Benahávis is set inland away from the coast in-between Estepona and Puerto Banús, a 10-minute drive away from the CN-340 turn-off, the main Málaga to Cádiz road. 11 golf courses are within 15 minutes drive the nearest being Atalaya, others include: Los Arqueros, La Quinta, Paraiso, Los Flamingos, Montemayor and the Marbella Club Golf Resort.
A really popular destination for romantic couples Benahávis is a delightful dream, a beautiful and historical village with plenty to see, lovely views and many fantastic restaurants.
The resorts itself is around 7km from the sea in its mountain hideaway, the winding road to Benahávis offer some of the most stunning and unique views of the Coast. Whereas several years ago motorists risked life and limb on a poorly maintained and pot-holed winding road, large sections of which lacked barriers, today's highway is a far more pleasurable experience.
In spring, the river runs full, you can often see cliff jumpers diving into some of the deeper pools located on the way up to the village and this has become a yearly pilgrimage for many of the younger locals.
When you approach Benahávis you will see a number of new property developments, which are mostly inhabited by expat Europeans, and, almost before you expect it, the older quarter. Just before you reach the main part of the village you will see a large number of parking bays and it is advisable to take this opportunity to leave your car and walk the rest of the distance into the village, since some of the streets are quite narrow and not easy to negotiate in a vehicle. If it is your first time driving abroad we strongly suggest this.
Historically Benahávis was first occupied during Moorish times and was owned by the Banu Habis family, which translates into 'children of Hell' and is from where the locality receives its name.
The town's most important monument is the Montemayor Castle, which was of great importance during the Nazari rule in Granada. The castle was built in the 11th century and is located on the highest mountain in the locality. It is possible to climb to this point from which some of the best views of the coast can be seen.
After being reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs this area, along with several others, was granted to the Count of Cifuentes, Juan de Silva. This created tension as Benahávis had belonged to Marbella until it was granted its own charter in 1572.
What has made this location a favourite spot for thousands of international tourists every year is its wealth of fine eateries. It is routinely promoted as 'the gastronomic centre of the Costa' and for good reason. There are at least 20 top-class restaurants. Some have cosy terraces with views of the mountainside which at sunset can look spectacular and others are set in neat little patio squares creating a busy, yet private, ambience.
If you like fine food and wine it is almost impossible to put a foot wrong in this place, the meat served being universally excellent and improved still further by the incredible sauces that the skilled chefs create. Duck, rabbit and other game is available and, although inland, the fresh clams and seafood are very good as well. Andalusia favourites, such as Roast Peppers (Pimientos Asados) in oil and vinegar are also popular choices for locals and visitors wanting to experience real Spanish cooking, although the best thing about cuisine in this area is that it is truly international, combining the very best elements of fresh ingredients prepared in disparate styles.
Prices vary greatly depending on where you eat (and how many courses you feel you can manage), but don't expect to finish a meal in half an hour, as in summer things get very busy and you are paying for quality, but definitely not speed. The best action you can take is to sit back, relax and enjoy the mountain air. You’re in no rush!
The older part of Benahávis is, as in most white villages, very narrow and circuitous, so if you're planning a night of drunken revelry it would be wise to take a taxi or go to a more happening resort!
Golf lovers will also be in their element, with the El Coto de La Zageleta and Benahávis courses on hand. Just down the road are the Guadalmina and El Paraiso clubs. The village's mountainous location also provides the platform for a number of mountain sports such as hiking, mountain biking and also hunting.
Fiesta times in the village happen halfway through August and also in October and will be of great interest to those who enjoy Spanish customs and culture. Benahávis is by no means a place to spend the whole evening, as everything closes shortly after midnight and it has no real nightlife. However, if you enjoy spectacular scenery or need the perfect location for a quiet romantic evening and an excellent meal, then Benahávis will prove most satisfactory.
If your looking for a resort that keeps things simple and beautiful and a good selection of courses close by then Benahávis comes highly recommended.