As you drive through the sunkissed region of Andalusia, it feels like you’ve seen half of Europe in three hours: the snowy Sierra Nevada give way to the grand squares and winding, Moorish avenues of Granada. Before long, you’re in a rural land of tiny white pueblos, clinging to steep, brown hills and tumbling down to dry river valleys. Then, you see the high-rises of the Costa del Sol shimmering in the haze of the heat on the horizon, and the deep blue of the Mediterranean. The region fascinated Orson Welles and Hemingway, the latter of whom declared he had found ‘the city of his dreams’ in Ronda, and it continues to enchant today. But what is life like here – and could you own a property in Andalusia?
Life’s a beach on the Spanish coasts
Andalusia is of course renowned for its fantastic coastlines. The Costa del Sol, as the name implies, has a glorious 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. Much of the coast is extremely popular among tourists, so it’s ideal for anyone who really values a convenient location. You’ll find everywhere easy access to restaurants, bars, cafés, minimarkets and more. Like being on holiday, but all year round! A particularly popular area is Torremolinos, which was once a favoured spot of Brigitte Bardot. Today, it’s a favoured spot among British and Dutch expats (so it’s also quite easy to get around with just English!).
La Cala de Mijas is a fantastic centre for leisure activities, with no fewer than five beaches and a whopping eleven golf courses within striking distance. Plus, its hillside position has given it a particularly picturesque outlook.
Many of these sorts of homes will almost pay for themselves in rental if you’re only using them yourself part-time. Find out more about financing (and earning money from) your Spanish home in our free Spain Finance Guide.
Authentic Spanish culture in the hillsides
Those looking for a quieter spot to live in Andalusia tend to go slightly further inland. Here, you find the region’s famous pueblos blancos – whitewashed villages. In the villages themselves, properties are made to be naturally cooling, and generally sit on charming narrow alleyways. There’s often a strong sense of community, and you’ll find yourself quickly swept up in the local fiestas, nights out and more! Village properties do tend to have less outdoor space, but if you look at villas further out, you’ll find many with room for a pool and more.
Popular villages include Jimena de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera in Cadiz and, right up in the foothills of the Sierra del Pinar, the unspoilt village of Grazalema.
Swish, modern convenience on the latest developments
New-builds are also a popular choice in this part of the world. Their sleek architecture particularly lends them to the climate – and, with building codes significantly tightened since 2009, many are of fantastic quality, whether it’s materials, sound-proofing, energy efficiency or more.
Many come with features such as roof solariums as standard, and have a high degree of privacy. These new developments, generally ‘urbanisations’ in places like Benalmadena, Las Mijas and Estepona.
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