This beautiful area just inland from the coast of Costa Del Sol, offers awesome mountain and valley views, wide open spaces, giving a taste of the “real Spain”. Natural countryside with easy access to the coastline of Málaga, Fuengirola, Mijas and Marbella. A fabulous location for anyone wanting to enjoy outdoor country living. Alhaurín el Grande is a village/town situated on the northern slope of Sierra de Mijas, in the Guadalhorce Valley. The surrounding landscape is rural with various fruit trees, olive groves and gardens The town has a strong sense of community, holding markets and regular fiestas. With a population of approximately 25,000. Being only a 30-minute drive from the busy coast, its location makes is perfectly situated to escape, without feeling too remote. You can also easily visit nearby beaches and shopping centres. For the golf lovers there are multiple courses close by, including the beautiful Alhaurín Golf, designed by Seve Ballesteros. Likewise, if you are a horse lover, there are many welcoming, well run, and professional horse yards not far away. Alhaurín el Grande is a great potential choice if you are considering relocating to Spain, or moving inland from the Costa del Sol. The rich history, dating back as early as Phoenician times, also makes it an extremely interesting place to live.
A large town set among the vast plantations of citrus and avocado in the province of Málaga, Andalucía. It boasts cultural heritage areas such as The Fuente del Rey Aqueduct (King's Spring). Over the last couple of years, the town has seen a tremendous growth brought by improvements on the major highways in the area. The town’s economy is undoubtedly flourishing, rapidly transforming the area into a commuter town. The town boats a combination of natural landscape, with towering pine trees, with larger residential areas. In 15 minutes, you can arrive at the popular beaches of Torremolinos, it is also near Málaga city. Fina El Portón is the town’s cultural and social centre and has become a popular venue for art exhibitions, dance performances and concerts. Alhaurín de la Torre enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate where the summers are warmer (around 30 degrees Celsius on average highs) and the winters are milder (around 7 degrees Celsius on average lows). While it has an average of 2,815 hours of sunshine every year.
The beautiful sprawling white town of Cártama, with its historic hilltop fortress ruins, is only 17km from the city of Málaga, the airport and the coast. The village is divided into two communities: Cártama Pueblo, the oldest and central part of town, and Estación de Cártama, which is where you will find the railway station. The village is famous for its citrus and meat production and has a long architectural and cultural legacy. It’s located strategically within the province, bordering eight other towns and has very good links to the capital. The beautiful surroundings of Cártama are perfect to enjoy many outdoor activities and the views of Monte de la Virgen are stunning! Beaches and the neighbouring regions are known for their rugged terrain and scenic spots. Hence, they are ideal for outdoor sports activities like horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and golf. Cártama is also famous for its festivals and ferias. When evening falls and it's time to unwind, bars and restaurants can offer you ice cold drinks, delicious tapas or main courses and ample entertainment to wrap up your day in this scenic Mediterranean countryside. Most restaurants you’ll find delicious Spanish cuisine, some international dishes, and lots of tapas. This small town has a number of shops, including three supermarkets, that will meet your essential shopping needs, these are predominately located in the pueblo, as well as the Estación.
A lively town set in the foothills of the Sierra de Mijas, overlooking the beautiful Guadalhorce Valley and only 30 kilometres inland from Málaga city and Marbella. If you are an outdoor sports enthusiast and enjoy hiking, the surrounding areas of Coín offer countless routes to be enjoyed on foot, by bike or on horseback. We highly recommend visiting the natural springs of El Nacimiento and Barranco Blanco, given their incomparable ecological value. As you arrive you will drive through fields of orchards, oranges, lemons, olives, almonds and forests such as Alpujata, La Fuente, El Charco del Infierno and La Albuquera. You will feel a world away from civilisation and indeed Coín is referred to as the town of three hundred orchards. Coín has a rich history having been occupied by the Romans, when the town was known as Lacibis, then later as La Cobin, in the 1st century B.C. There are many lovely squares, known as Plazas, where you can relax with a coffee, listen to the fountains and watch the world go by. Try Plaza de la Via or Plaza Alameda. When occupied by the Moors, Coín was known as Dacuan and was an important town in the region. Although Coín’s economy has largely relied on agriculture, it also has been a producer of marble and ceramics, perhaps you have heard the term ‘green Coín’? The most famous landmark and sight in Coín is St. Andrew Church which you may see named as San Andres. Coín has a wide range of properties. Townhouses and apartments dominate the town centre, whereas villas on sought-after urbanisations occupy the outskirts, you will also find fincas dotted amongst the vast countryside.
