The new golden mile.
the costa del sol has long been synonymous with sunshine filled days, long stretches of sandy beaches and nightlife styles favoured by the rich and famous. In the 1960s Marbella boomed elite overseas visitors and the 1970s followed with normal families and couples visiting the area east of Marbella, such as Benalmadena, Torremolinos and Fuengirola.
Development in these areas soared over the following years, so much so, beachfront locations became scarce and slowly but surely new properties began to spring up further west of Marbella.
Today, the stretch of coast between Marbella and Sotogrande in the west is becoming more and more popular with those looking for a more “Spanish” lifestyle, though small English-speaking communities are growing in each of the towns on the coast and inland.
The western side of the Costa del Sol is now more accessible with Gibraltar airport already taking flights from Manchester, London Gatwick and Luton, and plans to introduce its own low cost airline, GibAir, flights each week to London Stanstead, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and Dublin. Expansions at Málaga Airport will also bring more air traffic and with the toll roads running right through to Sotogrande, travel time from Malaga to Sotogrande is under 90 minutes.
Costa del Sol the road network in this region is very advanced with easy access to Malaga, Seville, Granada and Cordoba and local link roads between Alcaidesa and La Linea bring further improvements. property in this area is considered to be good value for money compared to property prices in Marbella, for example, especially as most homes are newly built and feature all the modern conveniences and well designed outdoor areas. Prices generally start from 130.000 euros for a one bedroom apartment in Alcaidesa, with sea views, communal gardens and pool. areas to consider residing in include the long stretch between San Pedro and Estepona known as the New Golden Mile, which is perfect for those looking for beach front homes, with easy access to the main coast road and its many commercial centres providing shops, restaurant and bars.
Estepona is a growing town that retains its quaint fishing village charm, with a central square surrounded by locally owned shops, restaurants and bars. The promenade runs the 3km length of the towns beach which features many “chiringuito” beach bars and in the summer time is host to flamenco shows and an evening craft market. Just outside the main town is a marina surrounded by international restaurants and bars, and a growing residential area surrounding it.
Duquesa Marina and beautiful views further west is the small beach-front town of Sabinillas, just next to the marina of La Duquesa. Sabinillas is a traditional Spanish town, which in the last few years has developed rapidly to welcome foreigners and is now host to many wonderful restaurants and bars. Duquesa is a small and popular marina surrounded by international cuisine and relaxing cafés.
A drive from Duquesa and further westwards towards Sotogrande sees the landscape change dramatically, with the absence of high rise buildings and the beauty of rocky cliffs as a backdrop to barren fields. The road becomes winding as it follows the small coves, favoured by yachts, and interspersed between the long stretches of beach.
Alcaidesa is a developing town surrounding the links golf course located just before Sotogrande. The modern-style marina of Sotogrande is home to exclusive residences where owners can moor their boats at the foot of their garden and is popular with the polo set of Spain and the UK. Its often said that Marbella is the place the rich go to be seen, and Sotogrande is the place they go to relax. the beaches that line the coast are often less busy, even in the high peak of summer and some of the most prestigious golf courses are to be found in this area, such as Valderrama, which has been host to recent Spanish Open competitions, San Roque and the Alcaidesa Links courses. Many other courses are dotted along the coast such as Estepona, Duquesa and Casares.
Other sports are also available with gyms and spas in towns and in the five star hotels, watersports on the beach and horseriding.
Shopping is plentiful, with many commercial centres opening around Sotogrande featuring designer boutiques and exclusive brands. The town of Estepona is excellent for local goods and a large factory outlet at Los Barrios, with huge supermarket and DIY store, can be found just past Gibraltar.
For days out and a spot of local culture, the white villages (pueblos blancos) of Casares, Gaucin and Jimena are within easy reach and its interesting to catch the local fairs (ferias) that run throughout the summertime. For a complete get-away from the Costa del Sol, the Caribbean-white beaches and laid back atmosphere of Tarifa is just 40 minutes away. With a windier climate on the Costa de la Luz, this is a mecca for all windsurfing and kite boarding fans.
New Golden Mile Golf, sailing and amazing views!
The explosion of popularity for the western Costa del Sol has not only attracted developers of residential properties but other investors, with a large shopping centre earmarked for Estepona and rumours continuing of the next Euro Disney Theme Park being built in the area. In addition to this, with many ex-pats relocating here, many are seizing the opportunity to open businesses targeting the ex-pat community.
The choice of property types, whether its freehold or off-plan you require is exceptional and its worth considering taking a trip further west of Marbella to explore the opportunities of this expanding region.