Spain Property Guide - January 2022 Issue 7

Buying property in Spain guide, read the number 1 overseas property magazine dedicated to Spain and is designed specifically for property buyers in the UK and Europe, Buying in Spain made simple providing readers the necessary information, interesting articles, and the latest property for sale. Find out more about the most popular places to live in Spain. If you're looking to buy a luxury villa in Marbella for retirement, or a holiday apartment by the sea in Costa Blanca then you will find hundreds of property listings at www.spainpropertyguide.com web portal with an easy-to-navigate search tool. Look out for the new weekly articles that include legal advice provided by the registered Spanish abogado from My Lawyer in Spain dedicated legal team. Advice with all that you may need to know about obtaining residency in Spain and the visa requirements to live and work in Spain. There are many benefits for you when registering to the Spain property guide web portal, you can save your search, share property details, and arrange a virtual video tour of your chosen Spanish property. You can also request a personal property finder, this service is dedicated to your exact needs and will save you time and can also save you money.

Buying property in Spain guide, read the number 1 overseas property magazine dedicated to Spain and is designed specifically for property buyers in the UK and Europe, Buying in Spain made simple providing readers the necessary information, interesting articles, and the latest property for sale.
Find out more about the most popular places to live in Spain.
If you're looking to buy a luxury villa in Marbella for retirement, or a holiday apartment by the sea in Costa Blanca then you will find hundreds of property listings at www.spainpropertyguide.com
web portal with an easy-to-navigate search tool. Look out for the new weekly articles that include legal advice provided by the registered Spanish abogado from My Lawyer in Spain dedicated legal team. Advice with all that you may need to know about obtaining residency in Spain and the visa requirements to live and work in Spain. There are many benefits for you when registering to the Spain property guide web portal, you can save your search, share property details, and arrange a virtual video tour of your chosen Spanish property. You can also request a personal property finder, this service is dedicated to your exact needs and will save you time and can also save you money.


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SPAIN 2022


£50 Amazon


Earn a




Beaches and crystal waters 06

Featured property 10


The white coast 14

Why People Choose Welcome Estates 16

A family business 18


Classic Mediterranean region 24

Costa Calida Market review 26

Urbania - A philosophy of development 28





>> sales@spainpropertguide.com

>> editor@spainpropertguide.com

>> distribution@spainpropertguide.com

>> design@spainpropertguide.com

Tel: Spain +34 966 94 20 22 • Tel: UK +44 7498984177


Long stretching beaches 32

Costa Almeria Market review 34


Popular destination 38

Luxury in a natural setting 40

Granada - Seductress of the ages 44

Malaga - The other Barcelona 48

Malaga Technology Park 50

Andalucia’s own car maker 52

Spanish Architects 54


Archipelago in the Mediterranean 58

Ibiza - Shabby Chic and much more 60


COVER IMAGE: Yaroslav Shuraev from Pexels woman in skiwear on a

snowy mountain



DISCLAIMER: Spain Property Guide Magazine accepts no responsibility for claims

made by advertisers or comments by made by contributors in any form. Any

unauthorised reproduction, in whatever media format, whether in whole or in part, is

strictly forbidden. Artwork produced by Spain Property Guide remains the property of

Spain Property Guide. All rights reserved.






Golden Visa 04

Currency Outlook 20

Plusvalia - Tax for properties in Spain 22

Living in Spain 30

Buying A Property in Spain - The process 36

The next evelolution of BinckBank 46


Bodegas for a modern era 62







For people outside the EU interested in buying a property,

investing or indeed residing in Spain, the Golden Visa

scheme offers a convenient way of acquiring legal status.

Since Brexit, this also includes British citizens.

The access and rights once automatically granted to British

subjects were withdrawn when the UK left the European Union

along with the free movement of people within its boundaries;

now effectively outside of this zone, the same rules broadly apply to

them that also govern relations with the citizens of many other of the

world’s nations. However, the Golden Visa offers a way of attaining

residence rights and the ability to conveniently own property, invest

in and also reside within Spain.


The essential requirements to qualify for a Spanish Golden Visa are

pretty straightforward. You really just have to own a property within Spain

with a minimum net value (excluding charges) of €500,000. The second

requirement is to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the country’s

authorities that you have the means to support yourself in Spain without

the need to work here, thus waving any responsibility of the state for

your financial wellbeing. The aim of this is to encourage investment in

Spain and to ensure that any non-EU citizens residing in the country are

financially independent.


