Healthy reasons to choose Spain

May 2, 2014 in Alta Vista Property Spain, Alta Vista Spain, AltaVista Property Costa del Sol

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We have recently heard about the efforts to boost economy by including health amongst the attractions for which the Costa del Sol is known.

Now we learn that Spain is among the fifth best in the world according to Bloomberg. The study measured efficiency, life expectancy and cost.

On top of the list is Hong Kong, followed by Singapore. Other countries like UK ranked 14th or US came 46th.

So if you are wondering if Spain is the right destination or not, well, this is one more reason to consider. Find some more good reasons and tips on our blog.

marbella old town

What to do in Marbella

April 24, 2014 in Altavista property, Costa del Sol news, Marbella, Marbella Real Estate, www.altavistaproperty.com

640px-Marbella._Malecón

The mild temperatures, the sunny blue skies and the unique location of Marbella make the ideal base for exploring different areas other than ‘tourist hot spots’. Don’t forget to pack you camera!

Narrow cobbled streets, coffee-shops around picturesque squares, refreshing fountains, shops and markets and wonderful monuments like the different churches and chapels in old town. You cannot miss Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, El Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz or the Calvario chapel.

At Plaza de los Naranjos, along with the orange blossom scent, you can visit the Town Hall, the Casa del Corregidor and the Ermita de Santiago -Saint James Chapel.

North of Avenida del Mar you’ll find the Parque de la Alameda, a very popular meeting point around its circular fountain of El Rocío.

Some quick tips and places

Los Lagos

Views: Enjoy wonderful views from Mirador de los Flamingos

 

 

 

 

 

Las Mimosas de Puerto BanúsA spa: Not so much amenity as essential service, Las Mimosas

 

 

 

 

La Resina - selwoAn Andalusian safari: In Selwo as a safari without going far away… La Resina

 

Discovering Mijas, a hidden treasure in the Nature

April 14, 2014 in Alta Vista Property Spain, AltaVista Property Costa del Sol

Mijas_pueblo

Throughout the town of Mijas, there are dozens of wonderful rural areas waiting for those who love hiking or enjoy a good ride.

If you are passionate about rural tourism, outdoor activities or excursions to the countryside, get ready to discover natural areas rich in flora and wildlife, as well as to see some historical curiosities and traditions.

In addition to discovering the charms of the local vegetation and the different species in the area around this internationally famous ‘white village’ on the western Costa del Sol, opportunities for leisure do not stop there. The Department of Tourism organizes excursions for some of the main quarries in the area. The stone extracted was used in buildings such as the Cathedral of Malaga.

Mountain and history lovers can follow the path which General Jose Maria de Torrijos took during the military uprising in 1831.

Those who prefer to know the customs of the past could choose the route of ‘Las Caleras de Mijas‘. This is a way to discover more about the art of preparing limestone, which was a very traditional profession in this area due to the abundance of limestone in the mountains and the fact that the village houses are ‘whitened’ or painted in white using this stone.

For more information regarding routes and excursions: http://www.mijas.es/portal/es/red-de-senderos/red-de-senderos-autoguiados

MARBELLA TO SEE POSSIBLE COASTAL TRAIN

April 4, 2014 in Alta Vista Property Spain, Altavista Spain, Costa del Sol news, Marbella, Marbella Info

corredor_mediterraneoSpain’s Ministry of Public Works has ordered a study to investigate the possibility of running a coastal train from Malaga to Marbella.

At present, a viability study is the first step towards a potential coastline train. The first stage will be to determine the number of customers who would use the potential service along the Costa del Sol. The study is to be carried out by engineering consultant Ineco, who will look into possible routes, financial feasibility and how to fund the project if it is carried out.

As it stands, Marbella is currently the only city with more than 100,000 inhabitants that does not have a train station. Plans for a train line along the coast and a train station in the area have reportedly ‘been in the pipeline’ for years. Currently the train line only runs as far as Fuengirola, however the study will determine whether the line needs to be extended as far as Marbella or even further to Estepona. The study is the first stage for a possible coastal train line, however it has not been confirmed as a definite project and the Ministry of Public Works will await Ineco’s findings.

