A municipality in the province of Malaga situated in the Natural Park of Grazalema. Its name is originally Arab, and could mean "Sons of Ojan", most likely a Berber tribe.
Continue reading to know more of this typical white village in Malaga.
The first evidences of inhabitants in the Benaojan area date back to around 250.000 years ago when groups of Homo Heidelbergensis used the valleys to travel between the Andalusian coasts and inland. The Homo Sapiens has left us pictorial representations in the Pileta Cave, one of the most important caves of rock painting.
In the 1st century after the arrival of the Phoenicians and first colonisers of the Andalusian coasts, begins the story of which we only know a tiny fragment found in the place where there used to be an Arabic wall.
When the last glaciation ended around 10.000 years ago, the large mammals changed in the same way as the ways of life, from this period we’ll find the ‘Cueva del Gato’ (the Cat’s cave).
Benaojan is an archaeological treasure and we can visit the following points of touristic interest in the area:
Cueva de la Pileta (the cave of the pond)
Discovered in 1905, they have found numerous remains of ceramics, amongst them a necklace with a representation of a Venus. The great fame achieved by this cave is mainly due to the existence of impressive cave paintings from the upper Palaeolithic with drawings of animals.
The Pileta Cave can be accessed daily from 10 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm. It’s a highly recommendable visit.
Cueva del Gato (cat’s cave)
Located in the Natural Park of Grazalema
Cueva del Hundidero (subsidence cave)
Situated at the end of a gorge that’s over 50 metres high.
Benaojan is a very rich place in culture and legends that were passed from one generation to the next, like the legend of the cave of the Benaojan square that we’ll relate here below:
There’s a legend that fathers have told their children over the years of a mysterious cave that begins under the village square, enters through the mountainside and connects to the old ruins of the Arab castle. This myth has infinite details that still remain amongst the locals in Benaojan over the passage of time.
They say that this cave had a high strategic value a long time ago and the villagers took refuge in it to protect themselves from the attacks of the enemy troops, and that they also left a fantastic treasure buried there before closing off the access forever...however many have searched for the cave and some have even spoken of its discovery, describing long galleries, noises of the people in the square that can be heard from the inside of these deep, cavernous passages...but have then forgotten its entrance.
If that cave has ever existed or if it has ever been discovered...we’ll never know, as if anyone has actually found these treasures, it’s more than likely that they left the place in silence.
You must take the route towards Ronda and then you have two ways, from Marbella (the quickest way) or via the country roads through Pizarra, Ardales, Arriate and Ronda. The second route is probably the more delightful option to reach Benaojan from Malaga, but if you want to get there quicker we definitely recommend the road from Marbella towards Ronda.
On the map below you’ll see the route passing through several of Malaga’s white villages. If you don’t have a vehicle you can hire a car at Malaga airport with us, check out our prices by clicking on the link.
Town council: Plaza San Marcos, s/n - 29370 - Benaoján
Phone: +34 952 16 70 46
Official website: Ayuntamiento de Benaojan.