Welcome to the ultimate guide to living in Benahavis by Verdin Property. Our award winning agency are specialists in this municipality and soon you will be too!
Benahavis is both a town and municipality in the province of Malaga, ideally situated just 7km from the coast and approximately 20 minutes drive from Marbella.
Benahavis Village itself is an authentic Andalusian village nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by spectacular mountains and is particularly popular with nature lovers and foodies.
Home to many luxurious communities, the municipality of Benahavis covers 145 square kilometres and is well connected to Malaga via the A7 and AP7 motorways. Malaga airport is 71 km from the village whilst Gibraltar airport is 70 km, with both journey taking approx 60 minutes.
COMMUNITIES IN BENAHAVIS
La Zagaleta is known as being one of the best, most prestigious gated communities in Spain, if not in the whole of Europe. The ideology of this stunning location with views to the Mediterranean and also Africa from its various different ‘sectors’ was Enrique Pérez Flores, today honorary president. His plan was to build 3,000 houses but he finally raised only 420 to guarantee the survival of the natural environment.
Adnan Khashoggi was the original owner of the estate and named the land Al Baraka. He built a mansion on one of the hills that was seized from him after his prosecution in the US and which today houses the Club House. The properties went up for auction and were awarded to a group of Spanish, Swiss, German and North American investors.
The homes in La Zagaleta are strategically located so that each owner can feel that they crown the coast. The prices oscillate between three and 35 million euros depending on their location within the community and their views, with plots ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 m² and are inhabited mainly by senior managers of multinationals who want a retired life.
La Zagaleta has the obligation to never talk about the owners, although many famous businessmen and politicians such as Hugh Grant, Rod Stewart and also Lord Stanley Fink are widely rumoured to have properties in Zagaleta. Living in Benahavis does not come better than this.
Adjacent to La Zagaleta lies El Madroñal, an estate comprising 6 separate gated entrances and covering an area of some 600 acres, perched atop olive, cork, and pine-covered ridges. Home to approximately 150 private villas, many of them on large plots, the El Madroñal estate was originally owned and developed by the Parladé family, part of Marbella royalty, and later sold on to Thierry Roussel.
During the 1980s, the Saudi multi-millionaire Adnan Khashoggi fell in love with the area and purchased the estate, which was subsequently divided and led to the creation of the developments known as Reserva de Alcuzcuz, El Madroñal and La Baraka, later known as La Zagaleta.
Due to its exclusive, private location, El Madroñal continually attracts the international jet-set, high-profile politicians and businessmen, plus the usual plethora of A-list celebrities.
The community was home to the El Cortijo recording studio, memorable as where artists such as the Icelandic star Bjork composed her iconic track ‘So Broken’ in 1997. Mariah Carey and Cher also stayed here during their album creation. El Madroñal was also a retreat for several members of Hollywood royalty, including the quintessential ‘Hitchcock blonde’ Madeleine Carroll.
Benahavis Pueblo, a mountain village 7km from the coast, is situated between Marbella, Estepona and Ronda. Renowned for its restaurants – they call it the dining room of the Costa del Sol – it is above all a picturesque place, where one can find incredible mountain- and sea-views.
Boasting 12 of the Costa del Sol’s 70 golf courses, and that will go up to 15 in the next couple of years, it is also the hotspot for golf lovers. On top of that, Benahavis has plenty of unspoilt nature where you can walk or ride a bike exploring the fauna and flora and also enjoy the fantastic views.
It can only be reached by one road, which is the reason it is such a secure and safe place. Only 40 years ago, it consisted of around 30 houses, but since then has seen a growth where there are around 2.000 inhabitants.
The village is well known on the Coast for its gastronomy and in summer we advise you to book a table as the village is packed in July and August with tourists coming up from the coast.
Not quite your typical whitewashed Andalusian village, La Heredia adds a splash of colour to proceedings. Looking out over golf courses to the Mediterranean and the distant landmarks of Gibraltar and North Africa, La Heredia is just a short drive of around 5 minutes from San Pedro de Alcántara and 15 minutes from Marbella.
The brainchild of Spanish designers Jaime and Francisco Parladé, La Heredia is home to an assortment of apartments, townhouses and villas. La Heredia gives you ‘real village’ vibes with its paved streets and bustling cafes yet done with sufficient refinement and skill to also allow for space, privacy and sophistication of design and detail. Protected from the elements by the very hillside on which it is built, La Heredia’s visual focus is one of green and blue, from the golf courses to the sea.
Reserva del Alcuzcuz
Adjacent to La Heredia we find Reserva del Alcuzcuz, a gated development of villas and apartments set among natural green surroundings.
Home to a selection of luxurious new-build and resale apartments and penthouses, contemporary and classically designed villas, and also a selection of sizeable building plots that benefit from far-reaching views to the Mediterranean Sea.
Reserva del Alcuzcuz is famous locally as being the home of the late Jaime Parladé, whose former house is now a boutique hotel. Only a few minutes drive from the town of San Pedro and the beach, this luxurious enclave exudes a sense of peace and tranquility thanks to its quiet streets, giving the impression of a true country setting.
Nearby is Los Arqueros, a popular area of predominantly apartments with some villas dotted around. Los Arqueros is widely regarded as being home to one of the finest golf courses, designed by the late Seve Ballesteros. Central to the community is the Los Arqueros Golf Club and its stylish clubhouse, which has a restaurant, cafe, pro shop, gym and other facilities.
