If you’re looking for a peaceful and picturesque village on the Costa del Sol, Benahavís is the perfect place for you. Located in the mountains between Marbella and Estepona, this small Andalusian village is full of charm and tradition.

Discover with us what makes Benahavís a place that captures everyone’s heart and how to make the most of your visit.

History of Benahavís

The known origin of this village dates back to the Arab era, specifically to the 11th century. It was when the Muslims built large fortifications in these lands as a strategic point of vigilance, as it offered views of the entire coast.

The name Benahavís comes from the governor who conceived these fortifications, Havis, and the word Ben-, which means “son” in Arabic. This defense provided protection for centuries until the arrival of the Catholic Monarchs, when it became part of Marbella. During this period, the village was an important center of olive oil and wine production.

The main function of this tower was to watch over the passage of enemies
The main function of this tower was to watch over the passage of enemies |

In 1572, Benahavís achieved independence from Marbella, and thanks to its proximity to the coast and the exploitation of graphite mines, its population experienced rapid growth. This led to it becoming a popular source of mineral exports.

Today, it is an attractive village that has become the home to many tourists who were enchanted by the tranquility and beauty of its lands.

What to See and Do in Benahavís

If you are a nature and tranquility lover, Benahavís is the perfect place for you. There is a lot to see and do, such as visiting an Arab fortification that survived several sieges and enjoying traditional cured meats cooked in a unique way.

Places to Visit in Benahavís

The village of Benahavís is famous for its cobbled and narrow streets, which transport you to another era. Take a stroll through its squares, admire its fountains, and discover the traditional architecture of Andalusian houses.

The characteristic monument of the Torre de la Leonera dates back to the 15th century
The characteristic monument of the Torre de la Leonera dates back to the 15th century |

The Tower of La Leonera, dating back to the 15th century, was built to protect the village and serve as an external defense to the Montemayor Castle, along with four other watchtowers. This tower, in particular, controlled access to the Guadalmina River valley.

  • Address: Caserio Ue. 6, 9B, 29679 Benahavís, Málaga
  • Price: Free
  • Opening hours: 8:30 am to 9:00 pm

Renaissance style and elegance: Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church
Renaissance style and elegance: Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church |

You can also visit the Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, one of the most important monuments in Benahavís. This church was built in the 16th century on the remains of an ancient mosque, and today it is a Renaissance-style building that stands out for its sobriety and elegance.

  • Address: Plaza de la Iglesia, 1, 29679 Benahavís, Málaga
  • Price: To be confirmed
  • Contact: 952 855 732
  • Opening hours:
    • October to May: Fridays: 5:00 pm and Sundays and holidays: 11:15 am
    • June to September: Fridays: 8:30 pm and Sundays and holidays: 11:15 am

The Montemayor Castle is a fortress located on top of a hill in the Sierra de las Nieves. It was built in the 10th century by the Arabs, and its original function was to watch over the passage of enemy troops between the Costa del Sol and the interior of the region.

In its time, it was a true defensive landmark in the entire region, impeding the advance of any invading army trying to cross the surrounding lands. Today, it is a must-visit for all the tourists who come to this charming village.

  • Address: 29679 Benahavís, Málaga
  • Price: Free
  • Opening hours: Open to the public

Benahavís has several golf courses, where you can enjoy unique afternoons
Benahavís has several golf courses, where you can enjoy unique afternoons |

It is worth mentioning some of the most prestigious golf clubs on the Costa del Sol, such as El Higueral Golf, Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club, and La Quinta Golf & Country Club, which offer several outdoor courses surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

Nature and Hiking

Benahavís is an ideal place for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. There are numerous routes that traverse the area, with different levels of difficulty. The Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park and the Los Alcornocales Natural Park (in Cádiz) are two nearby natural spaces that are worth a visit.

Torre de la Leonera Park

If you’re looking for a nature plan to enjoy with children, you have to visit Torre de la Leonera Park, located in the historic center of the village. It is a large family-friendly space with extensive gardens, lagoons, and other natural areas.

