About Spain

Lie on the beach in the morning and ski on the slopes in the afternoon,
seems to overshadow the historic treasures that Marbella, Benahavis and Estepona have in abundance.

The Facts

Spain officially the Kingdom of Spain is a full member of the European Union. Its population is around 46 million and is the ninth largest economy in the world. Spanish is the second most widely spoken first language which is mainly a product of its era as an empire. The country is larger than people suspect (over 500,000 km2) and offers a diverse climate and a varied mix of different cultures and traditions. Its history is rich and has left a legacy of places of interest which are worth seeking out from the Alhambra in Granada to the Roman theater in Badajoz. Wondering around you are likely to stumble upon historic places of interest. It has the second highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Andalucia has the highest population, just under nine million, and in terms of land is the second largest of seventeen autonomous regions of Spain. Sevilla (in English Seville) is the largest city and is the capital of Andalucia. The eight provinces of Andalucia are Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga and Sevilla. It covers the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula and neighbours Gibraltar in the very south. With the Atlantic ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south it enjoys a wide variety of fabulous beaches and coves. However it is not all sun and sand as there is also good skiing on the Sierra Nevada in Granada. Many of the things we think of as typically Spanish are in fact from Andalucia like the Moorish architecture and flamenco.

Costa del Sol is between two other beautiful cost lines, Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical. It is mainly the coast line of the region of Malaga. Again there are a great variety of cultural influences from Phoenicians to the Moors which is reflected in the architecture and traditions. It is still home to small charismatic fishing villages and dramatic white villages (pueblos blancos) hanging to the sides of mountains. Since the 1950s the tourism industry has flourished and the coast, in particular Marbella, has been host to film stars, models movers and shakers and its reputation as one of the playgrounds of the rich and famous seems to be well deserved. The reputation in the 1980s as a safe haven for criminals encouraged the unfortunate nick name of Costa del Crime but in recent years there has been great effort to get rid of this reputation.

Marbella/Benahavis/Estepona are the more salubrious areas of the Costa del Sol. With over 320 days of sunshine a year. A near perfect climate, with long summers and mild winters means lots of eating on terraces and generally spending time outside, and is partially due to a micro climate effect of being between the mountains and the sea. Marbella town is both traditional and cosmopolitan, nestled between breathtaking mountain scenery and stunning beaches with views of Gibraltar and the continent of Africa. The relaxed pace of life during the day in Marbella is contrasted with the lively night time in Puerto Banus or the port of Marbella where going out at midnight to start the night is perfectly normal. Sport is a big part of life here in Marbella and the forward thinking policies of the local councils encouraging activity for both the young and the less young has added to the benefits of being here. With around forty golf courses, fishing, watersports, tennis clubs, waterparks, equestrian centres, gymnasiums, fitness centres, mountain hiking, cycle paths, nature parks and the list goes on and do not forget the winter months, skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at an altitude of 3,300m is only two and a half hours away.