Marbella is a tourist favourite and sees particular interest from those looking for a luxury lifestyle and high-end properties. With excellent facilities available and of interest for those wishing to play golf, Marbella welcomes a high number of tourists every year and is one of the leading areas for tourism in Spain. Puerto Banús is one of the most visited areas in Marbella, particularly for its marina, and a coastal train could send visitor figures even higher.

Enjoy Estepona’s Streets 2014

April 3, 2014 in Alta Vista Property Spain, Alta Vista Spain, Costa del Sol news, Estepona Real Estate, www.altavistaproperty.com

Estepona hosts the event “Live your Estepona Streets,” which will bring together the most colourful and vibrant activities in the historical district. From Friday 4th to Sunday 6th April come down to Estepona and ‘Live your streets’.

Estepona_streets

 

The program includes events such as National Mountain Racing Championship, Tattoo Convention, a ‘Tapas Route’ in old town as well as parades, competitions and tournaments, flamenco and rock concerts or dance and performance shows.

Check the whole program here:  http://estepona.es/actualidad/web/amp_noticia.asp?s=1&id=10544

 

A frontline Golf development in Marbella

March 31, 2014 in Alta Vista Property Spain, AltaVista Property Costa del Sol, Costa del Sol news, www.altavistaproperty.com

Los Lagos golf

Elviria offers the climate, the landscape and the Mediterranean lifestyle. Los Lagos de Santa Maria is a unique residential complex, surrounded by nature and with fantastic views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Africa in the distance.

Just a 25-minute drive from Malaga international airport and 10 minutes from Marbella’s old town. Los Lagos is surrounded by beaches, golf courses, international restaurants , boutiques and shopping centres, and a wide range of activities of all kinds. The development is within easy walking distance to the Golf Club House.

The residential complex is very well looked after with large gardens and luxury finishing.

This is one of the best opportunities on the market in Marbella today, so contact us now to find out more.

Los Lagos

Sierra Bermeja

March 25, 2014 in Costa del Sol news, Estepona Real Estate, Spain Real Estate, www.altavistaproperty.com

Sierra Bermeja dropback

Sierra Bermeja is the mountain range that forms the west flank of the Serranía de Ronda in Spain, overlooking the Costa del Sol from Marbella to Estepona.

It is the largest solid rocks rich in iron and platinum in the world, without comparison in the world in terms of its geological composition. The color of the rocks is named the Sierra. Its highest peak is called Los Reales and is 1,449 meters above sea level.

Sierra Bermeja is a haven for nature with a Natural Park to enjoy a day out with the family or to feel at one with the country. The list of activities and to-dos is endless.

The Pinsapar of Los Reales, with an area of ​​approximately 1,236 hectares, is protected since 1989 by the Junta de Andalucía as a Natural Park. 85% of existing plant communities in Sierra Bermeja, Estepona are protected by European directive.

Wildlife brings immense biodiversity that is augmented by seasonal birds are steps in the peaks of Sierra Bermeja unbeatable observatories, over 220 species can be seen, especially in times of migration between Europe and Africa. Highlights of raptors such as the golden eagle , peregrine falcon , the eagle owl , Bonelli’s eagle and the eagle . In addition, other species include eel, common chameleon , otter, mongoose, deer and mountain goat.

Sierra Bermeja provides a backdrop to the properties around Estepona and the New Golden Mile. Besides that, the area enjoys unbeatable weather -over 300 days of sunshine a year- and a beautiful coastline as well as many wonderful places and residential areas.

selwo_la_resina

Tapas, Spanish-style

March 21, 2014 in Costa del Sol news, Marbella, Spain News, Spain Real Estate, www.altavistaproperty.com

Tapas has become a bit of a buzzword in the last few years. These small, delicious mouthfuls of something savoury are served with a chilled white, a ‘tinto’ or a beer in every bar throughout Spain.