Guaro is a quaint village set in the Sierra de la Nieves nature reserve. Panoramic views, stunning countryside, and whitewashed streets full of flowers will take your breath away. From hiking and mountain bike trails, to strolling through attractive narrow streets, Guaro is a great destination for anyone that loves the outdoors. Guaro is home to more than 2,000 inhabitant and thanks to its vast almond plantations which supports the economy, is locally known as the “Natural Almond Paradise”. Set in an elevated position, 350 metres above sea level, the village is a short 5-minute drive from neighbouring Monda and 15 minutes from amenities in larger Coín. Málaga city, as well as the international airport, is easily accessible 45 kilometres away. In September, Guaro is transformed during the Festival of the Luna Mora (Moorish Moon), which commemorates the mediaeval history. The village is illuminated by 25,000 candles and many come to enjoy the magical music and dance performances, along with crafts and food markets. If you are looking to live in a typical Andalusian style village, whilst enjoying nature and wildlife, Guaro may be just the place for you.
The beautiful town of Mijas is a set of whitewashed houses perched on the mountain with magnificent views of the Mediterranean. Mijas has three main areas, Mijas Pueblo (the village), Mijas Costa (the coastal strip) and Las Lagunas (a modern residential and commercial area). There are also three small rural out-lying districts called Entrerrios, Osunillas and Valtocado. There is just a 20-minute drive between the quaint Mijas Pueblo, with typical old Andalusian traditions and customs, to the more residential and livelier beach location of Mijas Costa, which is very cosmopolitan. The charming town has winding slopes full of decorative colourful pots overflowing with flowers, standing out from the whitewashed buildings. Its typically Andalusian architecture and magnificent panoramic views of the Mediterranean are undoubtedly two of Mijas’ best assets. La Cala de Mijas is the central point of Mijas Costa. Despite its growth, especially over the last decade or so, it continues to maintain part of its Andalusian seaside village atmosphere, once being a tiny fishing village. In Mijas, avid golfers will be spoilt for choice with golf courses such as Mijas Golf, La Cala, Calanova Golf, Cerrado del Aguila to name a few.
Málaga's history spans about 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in Europe. With a population in 2020 of 578,460 people, the city is a cosmopolitan hub in the province of Andalusia.
Interestingly, significant people such as the painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol and the actor Antonio Banderas were all born in Málaga.
Málaga’s economy heavily relies on tourism, construction, and technological services, as well as the expanding transportation and logistics sectors. The city is a growing tech hub, with many companies basing themselves in the TechPark (Andalucía Technology Park). It is also the fourth-ranking city in Spain in terms of economic activity behind Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia.
As regards transportation, Málaga is served by the international Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport and the Port of Málaga. It is connected to the high-speed railway network and the transportation services are reliable and frequent. There is an extensive public bus network for trips in and around the city centre, as well as a bike rental service and BiciTaxi.
Residents can easily access both public and private health centres, in addition to the main hospitals.
If you have children, there are plenty of public and multilingual private schools. Málaga also benefits from its own university, as well as other higher education options.
There are many advantages of living in the city including the proximity to commercial shops, cinemas, theatres, and parks.
Enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, practice sports, play golf, eat typical Spanish food, immerse yourself in festivities and the culturally dynamic lifestyle... and of course make the most of the beaches and sunny weather. People from Málaga and Andalusia in general are well-known for their great friendliness, with residents tending to love partying and making everyone feel welcome.
The city has many traditional celebrations including the Málaga Fair, Andalusia’s Day commemorating the people of Andalucía, the Carnival, and Flamenco.
An idyllic town in the region of the Sierra de las Nieves, located at the foot of the hill of the Veleta. Full of flowers and surrounded by countryside, Monda is only 15 minutes drive to the beaches of Marbella, or 30 minutes to Málaga.
The village has a good selection of bars, restaurants and small shops, with larger national and international supermarkets only a short drive away in Coín.
