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Moving to Spain in the time of Brexit: The Guide

Brexit has undoubtedly changed things both for the British expat already living in Spain and for those thinking of making the move.

Whilst it’s still early days for any firm facts, this guide outlines the potential outcomes Brexit will have for UK nationals living in Spain in six key areas:

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Latest On Move to Spain

Central Costa Blanca: Guide for Prospective Expats

In this section of our Costa Blanca resort guide, we look at the central section of the coast from Alfaz del Pi to Santa Pola.

The Northern Costa Blanca: Guide for Prospective Expats

In this section of our Costa Blanca resort guide, we look at the north end of the coast between Denia and Altea.

Guide to Costa Blanca Golf Courses

The Costa Blanca ranks among Europe’s most popular places to play golf. Along with a year-round golfing climate, quality courses and affordable green fees, Costa Blanca golf courses attract tens of thousands of players every year.

Guide to Costa Del Sol Golf Courses

With over 70 golf courses, the Costa del Sol is unsurprisingly also known as the Costa del Golf.

Latest Expat Interviews on Move to Spain

All you need to Know About Spanish Resta…

Spanish restaurants are probably the best way of getting acquainted with Spanish cuisine and food.

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A Move to Spain’s Marbella: The Financia…

Two British expats tell of the challenges and pay-offs they have encountered since moving to the Costa del Sol.

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A British Expat tells us What it was Lik…

If you are thinking of moving to Spain and have the intention of starting up a new business then best take the advice of Stephen Willcocks who shares his experiences...

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From British Police Officer to the Spani…

A veteran British expat living in Spain gives her tips on buying a property, learning the language and why she moved away from the Costa Blanca to the Granada countryside.

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Why I Moved to Spain and Some of My Tips…

  Unintentional, that’s how I became an Ex-Pat.

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La Fondue Restaurant – Elviria, Marbella…

With its pleasing décor and delightful staff La Fondue Restaurant in Elviria is a marvellous place to dine.

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Central Costa Del Sol: Guide for Prospective Expats

Costa del Sol 3

This section of the Move to Spain guide to resorts on the Costa del Sol takes a look at the central part of the coast, specifically between Marbella and Malaga.

Costa del Sol 3

This section of the Move to Spain guide to resorts on the Costa del Sol takes a look at the central part of the coast, specifically between Marbella and Malaga.

This is the most densely populated and built-up area on the Costa del Sol, plus one of the most popular for holidaymakers and expat residents alike.

Resorts are listed in a west-east direction towards Malaga.

Central Costa del Sol – general characteristics.

Scenery – high mountains back most of this section of the Costa del Sol and Mijas village sits on one of the highest.

Size – the area between Malaga Airport and Cabo Pino marina in Marbella link to guide to resorts on the CdS west (part 1) is the most built-up on the coast.

The urban sprawl fills up the entire coastline between the sea and the A-7 motorway. Beyond Fuengirola, residential developments stretch a considerable distance inland.

Expat population – good services and communications, and reasonably-priced property have made this part of the Costa del Sol a favourite among expats. This is where you’ll find the largest enclaves of foreigners, particularly in Benalmádena and Mijas Costa, dominated in some areas by expat residents.

There’s also a sizeable Scandinavian population, particularly in Fuengirola, home to a large number of Finns.

Cost of living – while it’s more expensive to live in the central Costa del Sol than in Malaga city or the eastern resorts link to guide to resorts on CdS part 4 east, prices here are lower than neighbouring Marbella. The huge choice of amenities and services mean you can shop around for more affordable living.

Transport – this part of the Costa del Sol has some of the area’s best communications.

Public transport services are particularly good in the Fuengirola, Benalmádena and Torremolinos areas, all served by the local train to Malaga Airport and Malaga. Access is easy between resorts via the A-7 motorway or the coastal N-340, although traffic congestion is chronic and particularly problematic in the summer.

Property prices – the huge choice of property means there’s something available across all budgets. Generally speaking, the further you go from the coast, the cheaper properties will be, particularly apartments. Prices tend to be a lot lower than in Marbella and Estepona, although frontline beach properties attract similarly high prices.

Expat amenities – excellent with a wide range of services and amenities catering specifically for the foreign population. There’s a good choice of international schools, healthcare facilities and shops.

Golf courses – after Marbella, Mijas has the highest number of golf courses on the Costa del Sol with 11 18-hole courses. They’re located along the coast, although the biggest concentration lies inland from Fuengirola where courses include Mijas Golf and La Cala Resort with 3 courses.

Mijas & Mijas Costa

Population (2016): 77,769

Foreign population (2016): 24,578; largest population group British

Distance to Malaga Airport: 38km

More information: tourism website

The municipality of Mijas is divided into three centres: the village of Mijas itself, Las Lagunas to the north of Fuengirola and Mijas Costa, the coastal stretch between Fuengirola and Marbella.

