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Ten years of high speed rail travel to Malaga

Ten years of high speed rail travel to Malaga

The infrastructure in Spain is key to boosting sustainable tourist numbers and the AVE ends 2017 with 2.4 million passengers proving high speed train travel is popular for tourists and locals alike. Plans are also under way for new services such as a connection to Granada and faster service to Seville.

On 23 December 2007, a high-speed train arrived for the first time at Malaga’s main railway station, María Zambrano. The arrival of a Series 103 at about 12.30pm was a historic moment in Malaga province with the commercial service beginning the following day.

The service is marking its first major anniversary in fine form, with 20.5 million people having travelled between Madrid and Malaga during that time, and it has reached a new record this year with more than 2.44 million users. That is about 3.8 per cent more than last year.

Rail is the perfect way to travel, it allows for you to see the natural beauty of the country as you travel through it. Timeless and romantic, yet modern and high speed, if you haven’t enjoyed a journey by train we would highly recommend it.

Over the past ten years more direct connections have been added, with cities such as Barcelona, Zaragoza and Valencia, and next year there will also be a service to Granada. The journey to Seville from Malaga is also expected to become much faster in 2020. Lines are being built to other destinations as well, so the AVE high-speed services will continue to expand in coming years. The whole rail network with its epicentre in Malaga has been used by 27.5 million people since 2007.

The AVE has brought Malaga and Madrid closer together with an optimum journey time of just over two and a half hours, especially impressive for the inhabitants of the Spanish capital, where any journey within the city can take around an hour. From a business perspective, it can be said that the Costa del Sol has already become a technology park and hub for investment which is accessible from Madrid, and from a tourism point of view, it has become one of three major destinations for those seeking sunshine and beaches, together with Valencia and Alicante.

Christmas Markets on the Costa del Sol

Christmas Markets on the Costa del Sol

You don’t need to go far to get into the spirit of Christmas here in Andalucia. Whether the sun is shining or there are a few raindrops you can enjoy a little Christmas shopping and purchase a few novelty gifts at some of the loveliest markets from Malaga to Estepona.
Alternatively, we are blessed with some great places to shop for Christmas. From the upmarket shops and boutiques of Marbella to the sprawling shopping centres of Miramar and Centro Plaza. You can also take a trip into Gibraltar for a few VAT free goodies and excellent prices on gold from one of the many jewellers on Main Street.
If you love the idea of a Christmas market here’s a list of some places you can find them.

One of the most popular in the whole province, the capital’s market runs from November 24 to January 7 at the Pier One in the port.

Find food stalls, popup restaurants and more at the Plaza de la Constitucion. Open from November 15 to December 14 (10.30am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 9pm)

This year’s Torrox market runs from December 5 to 10 (from 5pm) and from December 6-10 11am to 9.30pm at Restaurante Horto-Malaga

This is a one day event at the La Virginia on December 8 so catch it whilst you can.

This too is a one-day affair on December 9, at Plaza de la Mezquita, Arroyo de la Miel
Running on the Avenida de la Constitucion from December 1-10.

In the centre of town there is a huge Christmas atmosphere with performances by choirs and nativity scenes and a Christmas concert, Christmas sweets contest and a Christmas market until January 5. The start date of the market has not yet been confirmed.
Further along the coastal highway in Manilva, this year there is a Gastronomic Fair being held this weekend. You can try and buy local produce and watch the lights switch on.

Property completions are on the up

Property completions are on the up

More residential properties are being completed now than any other time since the crash.
Between January and July, 33,085 homes, mostly apartments were finished according to the Ministry of Public Works. This represents a 39% increase from this time last year.
In 2007 there were 641,419 properties completed, in the following year that figure plummeted by 94%.
This year private developments have gone up 37.4% with the total amount of money spent on finishing these buildings rose as well to just under €4.4 billion. There is a real confidence in the market again now with recent legislation regarding off plan properties boosting that too.
As a long-established estate agent on the Costa del Sol we know what to look for in new developments and this is why we choose our exclusives and the developers we work with carefully.
Always looking for the best location, facilities and broad range of properties to suit all our clients tastes and budgets. Meanwhile property prices are reported to be 4.3% higher in October according to property valuation firm Tinsa.
The market has made great progress throughout this year hopefully starting 2018 on a positive note. Spain still remains one of the most desirable places to purchase property whether you are looking to relocate or have a holiday home here.
You can still get excellent value properties on the Costa del Sol compared to many of its European neighbours and this teamed with the climate and lifestyle you have here make for a desirable combination.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell the time is right. Your dream property in the sun is here waiting for you and our team will guide you around the best areas to find the right property to suit your lifestyle.

image: Designed by evening_tao / Freepik

Spain celebrates with more Michelin Stars

Spain celebrates with more Michelin Stars

The Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal was announced last week with the big news being that Spain now boasts two new restaurants with three Michelin stars: Aponiente and ABaC.

