Area guides for Spain

Alhaurin El Grande

Alhaurin El Grande is a busy market town situated in the mountains behind the village of Mijas, 20km from Malaga Airport. Views from Alhaurin (and from many properties here) are stunning as the town looks out of the Guadalhorce River valley. Lots of foreigners – including a large British population – have property in Alhaurin and good amenities cater for non-Spanish speakers. Alhaurin is a good option for a property in Spain if you're looking for a typical Spanish town life with tourist attractions nearby. Communications with other towns on the Costa del Sol are good – Alhaurin is in easy reach of beaches at Fuengirola and Marbella, ideal if you're on holiday in Spain. Alhaurin is popular with property buyers in Spain as the town offers a taste of 'real Spain'. Alhaurin has a good choice of country properties and prices are cheaper than in Marbella and Mijas Costa.

Benahavis

If you want a property in Spain in a quiet village but just 10 minutes drive from Puerto Banus, Benahavis is worth considering. This small village is west of Marbella and Puerto Banus with Malaga Airport 72km away. Benahavis is an attractive village surrounded by mountains and rivers. It's famous for its restaurants (Benahavis is known as the gastronomic capital of the Costa del Sol) and its arts and crafts. Foreigners in the villages are mainly British – Benahavis is a popular location for a property in Spain. The village has limited amenities, but Marbella and Estepona are nearby. Some of the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol are within a short drive. If you're looking for luxury property in Spain, Benahavis is a popular choice. Here are some of the most expensive developments in southern Spain – property at La Zagaleta and Monte Mayor is among the most expensive on the Costa del Sol.

Benalmadena

Close to Fuengirola and Torremolinos, Benalmadena is one of the biggest holiday resorts on the Costa del Sol. The good choice of tourist attractions and sandy beaches mean that Benalmadena is a popular option for buying property. Malaga Airport is just a short drive away (12km) – ideal for holidaymakers renting your property in Spain. Benalmadena includes Benalmadena Pueblo, a typical whitewashed village; Benalmadena Costa with its blue-flag beaches; and Arroyo de la Miel, a busy residential area. Benalmadena is great for family attractions – you can visit SeaLife aquarium, Selwo Marina and Tivoli World amusement park and take the cable car up to the mountains. Benalmadena also has some good golf courses nearby and there's even a Buddhist meditation centre. There are lots of properties for sale in Benalmadena including off-plan apartments and townhouses. You can choose from beachfront apartments, village properties and luxury villas. Benalmadena is very popular with British buyers of properties in Spain.

Calahonda

Situated between Marbella and Fuengirola, Calahonda is a large development, 42km from Malaga Airport. Calahonda has good sandy beaches and spectacular sea views from properties situated in the hills. There's a large foreign population here, mainly British and Scandinavian. Calahonda has great sports and leisure facilities. If you're on a Costa del Sol holiday in Calahonda, you'll find tennis clubs, golf courses and a marina at nearby Cabopino. There are bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and shopping centres, banks and medical centres. The choice of amenities makes Calahonda a good choice for a buy-to-let property in Spain. Calahonda is popular with tourists, foreign residents and with buyers of property in Spain. Calahonda is home to plenty of property – luxury villas, townhouses and apartments – and prices are around average for the Costa del Sol, although cheap prices are available on many off-plan properties. You can also buy frontline beach properties in Calahonda.

Casares

West of Estepona and in the mountains is the pretty white village of Casares (96km from Malaga Airport). Casares is famous for being one of the most beautiful villages on the Costa del Sol and its tranquillity and stunning scenery makes it popular with those buying property in Spain. Although it's a small village (around 3,600 people), over 20% are foreigners. Casares is set on a rocky outcrop topped by the church and Moorish castle. Facilities are limited to a few small shops, bars and a health centre. The village also has a primary and secondary school. Better services are just a short drive away in Estepona and Sabinillas. In the village typical villages houses are for sale, but most foreigners who buy property in Casares choose country houses (fincas) in the countryside near the village. Several luxury developments are on the coast where you can buy Casares golf properties and frontline beach apartments.

Coin

Coin near Alhaurin El Grande is a large town in the mountains to the north of Fuengirola and is 38km from Malaga Airport. Coin is known as the 'Town of the Fountains' because of rivers and springs nearby. Coin is also famous for its market gardens and citrus fruits. Coin is popular with foreigners buying a home in Spain and lots of British families live here. All you need is within walking distance – shops, schools and health centres – and there's a large shopping centre and cinema at La Trocha. Coin has a good choice of off-plan property and you can also buy country property with land. Property in Coin is cheaper than the coastal resorts, but the town is just 15 minutes drive from the Costa del Sol beaches. If you're looking to buy property in Spain, Coin offers a taste of Spanish town life with the Costa del Sol nearby.

