British retirees are increasingly heading abroad, and Spain has long been their country of choice. High living standards and low living costs, combined with the sunny delights of the Costa del Sol, have the potential to offer a relaxed and pleasant retirement.
Of course, Spain is a big country. Even narrowing it down to the Costa del Sol encompasses a number of cities, towns and villages with very different characteristics. There are a number of different places that prove popular with UK retirees who want to spend their leisure years in Spain. Marbella is often considered one of the most desirable cities, with a range of high-quality golf course, excellent dining, and an already-large community of expats from the UK.
Another well-known city, Malaga is similarly wonderful but, having only been discovered recently by the rest of the world, is not quite so popular. Scenically situated between the ocean and the sloping Montes de Malaga national park, it offers expats a high standard of affordable living in a pleasant seaside setting with excellent shopping and fantastic dining. Naturally, Malaga also offers delightful sunshine and wonderful beaches for which the Costa del Sol is renowned.
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However, if you want to forego living in a city for a smaller town or village, a little more care has to be taken. The admittedly wonderful charms of Marbella and Malaga have turned the whole stretch of coast between them into one long tourist hotspot. Cheap concrete apartment blocks and hordes of sometimes-drunk tourists might be okay for a cut-price holiday, but they do not make for a great retirement hometown.
However, you do not have to look very far away to find a better place. East of Malaga, and still within easy reach of the city and all it has to offer, you will begin to find pleasant little villages. For instance, Torrox is located a mere half an hour from Malaga Airport if you travel by road, and offers access to a set of paradise-like beaches that stretch for around five miles. While one half of Torrox, Torrox Costa, remains fairly tourist heavy this forms a stark contrast with the other half. Torrox Pueblo is much quieter, more relaxed, and more authentically Spanish. It is also noticeably more affordable than among Malaga’s city rush.
Indeed, the entire stretch of coast between Marbella and Torrox is a great area to consider for an overseas retirement. Transformed in recent years, it now offers an extremely accessible setting for tourists and expats while retaining traditional and authentic flavors of Spanish life. Fresh seafood, old-world markets, and cobbled streets provide a wonderful atmosphere to live out your retirement. At the same time, both property prices and the cost of living in this part of Spain are attractively low, both in international terms and when compared to similarly excellent Spanish destinations such as Marbella.