Costa Del Sol
This is the most famous of the Spanish Costa’s and THE party capital. Marbella, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Mijas, Estepona and Sotogrande are all household resort names and extremely popular. The golden mile from Marbella to Puerto Banus is very glitzy and a magnet for the super-rich.
Prices tend to be more expensive than other parts of Costas. However, more affordable, and traditional, properties can be found a little inland. Also, Benalmádena, Benahavís, Estepona, San Pedro and the Mijas Costa are more affordable areas along the coast and again popular with Brits.
The weather is pleasantly warm all year round and the coast usually baked in sunshine. In summer it gets hot, but not uncomfortably, whilst winters are mild. Rainfall is low.
The coast is designed for holiday fun with over one hundred miles of great beaches, swanky marinas with super yachts and some of the best golf courses in Spain. Broadly, the coast of sunshine runs from Nerja in the East to San Diego in the West, just short of Gibraltar.
Situated about 40 miles east of Málaga, Nerja is one of Andalucía’s best kept secrets. It is ideal for those who appreciate rugged coastlines, coves, beaches and quaint fishing villages with an old Spanish charm. The town is a popular destination for families looking for holiday fun.
As we travel west, we come to Málaga. The main airport for the region is here and carried a reported 14 million passengers in 2015. There are frequent flights to the UK all year round. Most tourists arrive at the airport and then immediately depart and head west. They leave behind a surprisingly traditional town and is not the ‘Little Britain’ you would normally associate with the area. The beaches are also very good with soft sand and calm seas. For those wanting a bolt-hole for long weekends, Málaga is a good option and base.
Benalmádena has come a long way since the cheap packaged holidays of the 80s and 90s. Today, this modern resort is a forward-thinking destination that has culture, style and charm. It is unpretentious, welcoming, relaxed and offers more affordable options to the glitzier locations. There is a huge beach, a wide and spacious promenade, a fancy marina backed up by a long line of superb cafés, bars and restaurants.
Mijas is a popular tourist destination that offers the usual attractions. The town has a beautiful setting with amazing views of the coastline. The white sugar-cubed pueblos that dot the town add to the picture postcard feel. Another more affordable option with easy access to the airport.
This is another town with a historic reputation that belies its charming character. The town has grown quietly with the old fishing village forming the base. There are traditional tapas bars, classic chiringuitos and a good cosmopolitan cross-section of wider European bars and restaurants. Again this is another more affordable area, friendly, easily accessible with good facilities.
La Cala de Mijas
The town offers a mix of affordability, authenticity and affluence. There are plenty of affordable and desirable properties throughout the town ranging from your typical modern new-build apartments to luxury villas as well as the more traditional Spanish-style apartments and townhouses.
Calahonda is a firm favourite for prospective property buyers; popular, friendly and with a reputation for charm, exclusivity and style. There is a nice balance between local and home comforts with properties that are reasonably priced. The area is protected by rich woodland and backed by golf courses and green hills. A small but elegant marina boasts a fine selection of yachts and a couple of lovely restaurants and bars, while the huge beach is certainly one of the best to be found on the Costa del Sol.
Cabopino is another perfect area for prospective property owners with a number of new-build developments that are close to the beach and easy access to Marbella. The presence of affordable, high quality dwellings has attracted a sizeable community of British and European expats. The huge beach is a major attraction…..in more ways than one.
Elviria’s location makes it an excellent option for a second home or relocation. Close to the shops, bars and amenities of Marbella and the lovely beaches of Cabopina, the town boasts a maze of perfectly manicured avenues and streets that are home to a number of sumptuous villas and townhouses. It is a little removed from the touristy areas making it a peaceful and safe haven.
The town walks a tightrope between garish glitziness and glorious glamour. Whilst there is money in ‘Marbs’, it doesn’t always buy class though the town does try its over-the-top best. The more it tries, the bigger the fail, yet in a bizarre way only makes the place more alluring. It is the place to party. Marbella still remains an exclusive place for the rich and famous that also allows the masses to mix with the elite in a way that just doesn’t happen elsewhere.
One of the best ways to experience Marbella is to take a stroll along the delightful Paseo Marítimo – a buzzing promenade that covers the entire length of the main town. Palm trees line guard over beautiful terracotta villas, lavish hotel, charming cafes, traditional tapas bars and chiringuitos.
As we travel west along the golden mile, we come to the upmarket and sophisticated resort of Nueva Andalucía. This is where the rich and the famous really live with luxury villas and exclusive gated communities held together with manicured gardens, walkways and streets. The upmarket suburb stretches inland from the sea over undulating terrain dotted with a couple of lovely lakes with a back drop of the La Concha Mountain. It is fringed by some of the finest golf courses in Spain.
The calm and peacefulness of Nueva Andalucía is in stark contact to the buzz and vibrancy of Puerto Banús which is just a ten-minute walk away. Puerto Banús is a playground for the rich and famous for its glitzy harbour and super yachts.
San Pedro de Alcántara
This is almost an untouched corner of the Costa del Sol popular with the locals and has largely resisted property development. The town is a square-shaped collection of tightly-knit whitewashed buildings, straight and narrow streets and a main central plaza that is overlooked by a lovely church. Compact, bright, laid-back and certainly extremely traditional, San Pedro de Alcántara is a favourite with holidaymakers looking to relax.
This a picturesque and sought-after town tucked slightly inland between Estepona and San Pedro de Alcántara. It is a traditional, quaint and peaceful location that oozes charm and culture. The town has a strong reputation for hosting a number of gourmet restaurants.
Fronting a wide, sweeping beach that stretches the length of the town, Estepona’s charming boulevards, beautiful plazas and architecture hold an inescapably authentic Spanish ambience. The town has grown organically over many years which gives the town character and a calm settled feel.
Tourism and property development have only recently come to Manilva that is reflected in the availability of tourist facilities. However, if you simply want affordable property with access to the attractions of the Costa Del Sol, this could be an option.
Situated between a 30-minute drive to Gibraltar and some 45 minutes to Malaga, La Duquesa is another of the Costa’s best-kept secrets. It remains largely unspoilt and unknown but at the same time has developed a thriving community, a robust property market and a wealth of attractions for all ages including miles of white sandy beaches.
Sotogrande is another pristine and fashionable destination full of glamour and understated elegance. The resort’s swish port and town adopts a serene aura and seems to operate on another level both socially and economically. This area would suit those looking to buy a second home or retire in a peaceful, exclusive and safe environment. Sotogrande is great for golfers; sailing enthusiasts, polo players, fine dining and shopping in reassuringly expensive boutiques. This is not the place to live if you have any kind of budget.
San Roque is an eclectic mix of locals and expats that somehow marries the traditional and old with the modern and contemporary. Narrow cobbled streets, old bodegas whitewashed houses and cute Juliet balconies reveal an authentically Andalusian village.