Located in the heart of the Costa del Sol, Benahavís is a paradise not only for golfers – as the municipalfty with the third highest number of courses in Spain – but also for alI kinds of other visitors. Here you will ñnd a wide variety of leisure activities and amenfties. Strolling through the villages attractive strects, hiking and enjoying its stunning landscapes, savouring the rich and varied cuisine at its many restaurants, staying at one of its superb hotels (as US First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughter Sasha did in 2010). these are just sorne of the options.
A village full of charm, spectacular mountain scenery, a meandering river with invigorating ponds and waterfalls, the ruins of an oId Arabic castle, golf courses, restaurants, bars, equestrian amenities… Benahavís offers a great deal to visitors – always accompanied by the warm affability that characterises its residents.
THE ORIGIN of the word Benahavís derives from the term Ben in Arabic – son, according to original usage – and Avis or Havis, which was the name of a prominent Arab figure who reigned in Montemayor Castle, built in the 1Oth century.
The Arab domination continued until 1485, when King Ferdinand the Catholic re-conquered Marbella and received from the governor of the Marbella fortress, Mohammad Abuneza, the keys to the city and other nearby settlements, among them Benahavís.
MONUMENTS. Within close proximity of the coast, yet at the same time in the midst of soaring peaks, Benahavís combines two of the common factors shared by mountain villages: an urban setting in the purest style of the typical “white villages” that meander uphill, and rural surroundings and spectacular panoramas.
lts main monuments include the Montemayor Castle, with sections of its walls preserved in a good condition. One of the most important remnants of the fortress area is the Torre de Reina tower, retaining the remains of lodgings and a well.
These fortifications had a key role in the battles between the various Taifas de Al-Andalus realms, thanks to their strategic value, – offering a view of more than 100 kilometres of the Spanish coast and an extensive strip of Moroccan coastline.
There are several lookout towers in the municipality built during the Nasrid dynasty in Granada as a defensive barrier, including the well-preserved Leonera and Daidín, Campanillas, Tramores and Esteril, all constructed during the mediaeval era.
One of the monuments of special historic interest in the town centre is the Virgen del Rosario church, dating to the 18th century, but the most important is an old l6th century palace, with its small colonnaded interior patio, built in accordance with Nasrid architectural norms.
FIESTAS. The main Benahavís fair and fiestas are held between 11 and 15 August, highlighted by an El Rocío mass and Virgen del Rosario procession. Also of particular interest is the Virgen del Rosario pilgrimage (romería), held on 6 and 7 October, and the Easter processions.
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. With its privileged setting, surrounded by peaks on the slopes of the Sierra de las Nieves mountain range, in the midst of the Serranía de Ronda foothills and just a few kilometres from Marbella and Estepona (both bordering municipalities), Benahavís is a real natural and touristic treasure. lts mountain setting offers wide and stunning views of the coast; and three rivers flow through the municipal area – the Guadalmina, Guadalmansa and Guadaiza.
The Benahavís landscape is extremely picturesque. The main road into Benahavís is accessed from the coastal highway at the start of Estepona municipality. The road soon begins rising and the first images of mountain foothills be- come visible. The Guadalmina river winds into the slopes, forming a canyon, with high peaks on either side. The road clings to the left-hand side, while appearing to the right and below is a section of the river known as Las Angosturas (for the narrowness, “angosro”of the gorge), one of the most beautiful landscape areas that form a part of Benahavís. Located here is the Charca de las Mozas, a basin in the riverbed that has been declared a “Natural Monument” by the Junta de Andalucía (regional government).
FLORA AND FAUNA. The Benahavís fauna includes an extensive variety of species, thanks to the municipality´s geographic location and area. These include such mammals as the weasel, mountain wildcat, genet, mountain goat, deer, fallow deer, roe deer, mouflon (wild sheep) and fox.
There are numerous reptiles, including, for example, the Spanish pond turtle (or Mediterranean turtle), Mediterranean house gecko and ocellated lizard.
The variety of birds is also vast, highlighted by the golden eagle, short-tailed snake eagle, common buzzard, griffon vulture, kestrel and red-legged partridge.
Similarly, the flora and vegetation is extensive and varied in Benahavís, among other reasons, due to the municipality’s moderate climate, with an average annual temperature of 17.2 degrees centigrade.
Benahavis is a true paradise for golfers. One of Spain´s premier golf destinations, the municipality´s 11 courses provide golfers with a wide and varied range of options to play the sport…and throughout the year, thanks to the benign Benahavis climate. Flamingos Golf Club, Alferini Golf Club, Tramores Golf Club, Atalaya Golf & CC – New Course, El Higueral Club de Golf, Marbella Club Golf Resort, La Quinta Golf & Country Club, Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club, Club de Campo La Zagaleta, Club de Campo La Zagaleta – Los Barrancos, Monte Mayor Golf Club.
Benahavís has the honour of being home to the only hotel where US First Lady Michelle Obama and one of her daughters, Sasha, stayed during their hollidays in Spain in 2010. The municipality has a vatied range of accommodation options, both hotels and tourist apartments, for all budgets. Villa Padierna Palace Hotel, Hotel Meliá la Quinta Golf & Spa, Gran Hotel Benahavis, Amanhavis Hotel, Apartamentos Colina del Paraiso, Pierre & Vacances Estepona, Royal Suites Marbella.
Those who appreciate fine dining are sure to enjoy the traditional cuisine that Benahavis has been renowned for sice the 70s. Here you will able to savour an exquisite and varied range of dishes found in few other places, as well as an extensive choice of restaurants. Restaurante amigos, Aragonia, El Castillo, El Molino, Eugenio Las Cañas, Flor de Lis, Escuela de Hosteleria, La Cocina, La Escalera, La Sarten, La Torre, Las Cañas viejas, Le Petit Bistrot, Los Abanicos, Los Faroles, Rufino, Alvarez, Cortijo de Cortes, La Casita, Los Almendros, Meson El Coto…
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