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The Best Sights, Activities, and Restaurants in Benahavís


Welcome to Benahavís, a picturesque village in the heart of Andalusia, Spain, known for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and exquisite cuisine. If you are wondering what to do, see, and eat in this charming village just 20 minutes drive away from Marbella, our guide will get you started.


staircase in Benahavis, Marbella

Nestled in the heart of Andalusia, the charming village of Benahavís invites travelers to experience the true essence of Spanish culture and beauty, with its narrow cobblestone streets, rows of orange trees, and sunny squares. Known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and, of course, its culinary delights, Benahavís is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Spanish experience. It is located in the province of Malaga, situated between Marbella, Estepona, and Ronda.


Arriving with your car? We recommend parking your car at the entrance of the village, where ample parking spaces are available, and then walking to your final destination.



A Rich History


Benahavís carries with it a rich and storied history that spans over a millennium. Its roots trace back to the 11th century when it was founded by the Moors. Moors are historically associated with the Arab and Berber populations who, beginning in the 7th century, swept across North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula (present-day Spain and Portugal). It was during this time that the village derived its name, "Benahavís," which translates to "son of Havis" in Arabic. The town got its name from Havis, a historical figure who held reign in the impressive Montemayor Castle, an 11th-century fortress perched atop the highest peak in the region.


As centuries passed, Benahavís witnessed a shifting tide of cultures and rulers. The Moors held sway until the Christian reconquest, marking the town's transition into Spanish hands. This historical transition left an indelible mark on the village, evident in its architectural heritage and cultural traditions. Today, Benahavís showcases its heritage and embraces its past. Steeped in the legacy of Moorish and Spanish civilizations, Benahavís proudly preserves its rich history through its well-preserved landmarks, historic streets, and colorful staircases. It is a testament to the region's cultural evolution.


Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie seeking gastronomic delights, Benahavís has something for everyone.


Go Sightseeing


Take a walk through the colorful, old streets of Benahavis. Benahavís is known for its narrow, cobblestone streets and charming Andalusian staircases that wind through the town's hilly terrain. Be sure to check out the Church of the Virgin of the Rosary, an 18th-century architectural marvel that has been lovingly restored, including significant renovations overseen by the talented architect D. Antonio Herrezuelo.


Explore Benahavís' rich history by visiting historical sites like the Montemayor Castle, offering panoramic views from the top. This well-preserved fortress provides insights into the town's past, offering a glimpse of its strategic significance. Wander through its ruins and let history come to life. This castle sits on top of the highest mountain in the area. Those who make it all the way to the top are rewarded by the spectacular views of the surrounding Andalusian countryside.


Torre Leonora is a historical watchtower in Benahavís. A walk in the picturesque Torre Leonora Park is also a delightful choice. This beautifully landscaped park offers a serene setting with lush greenery, meandering pathways, and charming spots to relax. There is a pond area where you can spot turtles and frogs, in addition to a small rabbit enclosure. Park Torre Leonora is an ideal destination for a picnic or a leisurely afternoon walk, allowing you to soak in the peaceful ambiance and connect with nature in the heart of Benahavís.


Get Active


Benahavís offers a wealth of opportunities for those who prefer to get active or explore on foot. Engage in outdoor pursuits such as hiking, canyoning, or golfing in one of the region's premier golf courses.


Guadalmina River

One of the best, most exciting adventures that Benahavís has to offer is canyoning along the Guadalmina river. This activity is suitable for everyone, including kids as young as seven. It takes approximately 2 hours. You can hire a professional guide to ensure an experience where safety and fun is guaranteed. If going without one, make sure you have swimwear, water shoes, and floaties for non-swimmers. Navigate through the breathtaking canyons, with opportunities to rappel down waterfalls, swim through crystal-clear pools, and explore the stunning surroundings. You are guaranteed to be in awe of the natural beauty and the spectacular landscapes around you. Wish to take photos? Don't forget to prepare a waterproof phone case if you'd like to bring your phone with you and capture photos.


The Angosturas canyon hike takes you through a narrow gorge carved by the Guadalmina river, where towering rock walls surround you, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring backdrop. It is a great hike option. The path winds its way through the canyon, crossing wooden bridges and rocky terrain, making it a thrilling and scenic journey.


Overall, Benahavís is a paradise for those who like to get active. The town's proximity to the Sierra de las Nieves National Park makes it an ideal base for walking and hiking enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned trekker or a leisurely stroller, there are trails suitable for all levels. And for those who enjoy golf, you'll find an abundance of world-class golf courses in the area, making Benahavís a golfer's paradise as well.


Eat in Benahavis


If you are a foodie, then Benahavis is a place you must visit. The town is known as the “dining room of the Costa del Sol” for a good reason. This small, picturesque village with just over 2000 residents has around 30 restaurants. Benahavis is known for its excellent gastronomy and wide range of high-quality restaurants. Local cuisine harmoniously blends the gastronomic treasures of a mountainous enclave with the abundance of fresh ingredients sourced from the nearby sea.


From rustic restaurants like Los Habanicos, to upscale places like Coto, there is something for everyone's taste. For wine-enthusiasts, La Escalera de Balthazar is not only a perfect spot to eat well but also taste some excellent artisan Spanish wines. La Escalera de Balthazar presents an exquisite opportunity to try our curated selection of fine Spanish wines, all while enjoying the panoramic vistas of the Sierra de las Nieves mountains from our rooftop terrace. Our carefully chosen wine list showcases the best wines from passionate, artisan Spanish winemakers. Take a look at our latest offers to eat at exceptionally affordable prices.


Conclusion


In conclusion, Benahavis is a beautiful village with a rich history, stunning natural beauty, and delicious cuisine. Whether you are looking to explore the historic attractions in the town, sample the local cuisine, or dine at one of the best restaurants in the area, Benahavis will not disappoint.

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