Our guide to Benahavis by our Marbella local experts

Benahavis is a lovely little village set up in the mountains 500 metres above sea level, 7km away from the coast and a 10-minute drive from Marbella. It's reached by driving through the Rio Guadalmina gorge up into the hills, it's best to park before you enter the village and walk in from there. The buildings are ancient, small and Spanish white, cut up by winding, narrow cobbled streets that are lined with orange trees.

Benahavis literally means 'son of Havis, who reigned in Montemayor Castle. The castle is strategically located on top of the highest mountain in the area. For the determined visitor, there is a path that makes its way up to the top and those who rise to the challenge are rewarded by the sight of the ruins and the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Benahavis is perhaps best known as the dining room of the Costa del Sol. Even though the village has little over 2000 residents, there are over 35 restaurants and 22 bars offering all kinds of gastronomic delights that are predominantly of an Andalusian style.

There are many quaint little shops in the village, as well as market stalls and bars spreading across the street. One of the main attractions is the square built by the Scottish artist David Marshall, who has his studio there and creates his world-renowned works of art.

Benahavis provides the perfect evening getaway for all the family, with a selection of great little shops and some fantastic restaurants. It's a must for those who want to get away from the glitz of Puerto Banus and soak up some authentic Spanish culture in this charming little place.