Benahavís has the distinction of being one of the leading municipalities in Spain when it comes to golf course amenities – and first in the number of courses per capita. Bordered by Marbella and Estepona, the municipality is home to many stunning tourist attractions in addition to golf, including exquisite culinary options and picturesque natural landscapes.
The municipality has 10 golf courses: three at Villa Padierna Golf (Flamingos, Tramores and Alferini); two at the La Zagaleta urbanisation (La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos); one of the two at Atalaya Golf & Country Club (the New Course – the Old Course is located within Estepona municipality); and La Quinta, Los Arqueros, Marbella Club Golf Resort and El Higueral. In total, 180 holes for golf enthusiasts to enjoy.
One of the many advantages of living in Benahavís is the possibility of playing golf for free at some of the courses thanks to special agreements with the town hall in return for approval to build these facilities on ceded municipal land.
The councillor with responsibility for tourism and promotion (as well as education and culture, innovation and new technology, communication and protocol), María Ángeles Mena, notes that golf is “one of the key foundations of Benahavis’s tourist attractions, albeit not the only one, as we also have excellent gastronomy and nature options, as well as cultural assets.”
What kind of tourism does the municipality attract?
We have two kinds of tourism: that involving golfers who come exclusively to play at our courses; and residential tourism, people who have decided to buy a second home in one of the urbanisations next to the golf courses and spend nearly half the year here or live here permanently after they have retired.
The Benahavís Municipal Golf Academy offers some magnificent amenities, and is also enjoying great success teaching young golfers to play…
The town hall is very proud of the academy in both those aspects, as well as the professional who runs it, Manuel Araujo. There are many youngsters in Benahavís who have learned to play and continue to play golf thanks to the academy, which is free for them; and there are also many who are achieving good results in competitions, especially Julia López.
Apart from golf, Benahavís is also well known for its diverse range of restaurants…
Yes, true. We are actually known as “The Dining Room of the Costa del Sol”. We have a lot of restaurants, not only in the town centre but also throughout the municipality, and that all dates to the 1970s when people visited here to enjoy traditional mountain cuisine – then one restaurant after another began opening. The key feature they share is that all offer excellent quality and a wide diversity of culinary options.
Nature-tourism is another of the municipality’s main attractions. What does Benahavís offer in this respect?
The same as with golf and gastronomy, nature-tourism options are also ample and diverse. We already have plenty of sign-posted hiking tracks and more are being sign-posted so people can enjoy the natural landscape. We are just seven kilometres from the coast (only a few minutes from the A7 highway) and our surroundings are verdant, unspoilt and very well maintained.
Another major aspect that has helped in the development of Benahavís is residential-tourism, with numerous urbanisations located in the municipality, some ultra-luxurious and internationally renowned. How important is this kind of tourism for Benahavís?
It is another key foundation, because it generates significant wealth for the municipality, but I would like to make it clear that Benahavís is not only about luxury tourism, or residential-tourism. It is ideal for all kinds of tourism, for any family that visits here to spend the day out in the country or enjoying activities organised by the town hall’s various departments. Everyone is welcome here.