Benahavis combines tranquility, nature with culinary delights

If you're looking for a charming and peaceful town to explore in the heart of Andalusia, look no further than Benahavís. This picturesque town is situated just a 20-minute drive from Marbella, making it the perfect destination for travelers who want to escape the crowds and discover the hidden gems of the Costa del Sol.

Benahavís is a destination for us that captures our heart and we have their unforgettable memories. If you visit Benahavís you will discover why it's one of the hidden gems of Andalusia.

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marbslifestyle Benahavis a 20 min drive from Marbella, part of the ''golden triangle''.
Benahavis a 20 min drive from Marbella, part of the ''golden triangle''.

Where is Benahavis Located?

Nestled in the mountains, Benahavís offers visitors the chance to explore some of the most stunning natural landscapes in southern Spain. From hiking and mountain biking to horse riding and bird watching, there's Benahavis municipality is situated on the western side of the Costa del Sol, slightly inland, nestled between Estepona and Marbella. It boasts excellent connectivity, easily accessible via national and international routes in Malaga and other sought-after destinations on the Costa del Sol.

What Does Benahavis Look Like?

The municipality covers an expansive area of around 150 km^2, stretching from the coastal regions up to the mountains lying between Marbella and Estepona. It stands distinct from other coastal towns on the Costa del Sol – at the heart of this vast region is the serene, traditional mountain village of Benahavis, which has preserved its authentic Andalusian ambiance.

Benahavis holds the distinction of being one of Spain's wealthiest municipalities, owing to the plethora of high-end developments encircling the village. Golf resorts such as La Quinta and Los Arqueros fall under Benahavis, as does La Zagaleta, an exclusive gated community, home to some of Spain's most opulent properties. Notably, the nearby Villa Padierna with its 5-star GL hotel and golf resort hosted Michelle Obama and her family in 2010.

The history of Benahavis

The origins of Benahavis date back to the late 11th century when it was established by the Moors. The name "Benahavis" derives from "Ben al Havis," meaning "Son of Havis." Its location, perched high above the surrounding area, was chosen for the expansive, panoramic views it offered, stretching all the way to the coastline. This elevated position was not only scenic but also strategic, offering privacy and defense against invasions. Presently, the rich history of Benahavis is evident in its architectural legacy and the ancient castles that dot its landscape.

The diversity of Benahavis

While the village might be quaint in size, the municipality is vast. It encompasses various mountain ranges, river valleys, and forests, making it one of the most scenic locales on the Costa del Sol. The pristine natural setting, coupled with a remarkably low construction density, makes Benahavis a highly desirable location for buying a home on the Costa del Sol, especially for foreigners seeking a tranquil oasis within close proximity to Marbella.

What are the key things to do and see in Benahavis?

Topping the list of attractions in Benahavis is its stunning natural surroundings. Few places on the Costa del Sol offer such uninterrupted views of mountains, forests, and rivers. The village itself is a charming maze of well-maintained streets and squares, lined with traditional Andalusian white-washed houses.

The picturesque Torre Leoneras park, located on the southern side of the village, hosts the ruins of a medieval tower and a large lake. The Montemayor castle, constructed in the 10th century, is mostly in ruins but still retains sections of its walls and the Queen's Tower. From here, the vistas overlooking the Costa del Sol are breathtaking.

Every Sunday, a bustling market takes place on the grounds of a sanctuary en route to the village. It's considered one of the most popular markets on the Costa del Sol. The trunk stalls attract both buyers and sellers from all over the coast, making it a lively Sunday morning event.

The Guadalmina river presents fantastic canyoning opportunities – descending the river through waterfalls and plunge pools ranks among the top adventure activities on the Costa del Sol. Additionally, there's a scenic river walk that takes you over a spectacular bridge and past a traditional Moorish irrigation channel.

Experience the Natural Beauty of Benahavís

Nestled in the mountains, Benahavís offers visitors the chance to explore some of the most stunning natural landscapes in southern Spain. From hiking and mountain biking to horse riding and bird watching, there's something for everyone in this beautiful part of the world.

Benahavis, one of the White villages

Indulge in the Culinary Delights of Benahavís

One of the highlights of any visit to Benahavís is the exceptional culinary scene. The town is home to some of the best restaurants in Andalusia, serving up traditional Spanish and Andalusian dishes with a modern twist. With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, many of the restaurants specialize in grilled meats, such as the famous chuleton, a T-bone steak that is a local specialty. Are you looking for a restaurant in Benahavís? Check here our blog.

Explore the History and Culture of Benahavís

Like all villages in Andalusia, Benahavis is steeped in longstanding traditions, which form the backbone of its cultural events throughout the year. The Holy Week processions, although modest in size, are among the most beautiful on the Costa del Sol. The annual Benahavis Fair unfolds over five days in mid-August, with the entire village indulging in processions, fairground attractions, fireworks, and a feast of food and drinks. Another significant event in Benahavis is the pilgrimage in honor of the village's patron saint, the Virgin of the Rosary, celebrated on October 7th.

During the summer, Benahavis hosts concerts and other musical events as part of its annual cultural agenda. Additionally, culinary events are frequently held in the many restaurants of Benahavis, showcasing the rich gastronomy of the region.

Escape to the Peaceful Paradise of Benahavís

Whether you're looking to explore the natural beauty of Andalusia, indulge in the exceptional culinary scene, or immerse yourself in the history and culture of the region, Benahavís is the perfect destination. With its peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, it's the ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience the true essence of southern Spain.

