Benahavis is a lovely mountain village perched in the hill just above San Pedro. The municipality of Benahavis incorporates some up market areas such as La Zagaleta, Montemayor, El Madronal and La Quinta.
Due to the relatively high value of properties in the area of Benahavis, it is one of the wealthiest municipalities on the coast and one of the few town halls that runs a surplus of funds. Consequently, the area is extremely well kept and offers residents and home owners a lot of free facilities.
The town is known as the gastronomic centre of the coast with over 40 restaurants in what is, a fairly small village. Each restaurant competes with each other resulting in some excellent food at very competitive prices.
The village is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and whilst a fair bit of development has taken place in recent years it’s all been done in keeping with the style of a small, Spanish village.
Because of the facilities on offer Benahavis has become a popular place for people to live full time.
The village was founded by the Arabs in the 11th century and belonged to the Marbella municipality until 1572 when Philip the second granted it independence.
Because of its strategic position with panoramic views of the coast and even as far as the African coastline it became an important strategic location at a time when piracy and invasion were commonplace.
The town takes its name from Havis, an 11th-century Moorish prince who lived in Montemayor Castle. The name Benahavis then came from the Arabic “Bin al Havis”, meaning son of Havis”.
The castle’s strategic location was targeted by Catholic monarchs who wanted to conquer the last Moorish kingdoms in the south of Spain. Isabel and Ferdinand’s army had already taken the kingdoms of Granada and Malaga and in 1485, Benahavis was handed over to the Catholic King, Ferdinand.
It remained a sleepy Spanish village until modern times when it has, for some reason, developed into a tourist town with an exceptional high number of restaurants.
Just below the Serrania de Ronda mountain range, Benahavis is one of the most picturesque villages on the Costa del Sol with outstanding natural beauty and tranquility yet just 9km from the coast and 20km from Marbella.
Malaga airport is 70km away and Gibraltar and its airport is just a little bit further.
Hospitals and medical services
The village has a medical centre and a few pharmacy’s but for more serious problems the main Costa del Sol hospital is about 25 km’s away. The nearest big town of San Pedro is a short drive and has numerous doctors, dentists and medical facilities.
The village has a nursery school catering for children up to the age of four and a primary school for children up to thirteen. For older children there is a free shuttle bus that runs to the nearby town of San Pedro where there are a few very good International schools.
Benahavis has 9 of the 60 golf courses on the Costa del Sol including, Los Arqueros, La Quinta, El Higueral, Atalaya and two at La Zagaleta.
There are tennis courts, football pitches and gyms, and for residents or homeowners the town hall issues a card that gives substantial discounts on these facilities.
The river that runs around the village and down to the coast offers many opportunities for more adventurous sports such as canyoning, rock climbing and hiking.
In the village itself, expect to pay at least €150,000 for an apartment although in the surrounding areas apartments can be bought for €100,000.
A good option, just on the edge of the village, is the new El Casar development of townhouses. Built in a traditional style these houses offer modern living at prices starting at €300,000.
If money is no object you may consider the private estate of La Zagaleta where there is not much for sale under €4 million.
Towns/areas within the Benahavis municipality include: -