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Estepona & the New Golden Mile have a promising future on the Sunshine Coast

Vanian Green Village (render) in Estepona, a new development by AEDAS Homes, a publicly-listed company. Click for more information.

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.

SPI Member Comments

2 thoughts on “Estepona & the New Golden Mile have a promising future on the Sunshine Coast

  • Estepona. Ah … The memory lingers on. I was there for 10 weeks Jan/Feb/March 1962. The headmaster of the prep school I went to, deep in the countryside of the western Lake District, Westmoreland, saw that no boys were to sit exams to senior school that Easter term. So he exported us, lock stock and barrel, to the only ‘hotel’ on that coast between the first few going up in Torremolinos and Gib.

    In fact, this hotel was a group of cabins on the beach with a bar and dining room in a building overlooking the sea, about 1½ Kms west of the village. It was owned by an old Services pal of our Headmaster, which was probably why it was called Motel RAF.

    Estepona at that time had no hotels. It was an authentic fishing village where fishing boats were still built on the beach, with hand tools. There was absolutely nothing of the tourist business there at all. The girls and guitar players who came to put on a flamenco show in the dining room were locals doing what the locals traditionally did.

    By 1972 there were hotels and holiday apartments. My mother tried to persuade my father to buy one – she could see how things were going – but he couldn’t, so they didn’t.

    I have tried to identify the location of Motel RAF on Google Earth but have failed. I will have to go there myself.

    As far as I can remember, Estepona managed to prevent development between the Paseo Maritimo and the beach – or perhaps it was between the road and the beach. In any event, Estepona seems to have had a sensible development plan from the beginning.

    But I know it was some 15 minutes walk west from the village because me and my cabin-mate, Speccy Ferguson, came across the Art Teacher sitting on a km stone, unable to go any further due to a bit too much Vino de Malaga. Speccy and I helped her back to the hotel and, being little gents, we never told anyone – at the time.

    This was a heroic save by us lads because the Art Teacher, with the unlikely name of Mrs Jamrack, was the size of the late Hattie Jacques .

    Our Spanish adventure was covered by regular visits of hacks and snappers from The Daily Mail, Express and the BBC. I have an album of the cuttings and photos.

    I hope I will not be disappointed when I get round to visiting the town.

    • Mark Stücklin says:

      Fascinating memoirs Chris. That Spain has gone for ever. Lots of expats from places like Kenya end up settling in and around Estepona, because it’s Europe with a nice climate and countryside that reminds them of Africa, and they can’t face life in the UK.

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