The dazzling Benahavís is one of the most picturesque, idyllic, quintessential Spanish villages in Andalucia. If you are still unaware of its existence, once you discover this hidden gem you are guaranteed to fall in love with its mountain magic. What to do, where to go and what to expect:
Attractions in Benahavís
Benahavís is a town with an Andalusian flavour of white and narrow streets, typically Arabic, most of which end in sunny squares. It is a stunning place to enjoy nature and luxury estates and it is carefully integrated into the natural landscape, sitting with its golf courses in the foothills of the Serrania de Ronda. The main attractions of Benahavís are its natural surroundings. Few places on the Costa del Sol enjoy such uninterrupted views of mountains, woodlands and rivers.
The Guadalmina River is undoubtedly the most characteristic natural environment of Benahavís route that is approximately 1 km long and descends shaping a passage of water that creates natural walls. It is one of the most beautiful canyons in Andalusia and it runs very close to the town centre of Benahavís. It also provides great canyoning opportunities; you can make your way down the river through waterfalls and plunge pools ranks as one of the top adventure activities on the Costa del Sol.
The Montemayor Castle which was built in the 10th century squats on the highest mountain in the area. Anyone wishing to climb up to visit the ruins and experience the truly sensational views of the coastline should be prepared for a strenuous but rewarding effort.
The Sunday market is one of the most fascinating markets in the area. It has a special place in many visitors’ hearts due to the spectacular scenery in which it is located, set in the hills next to the Benahavís gorge that runs alongside the market ground.
The lovely Parque Torre Leoneras park at the south end of the village contains the ruins of a medieval tower and large lake.
Despite the countryside feel, thanks to the peaceful location away from the hustle of the coast, Benahavís is an easy and beautiful few minutes drive to the beach. The nearest beaches to Benahavís are located in Marbella and Estepona, and take around 10 minutes to reach. The closest and best beaches from Benahavís will be family-friendly beaches in San Pedro de Alcántara and beach bars in Puerto Banús. San Pedro has a huge long promenade with beach fit gyms and beach bars and restaurants dotted along with it. Puerto Banús has soft golden sand, and more exclusive beach clubs like Ocean Club, Buddha Beach, La Sala by the Sea. If you travel west towards Estepona you will find some more hidden gems, such as the lovely beach of Costalita or Heaven Beach Bar.
If you would like 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.
The location of Benahavís is just ideal; it’s surrounded by countryside and mountains, which means there is a wide range of different types of sports’ activities available. You can visit a local little park with gardens that are a pure joy to wander around or go hiking and cycling in the mountains or along the river. For the braver ones, there are organised canyoning tours in the Guadalmina river which will certainly leave you dumbfounded. Not to mention of course that you have 9 golf courses to choose from. 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 for those who would like to take on a new challenge.
Andalusia’s old history has left behind a wealth of artistic heritage. Benahavís too has deep roots in its traditions and there are many cultural activities throughout the year that demonstrate the finest local crafts, gastronomy, music and religious beliefs.
In the tradition and style of Andalusian fairs, celebrations in Benahavís usually begin in mid-August and last about five days. Local authorities inaugurate the fair with an institutional dinner, a parade and lighting of the fairgrounds.
As in the whole of Andalusia, Benahavís also holds the Holy Week processions. They are smaller, but some of the loveliest on the Costa del Sol.
The other important event in Benahavís is the pilgrimage in honour of the village’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Rosary, on 7 October.
The town of Benahavís is known as the Dining Room of the Costa del Sol. Although the town may seem small, it is home to lots of very good restaurants that offer high-quality traditional cuisine. Benahavís is also home to the Sabor a Málaga catering school whose pupils regularly win awards for their culinary skills. This is where the more experimental cuisine with a modern twist is being born.
The town is known for its best selection of pork, lamb, or veal, but do not forget that we are only few minutes away from the coast, so seafood dishes will be of paramount importance.