Situated next to the Torre de Leonera, it gives its name to the park
Situated next to the Torre de Leonera, it gives its name to the park |

The park is just a few meters away from Torre Leonera, an ancient watchtower dating back to the Nasrid period. It’s the perfect plan for a family walk in contact with nature.

Río Guadalmina Trail

A route of about 8 kilometers that runs along the course of the Guadalmina River, surrounded by vegetation and spectacular natural landscapes. This route is best enjoyed during the warmer months, so you can take refreshing dips in the different pools along the way.

A significant portion of the route is in the water, so it is advisable to wear appropriate footwear.

This trail also offers adventure activities such as kayaking, canyoning, or climbing, and it ends at the known La Toma del Agua. This trail showcases the importance of water in the village throughout its history, while enjoying beautiful natural landscapes.

In the Guadalmina river you can see both fauna and vegetation
In the Guadalmina river you can see both fauna and vegetation |

Cañada de la Mora Trail

The ease of this trail, which is less than 8 km long, makes it perfect for enjoyment throughout the year. The paths are wide and easily passable as the surrounding forests are mainly pine forests.

As it is a pine forested area, special care should be taken with caterpillars (known as “processionary caterpillars”) during the spring season if you are traveling with pets.

At various points, it connects with the Guadalmina River, allowing you to cool off before continuing with your route. This is especially useful during the summer months, when the heat in the surrounding mountains is more extreme.

A quiet route to enjoy in company
A quiet route to enjoy in company |

Popular Festivals and Gastronomy

Benahavís has several festivals and celebrations throughout the year, with the most notable being the Benahavís Fair, a traditional festival that includes all kinds of Andalusian events such as festivities, parades, and other processions, and the Patron Saint Festivities in honor of the Virgin of the Rosario, which takes place in early October and lasts for several days.

The Benahavís Fair begins in mid-August and lasts for about five days. The local authorities inaugurate the fair with an official dinner, a parade, and the lighting of the fairground.

Celebrated in August, the Benahavís Fair is an event you must experience
Celebrated in August, the Benahavís Fair is an event you must experience |

The Romería of the Virgen del Rosario is a tradition for the people of the village, who celebrate this traditional festival every October 7th. A Mass is celebrated, and then there are tents where you can taste regional food and drink, as well as live music and dances, where both locals and visitors are invited to participate.

As for gastronomy, Benahavís is known for its traditional cuisine and the quality of its local products, especially rabbit and partridge, and its curious dish of “chorizo al agua” (sausage cooked only in water, instead of oil).

How to Get to Benahavís

How to Get by Bus

There are no direct bus lines from Málaga to Benahavís. However, you can always take one of the routes that constantly depart for Marbella from the Málaga Bus Station.

This option is not recommended due to multiple transfers, which significantly increases travel time and cost.

From there, the best option is to take the L-79 route towards San Pedro de Alcántara and then transfer to the L-33 route, which goes directly to Benahavís. The travel time can be considerably longer due to multiple transfers, as well as the cost of the trip.

How to Get by Car

The most convenient way to reach Benahavís is by car. From Málaga Airport, take the A-7 road towards Marbella. Just before reaching Fuengirola, you have the option to continue on this road, which becomes a toll highway (AP-7), or take the coastal road (A-7).

The toll price is about €5, but it increases during the summer months to around €8.

If you have taken the toll highway, you will rejoin the A-7 before reaching Marbella. This route will save you about 30 minutes, although you won’t be able to enjoy the coastal views. Heading towards Estepona, take exit 181 and you will find Benahavís following the A-7175 road.

If you have decided to visit the area by car, you may need to hire a car at Málaga Airport. This allows you to enjoy the freedom of moving at your own pace and visit other towns such as Casares, Gaucín, or Genalguacil.

Benahavís Map

Below is a map with the main points of interest in Benahavís marked, so you can better plan your visit.

Relevant Information

Best time of the year to visit: Spring and summer.

Don’t miss: The route that goes down the Guadalmina River, where you can enjoy refreshing pools.

Nearby places to eat: Check out our post on the best restaurants to eat in Benahavís.

For more information, please visit the Benahavís Town Hall website:

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