Introducing the Costa del Sol
The Southern coast of Spain, known as the Costa del Sol is one of the most popular travel destinations in all Europe. Named for the wonderful climate and the 300+ days of sunshine each year. The mountain ranges that run the length of the region provide all year round moderate temperatures like no other in Europe.
Since its beginning as a prime holiday destination in the 1960s, the Costa del Sol has appealed to tens of thousands of property buyers. As a result, it consistently ranks as one of the most popular places to buy a home in the world.
The Costa del Sol stretches 180 kilometres from the borders of Cadiz in Sotogrande to the entrance of Malaga City Centre, all within the province of Malaga, with key airports found either end of the region…
The sandy beaches, chilled out way of life that only Andalucia can offer and the amazing culinary delights just add to the attraction of this coastline that runs along the Mediterranean sea.
Extensive sports and leisure facilities including some of the best golf courses anywhere in the world, open all year, also helps drive the rental market through all twelve months.
In this introduction to the Costa del Sol we explore the areas where the demand is registering the most upward trend for luxury homes and new-build properties that make up this popular coastline.
As one of Europe’s prime holiday locations, the Costa del Sol boasts everything a top tourist destination needs to attract visitors year on year and with its mild climate it offers the opportunity to visit any time of year as it is milder than almost all other options on the continent.
There are several key locations on the Costa del Sol that are popular along the coast – we have featured the main ones here.
The Most Notable Areas:
Malaga City is steeped in history going back to the 18th century when the Phoenician and Romans first settled there.
The capital of the Costa del Sol, a destination known throughout the world since the beginning of the tourist boom in this area, where the climate, the sea, beaches and golf courses represent an irresistible attraction for national and international tourists.
The area was first discovered some 2,800 years ago and continues to attract interest and investment from all over the world. Educational facilities and the technology park employ some of the brightest young talent in Europe with a Trade Centre to match any other, with some of the best real estate projects on offer anywhere in Europe.
One of the oldest cities in Europe with the second biggest port in Spain, recently modernised, while remaining a cosmopolitan city and a strategic location for trade routes even in ancient times.
The Historical District ‘old town’ of Málaga is a place where the architecture on display ranges centuries. Malaga was finally conquered by the Catholic Kings in 1487, and all its predecesors have left their mark in the form of architecture and ancient building such as; La Alcazaba Arabic Castle, The Roman Ruins and the Gibralfaro Castle with its beautiful gardens.
The Costas – Benalmadena and Mijas – Benalmadena has its long promenades and boating marina to attract visitors while Mijas has the white wall village and golf courses and the popular fishing village of La Cala de Mijas that draws a lot of interest and a popular place to spend time.
The pueblo of Mijas is one of the jewels of the Costa del Sol, a beautiful little village which nestles in the hills behind Fuengirola at 400 meters above sea level so has great views back to the coast about 10km to the south. The village has managed to retain much of its traditional relaxed Andalucian way of life with the locals displaying their passion for all things festive.
Mijas Costa is a region that stretches 12 kilometres offering modern, tourist orientated development including the popular areas of La Cala de Mijas and Sitio de Calahonda. Both residential urbanisations located on the coast within the municipality of Mijas.
Marbella has the ‘Brand’ and many will not go anywhere else when it comes to wanting the high end, luxury side of things with Nueva Andalucia & Puerto Banus. Marbella the town is actually more understated and low key, full of local residents with an old town that is very charming and still maintains its Spanish heritage. This is the postcode many aspire to – but often end up elsewhere.
Glamour or otherwise, this resort town has always been as equally popular with the rich and famous as many a foreign resident, all seduced by the climate and good lifestyle. Marbella’s history stretches back to Roman times and is considered Southern Spain’s answer to St Tropez.
The old town is lined with orange trees along cobbled streets and the flowered plazas are packed with delightful shops and art galleries. For fashion shopping Puerto Banus has all the top international designer stores and the place kicks into life at night with a backdrop of large yachts that offers fun for all tastes.
Marbella’s gastronomic scene is second to none with beachfront ‘chiringuito’ restaurants to Michelin-starred restaurants. And of course, the beaches are always a popular place to spend time here.
Part of the Marbella area also includes the town of San Pedro de Alcantara with bags of Spanish charm, a beach promenade and the boulevard walkway that divides the town centre from the beach.
Benahavis is very popular, with the village as the centrepiece that is quintessentially Spanish with a picturesque setting reflecting just how well run the municipality is.
