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Exploring Benahavís: Marbella’s Richest Municipality

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra de las Nieves mountains, Benahavís stands as a testament to both natural beauty and opulence. Situated inland between Marbella and Estepona, this charming village has earned its reputation as the richest and most beautiful municipality in Marbella. Benahavís has a rich history that has shaped its contemporary prosperity. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a playground for the elite, the evolution of Benahavís is as fascinating as it is impressive.


Benahavis is positioned at the most western of the Costa del Sol, 7km inland and nestled between Estepona and Marbella. It boasts excellent connectivity, providing convenient access to both national and international transportation hubs in Malaga, as well as other popular destinations along the Costa del Sol. 

Encompassing a vast area of approximately 145km2 and 150 metres above sea level, Benahavis is known for its natural beauty, thanks to its positioning on the southern face of the Serranía de Ronda mountain range. The village is encapsulated by tall cliffs and rolling green hills, which grants spectacular views as well as first hand connection to nature. The heart of this expansive area is the serene and traditional village of Benahavis, preserving its authentic Andalusian ambiance.

Renowned as one of the wealthiest municipalities in Spain, Benahavis owes its prosperity to the multitude of upscale developments surrounding the village. Notable golf resorts like La Quinta and Los Arqueros are under the jurisdiction of Benahavis, as is La Zagaleta and El Madroñal, two of the most exclusive gated communities of Marbella that house some of Spain's most opulent properties.


Benahavis traces its roots back to the late 11th century, founded by the Moors. Its name, "Benahavis," originates from "Son of Havis" (Ben al Havis). Chosen for its strategically elevated position, Benahavis offered sweeping panoramic views extending for kilometres to the coastline. The village's elevated vantage point served as a valuable asset, providing both privacy and protection against potential invasions. Today, remnants of this historical significance can still be appreciated in the architectural heritage and ancient castles that grace the landscape of Benahavis.


As of 2021, Benahavis has a population of almost 8,000 inhabitants, 40% of which are of Spanish Nationality and the rest of the population conforming to individuals from all over Europe, Africa and America, making Benahavis a very international community.


Benahavis is recognised as one of Marbella’s most popular gastronomic scenes. Renowned for its diverse culinary offerings, the village has become a haven for food enthusiasts seeking a unique and delightful dining experience

One of the distinctive features of Benahavis' gastronomy is its abundance of incredible restaurants, ranging from traditional Andalusian food to international fine dining establishments. The village is particularly celebrated for its numerous high-quality, family-run establishments that serve authentic Spanish dishes, showcasing the rich flavours and culinary traditions of the region.
Notable restaurants include Los Abanicos - a favourite amongst the whole of the Costa del Sol for its delectable dishes and vibrant atmosphere. Another is Tehuelche Grill Argentino, located just a minute's drive from the Benahavis village centre, is known for its incredible Argentinian dishes as well as cosy atmosphere.

 Also, the Bodegon Gallery - a family owned restaurant - is a go-to place for Spanish delicacies and local wines. The authentic La Escalera de Balthazar restaurant is also a favourite, known for its Provençal flavours, traditional Andalusian dishes and cosy rooftop terrace.


The Costa del Sol is also referred to as the Costa del Golf, housing some of Spain’s best golf courses. Benahavis is home to several of those renowned courses, making Benahavis an ideal location for those who appreciate the sport. The golf clubs include: 

Benahavis also enjoys convenient access to the rest of Marbella’s illustrious golf courses, as well as Marbella’s very own Golf Valley of Nueva Andalucia.

Outdoor Activities

Benahavis is a paradise for hikers, with a network of scenic trails that wind through the mountains. The trails cater to all levels of fitness, offering options for leisurely strolls or challenging hikes. Hikes such as the Sendero Acquia del Guadalmina and Cañón de las Angosturas are excellent choices located in Benahavis. Benahavis’ hiking trails as well as pedestrian trails are ideal for those who enjoy leisurely walks with their families or four-legged friends. 

The Cañón de las Angosturas is also home to a charming bridge where the 5.5km hiking trail commences, there's a convenient parking area. This route guides you along the river gorge's base and the eastern range, gently descending towards the coast near the Los Capanes Golf Club.

Benahavis also benefits from a spectacular sports centre with a 6.000m football pitch, tenis court, 2 basketball courts, handball court and 2 padel courts.
The Charco de las Mozas has always been a favourite spot for locals and tourists alike. This area consists of a body of water linked to the Guadalmina River. This site of fresh water just below Benahavis village is known for rock jumping and swimming. 

Benahavis is also home to the Torre Leonera park, a beautifully maintained park ideal for enjoying the pleasant weather or a quiet picnic. The park is dotted with a variety of flora, creating a stunning backdrop for all who visit, as well as some small lakes with statues of wild animals. Being located at the base of the village, the park also offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.  

Benches are located all over the park for added convenience and comfort. Within the park, one can find the Torre Leonera, a historical landmark and watchtower built during the Nasrid dynasty in Spain. Within the park you can also find a children's playground and outdoor gym equipment for easy workouts.

Economic Prosperity

Benahavis has emerged as a thriving economic hub, underpinned by its real estate sector, with exclusive communities like La Zagaleta and El Madroñal attracting high-profile residents. The municipality's gastronomic excellence further amplifies its appeal, drawing visitors and fostering economic growth in the hospitality and service industries.

Strategically located between Estepona and Marbella, Benahavis enjoys easy access to national and international connections in Malaga, enhancing its attractiveness for both residents and businesses. The town's cultural events and rich heritage add to its allure, stimulating economic activity through increased spending. Moreover, the diverse outdoor activities and natural beauty of Benahavis contribute to its economic prosperity by attracting nature lovers and adventure seekers, creating opportunities in outdoor recreation and related services.

Real Estate

Benahavís boasts a real estate market that epitomises luxury and opulence. The landscape is adorned with high-end developments that redefine the standard of upscale living. These prestigious residences, characterised by architectural brilliance and premium amenities, capture the essence of sophistication and exclusivity, making Benahavís synonymous with a lifestyle marked by elegance and privacy.

The municipality's real estate scene is a spectacle of architectural marvels, where each development is a testament to refined taste and meticulous design. From incredible villas with panoramic views to exclusive gated estates like La Zagaleta, El Madroñal, Monte Mayor and El Herrojo, Benahavís offers a spectrum of elite living options that cater to the tastes of a global clientele. 
Benahavis is also home to a number of sought-after communities such as La Alqueria, Los Arqueros, La Heredia and Monte Halcones, to name a few. These all cater to a wide variety of properties, from exclusive villas to charming Mediterranean townhouses. And, given Benahavis’ elevated positioning, properties are granted sweeping views of the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains. 

Buying real estate in Benahavis isn't just acquiring a property; it's an entrance into a world where luxury is not merely a feature but a way of life. The municipality's reputation as a haven for upscale living is solidified by the stunning properties that grace its landscape, establishing Benahavís as a prime destination for those seeking the epitome of sophistication in their residential experience.