Explore El Madroñal, Monte Mayor, and La Zagaleta

Benahavís is not only known for its natural beauty and exceptional culinary scene, but it is also home to some of the most exclusive villa neighborhoods in Andalusia. These gated communities are popular among high-end buyers who seek privacy, security, and luxury living in one of the most beautiful parts of southern Spain. In this article, we'll take a closer look at three of the most exclusive villa neighborhoods in Benahavís: El Madroñal, Monte Mayor, and La Zagaleta.

El Madroñal: A Gated Community with Stunning Views

El Madroñal is situated on the slopes of La Serrania de Ronda, just a short distance from the coast. This gated community offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains, and it is known for its spacious and luxurious properties. El Madroñal is surrounded by natural beauty, making it the perfect choice for those who seek a peaceful and secluded lifestyle.

Monte Mayor: A Natural Park with Unparalleled Privacy

Monte Mayor is a gated community situated in a beautiful natural park that offers unparalleled privacy and security. The community is known for its luxurious properties and its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains. Monte Mayor is the perfect choice for those who seek a quiet and peaceful lifestyle in a natural setting.

La Zagaleta: One of the Most Prestigious Gated Communities in Europe

La Zagaleta is one of the most exclusive and prestigious gated communities in Europe, situated on 900 hectares of natural reserve. This community boasts two 18-hole golf courses, a riding club, a heliport, and a beautiful clubhouse. La Zagaleta is the perfect choice for those who seek the ultimate in luxury living, with a range of high-end amenities and exceptional services.

Play golf in Benahavis

Known as a golfer's sanctuary, Benahavís has firmly established itself as a premier destination for golf enthusiasts. With an array of world-class golf courses dotting its landscape, the area offers an unparalleled experience that seamlessly marries the sport with the serene beauty of nature. The courses in Benahavís are celebrated for their immaculate design, challenging play, and the breathtaking vistas that accompany each swing. Let's delve into some of the most important and renowned golf courses that have made Benahavís synonymous with top-tier golfing experiences.

marbslifestyle Benahavis a golfers paradise
Benahavis a golfers paradise

The most famous Golf Courses in Benahavis

1. La Zagaleta Golf & Country Club:

La Zagaleta is one of the most exclusive and luxurious residential estates in Europe, and its golf courses are no exception. Boasting two private 18-hole courses - La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos, the club offers its members a tranquil and secluded golfing experience. The courses are designed to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, featuring undulating fairways, strategically placed hazards, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the mountains.

2. Marbella Club Golf Resort:

Designed by the legendary golfer Dave Thomas, the Marbella Club Golf Resort is another gem in Benahavís. The 18-hole course stretches across a generous 6,247 meters and is known for its challenging yet enjoyable layout. The course is complemented by an equestrian center and a beautiful clubhouse, ensuring a comprehensive leisure experience.

3. Atalaya Golf & Country Club:

Though slightly east of Benahavís, Atalaya Golf & Country Club is often considered part of the region’s golfing experience. It offers two magnificent 18-hole courses - Atalaya Old Course and Atalaya New Course. Known for its wide fairways and large, fast greens, Atalaya provides an engaging experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Unveiling the Best Golf Courses in Benahavís

Unveiling the Best Golf Courses in Benahavís

Golf Clubs & Courses

Discovering the Hidden Gems and Legendary Fairways of Benahaví At, our love for Marbella’s luxurious lifestyle extends to the serene landscapes and lush fairways of golf. We believe there’s a certain magic when one combines the allure of Marbella with the tranquil elegance of golfing in Benahavís. Nestled in the heart of Costa del […]

Exploring the Great Outdoors in Benahavis

Nestled in the mountains, Benahavis offers a diverse range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. The area is a hiker's dream with its picturesque trails winding through the scenic landscape. These trails are designed to accommodate various fitness levels, providing easy walks for family outings with pets, as well as more rigorous hikes for adventure seekers. Notable hiking paths include the Sendero Acquia del Guadalmina and the Cañón de las Angosturas trail, both offering unique views and experiences.

The Cañón de las Angosturas, with its iconic bridge, marks the start of a 5.5km trail. This path meanders along the river gorge and extends towards the eastern mountain range, eventually leading near the Los Capanes Golf Club. A parking area is conveniently located at the trailhead for easy access.

Benahavis is also proud of its impressive sports complex. This facility boasts a 6,000m football field, a tennis court, two basketball courts, a handball court, and two padel courts, catering to sports enthusiasts of all kinds.

Another gem in Benahavis is the Charco de las Mozas, a beloved spot among locals and visitors. This natural water body, connected to the Guadalmina River, is a popular destination for rock jumping and swimming, offering a refreshing experience in the heart of nature.

Torre Leonera park in Benahavis is a tranquil oasis, perfect for enjoying the area's serene weather or having a peaceful picnic. The park is adorned with diverse flora and small lakes, featuring statues of wild animals, creating a picturesque environment. Positioned at the village's base, the park also provides stunning views of the mountains.

For comfort, the park is equipped with numerous benches. It also houses the historical Torre Leonera, a watchtower from the Nasrid dynasty, adding a touch of history to your visit. Additionally, the park includes a children's playground and outdoor gym equipment, ensuring fun and fitness opportunities for all ages.


Benahavís is a hidden gem in the heart of Andalusia, offering visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, exceptional culinary experiences, and exclusive luxury living. With its stunning mountain scenery, charming streets, and picturesque villa neighborhoods, Benahavís is a peaceful and welcoming destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you're looking to explore the natural beauty of the area, indulge in the exceptional culinary scene, or immerse yourself in the history and culture of the region, Benahavís has something for everyone. From its exclusive villa neighborhoods of El Madroñal, Monte Mayor, and La Zagaleta to its quaint town center and natural parks, Benahavís is the perfect destination for those seeking a unique and unforgettable experience in Andalusia.

Bart Eichhorn
Author: Bart Eichhorn

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