Mijas is famous as one of Andalucia’s prettiest white villages and the centre attracts coachloads of tourists every day. Perched on the mountain side, the village has some of the best views on the western Costa del Sol, but the lack of amenities mean few expats live here on a permanent basis.

Las Lagunas sprawls north of the A-7 road and Fuengirola, and offers mostly townhouse developments, popular with Spanish residents.

Las Lagunas offers good services such as several large stores, a sports centre and out-patient hospital.

Most expat residents choose to live in Mijas Costa, a succession of residential developments such as Calahonda, Riviera del Sol and El Faro. The small town of La Cala de Mijas lies almost in the middle of Mijas Costa and serves as a base for shops, state schools and healthcare.

Amenities along this stretch of the coast are generally good with plenty of expat services. The Fuengirola-Marbella bus service makes numerous stops on its route and provides a convenient service if you wish to use public transport.


Population (2016): 77,486

Foreign population (2016): 26,672; largest population group British

Distance to Malaga Airport: 25km

More information: tourism website

Fuengirola is one of the most densely-populated resorts in this area and perhaps the most multi-cultural on the Costa del Sol.

The town’s small area is packed with high-rise blocks, particularly on the seafront, and always busy.

The districts of Los Boliches, a traditional fishing quarter, and Los Pacos in the east of the town consist mostly of townhouse developments and are generally quieter than the centre.

Fuengirola has excellent beaches and a well-established reputation as a family-friendly resort.

One of Europe’s best zoos (Bioparc Fuengirola) is located here as well as a large water park.

The resort is also popular with expat retirees and home to a large population of Scandinavians. The town offers good amenities and services as well as numerous restaurants of all nationalities.

Benalmádena & Benalmádena Costa

Population (2016): 67,245

Foreign population (2016): 17,504; largest population group British

Distance to Malaga Airport: 14km

More information: tourism website

Like Mijas, Benalmádena consists of three different areas:

Benalmádena village, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmádena Costa.

Benalmádena village lies high up just below the A-7 motorway and again like Mijas, has a pretty centre with a traditional Andalusian feel.

Several boutique hotels and high-end restaurants are located here as well as the only Buddhist stupa on this side of the Costa del Sol.

Bustling Arroyo de la Miel lies half-way between the village and the coast, and is the commercial centre.

It’s home to Tivoli World, one of the oldest fun parks on the Costa del Sol and the cable car ride as well as the train station for Fuengirola and Malaga. The area appeals to expat families because of its cheaper property and good amenities.

Benalmádena Costa has good beaches, plenty of things to do (Sealife and Selwo Marina are both situated here) and an attractive marina.

It’s a year-round holiday favourite with families. Several large hotels including Torrequebrada Casino are located here along with high-rise apartments.

Over the last year, several new developments have started including some high-end apartment complexes with frontline beach positions.

Amenities are generally excellent on this part of the Costa del Sol. Several international schools are located here and there’s a good choice of supermarkets and shops. Good golf courses lie within easy reach.


Population (2016): 67,786

Foreign population (2016): 13.930; largest population group Moroccan

Distance to Malaga Airport: 8km

More information: tourism website

Mass tourism on the Costa del Sol began in Torremolinos at the end of the 1950s and since then, the resort has been synonymous with holidays on the Costa del Sol.

The town is also famous for its tolerant atmosphere and as the LGBT capital of the Costa del Sol.

Its proximity to Malaga city makes it a favourite with commuters while its year-round calendar of events attracts Northern Europeans, particularly retirees, in droves.

Torremolinos beaches rank among the best on the Costa del Sol and the Carihuela beach is nationally famous for its fried fish.

The town itself consists of several residential areas in the west (Montemar and El Pinillo) and east (Los Álamos and La Colina), all of which have stops on the Fuengirola-Malaga train line. Those on the east have the advantage of being on the flat.

Central Torremolinos does tourism with a capital T and comes packed with souvenir shops, fast food outlets and currency exchange shops.

The central avenue has recently been pedestrianised and the council is currently implementing an extensive programme to give the centre a facelift.

Plans include restoring the resort’s cultural heritage and removing ‘tacky’ signage and shop fronts.

Amenities and services are limited within the resort itself, although several megastores such as Ikea lie on the outskirts where you’ll also find the Plaza Mayor shopping centre.

Construction is set to start on one of the Europe’s largest leisure centres in 2018. Located to the northeast of the town, the British-built Itsu ‘shopping resort’ will include a dry-ski slope, giant aquarium, wave pool plus a long list of shops and restaurants.

All Costa del Sol population statistics from Junta de Andalucía data 2016.