Standing 500 metres above sea level and seven kilometres inland from the beaches and the areas of Guadalmina and San Pedro de Alcantara.
Boasting many of the top golf courses in the area as well means this has been the ‘go to’ destination for a lot of new arrivals in the last 10 years where Marbella has been unable to provide new product in modern development.
Once an Arab stronghold on top of the highest mountain in the locality, emphasised by the existence of an 11th Century castle ruin. However, the region is more synonymous nowadays with great food with a high concentration of top-class restaurants drawing visitors all year round to savour the cuisine.
An area with a high percentage of expat residents who fall for the idyllic setting and end up staying. In spite of this, it has remained remarkably unspoiled, with winding narrow streets and a backdrop of mountains and natural streams.
One other area that has seen a spike in interest is Estepona. In recent years. This is partly due to the bus route having expanded from Malaga airport to the area, plus the vast amounts of money that have been invested to attract foreign tourists is notable and has transformed Estepona into a tourist destination of reckoning.
The new sports facilities in town include a new athletics stadium with running track, other investment has gone into relaying the beach promenade, pedestrianising the old town streets and revamping the boating marina and all have had an impact in changing the face of the town.
With a population exceeding 70,000, Estepona is one of the few coastal towns that has succeeded in maintaining its pueblo charm and character. Notwithstanding, all the tourist facilities are here, including hotels, restaurants, leisure and cultural activities, and shops.
The numerous street cafes and tapas bars still serve traditional Spanish delicacies. In the ‘old town’ the steep, narrow streets are decorated with different coloured flowerpots, a delight for photographers. You will find inviting bars and small shops at every turn so be prepared to lose your way and track of time a little in this friendly environment.
Casares is a picture postcard village with a population of just three thousand and the view from the approach is definitely worth a photo. To say that Casares is beautiful is an understatement. There is something very special about the village of Casares that means you can simply park the car and just focus on taking photos.
It is hard to believe that this enchanting place is only ten kilometres from the coast and somehow seems to still succeeds in avoiding the coach tour circuit and some of the ‘menus’ are well worth trying and are just such good value.
Manilva including La Duquesa are the next areas seeing a lot of investment and the property boom has already begun.
Within the municipality of Manilva there are several communities. The white village of Manilva itself which is located a few kilometers inland from the little fishing village on the coast known as San Luis de Sabinillas.
To the West there is a quiet yachting marina called Puerto de la Duquesa with its surrounding residential area and golf course with various housing developments all the way down to Punta Chullera.
The municipality covers an area of 35 square kilometres with around 17,000 full time residents and a further 14,000 who reside here on a temporary basis or have holiday homes. The economy of Manilva is based on agriculture and fishing and more recently, tourism.
Sotogrande is the hidden gem of the whole region that few people know about or get to visit while on the Costa del Sol but those that do are usually full of admiration from the outset – an area packed with many leisure activities available and just 15 minutes from Gibraltar airport, while boasting some of the finest real estate anywhere in the world mean this residence is very noteworthy.
Located at the Western end of the Costa del Sol, within the municipality of San Roque in the Province of Cadiz. Sotogrande is one of the most luxurious sports and residential developments in Europe.
Its 2,500 hectares with renowned international school is also popular for all the local leisure activities on offer; sailing & boat hire, kayaking, diving & kite surfing schools, local fitness clubs as well as seven of the most renowned golf courses on the Costa del Sol including La Reserva complete with man-made lake and Beach Club, Almenara, San Roque, Sotogrande and Valderrama.
Other pursuits include, hunting & clay pigeon shooting, cycling & mountain biking clubs. Also found are natural reserves ideal for hiking and nature walks. The boating Marina in Sotogrande boasts many fine dining restaurants, swish café’s and quality bars for a tranquil and relaxing environment.
So where to focus on….
The towns are generally more vibrant on the Costa del Sol as they are populated all year round with local residents and aren’t reliant on tourists to remain lively or justify being open.
Any areas near to town or a village are the busiest while areas that are more reliant on holidaymakers are the ones that become quieter in low seasons – Benalmadena & Arroyo de la Miel – La Cala de Mijas – Marbella – Benahavis – Estepona are the areas that see the least variation throughout the year.
One other detail we live by here – We live on the beaches in summer and hibernate in the old town villages in the winter, but never without food or drink no matter what the weather is doing…!.
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