Everything about tapas, from the preparation to eating and enjoying it, is a uniquely Spanish experience. Tapas are made from a wonderful variety of meat, seafood, fish, vegetables, cheese or even fruit.

Eating tapas is part of the Spanish way of life, as it is the hospitality, friendship and the like for good conversation.

Are you ready to try? Let’s start with a classic:

Tortilla Española:

Ingredients (Serves 8)

450 ml Spanish olive oil

450 gr potatoes, cubed

2 onions, chopped

2 large eggs

Salt & pepper, fresh parsley to garnish

Method

1 Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the potato cubes and onions, then lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently so that the potatoes do not clump together, for 20 minutes or until tender but not browned. Place a sieve over a large bowl and drain the potatoes and onions well. Set aside the oil.

2 Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the potatoes and onions.

3 Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil. When hot, add the eggs and potatoes, lower the heat and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the underside is just set.

4 Cover the tortilla with a plate and invert the tortilla onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back into the frying pan and cook for 3-5 minutes or until set underneath.

5 Serve warm or cold, garnished with parsley.

The table is set!

Las Mimosas de Puerto Banús

Las Mimosas de Puerto Banús

Altavista Property Spain | 10 Reasons to Love the Costa del Sol

July 26, 2012 in AltaVista Property Marbella, www.altavistaproperty.com

The Costa del Sol is found in the province of Malaga and stretches along the coastline for 159 km from Manilva to Nerja. Most of this coastline is composed of beautiful beaches of all types. Malaga is the capital city, with a metropolitan population of about a million.

1. Climate

The Costa del Sol has Spain’s best climate. The average temperature throughout the year is 18.5 C. There are at least 300 days of sunshine, and thus the title of Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun). The winters are the mildest in Europe and there is plenty of tourism then, when northern Europeans want to escape their snow clad countries. There is little rain in winter, and even if it rains, the skies clear afterward and the sun shines again. Truly the climate is ideal in the Costa del Sol. Two cities on the Costa del Sol, Marbella and Torrox Costa, have the best microclimates in Europe, with surrounding mountains protecting these cities from cold, northerly winds. The mild winters are appreciated by those who come to live here permanently, or those who want to spend winters here and return to their countries in spring. So winters are mild and summers are cooler than inland Spain.

2. Friendliness of Malagueños

The native Malagueños are a very friendly people who enjoy the company of all types of visitors, whether they are Spanish from other regions, other Andalusians, or foreigners. They are probably the friendliest of all Spanish and they have a custom of hospitality that is ingrained. They are used to having all types of guests, from the earliest centuries of their history. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Vandals, and Moors came and stayed. This land was alluring to all visitors, and the Malagueños are a mixture of all these people. The tourist boom that started in the 1970’s continues and keeps bringing tourists to the beaches and resorts of the Costa del Sol.

The Malagueños are innately charming. The majority are outgoing and optimistic about their future. They like to talk and they like to party and have fun. They enjoy eating good food and they have a long history of culture associated with their food. They always try to help visitors, no matter where they come from. The visitor is really welcomed with open arms.

Everyone connected with the tourist industry speaks enough English to be understood, so the language problem does not exist in the Costa del Sol.

The Malagueños are amazingly tolerant of all people, no matter what color they are, what religions they have, what country they come from. There are Muslem mosques, Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues, and a Buddhist shrine. They are also tolerant of people with different types of gender orientation. Malaga is now one of the best gay destinations in Europe, with many gay bars.

3. Malaga Airport

Malaga Airport is the third largest in Spain, after the airports in Madrid, Barcelona. Connections to other Spanish and European cities is easy and there are many low cost airlines that are now coming to Malaga, so it is getting more inexpensive to travel to Malaga. Work is now going on to build a second runway and a new passenger terminal has just been inaugurated, so the capacity of the airport has doubled. Easy access to Malaga is very important for tourism, because tourists lose enthusiasm when they have to make too much effort to reach a tourist destination.

