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Costa del Sol: A Place to Make a Home (Part II)

In our previous blog post, we discovered what makes the Costa del Sol so attractive for holidaymakers and homebuyers.

The Malagueñan coastline has always been a European favourite, known for its charming residents, exquisite eateries, luxury hotels and spas, challenging golf courses and popular beach clubs.

The Costa del Sol has seen 2016 and 2017 break tourism records, and these numbers are expected to rise again in 2018. Spain’s property market has a strong influence from international buyers, many of which have begun their journey to their new life during an overseas visit to the Spanish Riviera.

How Does Tourism Affect Spain as a Nation?

Spain has been a nation that’s thrived on tourism ever since the end of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship in 1975. While holidays in Benidorm first became popular in the 1960s, the rest of the nation, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, has seen an increase in tourism since the dictator’s death, and is now one of the world’s most popular destinations.

Today, Spain’s tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the nation. With 82 million tourists throughout 2017, tourism contributed 11.5% to Spain’s economy, €134 billion, boosting it by 5.7% from the previous year.

The tourism industry is also one of Spain’s biggest employers, with over 15% (over 2.8 million) jobs being dependent on tourism. Last year alone, a further 77,500 jobs were created in the tourism industry to accommodate the influx of visitors - more than any other sector.

What About Tourism in Andalusia?

During 2017, Andalusia saw the highest percentage of tourists, with some 29 million visitors throughout the year.

In January 2018 alone, Andalusia welcomed over 4.1 million tourists to the region, and the overall year-long number is expected to exceed 30 million tourists. January’s numbers alone are a 5.2% increase on tourism in the region during the first month of 2017.

With endless golf courses, beautiful beaches, friendly locals and historic cities, it’s easy to see why Andalusia is the favourite region for foreigners to visit.

What Attracts Holidaymakers to Andalusia?

Andalusia is one of Spain’s seventeen Autonomous Communities and is the second largest in the country. However, no other region offers the variety of scenery that the Southernmost community does.

Depending on what your interests are, there are endless places to visit in Andalusia. There are big, historic cities with endless shopping destinations, glamorous nightclubs, exquisite eateries, beach clubs and museums. But Andalusia is much more than historic cities and sandy beaches, as it’s also known for its natural beauty, offering small farming hamlets, deep forests, flowing rivers and endless mountains and hiking trails.

Andaluces, as the Andalusian population is referred to, welcome tourists to their beloved region, recognising the industry as an opportunity, not only of wealth, but also of employment and an opportunity to learn about the different cultures that visit them throughout the year.

Spain, as a whole, is known to be one of the world’s most tourist-friendly nations, but there really is no other region in Spain quite like Andalusia. From mountains to olive groves, modern architecture to ancient palaces, and vast plains to rolling countryside, Andalusia really does have it all.

For more information on the Costa del Sol and what attracts millions of tourists and foreign homebuyers, please read the first part of this blog.

How Does Tourism Influence the Spanish Property Market?

Many foreign homebuyers in Spain have decided to make their investment during a holiday to our beautiful country.

In fact, foreign buyers accounted for over 13% of the nation’s property transactions during 2017, and bought over 60,000 homes throughout the country. With each year that passes, foreign buyers contribute more to the property market.

The market isn’t just increasing in the number of transactions, but also the prices. Throughout 2017, property prices increased 7.6% over prices throughout the previous year, which is expected to rise again this year.

Marbella and the Costa del Sol’s prestigious and idyllic urbanisations and neighbourhoods are what attracts people to Málaga. If living in the sunshine is what you’re looking for, the Costa del Sol is, without a doubt, the place to buy a property in Spain.

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Costa del Sol: A Place to Make Home (Part I)

Spain has always been a European favourite, whether it’s for a holiday or moving to a foreign country. This is particularly true for the Costa del Sol, one of the most international communities in all of Europe.

The majority property transactions to foreigners on the Costa del Sol is influenced by our booming tourism industry. In this two-part article, we’ll visit facts and statistics about tourism and its influence on home buying in Spain, as well as what makes Málaga such an attractive place to live.

Málaga: Home of History and Culture

The city of Málaga is known for its historic beauty and cultural hotspots, as well as its exceptional beaches and gourmet eateries. No matter your interests, Málaga has something for everyone.

Málaga is predominantly known for its history, having been ruled by the Romans, Moors and Christians, to name a few. Historic sites to see include the Alcazaba, Roman Amphitheatre and Málaga Cathedral, each of which have a unique story to tell.

For those who enjoy more modern places to visit, the new Puerto de Málaga, the port, is home to the sleek and modern Pompidou Centre. Other local interesting museums include the Automobile and Fashion Museum and Carmen Thyssen Museum.

Pablo Picasso, a famed Spanish painter and sculptor, was born in Málaga during the late 19th Century. Fans of Picasso are spoilt for choice in the city, with his birthplace and namesake museum being open to the public. In recent years, archaeological excavations in the Pablo Picasso Museum uncovered Phoenician, Roman and medieval walls.

