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Costa del Sol

Spain - Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular areas in Spain for expats (expatriados) and thousands of people move out there each year. As suggested by its name it offers excellent weather all year round and properties there range from basic apartments (pisos) to luxury villas (casa sensorial), depending on your budget and taste. There is something for everyone in the area, from sporting activities to bars and restaurants.

There has been a great deal of investment in the area in recent years. Many of the roads are fairly new and the rail links to other parts of the country are excellent. The property (propriedad) prices – if you do not take into consideration some of the wealthier resorts – are lower than some other parts of Europe. The airport at Malaga has daily flights to and from most European cities and there are many budget airlines now using the airport regularly.

The shopping facilities in the area are some of the best in Spain and some areas even have UK supermarkets. As the area is one of the busiest in Spain there are many employment opportunities and large numbers of expats move to the area to start their own businesses.

The area has a large number of societies for expats, mainly British and Irish. The British Association of Marbella has been running for over 20 years and meetings are held each week. The International Friends Club is located in Fuengirola and has been meeting since 2002. It is for Europeans and Americans aged between 25 and 35. The Costa del Sol Irish Association meets once a month in Torremolinos and has weekly social evenings.

Estepona is located to the west of Malaga close to the Sierra Bermeja Mountains. The town has an old fashioned Spanish feel to it and it is a very popular resort with tourists. The town is popular with retiring expats and there are a number of golf clubs in the area. Properties available are mainly traditional Spanish homes although there are now some more modern developments close to the beaches.

The town of Nerja is one of the largest tourist resorts on the eastern part of the Costa del Sol. It is a former fishing village which has grown dramatically. There are no high rise developments in the area and many of the properties are the traditional whitewashed houses. It is popular with expats who enjoy the hustle and bustle of a tourist resort and there are many work opportunities in the area since the town expanded.

Benahavis is home to a large community of expats who are attracted by the old fashioned style of the town. There are few modern developments and traffic is not really a problem as many of the streets are too narrow to accommodate cars and vans. The town is 7 kilometres from the coast and is known for excellent restaurants serving traditional Spanish food. The tourist season is busy, but the cooler winter months are fairly quiet. The town is beginning to grow and some new build properties are available on the outskirts of the town.

Mijas is a large area of the Costa del Sol and has three main parts: the village of Mijas Pueblo, Mijas Costa and Las Lagunas. The village of Mijas Pueblo is just a few kilometres from the coast and attracts many tourists during the summer months. The town hall in the village has a department devoted entirely to helping the expats that choose to settle in the area. Mijas Costa is the region’s coastline and lies between Marbella and Fuengirola. Las Lagunas is the commercial area of the region and is very close to Fuengirola. It is easily reached and offers a number of employment opportunities for expats. The large area means that all types of properties can be found there and they are reasonably priced.

Torrox is has been officially declared the healthiest town in Europe and has two distinct parts: Torrox Pueblo which is located in land and the coastal area of Torrox Costa. The area has many properties for sale, particularly along the coastal area. These are mainly apartments and are very affordable. Those who wish to rent will also find a great deal to choose from.

The village of Alhaurin el Grande has a long history and is popular with tourists. There are a number of expats who have chosen to settle in the area. The village has a number of excellent restaurants and while it is busy during the summer months, this is a quiet area during the cooler months.

Nueva Andalucia is situated just north of Puerto Banus. This is a new urban area and is a very exclusive place to live. It attracts mainly the more wealthy residents and has everything from shops and restaurants to golf courses. Everything in the development is carefully maintained and properties range from apartments to luxury villas.

Calahonda is another large property development which can be found between Marbella and Fuengirola. The size of the development means that it could now be considered to be a town. It officially is part of the Mijas region and despite the fact that it is a new development, it has a very rural feel with lots of green areas. Retiring expats are drawn to the area as the area has everything they need from golf courses to car hire companies. There are also employment opportunities in the area due to the ongoing development. The area is also home to several top rated Spanish schools and international schools.

Benalmadena is very popular with tourists and in the summer the population can almost triple. Expats find that the area offers them both a traditional Spanish way of life and a more cosmopolitan lifestyle. The coastal area has pubs of all nationalities, while the old part of the area has managed to avoid the developments that are taking place in surrounding areas.

Puerto Banus is just to the west of Marbella and is a luxury resort which is very popular with celebrities. The town has grown over the last few decades and is now very commercialised. Property in the area is very expensive and ranges from apartments to luxury villas.

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