To apply for the Spanish Golden, you have to be physically present in the

country, as your passport will have to contain a date stamp of entry. While

a lawyer or gestor may submit the application on your behalf, you have to

be present in person during the process and up to its completion.


As is standard in such cases, a certain amount of documentation is

required and has to be submitted in a specific manner. Some, such as

your passport, will already be in your possession, while others will have

to be requested in your home country in advance of your Golden Visa

application in Spain. As these will be issued in your mother tongue,

an official translation of all such documents by an accredited sworn

translator will have to be prepared in Spain before submitting both sets

(the original and translated versions) for scrutiny. Make sure you have

both the original versions and copies available. Your lawyer or gestor will

be able to assist you with all of this.

Moreover, all documents have to be legalised and bear the Apostille of

The Hague – and remain valid for only three months from the date of


The documents needed for your Golden Visa application are:

• Passport and copies of all its pages (including blank ones)

• Non-criminal record certificate

• An updated marriage certificate (if applicable)




Documents to be requested in Spain:


Proof of valid full health coverage, and if this needs to be contracted

through a health insurance company the lawyer or gestor will be able to



This certificate confirms that a Spanish property is registered in

your name with the Land Registry, and that it is owned by you free of

outstanding charges or encumbrances. This too can be obtained on your

behalf by your appointed lawyer.


This certificate documents the current balance of your account in your

home country, as well as its average annual balance. In addition you will

be required to provide an extract of bank account movements going back

six months from the date of application. Both these documents need

to clearly identify the holder of the account and the matching account

number, so as to confirm that it is indeed your account and your money.


The above also applies for your Spanish account, with which a lawyer or

gestor can once again be of assistance.


This usually entails flight tickets to enter and leave Spain, with the latter

dated after the submittal of the application for a Spanish Golden Visa.


Once all the above documentation has been correctly compiled and

submitted, the Spanish government has 21 days to respond with a

definitive answer. If your application is successful, you will have to

come to Spain within around a month of a positive decision to have your

fingerprints taken at police headquarters.

You will then receive the Residence Card approximately six weeks later,

and again, it has to be collected in person.


From the moment it is granted, the Spanish Golden Visa is valid for a

period of two years, after which it should be a formality to be renewed

and extended for periods of five years at a time, until one ultimately

becomes eligible for indefinite residency status.




An ancient coast of beaches, crystalline waters and

rocky cliffs that lead down to secluded little coves

and bays, the northern part of the Costa Blanca is

often described as the most beautiful section of all – and

one of the finest examples of Mediterranean lifestyle to be

found anywhere.


Alicante provides the big city feel as well as a large

international airport for the region, and as you head north

from here the first significant resort town is El Campello,

popular above all with Spanish tourists. From here to the

pretty coastal town of Villajoyosa, with its multi-coloured

Levante houses, Beach, there are only tiny beachside spots dotted, and




more of the same until you come to the most famous

Costa Blanca resort of all: Benidorm.

Famous for its package tourism, as humorously depicted in

a British comedy series, this large resort town is redeveloping

its look and offering to appeal to a more modern kind of

tourism, complete with stylish resort hotels and a series of

large theme park attractions such as Terra Mítica, Terra

Natura and Aqualandia. From here, the coast becomes

more rugged, with imposing capes and rocky cliffs and

bays that together create breath-taking scenery against

a backdrop of blue skies and green pine groves.

Altea is a stylish resort town with a beautiful historic centre

that ranks as one of the region’s highlights, while Platja

L’Olla is a wonderfully secluded stretch of coast between


A view from

Moraira to

the Ifach in





Villa Martin

distant cliffs. Just before you reach another iconic resort

town, Calpe, Altea Hills is the first of a series of luxurious

villas suburbs with stunning coastal views – one of several

residential resort areas that offer an excellent choice of

modern homes with all the latest styles, amenities and

high-tech comforts. The views from here are truly stunning.


Calpe is gifted with a stunning setting – a wide bay

overlooking an iconic rock cape not unlike that of

Gibraltar, as well as an inland lagoon known as Les Salines.

This picture perfect spot first named by the Phoenicians

provides the ideal setting for a resort town, and Calpe is

the last large town before you come to the end of the


Santa Pola


de Segura




Benissa Moraira

Altea Calpe



Villa Joyosa

Costa Blanca at Jávea and Denia, passing the pretty little

coastal resort of Moraira. Beyond it lays gorgeous coastal

scenery with idyllic bays such as Plata de la Granadella,

with its turquoise water.