Estepona

Estepona is the largest town on the western side of the Costa del Sol. Malaga Airport is 80km away, but Gibraltar Airport is much nearer if Estepona is your choice for a property in Spain. Estepona is popular with British residents – the town's good amenities make it ideal for a holiday or home on the Costa del Sol. Although Estepona is a busy tourist resort, it has kept its original fishing village character. The town is attractive with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and two health centres. Estepona Marina is worth a visit and the Estepona beaches are good. Sports enthusiasts buying property in Estepona have a great choice of top golf courses and sports centres within easy reach. When it comes to property, Estepona has a huge choice of new developments. Although a lot are luxury (for example, Valle Romano), the high numbers of houses for sale in Estepona mean cheap property is available.

Fuengirola

The busy resort of Fuengirola (24km from Malaga Airport) is a top spot for a holiday on the Costa del Sol. The town, which also includes the areas of Los Boliches and Torreblanca (both hot spots for property on the Costa del Sol), has a large population of foreigners. This makes Fuengirola a popular place to buy property as the buy-to-let market is good. Fuengirola has excellent amenities with everything you need in the town centre. There's a good train service to other resorts and Malaga. The beaches at Fuengirola are blue flag and among the best on the Costa del Sol. For families, there's the award-winning zoo and a water park. Although it's small, there's a good choice of property in Fuengirola. Apartments and villas are available in Torreblanca. In the town itself, property is mostly apartments with frontline properties on the beach in Fuengirola in short supply and at a premium.

La Cala de Mijas

La Cala is 38km from Malaga Airport and near both Marbella and Fuengirola. If you're looking for property in Spain in a typically Spanish village but with tourist attractions in easy reach, La Cala is worth considering. La Cala is very popular with foreigners and many British live here. La Cala has a good selection of shops and services including schools and a health centre. The long bay has good, sandy beaches. You'll find a good choice of bars and restaurants in La Cala, catering for all tastes and budgets. Nearby are several golf courses and other leisure facilities. Property in La Cala ranges from small apartments to large luxury villas and you can choose from frontline beach or golf locations. Village houses are also available. There's plenty of off-plan property in La Cala and recent discounts mean that some property comes with a cheap price tag.

Manilva

The village of Manilva is in the west of the Costa del Sol (90km from Malaga Airport) and has recently become popular with both holidaymakers and property buyers in Spain. Manilva has quite a large British population and the area caters well for expats. Manilva village itself is a short distance from the coast, but Sabinillas resort and other developments such as La Duquesa (golf course and marina properties) are by the sea. Amenities are good with shops, bars, schools and a health centre in Sabinillas. If you're a golf enthusiast, several good courses including La Duquesa are within easy reach. There are water sports at the attractive La Duquesa Marina (also a good choice for bars and restaurants. Property in Manilva is mainly apartments and many are holiday homes. In the village itself, typical Spanish homes are for sale. If you're looking for villas or townhouses, developments such as Costa Galera and La Duquesa are worth looking at. Frontline golf apartments are available at La Duquesa.

Marbella

Marbella is the top holiday destination on the Costa del Sol and one of Spain's most sophisticated resorts. The city (58km from Malaga Airport) is also very popular with foreign residents and there's a good choice of Marbella property. Marbella is a mixture of a typically Spanish town life and modern luxury. The Old Town with its narrow streets and historic buildings has great tapas bars and nightlife. The seafront promenade takes in miles of sandy beaches, tropical gardens and a marina. As you'd expect from a city, Marbella has excellent services and amenities. Popular with foreigners and the Spanish for buying property, Marbella has everything from a small beachfront studio to a luxury designer mansion. Although it's the most expensive place for property on the Costa del Sol, some apartments and townhouses now offer cheaper prices. Frontline golf properties are also available in Marbella where there are several golf courses.

Mijas

The small white village of Mijas is just 24km from Malaga Airport and within a short drive of Fuengirola and Benalmadena. Situated in the mountains overlooking the Costa del Sol, Mijas property has been a favourite with foreigners since the 1960's. Although the village is typically Spanish, it has a large foreign population. Famous for its 'donkey taxis', Mijas village with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses is very popular with tourists. Views from the village are spectacular. Amenities are quite good and there's a choice of shops and bars. If you need more, Fuengirola is just 10 minutes away by car or bus. Several golf courses and tourist attractions are also nearby. Mijas property tends to be pricey – Mijas village homes are at a premium. Outside the village in nearby developments, Mijas offers a choice of townhouses and villas, some luxury such as those in Las Lomas de Mijas or Valtocado.

