Every year since we had the twins, we’ve been to Benahavis for our summer holiday. I think it’s fair to say that the place has stolen a piece of our heart and is somewhere we will always return to.
Benahavis is a small village, set slightly inland, about 15 minutes drive away from Puerto Banus, Marbella.
The residents are a mix of ex-pats and locals and although it’s uncommercialised and quite traditional, you don’t need to worry if you don’t speak Spanish.
The village is often referred to as the gastro capital of Spain and it’s easy to see why. There are around 20 restaurants, serving a combination of locally inspired lamb and pork dishes. There are also a couple of restaurants who do a fantastic fillet steak! One things for certain, you certainly won’t go hungry in Benahavis.
There are also a handful of lovely bars. Our particular favourites are Chico’s, where we would sit outside and watch people go by; and Luck, which is a g&t and cocktail bar and is ran by a lovely guy called Charlie. He is absolutely fantastic with the kids, bringing them bowls of sweets and this year, he even got them all a present each for them to unwrap – so lovely.
The village is very child-friendly. I remember when we first took the twins, who were six months old at the time, and the staff in the restaurants would walk round holding them, whilst we ate our dinner. I often feel in the UK kids are often frowned upon in bars and restaurants, where as in Spain children are celebrated – it’s really lovely.
As usual we went for two weeks and stopped at El Casar, a modern development of traditional luxury townhouses, with three pools. It’s located about a 10 minute walk from the village and is built on the side of a hill, provided amazing views!
The first week it was just the five of us and my parents joined us for the second as they usually do.
During this visit, we probably did the least we’ve ever done. We stayed during the Spanish heatwave and it was very hot, so most of our days were spent relaxing on the lovely terrace of our townhouse, swimming in the pool, playing games, reading and making the most of the air con – it was bliss!
This year was the first year the kids have have slept in. They often wouldn’t wake until 10am – it was fab!
We went to beach twice whilst we were there – once each week. In previous years we’ve headed to Cristol Beach at Estepona, which is about a 25 minutes drive away. However, this time we found a fantastic beach club, called Salduna Beach, which was only a 10 minutes drive away, and was absolutely beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of the beach, but this place has certainly changed my mind! I’ll do a separate post on it, so that I can go into it in more detail.
We also went to Gibraltar during the second week. Gibraltar is about an hours drive away from Benahavis and is worth a visit. We’ve been a couple of times and we always have fish n chips and a walk around the shops. This time we picked up some duty free gin bargains. We tend to park just before the border and walk in, as the queues to get in and out are always really long.
During our stay, we went to Puerto Banus a couple of times. We actually spent the day there on my birthday. We had lunch at La Sala Beach Club, which we love for it’s laid back vibe, and cocktails at Astral, which is a beach bar shaped like a pirate boat. The cocktails are huge and the kids love the fact that it’s a boat, so it’s a win win!
I love walking round the marina at Puerto Banus and seeing all the flash cars, boats and shops. It provides a glimpse into how the ‘other half’ live!
Most evenings we would head into the village at about 6pm. We’d have a couple of drinks, before eating at one of the restaurants. There are a couple of little shops, where the kids would go and get pick n mix and souvenirs. Twice a week there is also a street market, so we’d give the kids a bit of money for them to spend, which they loved.
We had a really lovely relaxing time. It was nice to switch off from our busy lives and spending some quality family time together. I’m looking forward to next year already!
The only negative bit is that when I returned home somehow we had managed to delete all the photo’s off our main camera 🙁 Luckily I’d transferred some photo’s across to my phone at various points of the holiday, but not all, so there aren’t as many photo’s as I’d like in this post. You can check out our previous posts on Benahavis here and here – they contain lots of photo’s and a video.