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Real deal in Spain.

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Spain's Costa del Sol is considered one of the most favoured holiday destinations by Britons for its superb climate, excellent infrastructure and first-rate access from the UK and the continent.

Establishing itself as a prime property hotspot, the region has attracted its fair share of tourists and property investors. According to a Spanish property agent: "Investment in Spain's real estate market remains a lucrative proposition, as long as buyers choose their Spanish property carefully."

The property buyer has a wealth of areas to choose from allowing the Costa del Sol to hold its own in the world of overseas property.

Sheltered by mountains to the north and enjoying warm winds from the African continent, the Costa del Sol lays claim to one of Europe's best climates with well over 300 sunny days a year.

The infrastructure is heavily oriented towards the tourist sector, with countless bars, restaurants, beach clubs and night spots to keep holidaymakers amused.

There are also a number of theme parks operational along the coast and golf is big business with some of Europe's most famous courses offering spectacular and affordable play.

In terms of more resident-centered infrastructure, the Costa del Sol, being a more heavily populated zone year-round, comes out on top, providing world-class healthcare and very decent educational opportunities.

Popular towns and cities such as Malaga, the capital of Andalucia, the world famous Puerto Banus, the cosmopolitan town of Marbella and growing holiday destinations such as Benalmadena, Calahonda, Mijas and Estepona offer a wide choice of Spanish property options.

The region's high property prices have established it as a relatively exclusive destination compared to the rest of Spain. Marbella and the surrounding area is the jewel in the crown of the property and real estate market on the Costa del Sol with some areas in and around Marbella being the most expensive and sought after in the whole of Spain.

The real estate market in the area has seen phenomenal growth in the past decade which shows no sign of abating.

Some properties have doubled or tripled their value in the space of a few years and many investors and private buyers have become rich through intelligent speculation and investment.

Estepona is probably the cheapest and least developed area to buy a property on the Costa del Sol.

Though thousands of properties are currently under construction, the still-working Andalucian fishing village has started to embrace the tourist industry while preserving its unique Spanish atmosphere.

So now is the time to take advantage of the property market.

The village is located 25 kilometres from Marbella and is approximately 45 minutes from Malaga airport. It is sheltered to the north by the Sierra Bermeja Mountains giving Estepona a unique warm micro-climate completely different from towns just a few kilometres away.

Golf is also very popular in Estepona and the surrounding area where you will find more than 10 courses and the area also has a renowned equestrian centre.

Right in the centre is the Plaza de las Flores surrounded by many quaint eateries and coffee shops.

On the outskirts of Estepona, heading west, is the town bullring. This white-washed structure has a unique architectural style and as well as bullfights the venue regularly offers a selection of live concerts from Carmen to Flamenco to rock 'n' roll.

Estepona's clock tower, found in the Plaza del Reloj, was built by Henry V and dates from the 15th century. It still chimes out the hours in perfect time.

On Wednesdays, there is a large outdoor market filled with all manner of local produce as well as a good selection of African and Morrocan wares.

Estepona has a good local bus service and an ample supply of local taxis. The hotels are mainly low-rise and quite unobtrusive.

The area's 20 plus kilometres of beaches are very clean and well cared for with many featuring beach bars.

And Estepona is ideally located to explore many other places in Andalucia and the Costa del Sol such as Sevilla, a not-to-be-missed town with much history to be explored.

Also within easy reach is Gibraltar, with its famous 'Rock', British lifestyles, Mediterranean climate and duty free prices, only 35 minutes away.

Ideally placed between Estepona and Marbella is Cabo Bermejo, a new property development built to the highest north-European standards in a prime front-line beach location.

The complex is generally accepted as offering the most prestigious luxury apartments on the Costa del Sol near Marbella and is only a seven minute drive to Puerto Banus.

Immediate neighbours are the Las Dunas five star hotel and an 800-year-old Arabian watchtower.

The complex also boasts beautiful views across the Mediterranean to Gibraltar and Africa.

There is a two bedroom apartment available for rent with a large private terrace and panoramic sea views, all with air conditioning and under-floor heating.

The private gardens within the gated community are of a tropical design with waterfalls and cascades throughout leading into two lakes, which border two large pools with sun loungers and a shaded seating area offering drinks and snack machines.

Each pool has its own showers, sauna, gym, Jacuzzi, toilets and lifeguard.

The two well-equipped gyms are air-conditioned and overlook the pools and gardens.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Aug 31, 2008
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