Home to several communities, the 150 apartments of Las Jacarandas greet you as you enter Los Arqueros from the Ronda Road. This community boasts outstanding views, 2 swimming pools and also a children’s pool. Larger urbanizations such as El Lago, La Finca, and La Torre offer apartments and townhouses that overlook the golf course. The modern apartments of Avalon are known for their sea views, as is El Alto, the first development built at Los Arqueros.
MARBELLA CLUB GOLF RESORT
Further west we find Marbella Club Golf Resort a gated community similar in stature to La Zagaleta and home to a growing collection of outstanding luxury homes.
The resort is part of the iconic Marbella Club on Marbella’s Golden Mile, founded in the 1950s by Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe. In 1999, it completed its members-only 18-hole golf course in the hills overlooking Marbella, whilst also adding luxury residential properties. Homes in this gated community enjoy golf and sea views, all whilst having peace of mind from the 24 hour security.
Monte Mayor is a beautiful 330-hectare estate, more than half of which is protected as green zone. This residential community includes luxury townhouses in a private village setting and also single-home plots, many of which have already been developed into high-end villas.
Monte Mayor was designed as a low density development making the most of its privileged location in the hills behind Marbella West, to provide far-reaching vistas from many of its prime plots. The 53 townhouses that make up La Heredia de Monte Mayor are compactly built but also offer privacy to residents. The entire community benefits from 24-hour security.
Puerto del Almendro
Puerto del Almendro is a handily situated gated community adjacent to Los Arqueros, on the Ronda road and just a few kilometres north of the AP7 motorway. Access to the community is via the new entrance off the roundabout opposite Monte Halcones.
Home to several luxury apartment communities and detached villas on good sized plots. A choice of building land, much of which enjoys excellent views over the surrounding area to the sea, is also available for buyers who want to develop their own property.
Puerto del Capitan
Puerto del Capitán is a gated community, home to just 57 plots, making this one of the more exclusive developments. Some of these plots have already been developed into luxury homes that enjoy open views to the surrounding countryside and Mediterranean Sea.
Golf enthusiasts in particular like this community given its proximity to La Quinta and Los Arqueros, plus the 9 hole El Higueral.
Los Flamingos is without doubt one of the most in-demand areas when it comes to property. Home to 9 communities of apartments and penthouses, plus a selection of classical and modern luxury villas.
This gated community with 24 hour security is also home to the 18 hole Flamingos Golf course, Alferini Golf and Tramores Golf. On the edge of Los Flamingos you will also find the Michael Campbell Golf Academy.
Relax and unwind in high class luxury at the 5 star Villa Padierna Palace Hotel, one of the Leading Hotels of the World. Here you will find six restaurants and bars, plus its own beach club and tennis club.
Paraiso Alto is located on the edge of the Benahavis municipality where it joins Estepona. Comprising a selection of apartment complexes, townhouses and villas, homes in Paraiso Alto for the most part enjoy open views of the surrounding area and to the Mediterranean Sea thanks to its elevated position.
One of the popular communities with Paraiso Alto is Mirador Del Paraiso, where properties enjoy excellent sea views. Home to some recently constructed modern villas, Mirador del Paraiso is also home to 50 apartments and 24 townhouses.
Situated adjacent to the popular Marbella area of Nueva Andalucia, La Quinta offers something for everyone, from apartments and penthouses to townhouses and high end luxury villas.
La Quinta is also home to the popular La Quinta Golf and Spa Resort. In addition to it’s three nine-hole golf courses, residents and guests of the 170-room, five-star The Westin La Quinta enjoy access to a variety of leisure facilities including a spa, gymnasium and children’s playground.
On the mountains at the back of La Quinta we find Real De La Quinta, an exclusive area home to a handful of luxury apartments and penthouses plus the hotly anticipated Vista Lago Residences, a development of just 18 sustainable villas that afford the most stunning sea views.
This community will also house its own beach club in the mountains, with shops, restaurants and of course, a huge lagoon.
Banyan Tree Group, one of the world’s leading multi-branded independent hospitality groups, has signed an MOU with La Quinta Real Estate Group to open Angsana Real de la Quinta Benahavis Marbella resort and residences in 2026. The development will include a hotel, branded residences, apartments and also commercial spaces.
Ideally located close to Nueva Andalucia and Monte Halcones, the beach and all amenities, El Herrojo (Alto) offers residents an oasis of peace and tranquility. With quiet streets, barriers and 24 hour security, this area is popular with those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of living in Benahavis whilst still being on the doorstep of everything.
Properties in El Herrojo vary from classical design to Mediterranean to contemporary, however it is not uncommon for there to be a low level of stock in this community. Once you visit, you will know why!
Vega del Colorado
The community of Vega del Colorado is the subject of much debate as to whether it falls under Marbella or Benahavis, but many say it is located in Benahavis, so for that reason it is included in our guide.
Here you will find a small selection of outstanding luxury homes with prices starting from approximately 3 million euros.
So there you have it, our guide to living in Benahavis. For those moving with school age children, although Benahavis does not have many options, there are plenty within 15-30 minutes drive in Marbella such as Atalaya International School on the Benahavis road, Laude in San Pedro and also Swans school. Check out our guide to the best education in Marbella.
Restaurants, as previously mentioned are plentiful in Benahavis Pueblo, however some of the other best options in Benahavis are Coto Restaurant, located opposite El Madroñal, home to some of the finest cuisine on the coast and with a stunning roof terrace that affords open views. Additionally, All in One at Monte Halcones is a great place to meet for informal drinks and lunch with friends!
We hope to see you in this beautiful part of the coast very soon!