Posted on 18 January 2017
The great thing about buying a holiday home or choosing a retirement location in Spain is that you can go anywhere! No need to buy near work or near your mum, as you might in the UK. But with the whole of Spain as your oyster, where to choose? Here we compare two of the most popular stretches of coasts, the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol, and we ask which is better?
The Costa Blanca includes such gorgeous sights as the Montgo Natural Park by Javea, the “penon de Ifach” near Calpe, the palm forests of Elche. Frankly, the high-rise hotels of Benidorm, glimpsed through the heat haze as you bypass it on the motorway, are quite the modern wonder to behold. The Costa del Sol is where the Sierra Nevada meets the Mediterranean, with some astonishing cliffs such as at Ronda, or the gorge at El Caminito del Rey, or the Rock of Gibraltar.
Ah, but isn’t The Costa del Sol a bit blingy these days? Yes, it’s an area that attracts the superrich and the superstars, but then it maintains the infrastructure to keep them happy – great roads, clean beaches, wonderful shops and restaurants – which you can enjoy too. There is also a friendly local culture too, with a year-round expat community living it up in the sun. Go a few miles inland and you will find Spain as it always was, with rural villages sticking to age-old customs yet still welcoming newcomers. The Costa Blanca is known as the friendly costa, where the golf courses and entertainments are just that bit less pricey.
Malaga has 17 million passengers per year, Alicante has 12 million. You can also fly into Murcia or Valencia for the Costa Blanca, or into Seville, Granada or Gibraltar for the Costa del Sol. There’s no problem with getting to either then, so let’s call that a score draw!
Ready to go? If you’ve already decided where you want to buy, click here to download the Spain Buying Guide for a simple step-by-step explanation of the legal process and costs of buying in Spain.
The most recent report from the College of Spanish Notaries says that prices in the Costa Blanca were rising faster than in the Costa del Sol (but then they are generally cheaper anyway). However, that data is based on the region as a whole, and for local markets, such as Marbella vs Orihuela, for example, the picture will vary. What is certain, however, is that Spanish coastal property is gaining in value by as much as 10 percent per year.
Sun, sea, sand
Both coasts have sensational beaches and amazing weather. The Costa del Sol boasts 320+ days of sunshine every year, but the Costa Blanca has been recommended by none other than the World Health Organisation as the healthiest climate in the world – and they should know – with the heat of summer tempered by cool Mediterranean breezes.
Culture and history
Malaga has set itself up as a cultural destination, with the Picasso Museum a particular highlight. It is also the home of Flamenco dancing, bullfighting (if you can stomach it) and sherry. The Costa Blanca’s nearby cultural highlights include the Benicassim music festival (Spain’s biggest, a rival to Glastonbury but with much less mud) just up the road at Castellon. The expat community on the Costa Blanca tends to make its own entertainment too, so you’ll never be short of a locally-produced play or art exhibition to enjoy.
When you’re ready to make the move, click here to download the Spain Buying Guide. It’s completely FREE and packed with great advice.