The city is also well known for its endless tapas bars and varied shopping locations. Málaga also offers fantastic transport links, both nationally and internationally, from the Maria Zambrano Train Station or the Málaga Bus Station. A new city Metro and Costa del Sol suburban trainline have proven to be a big hit.

Local Golf Resort Named the Best in Europe

Leading Courses, one of the most trustworthy information sources in the international golfing industry, named total of 14 Spanish golf courses in its 2018 Top 100 List.

Finca Cortesín Hotel, Golf & Spa was awarded the prestigious name of “Best European Golf Resort” for the second year running. The Resort offers some 67 spacious suites, impeccable, manicured gardens, a gorgeous spa, four swimming pools, a beach club, sporting facilities including tennis and padel courts, and a number of exquisite eateries.

Finca Cortesín has hosted a number of famed international tournaments over the years, including the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Marbella Offers the Best Hospital in the Nation

The Spanish government recently announced that Marbella’s Costa del Sol Hospital is the best in the country. The 400-bed hospital beat off tough competition from the nation’s 135 hospitals to be awarded the coveted title.

Spain is well known to have some of the best healthcare standards in Europe, with dedicated doctors, impressive innovation and clean, modern health centres. Spain offers exceptional national health insurance, and there are a number of private health insurance options available.

Aside from the public health centres on the Costa del Sol, there are also a number of private clinics, from general healthcare to fertility centres and cosmetic procedure centres.

The Costa del Sol is Truly an International Hub

Málaga International Airport offers an impressive number of national and international flights on a daily basis. Combined with its ease of access to all corners of the Costa del Sol, it makes this Mediterranean coastline one of the most international hubs in all of Europe.

Due to the demand from international holidaymakers and foreign residents, the Costa del Sol is flooded with fine restaurants, beach clubs, family entertainment centres, fashion outlets and more, ensuring everyone’s tastes are covered.

Marbella is synonymous with an international jet-set lifestyle, and Puerto Banús is known for its expensive yachts and attracting A-listers from around the world, including footballers, movie stars and billionaires.

However, if a genuine taste of traditional Spanish life is what you seek, San Pedro de Alcántara, between Puerto Banús and Guadalmina, has retained all its Andalusian charm in the centre of mainland Spain’s most international hub.

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Holy Week in Málaga

The historic city of Málaga puts on spectacular display every year during their famed Holy Week celebrations. The city's Semana Santa, as it's known in Spanish, is an ancestral tradition that dates back more than five centuries to the times of the Catholic Monarchs.

Semana Santa and its elaborate celebrations is a big event for Málaga, both as a religious celebration and cultural phenomenon. The historic city attracts more than five million visiting Spanish nationals and foreign tourists during Holy Week, which is an enormous boost to the local economy as it's one of the year's main tourist attractions.

Málaga's Confraternity, known as a Cofradía in Spanish, holds meetings and masses all year round, not just during Holy Week. The aim of such meetings is to provide the public with religious training and encourage charity in the region. Málaga is also home to the area's oldest Cofradía, dating back to 1921.

Due to the popularity of the city during the festive period, Málaga's Holy Week celebrations were declared both an International Tourist Interest and a Fiesta of National Interest. Hundreds of thousands of Spanish nationals and foreign tourists flock to the Costa del Sol hotspot every year with the sole purpose of witnessing this spectacular event. For those who have never experienced Semana Santa in Málaga, they will surely be blown away by the hard work, dedication, tradition and sentiment that goes into the spectacle.

One of the most significant events during Semana Santa are the extraordinary processions. The processions are known for the magnificent 'tronos', floats with elaborately decorated status of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The tronos, many of which weigh over five tons, are carried through the city by thousands of Nazarenos, dressed in their traditional outfits. The tronos are followed by Malagueños, celebrating their passing with cheers, while lighting the streets with their candles. The processions also featured a number of marching bands, who have spent months on end practising for this once-yearly event.

There are hotels and short-term rentals in the city to suit every budget. Málaga's International Airport is just a short distance away and easily accessible by public transport. By the time Semana Santa rolls around, the beautiful Spring weather has arrived and some tourists even spend their days on the beach, before spending the evening taking in the incredible events.

Every year, native Malagueño and Hollywood superstar, Antonio Banderas, goes out of his way to ensure he is home for Málaga's Semana Santa. Banderas is known every year to lead the procession 'La Virgen de las Lágrimas y Favores', translating to the Virgin of Tears and Favours.

He's previously stated that he enjoys that the traditional outfits worn during the procession, which covers their head with a hood, provides him with the freedom to enjoy Semana Santa like the rest of the Malagueños by hiding his identity. 'You go from being an individual to being part of a collective', he stated.

Aside from being local tradition, Antonio has a close relationship with Málaga's church. His parents were married there and both he and his brother were married in the church many years ago.

If you can’t make it for Semana Santa, you can get a taste of events at the Malaga Holy Week Museum. The museum is open all year-round and here you’ll find displays of the processional robes and thrones from Holy Week together with exhibitions on art, music and information about the glorious traditions and cultures.

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