4. New AVE Service from Madrid

Madrid is the transportation hub of Spain for both national and international flights. At the end of 2007, the new AVE route from Madrid to Malaga was inaugurated and passenger traffic increased tremendously to Malaga from Madrid, especially on weekends. Many Madrileños want to spend their weekends on the beaches of Malaga, instead of in their big city of Madrid, to relax and decompress from high pressure jobs. The AVE now takes only 2.5 hours each way. Malaga is also connected with high speed trains to Seville and Cordoba. Work on the AVE to Granada is continuing.

5. Great Beaches

With 159 kilometers of coastline, one expects to find good beaches in Malaga. The beaches of Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella, and Torre del Mar are world class. They are clean and have many facilities, such as bathrooms and beach showers. Blue Flag beaches are beaches that meet quality standards and the Costa del Sol has very many Blue Flag beaches.

6. Golf Paradise

The Costa del Sol has at least 40 beautiful golf courses, many of them designed by the most famous golf course designers of the world. There are many more golf courses that are nearing completion or are starting construction. The good news is that most of them are being watered with recycled water. The few that are not using recycled water are in the process of converting to recycled water because there is a new law forcing all golf courses in Malaga to use recycled water. So ecologists will be satisfied regarding this matter.

7. Culture

Few tourist destinations in Spain have as many cultural offerings as the Costa del Sol. A very large number of artists, both Spanish and foreign, live in the Costa del Sol because the light is marvelous, which makes painting appealing. There are a large number of cultured people, again both Spanish and foreign, who enjoy the arts in the city. Among the major cultural offerings are:

a. Picasso Museum – Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga and this museum shows his work. It is one of the few museums that show representative work from each of his seven different work periods, from the Blue Period to Cubism.

b. Picasso Birthplace Museum – Located in the Plaza de la Merced.

c. Cathedral – Started during the Renaissance. This is one of Spain’s most beautiful cathedrals.

d. Alcazaba and Roman Theater – The Moorish fort on the hill overlooking Malaga is the best preserved Moorish fort in Spain. At the bottom of the fort is the Roman amphitheater.

8. Beautiful Gardens

There are some exceptionally beautiful gardens in the Costa del Sol.

a. Malaga Park – In the heart of Malaga, adjacent to the port is the Malaga Park, a hundred year old park that has been recently remodeled. This park is known for its semi tropical plants and is 800 meters long.

b. The Garden of Pedro Luis Alonso is located by the Town Hall and has a beautiful rose garden that contains 10,200 rose bushes, with 70 different varieties.

c. The Botanical Gardens of La Concepcion – On the outskirts of Malaga are these huge semi tropical gardens, the biggest garden of this kind in Europe.

d. Villa Padierna Hotel – In Estepona is this new Tuscan style hotel with beautiful gardens and some of the best Roman statuary in Spain.

e. Puente Romano Hotel – This Marbella hotel has wonderful gardens that border a stream.

f. Kempinski Palace Hotel – This hotel in Estepona has lush gardens around many waterfalls and cascades.

9. Transportation Hub

Malaga has a big transportation interchange building, called Vialia (Maria Zambrano Station), where one can take the AVE, the Cercanias train, and the bus to other cities in Malaga or to other provinces. Vialia is one of the biggest of its sort in Spain, making transportation connections easy. Malaga is also building a Metro system that will also be connected to Vialia. The bus system in Malaga is easy to use and it goes everywhere one wants to reach in the city.

10. Good Roads

The A7 motorway parallels the coast of Malaga. It has parts that one needs to pay tolls, but these toll roads make journeys faster. The main roads in the Costa del Sol are very good, but many have a lot of traffic. More ring roads are being built to alleviate the traffic.

source: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

AltaVista Property puts the emphasis on clients’ requirements. We focus our efforts on matching client requirements and sourcing suitable properties, but given our longstanding experience in real estate and knowledge of this market in particular, we are also able to identify those properties that offer great value. For more information please visit www.altavistaspain.com

Michael Liggan | Marbella Starlite Concerts kicks off in style with George Benson at the Quarry

July 26, 2012 in AltaVista Property Marbella, Michael Liggan, www.altavistaproperty.com

George Benson has Starlite Look in His Eyes… Whether by design or by a stroke of  completely coincidental, yet genius  synchronicity, it was fitting that 10 times Grammy winner, vocal superstar and guitar legend George Benson should kick off The Starlite Festival, the most ambitious summer concert programme ever staged in Marbella. Photography by Gary Edwards.

