out in Benahavis?

The village might be small, but it’s home to lots of restaurants. This together with the high quality of the cuisine has led to Benahavis gaining the reputation as the Gastronomic Corner of the Costa del Sol. Benahavis is also home to the Sabor a Málaga catering school whose pupils regularly win awards for their culinary skills.
Some of the most prestigious restaurants on the Costa del Sol are found in the village where you can try Spanish dishes cooked traditionally or with a modern twist as well as cuisine from many corners of the world. Key ingredients are pork, lamb and game such as wild boar and venison as well as fresh fish and seafood, caught in nearby Estepona and Marbella.

What’s a typical local dish?

One of the most typical dishes from Benahavis is marinated pork fillet (solomillo de cerdo aliñado) whose recipe forms part of many families’ traditions!

How about shopping in Benahavis?

Benahavis has a good range of small shops for basic everyday requirements. For bigger shopping there’s a large Mercadona supermarket at the start of the municipality and very close to some of our new developments. There’s also excellent shopping in Marbella where you’ll find large shopping centres, department stores, luxury boutiques and plenty of high street stores.

And property in Benahavis?

Benahavis is home to many exclusive and quality homes and developments.

La Zagaleta, a private residential estate of luxury villas with golf course and equestrian centre. La Alqueria is a new development area of exclusive villas and home to contemporary modern developments such as Atalaya Hills. Los Arqueros is one of the most well-known and consolidated areas with an exceptional championship Golf Course and home to the new development, Botanic. Neighbouring residential estates include La Reserva de Alcuzcuz and Los Almendros offering peace and tranquillity in natural surroundings. Closer to the coast and next to Atalaya Golf and Country Club we have contemporary style developments such as Cataleya and Terrazas de Atalaya offering a modern lifestyle in exceptional surroundings.