Monda is a historic town with areas of artistic, cultural, and monumental interest, including ruins, monuments, and churches. One of these include Monda Castle, set in a commanding position at the highest point of the village. With breath-taking views across the valley, the boutique hotel and fine dining restaurant is not to be missed. The castle was built in the in the 9th century on the ruins of a Roman fortress. There is also the Moorish style Santiago Apóstol Parish Church dating back to 1505.
Given its strategic location, its varied landscapes, and long history, Monda has many natural resources that offer a wide range of possibilities, including outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding. Enjoy the traditional local festivals or taste the delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
Thanks to the opening of the international design college Marbella Design Academy (teaching graphic design, interior architecture, and international design), the town has a cosmopolitan feel to it. Although students enjoy a social live outside the Academy, Monda hasn’t lost its traditional charm.
For those looking for schooling, there is the public school Colegio Remedios Rojo. The town has a few supermarkets, a butchers, bakery and fruit and veg shops for you to buy your local produce.
Originally a Moorish village, Ojén is located 200 metres above sea level, only 10 kilometres, or 20 minutes from Marbella. Nestled between the steep Sierra de las Nieves mountain range and coastal beaches, this white village even hosts an independent music festival each year, Ojeando.
Previously included in The Times top 50 of the best places to live overseas, Ojén is a great location for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, with several bicycle and hiking trails and viewpoints where you can admire the traditional Andalusian landscape close by. One in particular is the trail to the top of “La Concha” (read all about this trail in our ‘A Hike With A View’ blog). Ojén also benefits from its own public swimming pool.
The community of around 2,000 people is tightknit and multiple generations live amongst the charming narrow streets. Locals are known for their friendliness, so it is no surprise that in recent years the number of foreign families moving to Ojén has risen by 20%.
Ojén has a good selection of traditional food options serving homemade and local produce. You will find many small tapas bars scattered around the main square (plaza).
Visit the Saturday market for local produce, or take a trip to large indoor shopping centre, La Cañada, only a short drive away.
There are a couple of local schools, for those with children, and the nearest hospital is located in Marbella.
The traditional and charming town of Pizarra is in the geographical heart of the Málaga province at the bottom of the Sierra de Gibralmora. The Guadalhorce river flows through the town. Originally the main source of water for Roman settlers, today the nearby river allows rich citrus plantations and varied agriculture to grow, including chocolate and almond trees. Pizarra is a characterful town great for those that love the outdoors.
It is only 30 kilometres from Málaga city and the international airport. The town also borders Álora, Cártama, Casarabonela and Coín.
Despite its size, there is a good nightlife with plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants, as well as local hipermercados (supermarkets) and small shops supplying everything you need. To promote healthy living, the town puts on an organic market on the last Sunday of every month. Farmers bring fresh goods to the Market, which is conveniently located at the central Plaza de la Cultura.
Many sports are played by those that live in Pizarra, including football, tennis, paddle, volleyball and swimming.
There are a couple of schools in the town, such as Colegio Guadalhorce and Fuente Luna.
Pizarra has a good medical centre and there are also private doctors in the town. It is excellently connected by car, bus, as well as rail, located on the local railway line between Álora and Málaga.
With its whitewashed walls and red-brick roofs, it’s easy to recognise the village of Tolox from a far. As with many “Pueblo Blanco” villages in Málaga, its streets are winding and sometimes steep, with beautiful flowers hanging outside house windows.
This very quaint village offers a combination of nature, history, traditional culture, and beautiful mountain views. Not surprisingly, the origin of this town dates to the Neolithic time, with remains being found in the Cueva de la Tinaja.
The municipality of Tolox has a small population of just over 2,000 people and belongs to the Sierra de las Nieves region. It is located 52km west of Málaga, where you will find the nearest international airport.
It is famous for the Tolox Spa, also known as the spring of ‘bitter water’ due to the particular taste of the water, it was discovered by the pharmacist, Don José García Rey who conducted scientific studies on the water. Residents regularly visited the spring to experience its feeling of wellbeing.
Today, the Tolox Spa is recommended for those suffering from respiratory diseases as the "Water" gasses are medicinal when inhaled.
The area is well known for its natural beauty. Various great walking trails routes, some leading up to the summit of El Torrecilla, provide fantastic views over the Sierra de las Nieves.
