Laura Hamilton: Why I Love the Spanish Costas

Laura Hamilton: Why I love the Spanish Costas

The Spanish Costas are the most popular location for British property hunters. In this section, introduced by our TV presenter Laura Hamilton, we look at the big hitters, the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, but also the Costa Brava, Costa de Almería and Costa Cálida.

Over the past year, I’ve spent at least 18 weeks in Spain. You certainly do love looking for properties there – and work aside, I love spending time there with my family as it happens to be where we chose to buy a holiday home.

So why are the Spanish coasts – or Costas – so popular? While climate is a big draw, the fact is they offer something for everyone no matter how big or small your budget and owning a little slice of an overseas home is more achievable than a lot of people realise.

Spain has ranked as the top place to invest in a second home abroad for some time, but the bulk of people gravitate to the coasts for obvious reasons, from easy access (less than three hours’ flying time from the UK) to fantastic Blue Flag beaches and lively coastal towns and resorts.

There are more than ten Costas to choose between. Each are special in their own way and vary considerably in price and ambience. For example, as I write this I have literally touched down in Seville and this week I will be filming an episode of the TV series on the Costa de la Luz (the “Coast of light” west of the Costa del Sol), an area that is very Spanish, is fantastic for surfing and has a very different feel to the Costas further east.

How do you choose?

Costa Tropical, Costa de la Luz, Costa de Almería, Costa Cálida, Costa del Azahar, Costa Dorada, Costa Brava and Costa Verde… when it comes to deciding on which costa will suit you best, first think about your budget and what you are expecting from the property.

Where are the closest airports and what are the flight routes like year-round? What is the weather like at different times of the year? Do you want to be near to a typical Spanish town or would you feel more comfortable around a large expat community? It is so important to be realistic. Generally, the closer the property is to the coast, the less you will get for your money.

Although there are still some great-value properties out there, the market in general on the Costas is moving pretty quickly. I have recently found myself in some unfortunate situations when properties have been snapped up before I could secure them for my house hunters. So, if you are looking for your own place in the sun in Spain, I hope the below guides will help you to decide which costa will suit you best so you can get on with your search.

Free buying guide to spanish property

Free buying guide to Costa Blanca

Free buying guide to the costa del sol

Costa del Sol: a personal favourite

The “Coast of the Sun” is on the southeast coast of Spain, between the Costa de la Luz and the Costa de Almería in Andalucia. If you have read previous articles I have written, you might be aware that I own a family holiday apartment on the Costa del Sol, in San Pedro Alcántara, a five-minute drive from Puerto Banús.

Of all the Costas, the Costa del Sol, along with parts of the Costa Brava, can be the most expensive and prices have remained relatively stable over the past few years. Most people will have heard of Marbella, but the area offers so much more than this much-talked-about town.

The beauty of owning a home on the Costa del Sol means you can be on the beach in the morning and on the ski slopes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the afternoon. Being keen skiers, this was a huge appeal to our family.

With lots of beautiful oak and pine forests, it’s also a popular spot for walkers and climbers. If you don’t want to be on the slopes in the winter months, golf is also an option here as it is home to some world-class courses. With three airports to choose from – Malaga, Granada and Gibraltar – there are always deals on flights to be found and the flexibility (and pure volume of flights to Malaga) is a great advantage.

Some parts of the Costa del Sol are incredibly expensive when it comes to eating out, particularly the towns around Puerto Banús and Marbella. However, as soon as you consider areas 30 minutes or more either way along the coast from these towns, or inland, your money will go further.

Towns such as Estepona aren’t as expensive and Playa del Duque offers reasonable value for money. Mijas and Nerja on the other side of Malaga are better valued still. There are a huge number of Scandinavians and Russians buying in this part of Spain and although there are still a few bargains to be had, they are becoming harder and harder to find.

Costa Blanca: great place to invest

Next let’s head to the Costa Blanca, aka the “White Coast”. Set around Alicante province, the Costa Blanca is brimming with established resorts, lively towns and pristine beaches. It’s home to Benidorm, one of the most famous holiday resorts in the world, which is clean, fun and full of energy.

The Costa Blanca is also home to the buzzing resort of Torrevieja where property prices offer excellent value for money. As well as an abundance of quality golf courses, there are pockets of authentic Spain in the north: the small towns of Calpe, Jávea and Dénia ooze charm and traditional culture. Prices aren’t cheap, but they aren’t as expensive as some parts of the Costa del Sol. 

The Costa Blanca seems to be thriving.  There are lots of new schemes popping up and with a new airport (Corvera) due to open in early 2019 it could be a great costa to invest in.

Read more features like this in our winter 2019 magazine issue

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Laura Hamilton