Mijas Costa

Mijas Costa runs between Fuengirola and Marbella and is one of the most popular places to buy property on the Costa del Sol. Mijas Costa includes Calahonda, Riviera del Sol and La Cala – all favourites with British visitors and permanent residents. Not surprisingly, the area caters well for expats with lots of services and amenities for foreigners. Calahonda and Riviera are the biggest property developments on Mijas Costa and both have a good choice of shops and bars and restaurants. Local schools and the health centre are in La Cala nearby. There are also golf courses at Miraflores, La Cala and Elviria. Cabopino Marina is attractive and beaches are good. With perhaps one of the best choices for property, Mijas Costa offers off- plan property (apartments, townhouses and villas) with both frontline beach and golf apartments available. Luxury properties on Mijas Costa can be found in Calahonda and Miraflores. Property here is cheap compared with Marbella.

Nerja

The small resort of Nerja is on the eastern side of the Costa del Sol and is 56km from Malaga Airport. Like Mijas and Torremolinos, Nerja was one of the first places where foreigners bought property on the Costa del Sol. Nerja has a large foreign population. Although it's a popular holiday resort, Nerja has managed to keep its original fishing village charm and character. The old town has narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses, centred around the famous Balcon de Europa with its great views of the coastline. Nerja has reasonable amenities and tourist attractions include the Nerja Caves (Spain's third most-visited attraction) and the many small bays. If you're looking at property in Nerja, there's a choice of holiday apartments (with good buy-to-let potential) and villas. Sought-after villas in Nerja are in El Capristrano and Frigiliana. Property in Nerja is cheaper than Marbella.

Nueva Andalucia & Puerto Banus

Nueva Andalucia and Puerto Banus are two of Marbella's most exclusive areas. Here, almost everything here comes with a touch of luxury whether it's leisure activities, shopping or property for sale in Nueva Andalucia's high-end developments or Puerto Banus Marina. Known as 'the millionaire's playground', Puerto Banus is popular with holidaymakers and residents. The marina is home to million-dollar yachts, designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants and shopping centres as well as frontline marina apartments. Puerto Banus is well known for its vibrant nightlife and fashionable beachclubs. Considerably quieter, Nueva Andalucia is mainly residential. This exclusive development offers a wide choice of property in Marbella – apartments, townhouses, villas and mansions. The wide choice of top-class golf courses means frontline golf apartments are readily available in Nueva Andalucia. Property in Puerto Banus and Nueva Andalucia is some of the most expensive on the Costa del Sol, especially if you go for a golf apartment or villa.

Riviera del Sol

Situated in the heart of Mijas Costa, the development of Riviera del Sol (42km from Malaga Airport) is one of the most popular places for foreigners to buy property on the Costa del Sol. Many British live all-year round in Riviera, which along with Calahonda and La Cala (both just a short drive away), has many services for expats. Stretching from the coast with many frontline beach apartments, Riviera goes up into the foothills – properties here have spectacular views. There are good services such as supermarkets, chemists and banks within Riviera, which also has a large sports club. Golf courses are close by in Calahonda, Miraflores and La Cala. Schools and a health centre are also in La Cala. There's plenty of off-plan property development in Riviera with a good choice of apartments, townhouses and villas. Riviera property is cheap compared with Marbella and La Cala and off-plan apartments generally offer cheap discounts.

Sotogrande

The purpose-built luxury development of Sotogrande is in the far west of the Costa del Sol. Sotogrande is 102km from Malaga Airport and Gibraltar Airport is a much nearer alternative. The development includes an attractive marina, some of Europe's best golf courses – Valderrama Golf Course is here – and probably the most expensive property in Spain. Sotogrande has good services – two shopping centres, a wide choice of bars and restaurants, health centre and schools (including international). Leisure facilities are excellent ranging from water sports at Sotogrande Marina to world-class polo, not forgetting golf at the Valderrama or Almenara courses. As you'd expect from a luxury development, Sotogrande property prices are high. Choose from a waterfront apartment in the Marina or a spacious mansion. While it's not for all budgets, Sotogrande is ideal if you want a superior address for your property on the Costa del Sol.

Torremolinos

Home to the first package holidays in Spain back in the 1960's, Torremolinos is still one of Spain's busiest tourist resorts. Just 6km from Malaga Airport, Torremolinos is an ideal base for holidays, a short break or longer stay. There's a big foreign population and Torremolinos is a popular retirement spot. Torremolinos has good communications with the rest of the Costa del Sol and offers something for everyone. There are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants – ideal for trying the famous fried fish. Torremolinos has great sports facilities including two sports stadiums and athletics track. Tourist attractions include a water park and some of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol. When it comes to cheap property, Torremolinos has one of the biggest selections. Choose from frontline beach apartments or new off-plan apartments in the east of Torremolinos. The town's popularity means that buy-to-let property in Torremolinos has great potential.


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