From White Villages to Million-Dollar Mansions
BENAHAVIS & SAN PEDRO
The Best Kept Secret for Luxury Villa Holidays
Just ten minutes from Marbella centre lies the little town of San Pedro neighbouring the district of Benahavis. This is destination of choice for visitors who want something just as luxurious, but more laid back than Marbella and Puerto Banus
Where Marbella offers glamour and refinement, the area surrounding Benahavis has become the destination of choice for famous visitors, chosen by Michelle Obama for her trip to Andalucia, as well as the annual setting for charity events organised by stars like Antonio Banderas and Eva Longoria.
Marbella’s smaller sibling San Pedro is the main town serving the area, and provides a very down to earth alternative to Marbella that’s within easy striking distance. A lively little town full of Andalusian ambience, it serves the buzzing residential areas like Guadalmina and La Quinta, as well as villas in the luxury suburbs of Benahavis with exclusive addresses of Los Flamingos,, El Madroí±al, La Zagaleta, Los Arqueros and Atalaya.
Originally founded as a sugar cane settlement that was the brainchild of the Marques del Duero, San Pedro Alcšntara grew into a small vibrant town where you will find a great selection of cafés, tapas bars and quaint restaurants.
Located a few minutes west of downtown Marbella and Puerto Baníºs, this compact little settlement is still typically Andalusian, as can be seen from its architecture, its ambience and the fun-filled 4-day summer feria held in October.
Alongside the highly cosmopolitan and upmarket resort environment like that of Marbella, San Pedro â€˜keeps it real’, offering a very down to earth setting in which to wander through shopping streets and chance upon little squares basking in the sun. Life here is still lived according to the Spanish lifestyle, so don’t expect much activity during the summer siesta when the locals retreat indoors for lunch and a rest.
At night when temperatures cool off, townspeople of all generations head out for a stroll through the streets in the old town or on the promenade – that typically congenial Spanish way that helps to mark San Pedro out as a truly Andalusian town within the heart of greater Marbella.
Whatever your sport, you will find it here
With half a dozen first class golf courses within a 10 minute drive, San Pedro and Benahavis are not only a golfer’s spot par excellence but also enveloped by the lush greenery of meandering fairways. Los Arqueros, Magna Marbella Golf, Guadalmina, Atalaya and El Paraíso are the nearest to San Pedro, while Los Flamingos, Monte Mayor, Marbella Club and La Zagaleta are the stars of the show in Benahavis.
If that choice doesn’t spoil you too much, then just half an hour down the road takes you to the world-class Valderrama and Sotogrande, and the famous ‘Golf Valley’ of Nueva Andalucia is just minutes away.
In addition, the immediate region is also home to several racquet clubs such as the Nueva Alcšntara Tennis Club, which offers tennis, padel, aerobics and dancing classes all within stylish surroundings. Such venues provide a popular social setting, as does the beachside promenade that separates San Pedro’s sandy beach from a park area complete with public fitness equipment.
If jet skiing or canoeing on the sea are not your thing, then you can also try the popular cable ski club situated at a purpose-made lake on the western side of San Pedro. The adjacent chill-out bar is just the ticket for a relaxing afternoon.
Finally, adrenaline lovers can enjoy the nearby mountainous countryside above Benahavis which offers hiking, mountain biking, canyoning and a never ending list of sports and activities for those who love to drink in the beauty of nature. No matter what’s on your wish list, just contact us and we will happy to help you arrange it.
Benahavis is a gourmet gem
Head into San Pedro town and it won’t be long before you chance upon traditional family-run restaurants, tapas bars and cafés. The local variant of take-away is the popular Asador de Pollo, where succulent spit-roast chicken and chips is served over the counter to queues forming each evening.
Tapas bars add another typically Spanish element to the mix, as do the cafeterias that are particularly popular for a morning coffee and pastry, or traditional country bread toasted with tomato, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once you try it, you will soon be hooked on this healthy breakfast!
Just across the broad new park that separates San Pedro proper and its newer seaside extension, Nueva Alcšntara, there is a culinary hub with a growing reputation. It boasts not only San Pedro’s finest restaurants, but also some of the best in Marbella as a whole, with top-class Italian, French, Asian and international cuisine, proving that even down to earth towns can offer a touch of glamour and sophistication.
For a foodie treat, you can do no worse than to head into the village of Benahavis where you can find many excellent local and international restaurants clustered around the tiny village centre.
Family-run and Local Shopping
Indeed, you won’t find the international boutiques and designer brands of Marbella and Puerto Baníºs here, but strolling through the compact streets of San Pedro you will come across a more typically Spanish street scene of charming, family-owned businesses.
Among these are quaint, old-fashioned shops, modern offerings and great variety born out of a multitude of small establishments that hark back to the days before the large shopping malls took over.
Modern facilities such as mobile phone or computer shops live side by side with shoemakers and specialist knitting shops, creating a setting that reminds you this is Andalucía after all. Pick up delicious Spanish cured meats and local olive oil with a freshly baked loaf in one of the family-run stores, chances are the tomatoes are organic and home-grown too!
Also great for when you are out and about are the convienient ‘centros comerciales’ dotted along the main A7, where you will find banks, a selection of cafes and restaurant and often a supermarket or two.
And if you do need to top up your suitcase with a few holiday designer labels, then the shops in the centre of Puerto Banus are an easy 10 minute drive along the coast, and the boutiques in old-town Marbella lay beckoning just beyond.