The municipality of Benahavis stretches across the foothills of the mountain range and is shaped by three rivers, each forming its own valley. It is one of the most mountainous areas of the Western Costa del Sol, with a richly diverse landscape and some truly admirable places to visit.
It is an interior location but due to its proximity to the coast, it has of necessity been a participant in the development that has occurred there. While the village centre preserves all the character of the White Villages, large housing developments have sprung up in its environs, especially to the south, along with magnificent golf courses.
It is an important detail, however, that 70 percent of the surface area of this municipality has been declared an 'Environmentally Significant Mountain Complex', a designation that protects all that territory from development excesses. The Rivers Guadaiza, Guadalmina and Guadalmedina meander through large expanses of forest in which pines, live oaks and cork oaks predominate. The valleys of these rivers have historically been used as routes into the Ronda highlands. There is no doubt they were so used from the time of the Phoenicians until that of the Arabs as there is proof of this in different places not far from the village. These lands were therefore of significant strategic value since very ancient times.
The first nucleus of a village, however, was formed during the Arabic era. It seems to have been founded in the late eleventh century and in the shadow of the Montemayor castle. This fortress witnessed the entire history of the village, from the clashes among the Muslims themselves until their confrontations with the Christians, and much later it was also a scene of the struggle between the Spanish and French during the Napoleonic invasion in the early nineteenth century. The castle and the village passed into the hands of the Christians when, in 1485, the Catholic Monarchs took Marbella and its surroundings, which included Benahavis and the village of Daidin.
This entire territory was granted to the Count of Cifuentes in 1492 in payment for the services he had rendered to the crown of Castile. It would not be until 1572 that, with the approval of Felipe II, Benahavis became independent of Marbella.
To get to Benahavis from the AP-7 expressway or the old N-340, get onto the A-6205 at San Pedro de Alcantara and it will lead straight to the village.
Benahavis Police & Emergency Numbers
- Police/Fire/Ambulance: 112
- National Police : 091
- Local Police : 092
- Guardia Civil : 062
- Fire Brigade : 080
- Ambulance : 061
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