Duquesa and Sabinillas are popular expat areas on the western Costa del Sol, between the town of Estepona and the well-known area of Sotogrande. Due to their proximity to Gibraltar and the good value of housing, they are hotspots for English-speaking expats working in Gibraltar, but wanting to enjoy the wonderful Spanish lifestyle that the Costa del Sol has to offer.
Before we drill down to the areas themselves, we wanted to put them in context and give you an introduction to the Costa del Sol and why it’s such a popular holiday destination and attracts so many expat residents too.
Costa del Sol, Andalusia
Andalusia embodies everything that is quintessentially Spanish, even to Spaniards from other regions! Many of the images that are commonly associated with Spain, such as bullfighting, sherry and tapas will be found in this corner of Spain. By making your base on the Malaga coast, you will have easy access to key places of artistic and cultural significance. The historic cities of Granada, Ronda, Cordoba, Sevilla, Jerez and Cadiz are all within a 2-3 hour drive. And Gibraltar is little more than half an hour away.
Why the Costa del Sol?
Reasons for choosing the Costa del Sol for your Permanent Residence, Holiday Home or Investment Property:
- Wonderful climate with over 300 days sunshine each year
- Year-round rental market from golfers, holidaymakers and residential/seasonal tourists
- Wonderful relaxed lifestyle
- Low cost of living compared with the UK, Northern Europe and North America
- Lower petrol prices, and cheaper tobacco and alcohol
- Property prices still good value compared with UK and Ireland
- Excellent investment potential
- Legal protection for money invested
- Constant improvements to infrastructure (golf courses, amenities etc)
- Incredible coastline with many blue flag beaches
- History & culture
Roman ruins and Moorish palaces, museums and galleries, cathedrals and churches are found in abundance in Andalusia, which is steeped in history and culture.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the coast, clinging to hillsides or nestling in lush green valleys, are Andalusia’s famous "white villages" with their quaint cobbled streets and white washed houses. Sun, sea and sand lovers who visit the coast during the summer months often do not realise that Andalusia has such magnificent surprises to offer. With its abundance of natural foliage, its pine covered hillsides, lakes, mountains and beautiful coastline, Andalusia offers among the best rural tourism sites in Spain.
Spain is a predominantly Catholic nation, where the religious calendar is observed. Andalusia is renowned for its parades, pilgrimages and parties. Cities, towns and villages have weeklong ferias in honour of their patron saints, with music, dance and general merriment being the order of the day in celebrations that must not to be missed.
Gibraltar, which is steeped in history, is just a short drive away.
The Costa del Sol is well serviced by two main airports with daily services to and from most of northern Europe.
Malaga airport, which is under an hour away from Sabinillas on the eastern side of the Costa del Sol, is the nearest international airport. This busy airport serves 132 destinations including daily flights to the UK and many other countries.
On the far west of the coast is Gibraltar. Although there are border controls between Gibraltar and Spain, there are regular flights with easyJet and British Airways to Bristol, Edinburgh, London Gatwick and Heathrow and Manchester.
North of Gibraltar is Jerez de la Frontera with a small airport servicing London Stansted and also some internal Spanish flights.
Things To Do...
- For the Children
Children are never bored on the Costa del Sol: if they get tired of the beach or the pool, there are so many great things for them to do. During the summer they’ll love the waterparks, we’d recommend Bahia Park in Algeciras and Aqua Mijas in Fuengirola.
Close to the Manilva area, there is a paintball centre in Torreguadiaro. A go-karting track, trampoline park and Selwo Safari Park in Estepona. Soft play and water fun in Mundo Mania in Cancelada and Castellar Zoo near Sotogrande. There are also many events organised by the Manilva Town Hall to look out for, such as free sports on the beach, inflatables and water slides and traditional games as part of the summer schedule.
If you are happy to travel a little further afield, you’ll find the Tivoli World theme park in Benalmadena, where there’s also Selwo Marine Park and you can take a cable car ride. In Fuengirola there’s a great zoo and massive skate park, as well as the Aqua Park.
This is a very family friendly area and so many things to do which provide year-round entertainment for all ages.
- For the Adults
In addition to all the cultural activities, fine food and sightseeing, many national and international golf, tennis and other sporting competitions are held regularly.