The village has well-maintained sports facilities, including the Municipal Pool, José Mesa Soccer Court, Sports Centre and the Municipal Gymnasium. You can also enjoy the use of public outdoor fitness machines.
There is one school in Tolox, Colegio San Roque, for both primary and secondary aged children. The village also has a number of smaller shops, including a pharmacy, as well as a health office.
The small town of Álora is situated 40km north of Málaga and just 12km south of El Chorro.
Álora is a typical “pueblo blanco” (whitewashed village) nestled between rocks and the ruins of a magnificent historic castle.
From Málaga airport, Álora is only a short 40-minute journey. There are numerous transport options, including a frequent bus route and motorway. Local train services also link it with other towns around the province, including Fuengirola and Torremolinos.
The beautiful steep sloped village has cobbled, whitewashed streets are lined with lemon trees. Álora has a rich history, with the square being overlooked by an impressive 17th century Church of La Encarnación, built during the Catholic era, on the site of a former mosque.
The area has public schools and there are a few private schools nearby. You will also find a very good public medical centre, as well as access to private medical and dental services.
Situated on the sun-soaked Costa del Sol, the Málaga village of Álora is an inviting destination for those wanting the warm Mediterranean climate.
The nearby El Chorro lakes, are a perfect picturesque place for family outings, great for anyone looking for an outdoor adventure, families looking to enjoy outdoor activities, sports, cycling trails, canoeing, paddle boats, horse riding, quad biking and much more.
Another popular thing to do close by is to walk the “Caminito del Rey” (The King’s Walk). This is a thrilling adventure trail along a very tall, steep rock wall.
A quaint village in Southern Spain and winner of the ‘prettiest town in Spain’ award in 1976, Alozaina is located 5 kilometres in the Sierra de las Nieves, an important biological reserve in the Málaga province.
The municipality extends from the River Grande valley until the Mount Prieta and links with the Serranía de Ronda and the Guadalhorce Valley.
The area has a varied landscape including rich fertile agricultural land. With a population of over 2,000 people, many locals frequently commute into Málaga for work.
The nearest international airport is Málaga, the town has a good public medical centre, as well as public schools. The village is mainly home to traditional shops, cafes, and restaurants.
If you are looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, away from the big cities, Alozaina may be just the place for you. You can enjoy activities such as nature trails walks and hiking in the "Sierra de las Nieves” reserve.
Great for nature lovers, yet less than an hour away from busier places such as Málaga, Fuengirola and Ronda, Alozaina is perfect for those wanting a gentle pace of life.
The history of the pueblo is closely related to Tolox, visible from here. Finds from the Upper Palaeolithic period have been found in local caves in the Jorrox area and the vestiges of an Iberian hill fort can be found at nearby Cerro de Peñón.
Not only is Benalmádena a vibrant tourist destination, but it is also where approximately home to 66,000 people.
Located on the coast only 19km away from Málaga International Airport, the town sits in between the popular resorts of Torremolinos and Fuengirola.
Benalmádena is split into three main areas. There is the traditional Spanish village know as Benalmadena Pueblo with whitewashed walls, narrow cobbled streets and quaint squares, the cosmopolitan coastal area of Benalmadena Costa and the commercial district of Arroyo de la Miel, which is also home to an ancient Roman archway and the famous castle.
There are 13 beautiful beaches stretching across 10km of coastline to choose from. With so many activities to do, the area is perfect for those that enjoy the outdoors. Take a boat trip, go fishing, dive, play a game of golf, hike, go horse riding or walk your dog in one of the many local parks. If you prefer indoor activities, visit the butterfly park, Buddhist temple or aquarium, just to name a few. If you are looking for a day out with the children, why not visit Tivoli World a local amusement and entertainment park.
Benalmádena is a fantastic place to find somewhere to eat. With a great selection of restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you look forward to a night out, head out to the bars and clubs along the award-winning Puerto Marina.
There is a good local bus service and road trains which are useful when going from one part of town to another.
Benalmádena has many amenities and a good supply of essential services including supermarkets, retail shops, hairdressers, dental practices, and beauty centres. There are several health centres, as well as hospitals.
The region has a wide choice of schools to enrol your children into. You can choose between both the English and Spanish syllabus at bilingual private international schools or state schools. International schools in the area include The Benalmádena International College and The British College.
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