Benahavis - A Mountain Paradise

Published on 2/7/2011 in Places of Interest

Four miles from the coast and 500 feet up in a pine and eucalyptus valley, lies the village of Benahavis. With Marbella a comfortable nine miles east and Estepona an equal distance west, it is ideally placed for those who wish access to more glamorous activities.

BenahavisHowever the many charms of Benahavis offer a more relaxed and healthier life style than the coastal towns.

Dating back over twelve hundred years, it was selected by the Moors as a supply depot for the castle on nearby Monte Major. The village has a reliable source of fine water (which has never failed even in years of drought) and sits securely in a fine valley accessed only through a narrow gorge.

The river runs many miles back into the mountains towards Ronda and is a fine feature all year round, exciting during winter rains and cooling in high summer.

Benahavis is by repute the richest per capita village in Europe as its income derives from its vast hinterland, which stretches well into the mountains behind.

The village has been developed (mainly) with taste and care during recent decades and now offers a very comprehensive range of activities. It sprang to fame in the eighties as a gastronomic centre with over twenty-five restaurants and tapas bars.

The range of food is wide, from cheap and cheerful to some of the best food on the coast. Today, with the vigilance of police, it is not advisable to drink more than a glass of wine and drive. Living in the village, restaurants are all within a few hundred yards so driving is not a requirement. For potential residents this is an attractive feature.

The first development was the construction of the imaginatively designed Pacheca complex which stands against the top road running up to the village centre, about 300 metres away. Pacheca has its own sports area, and looks out over the river onto a pine-clad hillside. Immediately in front lies the newly opened park, which is beautifully landscaped and borders the river for some distance. The park gardens are well maintained and at one end offer a number of excellent exercise machines and, at the other, a small open-air theatre.

Benahavis GolfEach year there are a number of Festivals to which all visitors are welcomed. There is a large sports hall in the village and on the eastern fringe an extensive sporting area with a football pitch, tennis courts, a driving range and a full sized swimming pool. There are numerous walks into the hills and up beyond the reservoir, which makes a delightful lake about one kilometre up river. The hills abound with wild flowers and herbs providing a free and healthy source of flavours for the locals.

A very large area of ground beyond the reservoir is owned by the Goldsmith family who are very helpful neighbours.

For those wishing to explore further afield, the motorway is only about nine minutes away with Gibraltar a further thirty five minutes, Granada and Cordoba each just over two hours and Tarifa (Atlantic wind surfing centre) about seventy minutes. Cadiz and Jerez are just a bit further.

An added attraction to British visitors is that Benahavis Council have a resident British member who keeps all interested parties informed by e-mail of the constant flow of events, competitions, concerts, festivals etc.

There are many golf courses within easy reach. It would be difficult to find a more agreeable place to holiday or even purchase an apartment. Currently it is a buyers market and a good time to see what is on offer.

Written by: James Gray

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Elizabeth Rice said:
Thursday, April 14, 2011 @ 7:57 PM

Benhavis is an easy drive from the coastal road N340 inland about 7 km. It is a lovely little village to walk around and stop for a drink or meal.

Janiuce Westfall said:
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 @ 3:45 PM

Hmmm, this sounds very interesting. I will have a look at a map to actually spot the location. Anyone know more about it? How is the access road? I am quite terrified driving on some of the mountain roads in Spain!

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