Michael Liggan - George Benson

Not only is George Benson one of the most loved and regular performers in Marbella, having played many times since the 80s at the Plaza de Toros and latterly in the 90s and Noughties at the Puente Romano Tennis Club, but Give Me the Night, the hugely successful  hit song which has to be his best known, and could be considered his personal anthem, includes the line,  ” When I see that starlight look in your eyes…”

Organisation
It was to be a while before the eager crowd could enjoy that pivotal moment in the evening, owing to serious organizational hiccups which it is hoped can be blamed on first night nerves. Following what can only be described as a shambolic start to the evening, as the glammed-up Marbella crowd trudged across the dusty car park, ruining their high heels, to the inadequate ticket offices, where they waited in chaotic queues to pick up tickets from staff who had apparently lost their booking lists, along with dozens of disappearing tickets.

The ticket debacle took almost two hours to clear, and crowds were then ferried to the event on a stream of shuttle buses driving up and down the long and winding road to the new Starlite venue located in the old Auditorium of La Cantera de Nagueles, in the quarry that was used to dig out the rock which was used to build Puerto Banús some four decades ago.

Venue
Impressive Hollywood-style beams of  lighting swept across the sky, illuminating the drive up to the venue, which loomed alluringly, a beacon of neon amid the darkness of the pines lining the twisting mountain track.  Once inside, the new venue was worth the wait. Much more than a temporary auditorium,  you walk into a bar-lounge area with trendy furniture, food stalls, and a whole restaurant area which is being run by El Bulli, Ferran Adriá’s temple to high cuisine. Chef Paco Roncero has prepared a menu of gourmet tapas which have to be eaten to be believed.

The queues to buy tickets, to then queue again at bars and food stalls was heavily criticized… The whole process takes away the spontaneity and pleasure of the experience.  This is supposed to be a chic Marbella venue, not the feria…so why the tokens..?  The beer and wine had also run out before the concert was over, so again, the organization was poor. With the cost of a bottle of water, coke or beer at 8€, and a Vodka and tonic at 13€ the venue is going to lose it’s attraction from many people.

Magic of George

Luckily, George Benson and his band – did not disappoint, and the concert itself was worth the frustrations along the way. The auditorium itself is excellent – with long rows  of seats and live video screens giving great visual access to the stage.  Playing to a packed house in the new 6 million euro purpose built venue, Benson was noticeably moved to be back in Marbella.  He chatted fondly of playing at the old bull ring, and revealed that Marbella and Puerto Banús are two of his favourite places to party.

Starting his set with two long instrumentals, the audience was left in no doubt as to his musical prowess, literally caressing his guitar as he plays his smooth brand of jazz funk. And at 69, George’s voice continues to be a powerful instrument in its own right, and the audience showed their appreciation from the start as he belted out his hits in that unique deep molasses tone of his.  With a dynamic band to back him, Benson’s classics carried the crowd on a musical journey – many of them  no doubt reminiscing about the days when they first heard Benson sing.  It was Turn Your Love Around that got the crowd up on their feet, with dozens flocking to the stage to boogie on down just a few feet away from the man himself.   Give the Night, the Grammy winning George Benson hit, produced by Quincy Jones, and the one the crowd was waiting for, was the highlight of the night, although following a quick break from the stage, Benson bounded back to take Starlite’s centre stage with his brilliant feelgood  track On Broadway as the encore the crowd so craved and deserved.

Source: www.marbellas.com

Michael Liggan is a driving force and our chief property bargain hunter. For more information please michaelliggan.biz.

 
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