Moving to the Costa del Sol: The definitive guide

Image - Pawel Kazmierczak/shutterstock.com

The Costa del Sol is undoubtedly the most popular area in Spain for expats and holidaymakers, with its many stunning Blue Flag beaches, top-class restaurants, buzzing nightlife, imposing mountains and so much to see and do.

So, you’re thinking about moving to the Costa del Sol, but where do you find all of the important information about property prices, the best area for your lifestyle, the coolest restaurants and the most prestigious schools? Not to worry, the Euro Weekly News has put together this extensive guide on moving to the Costa del Sol to help you out!

This guide on moving to the sunny Costa del Sol will give you that all-important information on property in the different areas, the schools with the best reputation, the best medical care, exciting things to do and the most popular places to eat before you make the move.

Contents

  • Where is the Costa del Sol?
  • How to get to the Costa del Sol
  • Haulage services to the Costa del Sol
  • The most popular areas on the Costa del Sol
  • Property in Costa del Sol
  • Top tips for moving to the Costa del Sol
  • Things to do on the Costa del Sol
  • Best restaurants on the Costa del Sol
  • Schools on the Costa del Sol
  • Healthcare on the Costa del Sol
  • Contact information

 


Where is the Costa del Sol?

The Costa del Sol is in the south of Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalucia. It stretches over 186 miles from the Strait of Gibraltar to the east to the province of Granada, where it borders the Costa Tropical (Tropical Coast). 

The majority of the Costa del Sol, however, belongs to the province of Malaga. Malaga Airport is also the most important airport in the region and the beautiful beaches just outside of the capital are the best known and most popular along the entire coast.


How to get to the Costa del Sol

The main gateway for the Costa del Sol is Malaga Airport (AGP), which is located just south of Malaga city and is the fourth busiest airport in the country. From this airport, you can access the towns, cities and villages on the Costa del Sol very easily via train or bus, with the city of Malaga just a 20-minute bus journey away.

Other airports used to get to the Costa del Sol include Gibraltar Airport and Jerez Airport, depending on the area of your final destination.


Haulage services to the Costa del Sol

Our recommendation

SG Haulage

If you are looking for a reliable haulage company for services across the UK, Spain and Portugal, SG Haulage are a reputable and professional company that you can trust.

Dedicated to providing an unbeatable haulage service at a fair price for their customers, Lincoln-based SG Haulage can transport anything across the UK, Spain and Portugal – from vehicles and motorhomes, to boats and caravans.

After more than 25 years of providing superior service to their customers, the family-run company will also help you with all of the customs and paperwork – something that has become particularly complicated since Brexit. Forget stressing out over the endless checks and documents needed to transport your vehicle, boat or motorhome, SG Haulage will handle all of this for you.

Specialising in UK and European transportation, SG Haulage can deliver or collect your vehicle on your behalf and will provide you with a wide range of car and vehicle transport services, always at reasonable prices and with excellent customer service.

The team as SG Haulage is also CPCS, NPORS and ALLMI-accredited, putting safety at the forefront of everything they do, and allowing them to competently move any heavy, specialised, sensitive or abnormal load – not just in the UK but across Spain

So, if you need to transport your vehicle from the UK to Spain, SG Haulage are the most trusted company to make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Find out what they can do for you:

Address: Plot 9, Saxilby Enterprise Park, Skellingthorpe Road, Saxilby, Lincoln

Telephone: 0044 1522 702 443

Email: [email protected]

Website: Click here

Facebook: @sghaulageltd

Sponsored

 

The most popular areas on the Costa del Sol

 

Malaga

The city of Malaga has so many things to see and do, stunning beaches, a beautiful marina and park in the city, a Roman theatre and lots of authentic tapas bars to stop for a bite and a cool Cerveza!

Malaga has a great cultural side and lots of expats choose this location when moving to Spain due to its exciting events, mixture of ethnicities, endless shoreline and buzzing nightlife.

Moving to the Costa del Sol
Image – joserpizarro/shutterstock

Marbella

Known for its glamour, bars, restaurants and beautiful beaches, Marbella is a firm favourite for British nationals moving to the warmer climate of the Costa del Sol.

The city and resort area of Marbella has the Sierra Blanca Mountains as its backdrop and 17 miles of stunning sandy beaches, including the popular San Pedro de Alcantara, golf courses and villas for those thinking of moving to the Costa del Sol.

Moving to the Costa del Sol
Image – lisako66/shutterstock

Mijas

Just 36 km from the glamorous Marbella and within easy reach of other hotspots on the Costa del Sol, the beautiful mountain town of Mijas is now one of the most popular destinations in Andalucia for those moving to Spain.

