Located high in the hills of Benahavís, just a few minutes’ drive from beach, Marbella and Puerto Banús, the upscale, gated community of La Zagaleta houses some of the finest homes on the Costa del Sol.
La Zageleta is, probably, the most exclusive residential development in Spain and, quite possibly, on the entire Mediterranean, comprising 420 building plots, ranging in size from 3-10,000 square metres, some with luxury signature residences. All form part of a former hunting estate that covers more than 2,200 acres, less than 15 minutes by car from the centre of Marbella.
Located in the municipality of Benahavís, La Zagaleta is protected by the Serranía de Ronda to the north and occupies a series of north-south-facing hillside valleys. Many of the plots overlook one of its two private golf courses and most offer stunning views of the mountains, the pristine countryside, and the coast.
La Zagaleta is easily reached from either the N-340/A7 coast road or the AP7 toll highway via a 10-kilometre drive up, and down, the picturesque Ronda road, meaning Malaga-Costa del Sol International Airport is only just over half an hour away, while Gibraltar and its airport are a little over an hour’s drive distant.
Aside from its golfing facilities, the fortunate few who get to call La Zagaleta home also enjoy members-only benefits like the club house, with its bar, restaurant, swimming pool, tennis courts, and pro-shop; a world-class equestrian centre and stables; a private heliport; and even red-carpet La Zagaleta Service Management.
The rich history of La Zagaleta
This wonderful domain of 900 hectares was once part of an even larger hunting estate that hosted royals, aristocrats, ministers and business tycoons. In the 1960s it was acquired in its entirety by Thierry Roussel, heir of a French pharmaceutical family and later father in law to Christina Onassis, whose daughter Athina spent much of her childhood in the summer villa that was built here.
Roussel would later sell off the part that was to become La Zagaleta, and after a particularly colourful time during which it was owned by Adnan Kashoggi, the gated country club we know today began to take form when Enrique Pérez Torres, a Spanish banker based in Switzerland, converted it into a select living environment. The original planning foresaw the construction of 3,000 properties here, but with a vision in mind, Enrique Pérez changed the development to encompass a maximum of 420 ultra-luxurious villas set upon expansive private grounds, surrounded by a cordon sanitaire of natural terrain.
Added to this was a standard of amenities and concierge services to suit homes standing on between 3,000-10,000m2 plots, all complying with the aesthetic principles laid out at the beginning. The result is one of the most exclusive residential country clubs in Europe, where homeowners enjoy magnificent views to Marbella, the sea, mountains and overlooking two carefully manicured golf courses. The country club offers a refined environment, accompanied by a state-of-the-art hippodrome and stables, as well as wonderful hiking trails through nature.
There are only villas for sale in La Zagaleta, ranging all the way up to what can only be called mansions. Indeed, many of the most important properties in Marbella can be found here, varying greatly in style and amenities, but always meeting the very highest standards, as one would expect in a country club where business tycoons and famous names such as George Clooney, Zinedine Zidane and HughGrant own a home.