Costa del Sol location guide - Marbella Dream Living

Costa del Sol Location Guide

The most popular residential and holiday areas of the Costa el Sol run from the city of Málaga to the luxury resort of Sotogrande, that lies within an easy drive of Gibraltar and its various amenities. To give you a taste of what the key regions of Marbella and the Costa del Sol are like, we’ve compiled a handy Costa del Sol location guide to help you find your way around the Coast.


Our Costa del Sol location guide starts with Sotogrande. This exclusive area is located between San Roque & Manilva and  combines prime residential properties with excellent leisure facilities ranging from top golf courses and a polo club to a stunning marina surrounded by top class restaurants and boutiques.

A mere 15-minute drive from Gibraltar airport, Sotogrande also boasts one of the coast’s major international schools.

Sotogrande is not just accessible for the rich and famous who prefer the peace and quiet over the hustle and bustle of Puerto Banus, many residents have made the decision to move to Sotogrande over Marbella for the exact same reason.

Sotogrande gives you privacy, peace, and a sense of community spirit which often fails to materialise in Marbella & Puerto Banus. And because it is so close to Gibraltar, you will have all the UK shops nearby, but just 10 minutes in the other direction and you can be in a typical Spanish village with traditional Spanish food and shops.

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Manilva is a residential area with 7.8km of beautiful beaches, including the Blue Flag beach at Sabanillas and excellent bars and restaurants surrounding the marina at Puerto de Duquesa.

Golfers can enjoy the world-class course at Finca Cortesin in nearby Casares and there is a host of other sporting activities in this area. The Roman Baths at Hedionda are worth a visit and hikers will enjoy the many ‘off the beaten track’ routes around the Manilva region.

Manilva offers a great community spirit within the village, many activities are organised by the local residents throughout the year and because the village is kept small you will quickly fit in and join in to the activities the town organises.

The area of Manilva, along with Sabanillas and surrounding areas is still undiscovered by the many tourists that flock the coast on a yearly basis, and this makes the pricing of properties in the area very attractive, especially for first time buyers overseas.

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Casares is a picturesque, traditional white village just 10 minutes inland from the coastal road between Estepona & Manilva, just before Sabanillas.

Casares is a wonderful location for a day out, but equally pleasant to live in. The upside of Casares is that it is not spoiled by tourism and has kept its traditions and village values throughout the years no matter how many people want to take pictures of this beautiful village, Casares kept it’s feet firmly on the ground.

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Another charming whitewashed mountain village is Gaucin. This one a little farther inland, but just 30 minutes drive from the coast.

Gaucin is a very impressive village that offers stunning views over the coast and at Gibraltar and North Africa. Because of its colours throughout the year and its amazing views from every angle, Gaucin has become famous for its international artists’ community.

With a population of just under 2000, the town is welcoming, friendly and artistic.




The Costa del Sol location guide would not be complete without the town of Estepona. Estepona is one of the prettiest and most authentically Spanish towns on the Costa del Sol. It has Blue Flag beaches, a charming marina with restaurants and Sunday market, plus the town filled with boutiques and all the essential facilities for daily life.

The municipal area of Estepona includes the new Golden Mile, one of the most desirable residential areas on the coast.

The New Golden Mile even though it did not grow as fast as some developers wanted, it is an up and coming area where many developers have already drawn up plans for amazing new communities and developments.

The Mayor of Estepona, Jose Maria Garcia Urbano, has done an outstanding job putting Estepona back on the map again after a couple of years of decline back in 2007. Sr. Urbano has invested wisely in a beautiful promenade, cleaned up the beaches which are now wide and very child friendly. Added the necessary beach bars and restaurants and generally has added a certain flair to the town it missed before, making the town one of the more popular places to buy property in the South of Spain.

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This mountain village is renowned for its numerous restaurants and for its new river walk where extreme sports enthusiasts can enjoy canyoning. Although it is off the coast, a 5-minute drive will have you at the beach.

The design of the village has been looked after very well by the local mayor and his team, making sure that the village does not just look picturesque when you drive in, it has the “wow effect” no matter what street you drive in!