Mijas town was traditionally a fishing village but is now a bustling town full of amenities with a large expat community who have moved there permanently. With no shortage of shops, schools and things to see and do, Mijas has something for everyone – including the area of Mijas Costa.

moving to costa del sol
Image – Grisha Bruev/shutterstock

Fuengirola

Known for its stunning sandy beaches, the town of Fuengirola is perfectly situated in the centre of the Costa del Sol.

Fuengirola is incredibly popular for expats moving to Spain due to its mild climate, exciting nightlife, abundance of restaurants and proximity to other areas along the Costa del Sol.

moving to costa del sol
Image – Shutterstock

Torremolinos

The centre of Torremolinos is alive 365 days of the year. Its streets, full of stores and restaurants, are perfect for discovering the way in which Spanish tradition and modernity combine in this town perched on the western shore of Malaga Bay.

Torremolinos boasts fantastic cuisine as well as a wide assortment of open-air cultural events and an exciting nightlife for those wishing to prolong the fun!

Moving to the Costa del Sol
Image – nito/shutterstock

Estepona

The whitewashed town of Estepona on the Costa del Sol is the very essence of an Andalucian village that has become a firm favourite for those wanting to move to Spain.

Estepona is known for its historic centre, stunning beaches, palm-lined promenade, golf courses, water sports facilities and fishing port.

Moving to the Costa del Sol
Image – Ayuntamiento de Estepona

Nueva Andalucia

Situated on the edge of Puerto Banus, Nueva Andalucia is a luxurious residential area full of idyllic charm and lush gardens, perfectly located close to the glamorous Marbella and San Pedro.

Nueva Andalucia features stunning properties in the traditional Andalucian architecture and design, tree-lined residential avenues, several golf courses and beautifully tended gardens to enjoy the Mediterranean sun if you to Spain.

Moving to the Costa del Sol
Image: Wikimedia

Property on the Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol, depending on your lifestyle and requirements, has a property for everyone – from single people and couples to families and retirees – and for every budget depending on the area.

Property in the east of Marbella is very affordable, as well as Estepona and Los Monteros. Each of these locations has their own unique charm, however, because they are removed from the most popular tourist locations in the Costa del Sol, this is reflected in the property price. In these locations, you will benefit from all that the Costa del Sol has to offer but at a much more affordable price.

Fuengirola is a Spanish working town and you can also find relatively cheap properties here, for example, a second or third sea-line apartment can be purchased for around €140,000. You will even be pleasantly surprised with the property prices in Marbella, with the cost of living here being 41 per cent cheaper than living in London, 31 per cent cheaper than living in Paris and 12 per cent cheaper than living in Rome!

The average purchase price on the coast is €744,711 and Malaga is one of the most expensive areas to purchase property. In the more luxurious areas such as Nueva Andalucia, Puerto Banus and Sotogrande, properties range from around €500,000 to €7 million for high-spec villas with pools.

In the smaller mountain villages, you can pick up a traditional property for around €80,000. A house in Mijas with a living room and two bedrooms will cost from around €120,000 while a first sealine apartment in Torremolinos can also be purchased for around €120,000.

moving to Costa del Sol
Frigiliana village. Image – Karel Gallas/shutterstock

Top tips for moving to the Costa del Sol

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about moving to the Costa del Sol, from the best estate agents, foreign currency exchange, pet sitters, the best people to help you set up your home, to healthcare, the best things to do and the best areas. Here, we take a look at some top tips for moving to Marbella and preparing for your big move.

Moving with pets

If you are thinking of bringing your furry friend with you on the move, they will need to have their vaccinations up to date so that they can legally travel. Make sure you get an EU passport for each animal and learn about the requirements that must be met before you bring your pets to Spain.

Removal companies

Moving all of your personal possessions from one location to another is stressful, particularly if that move is overseas. Be sure to find yourself a reputable removals company that can also help with the paperwork – especially after Brexit. SG Haulage is our recommendation for removals.

Consider reducing your possessions

It’s a wise decision to reduce your possessions, including furniture, particularly if you are renting before buying as many rentals on the Costa del Sol come furnished. If you are, however, purchasing a property, in most cases it will be unfurnished. If you need appliances, ordering them a few months before your move is strongly advised.

Confirming the date of your move

Once you have officially confirmed the date of your move to the Costa del Sol, you should cancel your current home-related policies and consider new ones in Spain. Start by calling all utilities including water, gas, electric, phone, and internet and also provide a forwarding address for all mail redirection.

