Why the Costa del Sol, Spain – “The European California”

The Costa del Sol – “The European California” – is truly one of a kind, with a unique subtropical micro climate that can rival some of the best in the world. So, we are very lucky for those of us that are able to live and work here, being able to call it home. But why have so many expatriates bought and many others are considering buying real estate in Marbella, Estepona, Benahavis and Benalmadena, or other areas on the Costa del Sol?

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Having lived and worked in most places that are known for having the best weather and amazing tropical climate, such as Sydney and the Gold Coast in Australia, Bali, Singapore, California and Algarve in Portugal, I can personally say that the Costa del Sol still comes out on top, and you don’t have to travel across the globe to find what is already here.

In fact, what a lot of people don’t know; including those that have lived here for many years, is that a majority of trees and plants were brought here hundreds of years ago by Spanish explorers, and were originally from tropical places such as South America, the Philippines and the Malaysian Peninsula.

There are nearly a million expatriates from over a hundred countries now living on the Costa del Sol. In the golfing community, it has even been given a special name, the “Costa del Golf”, claiming the title as the second most important “golf mecca´s” in the world; just after Florida.

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So why have so many, including the rich and famous, chosen to live or at least have a home here?

Arguably the main reason for this is due to the fact that the Costa del Sol has on average 330 sunny days in a year, which is far more than any other place in the world. Even between the winter months of December and February, on a normal day, we experience temperatures between +17c to +20c on the Coast. Therefore, it is excellent for anyone who enjoys outdoor living and activities from wining and dining, to sailing and golf and pretty much anything else.

However, there is a lot more to it than just having amazing, sunny weather. Families with children can choose between 10 excellent international private schools, some of which are ranked in the top 10 best schools in Spain. There are also many good public Spanish schools, as well as even having American, German, French, Swedish and Finnish schools, and even a Russian Ballet School.

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The Costa del Sol also offers a public healthcare service which is widely considered to be the best in Europe and even the 3rd best in the world. The public hospitals and clinics are equipped with modern facilities, short waiting times and exceptional service and expertise. Furthermore, there is the healthy Mediterranean food and wine which can be enjoyed with good company and at a lower price than in Northern Europe.

The climate encourages people to have a healthier and more active lifestyle, for example you can even go skiing in the nearby Sierra Nevada Ski Resort (Granada), about 2100-3200 meters above sea level and at the same time, enjoy the fantastic views over those snow-covered mountains overlooking the blue Mediterranean Sea and on a very clear day all the way over to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why so many people move here when you have all the best things that life has to offer at your fingertips. The Costa del Sol is more than a European California; it is a way of life.