The town furthermore offers a grand hotel, there’s an abundance of small parks and public areas. The picturesque church is very popular for weddings and there’s a Sunday market just outside of the town that is ever growing in popularity.

Because Benahavis offers stunning coastal views, is situated just 5 minutes from the coastal road to Marbella, the properties in Benahavis are very sought after and as soon as a property in Benahavis is up for sale, you can bet it won’t stay up for sale for long.

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San Pedro de Alcantara

This once small village is now a bustling town that includes nearby Guadalmina with its golf course and fine residential properties. San Pedro has gone through a makeover and its central boulevard, lined with restaurants and playgrounds for children is one of this town’s chief attractions.

The town now has an underground tunnel for the traffic coming through, and this means the boulevard is a safer and more enjoyable area for families with children. The boulevard offers a variety of restaurants, the “wonky bridge” is a favourite attraction and the boulevard even offers a true ice skating rink 365 days per year… even in august!

The town offers many shops and restaurants, there’s  a beautiful church in the main square of the town, it has direct access to Puerto Banus, Ronda, Estepona and even the main autopista, so Malaga is just 40 minutes drive away from the town.

Anyone buying property in San Pedro today will have made a wise decision, this town is on the up and it has not yet peaked, so a ROI is almost guaranteed!

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The village of Istán should not be missing in a complete Costa del Sol location guide. Istàn is a village that is completely underrated. The beautiful lake side village is literally just 5 minutes from Puerto Banus, but without the noise and busy streets!

The moorish village has so much to offer, it’s history for one is very interesting, being one of a number of Moorish villages of Moorish origin which owes its survival to its distance from the coast. The village boasts it’s own impressive lake, it has fresh mountain water running from every tap making it one of the few villages in Spain where you can drink the water straight from the fountains. The village is also home to the huge reservoir created by the Presa de la Concepción dam which was built in 1972 and provides drinking water to towns all along the coast.

Because of its location being close to Marbella & Puerto Banus and the village offering a wealth of nature activities and stunning surroundings you would think the properties in Istan are expensive, but you could not be more wrong. The property prices in Istan are very reasonable and seem to have missed the crazy property boom prices that you often find in Puerto Banus or Marbella.

Buying a property in Istan would definitely be a great investment opportunity.

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Puerto Banus

The playground of the international jetset is nestled around a marina filled with expensive yachts and lined with restaurants, nightclubs and luxury brand stores including Armani, Prada and Tom Ford. It is also a key shopping area and the department store El Corte Ingles, the shopping mall Marina Banus and the cinema are among the main reasons it is popular year round.

Apart from the town of Marbella, Puerto Banus is considered the most popular area to buy property in the South of Spain. Therefore the property prices in Puerto Banus are higher than in surrounding areas, however if you do get your hands on a property deal in Puerto Banus you can be guaranteed that you have made a wise investment that will give you a great return in the years to come.

Buying in Puerto Banus would be a great investment if you are looking to rent your property for holiday rentals, and there are many holiday rental management companies in the area that can look after this for you.

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The Golden Mile from Puerto Banus to Marbella is one of the most desired residential locations in Europe. It is also home to the iconic Marbella Club Hotel and Puente Romano. The centre of Marbella is filled with boutique shops, tapas bars and excellent restaurants.

The jewel in Marbella’s crown is its Casco Antiguo or Old Town, with Plaza des Los Naranjos at its heart. This winding warren of passageways will introduce you to some of the most fashionable stores in the area as well as some of the best restaurants and historic bars.

In addition, its Paseo Maritimo is one of the most beautiful for an evening stroll or later night fun. La Cañada shopping mall, to the north of Marbella, is home to international brands, restaurants, bars and a cinema where people arrive from far and wide to shop.

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This is the Marbella region that is rapidly growing in popularity for the high quality of its residential properties and its facilities. It boasts easy access to several golf courses, including Santa Maria and Santa Clara, but it is perhaps its beachside facilities that attract so many.

It is home to some of the most exclusive beachclubs, including Nikki Beach and those at The Don Carlos, Estrella del Mar and Los Monteros hotels and the range of restaurants in the area covers everything from chiringuitos to ones with a Michelin star.