Tax requirements

Familiarise yourself on tax requirements in Spain. You should check if moving will affect how you pay taxes and, if you are self-employed, you should file for taxes after your first year in Spain.

Insurance

Be sure to obtain home insurance ready for the day you move into your new home on the Costa del Sol. Home insurance in Spain is much cheaper and you can find plenty of companies that offer home insurance services in English, such as Linea Directa. Another option is to get a policy with most banks in Spain. 

Copies of medical and dental records

Let your doctor know that you are moving to another country and get copies of your medical and dental records for your new doctors on the Costa del Sol. Find out more below about healthcare in the area.

The new key to your home

It may seem obvious, but make sure that you have the key to your new home when you and the removers arrive!

moving to Marbella


Things to do on the Costa del Sol

1. Explore the miles of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters

With so many beautiful beaches and coves to explore, the coastline along the Costa del Sol is undoubtedly the main reason people move here! Try your hand at paddle boarding, scuba diving, sailing, snorkelling, kayaking and canoeing – or simply relax with a book under the Mediterranean sun. You can even take a boat trip and do some dolphin watching!

Moving to the Costa del Sol
Nerja on the Costa del Sol.CREDIT: Twitter

2. Discover the history and panoramic views at Alcazaba, Malaga

This is a great day for singles, couples and families – get your walking shoes on and climb to the beautiful and historic Alcazaba! With impressive panoramic views from the top and beautiful gardens to stroll around and seek some shade, this well-preserved castle is a must-see in Malaga.

moving to costa del sol
Image – nito/shutterstock

3. Visit all of the animals and their natural environments at Bioparc, Fuengirola

Established as a flagship for Europe, Bioparc Fuengirola is a zoological park where animals live side-by-side, recreating their natural habitats, under the concept of zoo immersion. The park is home to more than 200 species, most of them endangered or at risk of becoming endangered.

Moving to the Costa del Sol
Image – Bioparc Fuengirola

4. Wander around the many old towns such as Marbella, Estepona and Benalmadena

Nothing says authentic Andalucia like the pretty whitewashed buildings, terraces and balconies adorned with flowers, colourful plant pots and many Spanish tapas bars in the pueblos. Enjoy a drink and a bit to eat under the sun while you take in the atmosphere.

moving to costa del sol
Marbella Old Town. Image – Fernando Cortes/shutterstock

5. Try the many bars and restaurants in the prestigious Puerto Banus

Renowned for being the playground of the rich and famous, try out some of the incredible bars and restaurants in Puerto Banus, where you will find cuisines to suit all tastes! And, if you’re not feeling too peckish, enjoy people-watching in the port and admiring the many incredible yachts moored up.

moving to costa del sol
Image – naran-ho/shutterstock

6. Take to new heights at the incredible El Caminito del Rey, Malaga

Once known as one of the most dangerous walks in the world and still one of the most intriguing places to visit in Costa del Sol, El Caminito del Rey has recently had new walkways put in place making it a safe trip for the family (some age restrictions apply). You can still marvel at the old pathways beneath you and take in the awe-inspiring views through the gorge.

Image - El Caminito del Rey: luciezr/shutterstock
Image – El Caminito del Rey: luciezr/shutterstock

7. Get arty in Malaga

Since the opening of the Picasso Museum in 2003, the city of Malaga has heavily invested in reinventing itself into an arts and culture capital. Malaga now has more than 30 museums, which provide a great diversion on a rare rainy day on the Costa del Sol!

moving to costa del sol
Image – Picasso Art Museum, Malaga.

8. Visit Ronda, the “White City of Dreams”

Home to the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain, Ronda is full of authentic Spanish culture and is undeniably one of the most beautiful places on the Costa del Sol. Take in the breathtaking views of the gorge that divides the city – or get adventurous and rock climb through it!

moving to costa del sol
Image – Sean Pavone/shutterstock

9. Make a splash and cool down at Aqualand in Torremolinos

Perfect for those days where the heat is getting to you a bit too much, Aqualand in Torremolinos is one of the main attractions for families and groups. This large family-focused water park boasts lots of slides, rapids & a surf beach area with a wave machine.

moving to costa del sol
Image – Aqualand

10. Visit the village holding up a mountain,

You will not believe your eyes when you visit this stunning area where many of the homes of the Casco Antiguo (the old town) were built directly into the rocky side of a mountain! If you want to take postcard-perfect pictures, Setenil is the place for you. Do’t forget to have a walk through the town to enjoy the landscape and nature of the area.

moving to costa del sol
Image – Lyd Photography/shutterstock

Best restaurants on the Costa del Sol

1. El Meson de Cervantes 

This Spanish tapas restaurant specialises in taking traditional Spanish cuisine and giving it a creative and innovative twist to make sure you have a dining experience like no other. The ingenious chef Jesus combines Spanish and Argentinian cuisine with fresh ingredients depending on the season and serves delightful dishes with wonderful wine. 

