How to get Here
Getting to Benahavis
Benahavis is easily reachable from various airports. Spain has wisely invested in excellent highways in Andalucia.
From Malaga Airport
Just follow the Algeciras and Cadiz signs. You are better off to take the toll highway ( PEAJE ) just past the Mijas exit, specially in summer, as the coastal N340 gets easily congested with traffic. The toll highway leads you directly to Marbella and from there follow N340 direction Estepona. About 2 kms after San Pedro de Alcantara, you will find the Benahavis exit. Then it is only another 5 minutes to the town.
From Gibraltar Airport
Just follow the signs for Malaga. The toll highway is the better option here as well, and for the same reasons as above. Once you get to Estepona, follow the coastal N340, the Benahavis exit is about 15 kms away. Do watch out to go under the pedestrian bridge, since signposts are a bit cheeky here.
From Jerez Airport
Follow signs for Medina Sidonia, Algeciras and Malaga. Once you are past Algeciras, see the above section.
The history of Benahavis starts at the end of the XIth century, when the Arabs founded the town. Closely related with the Costa del Sol's Arabic past, and particularly with Marbella, the district which it belonged to until it was granted the so-called "Carta Puebla" by Philip II in 1572.
Montemayor Castle, built prior to the Construction of Benahavis, playes a very important role in the battles between the various Arabs kings in Andalusia, because of its strategic position. It was disputed for many years by the military factions of the epoch. Its prominent location overlooking up to a hundred kilometres of seaboard, and even the African coast, was extremely useful at a time when piracy and invasion were commonplace.
The town takes its name from Havis, who reigned in Montemayor Castle. To be precise, Benahavis is basically Arabic (Ben al Havis) and means "son of Havis".
The castle's strategic location drew the attention of the Catholic Monarchs, intent on conquering the last Moorish kingdoms in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Isabel and Ferdinand's forces had already laid siege to the Nazarite kingdom of Granada, but they decided first to occupy the nearby province of Malaga.
Soon on the 11th of June, 1485, Benahavis, together with the localities of Daidin, Montemayor Castle, Cortes Fortress, Oxen, Arboto, Almachor, Tramores and Calalui Fort (the Castle of Light), in the Bermeja Mountains, all within the district of Marbella, were handed over to King Ferdinand the Catholic, by Mohammed Abuneza after the signing of the capitulation.
The Catholic King entrusted their custody to Don Pedro Villandrado, Count of Ribadeo, the first christian mayor of Benahavis. From that moment on, a dispute arose between Benahavís and Marbella which lasted three and half centuries, until Benahavís achieved the status of a completely independent community.
As for Montemayor Castle, it is worth noting that as well as its impressive location, it had an underground passageway connecting it with the coast, through which the Arabs were able to transport soldiers.
Nature and Wildlife
The privileged situation of Benahavis, surrounded by mountains, between the Sierra Blanca behind Estepona and the Ronda mountain range, and only a few kilometres from Marbella and Estepona, municipalities bordering with the village territory, convert Benahavis into an authentic treasure for lovers of unspoilt nature.
From its mountains you will be able to overlook more than 100 kilometres of the Costa del Sol and a good stretch of the African mountain range on clear days.
Three rivers cross the Benahavis territory, all of them have their sources in the Ronda mountain range and end up in the Mediterranean :
- Rio Guadalmina ( river of the mines ), 28 km long, runs along the eastern border of the village and was of stratigic defensive importance, also serving as a generator for the flour mills in the village.
- Rio Guadalmansa ( river of the oil mill ), running on the eastern side of the Benahavis territory from North to South.
- Rio Guadaiza ( river of Aixa, mother of Boabdil the younger ), 22 km long, on the left side of the Ronda road, passing in front of the Daidin ruins.
The Benahavis territory is very picturesque. From the N340, between San Pedro and Estepona, you'll get to the Benahavis access road. Immediatly, the terrain gets more mountainous, and the first outskirts of the Serrania de Ronda show up. Over the ages, the Guadalmina river has carved out a deep valley on the side of the road.
On both sides, you can see the mountain peaks. Close to the village, the river valley becomes a real canyon, which is called " las Angosturas " because of its narrowness ( all to do with "anguish" ) , which is classified as a natural monument. Once you have passed this, you will see the first houses of the village. From the village, you can sometimes see the snowcapped peaks of the Palmitera mountain ( 1379 m above sea level ) in winter. Plenty of granite, marble and peridotites form an important part of the geology in the territory of Benahavis.
On the mountain peaks, where precipitation and fog are common, large numbers of gall oaks and Spanish firs are to be found. At lower altitudes the holm oak and cork oak thrive. There are also small collections of madronnos, chestnut trees, yews, maples and ashes.
The area of the Sierra de las Nieves is home to one of Andalusia’s largest communities of mountain goat, one of only two wild species of large hoofed mammal native to the Park, the other being the deer. Other species such as the stag and mountain ox have been brought in, the Park providing them with an excellent habitat. Also to be found here are certain animal species protected by law, such as the wild cat, golden eagle and otter.
And without leaving the village, you can easily see some vultures flying over.
Info Townhall Benahavis
The new Benahavis town hall has been inaugurated in 2012 and is now 500 meter from the village centre on the Avenida de Andalucia, the road leading into the village. Usage of English is seriously limited, even with over half of the inhabitants being foreigners, so it is a wise move to take a translator if your Spanish is not as good as you want it to be.
The town hall gives out citizen cards, which allows you to use the municipal sports facilities for free, workshops and things. The card can be applied for from december, 1 until january, 31 and during the month of june.
There are two types of cards costing EUR10 each or a combination of the two for EUR20 per annum.
The sports card typically covers municipal sports installations including the pool, tennis (indoor), basketball (indoor), paddle, petanque, skateboard park, driving range, gymnasium, indoor football). The culture card covers events, which have included, coach trips to events in Malaga, Las Sierras., It also includes courses such as free golf lessons for the kids, football coaching, fitness classes, martial arts, subsidized language classes, art and handicraft classes, Bonsai, cooking, baking, appreciation of wine etc. Apply for the cards at the Ayuntamiento.
You need to be registered at the town hall, have a copy of your NIE plus a photo. Applications are invited until the end of January 2012. Please ensure that all your Ayuntamiento bills such as IBI, water and waste tax are paid up to date. This can be checked in the office on the ground floor of the Ayuntamiento.
Much information about Benahavis you can find on our Facebook page
TOWN HALL 952 855 025
TECHNICAL OFFICE 952 856 090
BIOBIOTECA 952 855 344
NURSERY 952 855 122
COOKERY SCHOOL 952 855 242
DAIDAN SCHOOL 902 509 509
GUARDIA CIVIEL 952 855 527
POLICIA LOCAL 112
HOSPITAL COSTA DEL SOL 952 828 250
HELICOPTEROS SANIASIOR 952 816 767
JUSTICE OF PEACE 952 855 373
DOCTOR AMBULATORIA 952 586 170