However, Elviria does not forget where it came from, and its residents have their feet firmly on the ground. If there’s glitz and glamour on one side of Elviria, there’s a local pub showing the latest football on the other side.
Elviria is also home to the largest tree top zipline park in Andalucia, where you can launch yourself from the trees on a zipline in one of the dense pine forests.

Buying a property in Elviria will give you the community life many seek, but also gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the luxury and extravagance of a jet set lifestyle.

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Mijas Costa

This is a diverse area that covers a long stretch of coastline from Cabopino in east Marbella to Fuengirola. It includes the resorts of Calahonda, Riviera del Sol and La Cala de Mijas, which is an up and coming area with excellent beaches, a range of restaurants, bars and shops.

Mijas Costa is a modern development that has attracted all nationalities to its residential and resort areas, but when you want some history or Spanish culture than Mijas Pueblo, which is a very short drive from the coast, has craft shops, art galleries, a handcrafted chocolate factory and some wonderful restaurants. Mijas also has numerous activities for kids, including a waterpark.

Mijas Costa is located right smack bang in the middle between Málaga & Marbella making this one of the more popular holiday property purchase areas. It’s a 20 minute drive to Málaga airport, its just 20 minutes to Marbella & Puerto Banus, and even if you want to get away from it al, it is 20 minutes to some of the most beautiful mountain villages Andalusia has to offer.

One of the more popular areas in Mijas Costa is Cabopino with its own port and luxury gold course. Buying a property in Cabopino would give you all the benefits of living in Mijas Costa, plus you will be surrounded by lush green golf courses and nature reserves.

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It has a beautiful marina and a highly respected zoo among its numerous activities that make it popular with kids and adults. It is also home to Tivoli World Amusement Park, the Sea Life centre and a cable car ride that will take you to the summit of Mount Calamorro that will give you excellent views of the entire coast.

Buying property in Benalmadena gives you access to the majority of the coasts main attractions, and this makes properties for sale in Benalmadena so popular, One knows when they purchase a property in this popular resort, they will get a great ROI through holiday rental income.

Holiday rentals are so popular in the area because of the wide range of activities that are to be enjoyed in the area.

Benalmadena also boasts its own port and many large yachts moor in this port every year, which in itself is a great day out, to admire the fabulous vessels moored in the harbour whilst sipping on a delicious Sangria, who wouldn’t want to spend a day out like this!

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This popular town is loved by tourists and residents alike for its beautiful beaches, charming promenade and the sheer wealth of activities here that include a theatre that puts on plays and pantomimes and the Moorish Castillo Sohail, a popular concert venue.

One of Fuengirola’s selling points is the fact that it has excellent rail and bus services providing easy access to the airport, and Fuengirola has the largest shopping centre between Malaga and Gibraltar which boasts a fantastic cinema that offers movies in both English and Spanish.

Because Fuengirola is one of the earliest towns that was discovered for tourism back in the day, it is still one of the more popular towns for the English community when it comes to buying property. This is why many shops, bars and restaurants are aimed at the English clients, but if you move away from the beach and make your way more towards town, you will find the traditional spanish shops and restaurants.

Buying property in Fuengirola and surrounding areas will be great for investment purposes as this town is growing steadily and with its advanced infrastructure compared to Marbella and surrounding areas, Fuengirola will always be at the top for smart property investment deals.

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It is probably the most famous and oldest resort town on the coast and whilst it may once have suffered from a tacky image it is now evolving into an exciting resort and residential area. Its proximity to the airport and its rail and transport services make it idea for frequent fliers.

The town has a fun atmosphere that appeals to all ages and its shopping facilities are interesting and varied. Of course, because it is only 7km from Malaga city, it is just as easy to enjoy the delights of city life when you’re based in Torremolinos.

Torremolinos, even though the oldest resort town on the coast, funnily enough has more traditional spanish bars and restaurants than other areas on the coast. The promenade of Torremolinos is very popular with local residents and tourists alike. People flock in not only from the UK but the town is also very popular with the Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian communities, plus you can find many German and French tourists in Torremolinos.

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If you enjoyed reading our Costa del Sol location guide and you’d like to know more about these areas and its properties, please call Marbella Dream Living – we’d be delighted to help you.


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