The village of Benahavís is primarily known for its amazing selection of restaurants and as a centre of all things culinary. However, this charming mountainside town has much more to offer by way of entertainment, especially for those who enjoy country pursuits.
The river walk
The gorge that winds its way through the bottom of the town presents a number of outdoor activities, ranging from a gentle walk to swimming and canyoning. For those who are less fond of extreme sports, the walk that takes you across the new bridge and into Las Angosturas Natural Park, and across to Istán is probably one of the best choices. You can do it yourself or join a walk organised by Marbella Escapes, which starts at 10am, and ends at 4pm, including a tour of Benahavís and lunch in the town.
The same company also organises private guided excursions and day trips for those who want to swim in the river, which features waterfalls and a series of pools where the plucky few may choose to jump into the water from the rocks above. These also include stops and lunch in the village.
Canyoning is a sport that uses a variety of techniques including walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling and swimming. The Benahavís river offers some excellent opportunities to try it out. It does not require lots of skill, but if you go with children, make sure they are strong swimmers. Do make sure you wear non-slip shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, and if you are concerned about safety, contact Team Xtreme, whose professionals will guide you through the route and provide wetsuits and helmets.
Any gorge has steep sides and avid rock climbers may find that the one in Benahavís offers a perfect way to enjoy the sport. The maximum height of the crags, according to Climbaway website, is 35 metres and the climb provides an opportunity for jug, crimp and crack holds, and has overhangs, steep walls and verticals. For the sake of safety, you shouldn’t attempt a climb unless you know what you are doing and have the right equipment.
Benahavís is a great starting point for a number of hiking trails and walks, besides the river walk. Indeed, MapMyWalk suggests there are 237 possible walks of different levels of difficulty in the area. Your choice depends on whether you are more of rambler than a hiker.
Equestrianism is a Spanish speciality and there are at least two schools and pony clubs within the vicinity of Benahavís. The Escuela del Arte Equestre will arrange riding lessons and hacks. The Marbella Club Golf Resort, which is nearer to the village, also provides horse riding tours and hacks, and there is also a riding school at Villacana, which is on the coast, but only a few minutes’ drive from Benahavís.