Jávea and Denia are two pretty towns fronting sandy

beaches and surrounded by attractive residential

areas set within pine groves, with many following the

undulations of golf courses such as the excellent La Sella

Golf. The iconic Parc Natural Montgó crowns the natural

beauty of this region, which is also less than an hour from

Valencia, close to many more beauty spots and always

just a short drive from country villages full of authentic

regional charm.



Are you planning on

moving to Spain?

Blevins Franks has 45 years of experience advising

UK nationals moving to and living in Spain. We

can guide your through various aspects of your

move, from residence and Brexit, to tax and estate

planning, to how best to structure your investment

capital and pensions for a Spanish resident.

Talk to the people who know

+44 (0)207 389 8133


We have nine offices in Spain as well as one in

London. Our local advisers would be more than

happy to have a chat with you and see how they

can help you establish your dream life in Spain.





Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK,

reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Distribution Directive or the Markets in

Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks

Trustees Limited is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority for the administration of trusts and

companies. Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. This promotion

has been approved and issued by BFFM.



(+34) 965 791 035



Partida Montgo, Jávea l 5,700,000€


l Price on Request



Spectacular villa built to the highest standards, a unique style,

beautiful views and a perfect enclave in the Montgó area in Jávea.

This majestic villa is surrounded by a well-preserved garden. The property

is organised into three levels, each of them with spacious rooms and a topquality

equipment. The main floor fuses with the terrace, the pool area and

a fantastic patio partially covered. All of it with beautiful views of the valley.

Property with private pool and panoramic views of the golf, sea and

the city in Dénia.

Exceptional, 5 bedroomed modern architect- designed avant-garde villa, set

within the privacy of the exclusive Golf Resort La Sella and Marriot Hotel,

with magnificent panoramic views to Montgó mountain, the 27 hole golf

course and the Mediterranean Sea.

La Plana, Jávea l 895,000€

Bocairent, Valencia l 1,930,000 €


Villa set on a plot of 13,000m2 in La Plana, a well-known area surrounded

by the Montgó Natural Park in Jávea. Includes guest accommodation.

The villa is comprised of the main residence and a guest apartment. The

main property is arranged on a single floor consisting of a large fitted

kitchen, living-dining room with fireplace, the master bedroom with an ensuite

bathroom, guest toilet and a bedroom.


Unique rural home, very integrated into the surroundings with open

views of the valley and the spectacular swimming pool.

Located in the middle of the Sierra Mariola natural park, this villa sits on a huge

75,000m2 plot on top of a mountain. The house itself covers an area of 350m2

and comprises four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a magnificent living/dining

room with double-height ceilings, completed with a large kitchen.

Vall d’Albaida, Valencia

l Price on Request

El Bosque, Chiva, Valencia l 620,000€



Spacious country property surrounded by olive trees and vineyards in

one of the most beautiful locations of the Valencian Community.

Opportunity. Reduced price. Rimontgó guarantees that this property

features an extremely good price in its competitive market set. For more

information visit our Best opportunities section where you will find an

assortment of the very best buying opportunities in rimontgo.com.

Exclusive villa facing the golf in El Bosque, Valencia. Combination of modern

and Mediterranean style, bright with a large plot, garden and private pool.

Facing the prestigious golf course El Bosque, set on a plot of more than 1,200m2

with a well-established garden and a large swimming pool. The outdoor design

is Mediterranean with Ibiza-style touches and the indoor area benefits from a

modern design also combined with Mediterranean classic details.













+34 96 5744179



Stunning contemporary modern

design property for sale located

just on the outskirts of Moraira with

incredible panoramic sea and

countryside views.

• Bedrooms: 3

• Bathrooms: 3

• constructed: 400m2

• Plot: 10.000m2

• Energy rating: In process

• Construction year: 2006

• Pool

• Air conditioning

• Close to all amenities

• Summer kitchen

• Pool

• Close to town

• Exterior Terrace

• Heating - underfloor

• Views - Sea views

• Parking - covered

• Electric car gates

• Alarm system


m 2 Ref: 20.616

400m 2

10,000m 2 3 3 Pool

m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2







+34 96 5744179 Avenida Madrid, 03724 Moraira




MORAIRA 650.000€


m 2 m 2

m 2

m 2

2 1

131m 2 526m 2 4 3 Pool

m 2 m 2

m 2

m 2 m 2

86m 2 Terrace Pool

Ref: 30.192

m 2

Ref: 20.3399A

BENISSA 255.000€


m 2

137m 2 Terrace Pool

m 2

3 2

m 2 m 2

Ref: 10.268E

MORAIRA 675.000€

m 2

m 2 Ref: 20.2267

255m 2 1.880m 2 6 3 Pool

m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2

JAVEA 1.250.000€

216m 2 1.947m 2 Pool

m 2

5 3

m 2 m 2


m 2

Ref: 20.3427

m 2

m 2 Ref: 70.427

393m 2 1.000m 2 3 2 Pool

m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2


from our Extensive Northern Costa Blanca North Portfolio

we’ll get you moving...