Open: 7pm-12am Wednesday to Monday, closed on Tuesdays 

Address: Calle Alamos, 11, 29012, Malaga, Spain 

Booking: +34 952 21 62 74

Price: €€

Image - El Meson de Cervantes
Image – El Meson de Cervantes

2. Lobito del Mar 

With several venues around Spain, chef Dani Garcia’s star quality restaurant also graces the streets of Marbella with only the finest and freshest produce on from the Costa del Sol sea in their sophisticated dishes. As they say themselves, they’re not easy to define, so you’ll have to go and try their phenomenal food yourself. 

Open: 1pm-4pm and 7:30pm-11:30pm Monday to Sunday 

Address: Bulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, 178 29602, Marbella, Spain 

Booking: +34 951 55 45 54 

Price:

Image - Lobito del mar
Image – Lobito del mar

3. El Gato Lounge 

For lovers of the exquisite, El Gato Lounge busts open the boundaries of flavour by inviting Asian aromas and Thai tastes into their Mediterranean-Asian fusion tapas. Situated in an idyllic location with a gorgeous view of the beach, this trendy tapas restaurant is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike in Torremolinos. 

Open: 12pm-11pm Thursday to Tuesday, closed on Wednesdays 

Address: Paseo Maritimo 1 29620, Torremolinos, Spain 

Booking: +34 676 45 25 04 

Price: €€

Image - El Gato Lounge
Image – El Gato Lounge

4. Venta Garcia 

The secret to Venta Garcia’s superb dishes is in the fresh produce they make use of from around the Costa del Sol. This restaurant specialises in traditional cuisine using grandma’s original recipes in which the most important ingredient is the love they pour into each dish when they’re cooking. 

Open: 1pm-11pm Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays 

Address: Carretera de Casares, Km 7, 29690 Casares, Malaga 

Booking: +34 952 89 41 91 

Price: €€

Image - Venta Garcia
Image – Venta Garcia

5. Arte y Cocina

Serving up contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, Arte y Cocina sources seasonal ingredients to create consistently delicious yet simple dishes in a beautiful, modern interior. The restaurant-come-art-gallery space also hosts regular art exhibitions so you can gaze at art that looks as beautiful as the food tastes whilst you’re dining.  

Open: 7pm-11pm Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays 

Address: Calle Miguel de Cervantes 15, 29640, Fuengirola, Malaga, Spain 

Booking: +34 610 953 998 

Price: €€

Image - Arte y Cocina
Image – Arte y Cocina

6. Casa Lola 

This restaurant serves traditional Spanish tapas in a cheerful, local setting. It’s worth a visit just for the charismatic atmosphere – and the excellent vermouth – but the simplistic menu is definitely something to write home about. Very much espousing the old i’f it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ sentiment, if you want a real taste of Andalusian cuisine, this is the place to go. 

Open: 12pm-11:45pm Tuesday to Sunday, 12:30pm-12am on Monday 

Address: Calle Granada, 46, 29015, Malaga, Spain 

Booking: +34 952 22 38 14 

Price: €€

Image - Casa Lola
Image – Casa Lola

7. Vino Mio

A favourite amongst theatre-goers in Malaga thanks to its handy location next to the Cervantes theatre, the show doesn’t stop when you enter Vino Mio as they host spectacular flamenco shoes every evening to enjoy while you’re dining. Boasting the best steak in Malaga, Vino Mio’s unique menu also includes crocodile and kangaroo, as well as an impressive selection of local and national fine wines. 

Open: 1pm-late Thursday to Sunday, 7pm-late Wednesday, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays 

Address: Plaza Jeronimo Cuervo 2, 29012, Malaga 

Booking: +34 952 60 90 93 

Price: €€€

Image - Restaurante Vino Mio
Image – Restaurante Vino Mio

8. Batik

Located on the fourth floor of a city-centre hotel, this restaurant takes you on a journey through the senses with their elaborate and beautifully presented dishes. Enjoy Mediterranean cuisine with tastes from around the world, lovingly prepared and full of flavour.  Oh, did we mention that Batik also has stunning views of the Alcazaba fortress to gaze at in awe while you you enjoy your meal. 

