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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.

Five great museums in Malaga

Five great museums in Malaga

Malaga is an ever-developing city with millions spent by the council over the last ten years to enhance the cultural aspects of the city, it now rivals Barcelona and Madrid in terms of arty experience. The city boasts over thirty museums and has a multitude of galleries and exhibitions, ideal for a rainy day or just for something a little different.

Any trip to Malaga is best done when the streets are calmer so September and October are perfect for exploring. Here we look at five of our favourite cultural delights.

  1. The Picasso Museum – Spread over twelve halls, the permanent exhibition includes numerous classic and famed paintings and is a lovely collection for novices, while aficionados will find enough to keep them engaged long after the visit. Beyond the artist’s more recognisable paintings, and pieces from his various stylistic periods, the permanent collection houses sketches, sculptures and ceramics. Three more temporary exhibit rooms round out the experience.

  2. The Malaga Museum – Housing some 15,000 archaeological artefacts and more than 2,000 fine arts pieces, this comprehensive museum charts the city’s history from Prehistoric times up to modern day. There’s a rich collection of 19th century Spanish art, including all of the most important painters of the local Malaga school.

  3. The Carmen Thyssen Museum – Comprising hundreds of works from the personal collection of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, highlighting the various genres of 19th century Spanish art, from Francisco de Goya to Pablo Picasso. Included is a cannon of the most famous of Andalusian artists, such as Malaga’s own Felix Revello de Toro The Thyssen museum has been a must-see destination for lovers of Andalusian art since its opening in 2011.

  4. The Flamenco Art Museum – Flamenco art runs deep in Andalusian veins and Malaga itself has an important historical relationship with the art form, in fact, the museum is one of the most important of its kind in all of Spain. The Flamenco Museum of Malaga houses a gathering of more than 5000 pieces, half of those comprising a historical collection of recordings dating to the 19th century, along with centuries old guitars, traditional garb representing the various Flamenco forms and Flamenco inspired art and photography.

  5. The Contemporary Art Museum  400 or so permanent works prominently feature some of the most memorable artists of the late 20th century with a focus on North American artists such as Lichtenstein and Stella. Expect quirky works here, and once you’ve had your fill, head into Malaga’s up and coming, artsy SOHO district characterised by its lively café culture.
Spain has World’s most competitive tourist industry

Spain has World’s most competitive tourist industry

According to the World Economic Forum, Spain has held on to its crown for the second year running as most competitive tourism sector. Spain has long been the go to place for everything from package holidays from the high street through to attracting the rich and famous.

The group’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017: Paving the Way for a More Sustainable & Inclusive Future, which covers 136 economies, grants Spain a top score of 5.4 on 7 on its Competitiveness Index, ranking higher than France and Germany who fell second and third respectively.

The report is published every two years and looks at infrastructure, security, and rich cultural resources.  Spain has been climbing up the ladder to take the title pretty quickly as in 2011 it ranked 8th and 2013 it ranked 4th. In 2015 Spain took the crown and has now reclaimed it for a second year.

The report analyses 14 key areas and whist Spain didn’t top the charts in each of those areas, its overall high score in all of the categories made it the winner. Two of the lowest scoring areas in the report where price competitiveness and business environment.

Not being the cheapest destination is not really a worrying factor as there is something in Spain for every budget and being too cheap would perhaps no longer attract the rich and famous and those wealthy individuals that push lots of money into the tourism spend whilst they are here.

Another category analysed was Spain’s air infrastructure. In this category Spain is amongst the top 9 countries, although the ground transportation infrastructure is only in the top 15 which suggests a little modernisation is required.

Spain holds this crown quite simply because as a tourist destination it delivers. Much of this has to do with climate and things to do as well as being an easy commute for Europeans, but one thing the report implies is that Spain cannot sit on its laurels if it wants to keep the top spot.

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.

New Miami-Style Port planned for Malaga

New Miami-Style Port planned for Malaga

Far from being a transport hub Malaga over the years has become a cultural city with so many attractions. Its port area has become a thriving tourist attraction as it is surrounded by fantastic restaurants, shops and leisure facilities.

With this popularity the number of yachts and luxury yachts mooring in the area has increased too and it is with this in mind, that the Junta de Andalucia are considering plans for expansion of the port into a glitzy Miami-style port for luxury moorings. There have been several mega yachts, including some of the most famous in the world mooring at the port to restock.

The port authority recently announced early plans for the new marina that would provide space for 40 luxury yachts from 40 to 100 metres in length, the length of a full-sized football pitch in fact.

The new facility would be on the Marqués de Guadiaro quay, the stretch of the port next to the dockside shopping centre that runs towards the city centre. It would resemble the huge private yacht marinas of Miami with a gardened protective outer wall.

The Melilla ferry terminal would move to the other side of its current dock to allow more space.

With data showing there are over 100,000 private yachts over 40 metres long with another 755 under construction having the facilities available for them to moor safely in Malaga would increase tourism and spending in the area.

Malaga is seen as an ideal stop over and resupply point before mega yachts sail to the Caribbean and with the proximity of Malaga airport this also opens up travel options.

There is talk of building a heliport so people could transfer quickly to the airport and onwards to Marbella or Puerto Banus.

No detailed plans have been produced to date but this kind of Miami-style marina would appeal to those who have property in the luxury regions of the Costa del Sol, perhaps drawing in further demand for high end property.