Moraira 350,000 €


Ref: MT.H-747

Altea 230,000 €

Apartment Ref: HO354024

Javea 1,095,000 €

Modern Villa Ref: HO232889



825m 2


3 3

Bedrooms Bathrooms







2 1 Community

Bedrooms Bathrooms Pool



1000m 2


3 3

Bedrooms Bathrooms



Denia 179,999 €

Apartment Ref: HO593564

Jalon 159,000 €

Townhouse Ref: HO121316

Calpe 500,000 €


Ref: CA.H-099





3 2 Community

Bedrooms Bathrooms Pool





3 2

Bedrooms Bathrooms



850m 2


7 4

Bedrooms Bathrooms



Moraira • Javea • Jalon • Calpe • Denia

Northern Costa Blanca, our portfolio of properties is

second to none. Whether you’re looking for a lock-up and

leave weekend escape, rental investment, or something

larger and more permanent, contact us.

(+34) 96 649 1883








Named ‘the White Coast’ for its

cliffs and beaches, the Costa

Blanca is a world of sand-toned

hues contrasting with the azure-blue of

the Mediterranean and the generally

deep blue of its skies. This is essential

Mediterranea, a region imbued by this

ancient sea and its cultures.

Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Moors

and Franks, they were all here, moulding

today with the indigenous population

with a culture that is Spanish, but also

has its own distinct identity. Spanish is the

main language, with English, German,

Dutch and French also frequently

heard, but the other official language is

Valenciano, which can be considered

to be a derivative of Catalan and also

closely related to the local vernaculars of

the Balearic Islands.

As a tourist and residential region, the

200 kilometres of the Costa Blanca

can be divided into a northern and a

southern section, which border Valencia’s

Costa del Azahar and the Costa Cálida

respectively. Though the regional capital

of Valencia – a jewel of a city, and

second only to Madrid and Barcelona

within Spain – is about an hour’s drive

away, the nearest point of reference is

the Mediterranean port of Alicante, itself

a popular tourist destination.


Moving up along the coast from the


Costa Cálida, the Southern Costa Blanca is

characterised by beachside resorts such as the

chilled atmosphere of La Zenia, the amenities of

Torrevieja – one of the icons of this coastline – and

the smaller but equally popular Guardamar del

Segura. This is a mostly sandy shoreline perfect for

tourism but it offers a diversity of resorts, including

the small-scale innocence of El Pinet la Marina, at

the entrance to a large area of marshes.

At its north end, in Bras del Port, high quality salt is

produced close to the famous resort town of Santa

Pola. Rounding the coast, one reaches the final

part of the southern Costa Blanca, as it approaches

the city of Alicante, which marks the dividing line.

Here Monte Faro is a pretty coastal town set amid

spectacular cliffs, and though Arenals del Sol and

Urbanova are a little bigger, they too invoke a sense

of endless beaches and classic summer holidays.




Villa Martin


Santa Pola


de Segura


Torre Vigía Tamarit

(Vigilance Tower)

Santa Pola




Benissa Mo

Altea Calpe



Villa Joyosa


Why people




Welcome Estates brings more

than 25 years of experience in

the Spanish Property Market,

the team of property experts offer an

unparalleled level of knowledge of the

Costa Blanca region and the current

market and are always on hand to

support you in the buying and selling


The office is situated at the beautiful

La Finca Golf and Spa Resort, with a

portfolio of new and resale properties

within the best golf resorts, coastal areas

as well as typical Spanish villages and

towns in the Costa Blanca and Costa

Calida. Whatever your dreams and

goals, Welcome Estates are qualified

and experienced to help you achieve


The company is built on a simple

framework, helping you to build a

better life by understanding that

clients have their own unique

set of requirements. The priority

at Welcome Estates is to take

the time to establish how to

make them a reality together.

Why use Welcome Estates:

Transparency, honesty and

consistent communication are

paramount to help you navigate

the buying process. Providing an

extensive after-sales service ensuring

that you can always call to find help

and guidance long after you secure

your new home.

