The stunning white village of Benahavis is famous for its beautiful walks amongst nature and its narrow streets lined with an abundance of bars and restaurants with a tranquil atmosphere which is seems to be the general consensus amongst those who have visited this charming mountain village perched above the town of San Pedro de Alcantara and the winding Guadalmina River.
The village is laid out in a typical Moorish style with narrow cobbled streets tightly packed with pretty white houses, small shops and an incredible array of restaurants. It is the high concentration of restaurants in such as a small area that has given rise to the name ‘the dining room of the Costa del Sol.
Benahavis is a place of natural beauty, situated just south of La Serrania de Ronda mountain range, surrounded by cork and pine forests and crossed by 3 rivers; the Guadalmina, Guadaiza, and Guadalmansa. There’s also plenty of history including Monte Mayor Castle. It is also the richest area in Andalucia per capita, mainly due to the presence of the highly exclusive golf and residential development of La Zagaleta located within the local vicinity. The addition of hundreds of new properties on the outskirts of the town has virtually doubled the original population with the number of non-locals to the area.
Eating and drinking
Many of the visitors to Benahavis are attracted by the opportunity to sample the much vaunted cuisine. Not only does it offer the highest concentration of restaurants in the area with over 30 within one small village – they also offer wonderful views across the surrounding countryside. Meat is the order of the day in many restaurants, there is also a selection of tapas bars for a snack or light lunch.
If you are looking for a romantic meal or relaxed drink Benahavis will do fine, but if you want lively nightlife venues, glitz and glamour, then you should head to nearby Puerto Banus or Marbella, just 10 and 20mins by car respectively. Alternatively, Estepona offers an attractive alternative with its good mix of restaurants, bars and the lively marina.
As you would expect in a small village, Benahavis has the ubiquitous weekly market and there are some small shops and art galleries selling works of famous local artists.
Sports and outdoor activities
Those who appreciate the outdoors and enjoy sports will find that Benahavis offers a lot of opportunities; there are several walking trails and climbing in the gorge. There is also a municipal gym, football pitch, swimming pool, tennis and padel courts, and of course numerous excellent golf courses. And if this isn’t enough, you can head to the coast for water sports, swimming and sailing.
Golf courses in Benahavis
Benahavis offers golfers plenty of options, with a choice of picturesque, challenging or more gentle courses, ideal for all types of players from beginners, experienced and professionals.
- Marbella Club Golf Resort – 18 holes, very technical course, great views, designed by Dave Thomas
- El Higueral Club de Golf – 9 holes, picturesque with great views and lakes
- La Zagaleta Club de Campo – 18 holes, exclusive private members club, course designed by Bradford Benz
- Los Barrancos de La Zagaleta – Opened in 2005
- Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club – 18 holes, designed by Severiano Ballasteros
- Monte Mayor Golf Club – 18 holes, designed by Jose Gancedo with wooden valley and water falls
- La Quinta Melia Golf & Spa resort – 27 holes, home to European Tour Championships
- Los Flamingos Golf – 18 holes, Villa Padierna’s 1st course designed by Antonio Garcia Garrido, sea views stretching to North Africa
- Alferini Golf Club – 18 holes, Villa Padierna’s 2nd course set in a conservation area
- Tramores Golf Club – 18- holes, Villa Padierna’s 3rd course, designed by Michael Campbell
Even though Benahavis is a mountain side village, it’s deceptively close to the coast, only 12 minutes from San Pedro’s family friendly clean beaches, and Puerto Banús is just a few more minutes along the coast.
Beach clubs just 12 minutes from the village
- The Ocean Club: Attractions include the once public lido, now a huge private swimming pool, the cocktail bar and gourmet snacks. It’s also a popular venue for DJs, fashion shows and exhibitions.
- La Sala by the Sea Beach Club: Previously Buddha Beach, now one the Costa del Sol most popular celebrity hotspots. Thai snacks can be served on the beach.
- Plaza Beach: Located adjacent to the Plaza Suites Hotel in Puerto Banus; it’s young, load and has lots of sofas, it also serves tasty food.
- Astral Beach: Located on the Victory statue side of Puerto Banus. Chilled out music and relaxed yet with a lively atmosphere. Great for a long summer drink.
- Mistral Beach: Located about 2 minutes from Puerto Banus marina next to the Guadalpin Banus Hotel, its lively and extremely popular spot for water sports.