Benahavis, a white mountain village near Marbella
Benahavís, sitting between Marbella, Estepona and Ronda, is a mountain village only 7 kms from the coast. It is one of the typical Andalusian “white villages” with important Arab influence from the past. From the Castle of Montemayor spectacular views can be enjoyed of the coast, Gibraltar and North Africa.
It is the most mountainous village in the western part of the Costa del Sol and three rivers run through the Benahavís area: the Guadalmina, the Guadaiza and the Guadalmansa. It is at the river Guadalmina that we find the natural gorge known as Las Angosturas, which is protected parkland and is considered a true natural treasure. Today it is known as a centre for many leisure activities and adventure sports such as climbing, abselling, rafting or canyoneering.
For those who enjoy good food, Benahavís is a “MUST STOP”. Known for its gastronomic traditions since the 1970’s, it is now called “The Dining Room of the Costa del Sol” due to the large number of restaurants and bars within the municipality, as well as for its delicious and varied cuisine. Currently there are 20 restaurants in the Benahavís village centre among which Las Cañas is worthy of a special mention for its famous and excellent cuisine. Located very close to the main plaza in the centre, it offers its visitors a delightful atmosphere full of charm.
Los Abanicos is probably the most famous restaurant in Benahavís, renowned for the minute attention to detail in the making of their dishes, for the excellent quality of the produce they use and for their fantastic wine cellar.
Another highly recommended restaurant is La Escalera de Manolo Espada, where not only the delicious house specialities will be enjoyed but also the amusing welcome given by its owner, which makes an unforgettable dining experience in a charming restaurant to where everybody loves to go back.
Other restaurants that stand out are Amigos, Bodegon Gallery and El Castillo, where French or Brazilian specialities and international cuisine can be enjoyed, or Rufino and La Terraza de la Torre which offer good quality traditional dishes. In short, choosing a restaurant to enjoy the culinary delights on offer within the municipality could turn out to be a difficult task, since all of them offer great quality at very good prices.
In Benahavís there is a conscious effort not only being made to maintain this culinary tradition but also to reinforce it through the work done in the culinary arts school known as the Hispanic-Arab School of Mediterranean Cuisine. This school has been training professionals for more than 10 years and its students are receiving many prizes in recognition of their work. The gourmets among us can enjoy the dishes made by the students of the school at very reasonable prices, with their bar and restaurant being open to the public 9 months a year.
Well worth a visit is the art gallery of the famous sculptor David Marshall, tucked away in one of the prettiest corners in the centre of the village, in the urbanization La Aldea, which he himself designed. The gallery offers us a sample of the works of this Scottish artist who has been living in the municipality for more than 40 years.
Also within the municipality of Benahavis is the magnificent luxury 5-star hotel Villa Padierna Palace which hit the international media when Michelle Obama came to stay with her daughter, Sasha.
Another attraction that pulls people to Benahavís is, without a doubt, the golf. Boasting 9 golf courses within the municipal boundaries, Benahavís is the true centre of the Golf Coast and a real paradise for lovers of this sport. Famous luxury urbanizations (click on the links to view some magnificent properties) which offer their own golf courses include: La Zagaleta Golf and Country Club (2 courses only for use by residents and their guests), Los Flamingos (3 courses), and the Marbella Club Golf and Riding Resort (1 course). Another well known urbanization with golf course is La Quinta Golf and below we showcase properties in the larger area known as La Quinta.
All this can be enjoyed when visiting the Benahavís area which, although only 20kms from Marbella, is unfortunately in some cases, totally unknown to many visitors on the Costa del Sol. Have a look at the video below to get a general idea of the amazing range of facilities and services on offer at Benahavis.