“With two new three-star restaurants, Spain shows what an important place the country has in the world’s gastronomic landscape,” said Michelin’s international director Michael Ellis in a statement. The Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal 2018 was announced at a decadent gala hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Abama Hotel in Guía de Isora, Tenerife, home to two of the island’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

There are four new restaurants in Spain with two Michelin stars – Cabaña Buenavista, Disfrutar, Dos Cielos and Maralba – and 17 new establishments with one star.
The ‘three-star club’ in Spain has two new members:  ABaC in Barcelona and Aponiente in Cadiz, Andalucia – making just eleven members of the exclusive band. Three stars in the Michelin guide denotes a restaurant that serves exceptional cuisine, definitely worth a trip.
Spain now has a total of 11 three-starred Michelin restaurants: Akelarre, Arzak, Azurmendi, DiverXO, El Celler de Can Roca, Lasarte, Martin Berasategui en Guipúzcoa, Quique Dacosta, Sant Pau.

Here in Andalucia if you are looking for a Michelin starred establishment there are plenty to choose from with four in Marbella alone.

Michelin Stars in Andalucia:

  • Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa María, 3 stars (NEW)
Alevante, Cádiz, 1 star (NEW)
  • Bardal, Ronda, 1 star (NEW)
Noor, Córdoba, 1 star
  • Dani García, Marbella, 2 stars
  • Kabuki Raw, Casares, 1 star
  • Choco, Córdoba, 1 star
  • La Costa, El Ejido, 1 star
  • Sollo, Fuengirola, 1 star
  • Acanthum, Huelva, 1 star
  • José Carlos García, Málaga, 1 star
  • El Lago, Marbella, 1 star
  • Messina, Marbella, 1 star
  • Skina, Marbella, 1 star
  • Alejandro, Roquetas de Mar, 1 star
  • Abantal, Sevilla, 1 star

Spanish cuisine is amazingly diverse and even if you aren’t looking for a Michelin starred establishment there are plenty of places along the coast and inland that make for a tantalizing tasty evening.

Winter on the Costa del Sol

Winter on the Costa del Sol

Apart from the fabulous climate one of the main draws to living in one of the delightful resorts of the Costa del Sol is its health benefits and this doesn’t end when the summer does. Balmy autumn days lead into comfortable winter ones where short sleeves could still be the order of the day temperature wise.

Many people enjoy an outdoors lifestyle whether cycling, golf, hiking, walking or holistic fitness appeals to you. When you’ve already experienced the powerful sun and lively fiestas of southern Spain in the height of summer, immersing yourself into Spanish life with a wintertime visit offers an experiential vacation second to none.

This is also one of the best times to come over and look at the resorts you might fancy living in and how they work in winter. The Costa del Sol in winter could see you eating tapas out in a trendy restaurant in cultural Malaga before you drive an hour and a half into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada for a spot of skiing.

Get lost in the narrow cobblestone streets of Costa del Sol’s inland hilltop villages and discover the region’s stunning Moorish legacy; get your culture fix in Malaga’s world-class museums; visit the magnificent caves of Nerja – one of Spain’s prettiest seaside towns; or marvel at the breath-taking architecture of the Alhambra in nearby Granada.

Let’s not forget Golf. Some of the most prestigious golf courses in the area include Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande, the San Roque Club – designed by architect Perry Dye and famous Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas, as well as La Reserva, with its outstanding 18-hole course, exquisite clubhouse, and majestic sea and mountain views.

Once you understand how much there is to do, thinking about relocating here will not be a long drawn out process it will be simply a matter of choosing the place that suits the lifestyle you are looking for. This is something our team can help with as our knowledge of the local areas and the property market will help you choose your dream home.

Spain looking to invest in its infrastructure

Spain looking to invest in its infrastructure

The Costa del Sol Malaga to Estepona railway line has been named one of the highest priorities as Spain looks to update its infrastructure. With rising numbers of tourist’s year on year and more people looking to invest in the country, transport links are highlighted as important for people to move around easily.

The Costa train line, with an estimated cost of €5 billion, has been promised on and off since the 1990s, but it has stalled due to lack of funding and a lack of agreement between Madrid and the Junta.
The train service, which would run from Malaga airport to Marbella and Estepona, may now be with us within a decade as Spain’s economy continues to be one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone, freeing up more capital and increasing investment ceilings.
Julián Núñez, president of SEOPAN – the Association of Construction Companies and Concessionaires of Infrastructure – says the government will most likely prioritise health and education over the next two years.

But he added: “The consolidated GDP growth and the progressive scale back of the deficit have created some space to increase public investment in infrastructure.”

He has therefore created a prospective investment portfolio for the government, listing the projects that are a priority to improve the country’s competitive edge and which will increase economic activity. Having been reduced by 58% since 2009, public investment in Spain is overdue and very welcome.

With the upturn in the property market, more people getting mortgages and more building work going on generally, the country is doing very well in an economic environment where many in Europe aren’t.

Whilst in Estepona plans have been completed for the Senda Litoral (coastal path) that runs through the district. This Is an excellent draw for walkers, hikers and runners as people love walking the existing stretches. The first new Estepona stretch to be announced is in the Arroyo Taraje area. Here a 130-metre-long paved walkway will be laid out and a 20-metre wooden bridge. There will also be landscaping and lighting.

The second announced stretch is alongside the Las Dunas hotel and will run for 130 metres. This will link up with the Hacienda Beach and Cabo Bermejo paths to create a completed stretch of over three kilometres. In nearby Manilva a viewpoint has been suggested for the start of the coastal path.

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