Open: 1pm-5pm and 8pm-1am Monday to Thursday, 1pm-2am Friday to Sunday, 

Address: Carrer Alcazabilla, 12, 29015, Malaga, Spain 

Booking: +34 952 22 98 78 

Price: €€

Image - Batik
Image – Batik

9. Casanis Bistrot 

Inspired by French and Belgian cuisine, this quaint little restaurant in Marbella Old Town serves dishes expertly prepared by an Argentinian chef who pours his passion for flavour and creativity into the dishes he designs. Ensuring that their visitors are served only the freshest ingredients, this restaurant even cultivates their own vegetables in their garden! 

Open: 7pm-12am Monday to Sunday 

Address: Calle Ancha, 8, 29601, Marbella, Malaga 

Contact: +34 952 9004 50 

Price: €€€

Image - Casanis Bistrot
Image – Casanis Bistrot

10. Lew Hoad 

Lew Hoad pride themselves, and their dishes, on variety and presentation so precise that your meal will look like a piece of art. Using fresh produce of the highest quality, the chefs prepare each dish with the utmost care. They aim to enchant and surprise at the same time and specialise in hosting occasions such as weddings, anniversaries and christenings.  Lew Hoad also boasts a highly enticing cocktail menu! 

Open: 9am-10:30pm Monday to Saturday, 9am-8pm Sunday 

Address: Carratera Mijas, km, 3.5, 29650, Mijas, Costa del Sol, Espana 

Booking: +34 952 46 76 73 

Price: €€€

Image - Lew Hoad
Image – Lew Hoad

Schools in the Costa del Sol 

When moving to a new place, finding a great school is a top priority. There are some brilliant and highly respected international schools throughout the Costa del Sol to ensure your kids receive the best education in your new home. 

The International School Estepona 

One of the best international schools on the Costa del Sol, this school was founded in 2004 and is located in the heart of the Costa del Sol’s Golden Mile. Places are available for children aged between 2 and 12 and they will be taught according to the British National Curriculum. 

El Farol International Waldorf-Steiner School 

Founded in 2009, this bilingual Spanish-English school offers education to children from nursery right up to the end of primary school age. Located in the centre of Malaga, places are available to children from all types of cultural, economic and spiritual backgrounds. 

The British College of Benalmadena 

Located in tranquil Torremuelle urbanisation, this school is suitable for children from pre-nursery all the way up to university entry-level. The qualifications students achieve at this school are recognised by both Spanish and English universities as it follows both a British and Spanish curriculum. 


Healthcare in the Costa del Sol 

It’s important to be able to rely on a reputable health care system when moving somewhere new. Luckily, the Costa del Sol doesn’t just boast luscious landscapes and beautiful beaches, there are also a plethora of health services with English-speaking staff, so you don’t have to worry about seeking medical attention when you need it. 

Hospitals 

Hospital Costa del Sol 

The main hospital in this part of Spain is the Hospital Costa del Sol, a public hospital run by the Costa del Sol’s health service. It is a public organisation that belongs to the Andalucian Council and is funded by the council of equality, health and social policy. It has a 24-hour emergency department and many of the staff speak both Spanish and English. 

Address: A-7, km 187, 29603, Marbella, Malaga, Spain 

Contact: +34 951 97 66 69 

Doctors 

Atlantic Clinic 

Located in Puerto Banus in Marbella, Atlanta Clinic is operated by British-trained GPs and offers 24-hour medical cover, in-person consultations at the clinic and home visits mostly to expatriates and holidaymakers in the Costa del Sol. They even offer joint consultations with your doctor back home to ensure that everything is in order and that you receive the medical attention you need. 

Open: 9:30am-6:30pm Monday to Friday 

Address: Atlantic Clinic, Calle El Califa 8, Nueva Andalucia, Marbella, 29660, Spain 

Contact: +34 952 81 7425

Dentists 

Sonrisa British Dental Clinic 

This dental surgery offers topic-quality dental treatments and services and is well equipped with the most up-to-date high-end dental equipment. They specialise in advanced diagnostics and treatment of dental and oral disorders. Their friendly staff aim to make you smile the moment you walk through the door into the modern and cosy clinic. 

Open: 9:30am-5:30pm Monday to Thursday, 9:30am-2pm Friday 

Address: Centro Comercial El Campanario, Local 15 (next to Lidl) Calahonda, 29649 Mijas Costa 

Contact: +34 952 93 48 57 


Important contacts

Moving somewhere new is great but it’s important to know the contact information for the emergency services.

That’s why we have included information on important contacts when moving to the Costa del Sol 

Emergency services, including health, fire and police: 112

National police: 091

Local police: 092

 


Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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