Already a popular destination on the Costa del Sol, Estepona is blossoming as house-hunters and investors fall for its natural attractions and good governance.
Andalusia’s Costa del Sol, or Sunshine Coast, is one of the most privileged places in the world to live, with its unbeatable climate – the best in Europe – popular beaches, spectacular landscapes, first-world infrastructure, healthcare, stability, and enviable lifestyle. The Costa del Sol has it all, which is why 240,000 foreigners, including 51,000 expats from the UK, have chosen to make it their home, and millions of tourists visit each year.
Marbella helped put the region on the map, but Estepona is set to benefit the most
There’s no denying the role that Marbella played in helping to put the Costa del Sol on the map. The jet-set crowd that came to Marbella from the very beginning gave the town a glamorous reputation, and lots of publicity that helped develop the tourist business and local economy. But, sadly, Marbella has a long history of town planning problems that have yet to be resolved. This has paralysed Marbella, leaving it stuck in the past and unable to evolve and develop its potential.
Marbella’s self-inflicted woes are proving to be a boon for the neighbouring municipality of Estepona, just to the west of Marbella, including an area known locally as the ‘New Golden Mile’, which runs from San Pedro de Alcántara to Estepona town itself. It’s called the New Golden Mile because it’s an extension of the original Golden Mile between Marbella and Puerto Banús, and is emerging as a seaside strip of highly sought-after real estate.
Estepona has the same natural attractions as Marbella, but without the planning problems. The town council is business friendly and transparent, keen to develop the town’s potential, creating jobs and a strong local economy. Good governance is attracting investors and house hunters who can’t stomach the uncertainty in Marbella. The difference between Estepona and Marbella shows how important good governance is in creating value for a town and its community.
Estepona has other advantages over Marbella. The coast is less developed, the beaches less crowded, and the cost of living lower. And anyway, it’s easy to enjoy Marbella’s attractions from the New Golden Mile (15 minutes by car) or Estepona (half an hour) and then retreat back to Estepona’s more laid back atmosphere. That said, Estepona is no sleepy backwater anymore, with its own happening places like Puro Beach Club at Laguna Village, and all the amenities you could want, including leading supermarket chains like Lidl and Carrefour.