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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.

New Designer Shopping Outlet for Malaga

New Designer Shopping Outlet for Malaga

Development around the Costa del Sol is increasing at a steady rate showing that interest in the area is well-founded. Developers McArthurGlen are starting construction of a huge designer outlet mall which will be located adjacent to Plaza Mayor Shopping centre, the city’s most visited shopping centre.

Plaza Mayor receives over 10 million national and international shoppers each year and the addition of this new shopping outlet is expected to attract even more crowds to enjoy the bargains.

Once completed the outlet is expected to be home to over 170 brands including some luxury and designer brands alongside local and international brands offering discounts between 30-70%.

The outlet mall is expected to generate employment for over 1000 workers in the region and the 30,000 sq metre of retail space is expected to cost around €115 million. McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Malaga is situated in a prime location with around 3 million consumers living within a 90-minute drive and over 10 million visitors coming to the Costa del Sol region every year. The new centre will be located just 3 minutes by train from Málaga International Airport, through which over 14 million passengers pass every year.

To reflect local Andalusian architecture the outlet mall will be open air village style and will have landscaped walkways, dancing fountains, a central luxury plaza, children’s playground facilities and 4,350 parking spaces.

McArthurGlen have shopping outlet villages across the world and this one in Malaga is in a prime position for people all over Andalucia to enjoy whether it is a day trip or popping in after collecting or dropping guests at the airport.

With the potential further development of the port area to make room for mega-yachts, Malaga is firmly positioning itself as a force to be reckoned with over and above being a city of art and culture.

Four fabulous Andalucian pueblos worth exploring

Four fabulous Andalucian pueblos worth exploring

Andalucía offers a virtually endless scenic route for cultural and historical explorations and picture postcard white villages are an integral part of that. It’s no wonder that many of these pueblos have maze-like clusters of narrow, irregular streets, given that they were founded thousands of years ago and it is these characteristics that make for some splendid exploring routes where the fun lies in getting lost and finding your way back again. Perfect for a balmy autumn afternoon.

Casares

just 15 km from the coast sits the picture perfect little village of Casares. With a historic church and Medieval Arab castle rising from a craggy hilltop, the village itself seems to cling to the slopes, rising to meet these monuments at the top. The traditional white-washed buildings are stacked higher and higher on top of one another like some impressionist painting. For a village of only about 3,000 inhabitants it has an incredible wealth of historical sites, all easily discovered whilst meandering through the streets en-route to the castle above.

Frigliana

The Axarquian village of Frigliana is a real maze of narrow pedestrian streets that can open unexpectedly onto a plaza suddenly teaming with life, or lead you into an apparent dead end only to reveal a cluster of shops and tapas bars. With a strong Moorish influence marvel at the intricately designed stone pavements and the plethora of floral colour hanging from proudly adorned balconies, window ledges and doorways. Exploring this pueblo can take a whole day, but rest assured there are plenty of restaurants and bars to stop and enjoy a little tapa.

Comares

Less than 25km from the coast, perfectly perched atop a hilltop at almost 740 metres high, Comares boasts amazing views to the Mediterranean sea and the surrounding mountains. It is easy to get lost in this labyrinthine village so ceramic footprints have been placed along the narrow-cobbled streets to help visitors find their way. A wander around will reveal various plaques graphically explaining Comares’ rich history, dating to at least the 3rd century B.C. and including the handover of the village from the Moors to the Catholic Kings in 1487.

Mijas

One of the most well-known and local pueblos you will find Mijas at the end of long and meandering road perched up in the mountains. A labyrinth of cobbled streets are perfect for losing yourself on an autumn afternoon. Stop for tapas or an ice cream and enjoy some fabulous sea views. There are plenty of historic buildings including the bullring and lift allows those that are less mobile access to the higher village area. With its own Made in Mijas brand you can find locally made goods including chocolate.

Hello September

Hello September

When you live here in Spain September is one of the all hailed and most looked forward to months in the year. Gone are the crazily busy beaches, you can get a parking space in your favourite resort and the chiringuitos are still open serving fine fayre to their patrons.

The weather is balmy and has moved from the sweltering 40-degree heat of long summer days into a wonderful 25/28 degree range. Swimming pools in urbanisations empty out as the children head back to school and many of the Spanish who have holiday homes on the coast go back to the city.

Night times become cooler and sleeping without the aircon is a pleasure. You can enjoy long evenings on the terrace in the warmth of early Autumn in Spain. This is the perfect time to visit some of the many awe-inspiring spots here.

Walking the streets of Malaga is a heady mix of culture and history with a dash of gastronomical delight thrown in. A few days in this magnificent city is perfect at this time of year as it is less crowded and enjoying all it has to offer is achievable without melting. Malaga Botanical Garden is the ideal spot for a balmy afternoon walk.

This is the perfect time to head inland too after the blistering summer temperatures have dropped a little. A few days in historic Granada at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and you will be spoilt for historical and architectural choice. The Alhambra is one of Spain’s must sees as are the gardens of Generalife.

Ronda is another gem in the Spanish crown. Again, great historical and architectural value here with so much to see over a few days. Of course, you could always opt to take a wine tour in the area to appreciate its delicious fayre.

September is a fabulous month in Spain so go out and explore some of its many delights.

Spain ranked fifth in the world for Michelin stars

Spain ranked fifth in the world for Michelin stars

Spain is well loved for its balmy climate, warm natured people, fabulous amenities and glorious coastline but it is becoming well known for its gastronomy having its fair share of Michelin stars, ranking it fifth in the world in fact for number of Michelin stars.
With some of the finest and freshest ingredients to work with including manchego cheese, extra virgin olive oil, jamon iberico, fresh seafood, Spain boasts an incredible selection of cuisine and is a top producer of cava, wine and sherry.

So where can you find some of these gems?

Costa del Sol/Costa Blanca: The region’s sole 3-star is Quique Dacosta in Denia on the Costa Blanca, halfway between Barcelona and the Costa del Sol. The 2-star Dani García in Málaga, named after its chef, whose personal slogan is “cooking with tradition.”

Costa Brava: The 3-star El Celler de Can Roca in Girona has twice topped the vaunted World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and is currently third, arguably Spain’s most famous eatery.  Miramar and Les Cols, also in Girona, round out the region’s 2-star winners.

Barcelona: Martín Berasategui is the nation’s only chef with multiple 3-Michelin starred eateries. His eponymous one is in San Sebastian, but his cuisine is more accessible at its sister restaurant Lasarte, Elsewhere in Barcelona, AbacEnoteca and Moments are the city’s trio of 2-star winners for 2017.

Balearic Isles: For hardcore foodies, Mallorca has far and away the wealthiest fine dining selection in the island group, including the only 2-star, Zaranda. Mallorca is home to half a dozen 1-stars: JardínEs Moli d’en BouAndreu GenestraEs Racó d’es TeixSimply Fosh, and Es Fum.

In this vast country if you are looking for a gastronomical feast of Michelin starred quality you will surely find somewhere that whets your appetite. Along the Andalusian coastline there’s a great selection of fine dining to be had in Marbella and Puerto Banus with the resort of La Cala de Mijas vying for a top feasting spot too.