For boating enthusiasts, the Costa del Sol boasts some world-class marinas such as the prestigious ports of Benalmadena, Puerto Banus, Estepona, Sotogrande and Duquesa with plans for yet more marinas in the pipeline.
With the Ryder Cup in 1997 and the Volvo Masters in 2007, both hosted at Valderrama in Sotogrande, this stretch of coast has been nicknamed "Costa Golf." Andalusia has some of the finest golf courses in Europe; these attract tourists to the area throughout the year and especially in the cooler months.
The mountains of Sierra Nevada are only a couple of hour's drive from Malaga. Here Europe's southernmost ski resort hosts many national and international competitions throughout the season. This is a wonderful ski resort for beginners and intermediate skiers and you can be on the beach for breakfast and skiing by lunch!
In the summer months tourists flock to some of the cleanest Blue Flag beaches in Europe. Water sports are on offer all along the coast including boat charters, parasailing, water skiing, wet biking and jet skiing. World-class wind surfing can be found only a short drive away in Tarifa.
Visitors can access the abundant number of municipal swimming pools and leisure facilities, as well as many private sports clubs and gymnasiums dotted up and down the coast. Slightly away from the coast, horse riding, shooting, fishing and quad biking can keep you occupied.
The greatest of sports addicts will also be delighted to discover that Andalucia offers paragliding, caving and canyoning, scuba diving and kite surfing as part of its bill of fare.
Last but not least, the Costa del Sol's nightlife is legendary. When the sun goes down the nightlife heats up. The three major casinos, innumerable amount of shows and concerts as well as the multitude of restaurants, bars and clubs here, ensure that boredom is one word you will not have to bother learning in Spanish!
What’s on offer in Sabinillas?
Sabinillas is the main town in the district of Manilva and it’s a busy little town which has everything you need. There are several supermarkets, a post office, banks, chemists, hairdressers, dentists, a health centre, gym, shops, bars and restaurants so it’s a good choice if you want the maximum amenities on hand. There are also two primary schools and public and private nurseries, so it’s very popular with families. There’s also a very highly regarded international school around 15 minutes’ drive away in Sotogrande if you want your child educated in English.
Sabinillas has a long seafront promenade with bars and restaurants and lots of events and activities going on in the summer months. The long, wide beaches are wonderful places to relax, sunbathe, swim and exercise and due to their size rarely get super busy. There is a Friday market and a regular market during the summer months.
Sabinillas is most famous for its annual San Juan festival on the beach, where thousands of people flock for a massive party and the burning of a huge sculpture which is designed and built each year by a local artist. Other highlights are the Luna Llena (Full Moon) party, the Sabinillas Feria, Vigin del Carmen (blessing of the boats), Carnival and the Medieval Market.
Why choose Duquesa?
Puerto de la Duquesa is a very pretty port, around a 10-minute walk from central Sabinillas. It is popular for its international restaurants and bars and excellent nightlife and is a hub for expat residents in the area.
You can find the tastes and experiences of home, such as Sunday lunches and English breakfasts and there are shops such as Arkwrights Supermarket and the English Butcher where you can pick up the essentials that you may miss in a Spanish supermarket. There are English and Irish bars where you can watch sport, take part in a quiz or karaoke. There are also flavours from all around the globe, so there’ll be something to suit everyone. In amongst all these restaurants and bars there are a few shops, a beautician, hairdresser and pharmacy, but you’ll probably need to go to Sabinillas to stock up and run errands.
Behind the port are a number of popular residential developments which are favoured by expats and there’s also a golf club and properties constructed around the fairways as well.
Properties in Sabinillas and Duquesa
There are excellent value properties for sale and rent in this area and there is a large choice. In central Sabinillas and within Duquesa port itself you will mainly find apartments, with townhouses and villas on the outskirts and up into the hills.
With our office located in Sabinillas since 2002 and a lot of time spent showing properties and enjoying the lifestyle in both Sabinillas and Duquesa, we’re very well placed to help you to understand the market and the area. We can give you an area tour, based around what you’re looking for and how much space you need, as well of course as your budget. Contact us to arrange a call, or to pop into the office if you are visiting the area.
We absWith our office located in Sabinillas since 2002 and a lot of time spent showing properties and enjoying the lifestyle in both Sabinillas and Duquesa, we’re very well placed to help you to understand the market and the area.olutely love this area and we are sure you will too!