Highly qualified and experienced

staff will be able to guide you through

the process of buying and selling in

Spain, answering any questions that

arise along the way. The enthusiastic,

friendly, and personable team cover

multiple languages and have excellent

knowledge of the surrounding areas

and current market.

Buying or selling a home is one of the

biggest decisions you ever have to

make, Welcome Estates will be there

with you every step of the way to

make the buying process as simple and

straight forward as possible.

What our clients say:

We just purchased our property in

January and they were first class and

introduced us to our solicitor also based

on la finca who were so professional

and helpful with all aspects of buying

property in Spain. We love it here. Good

luck with your house hunting.

Joe and Rue (January 2021)

Amazing service

Amazing service from Lisa and Team at

Welcome Estates. By going over and

above from start to finish made our first

foreign property purchase a pleasurable

experience. Huge Thanks to Lisa and her


Julie and Steve (August 2021)



From our Extensive range of properties in the Costa Blanca


3 Bed, 3 bath Villa

With Private Pool Ref: 658281

LA ZENIA 990,000€

Villa Ref: 658240

LA FINCA GOLF 347,500€

Villa Ref: 410506

LA FINCA GOLF 419,000€

Villa Ref: 658193

m 2

m 2

m 2

m 2

660m 2




128m 2 350m 2

m 2



m 2


m 2

132m 2 500m 2

m 2



m 2


m 2


Villa Ref: 658204


Villa Ref: 658261

FONT DEL LLOP 223,000€

Villa Ref: 658045

m 2

m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2

m 2

240m 2 68m 2

52m 2 Terrace

m 2



m 2


m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2 m 2

77m 2 Terrace

m 2



m 2


m 2





Office: +34 965 020 204

UK: 01273 900966

Email: info@welcome-estates.com

Web: www.welcome-estates.com

We speak:







Benefiting from two strategically

placed sales offices in Benijófar (Sales

office, and a dedicated aftersales

office) and La Zenia, Casas Manuel is a

professional, family-run company which

has been selling property throughout the

Costa Blanca since 2001 offering both

buyer and seller an exceptional strength

of service.

Since 2001, our reliable and professional

approach to business has created for

us many strong relationships throughout

Spain, UK, Belgium, France, Iceland,

Sweden, Russia, Norway, Czech Republic

and Holland. We pride ourselves on our

very personal and professional service that

we deliver to ALL clients.

As shown by our Testimonials page

– Trust is earned though our collective

Honesty, Hard Work, Transparency,

Knowledge and Ethics.

Our reputation for Values such as

these has enabled us to provide serious

property buyers the benefit of always

Whether you are buying

or selling, our approach to

business is simple - To provide

the best service possible to

every client we meet.

having a wide variety of well-priced

properties to offer for sale on the Costa

Blanca South. So, whatever budget range

stipulated… whether from small beachside

apartments, semi-coastal townhouses,

traditional Fincas, right through to luxury

villas – we will help you!

When you consult our specialist advisors

you will find we take your requirements

very seriously indeed and because we

listen to you we apply our extensive

knowledge and capacity within Casas

Manuel to diligently find you the perfect

property in your ideal location.

In simple: Our team is here to make your

Spanish buying process as easy as possible

and will be assisting you through every

step of the buying process...

If you are looking for something that we

do not have in our portfolio then not to

worry, you simply tell us what it is you want,

and our team of dedicated agents will

find it for you.

In 2016 Casas Manuel were honoured

to take part in a new Channel 4 property

series “Sun, Sea and Selling Houses”. The

success of the 1st show resulted in the

series being re-commissioned by channel

4 and was followed up by a further three





Stunning new build villas on the

outskirts of the popular village of

Benijofar. These villas are built over

two floors boasting a open plan

living/dining area on the ground

floor along with a shower room.

The first floor holds the two double

bedrooms along with a family

bathroom along with a roof top



€224,900 Cabo Roig


• Beds: 2

• Baths: 2

• Plot size: 134m2

• Build size: 90m2

• Pool: Private

• Parking: Off-road

• Full furnished

Ref CM6810

New Build Villas located in Lomas de

Cabo Roig, within walking distance

to all the local amenities that Lomas

de Cabo Roig has to offer. The

properties offer 3 double bedrooms,

3 bathrooms, spacious living and

dining area with an American style

kitchen. The property is sat on a

spacious plot which has a private

swimming pool, plus a roof solarium.



• Beds: 3

• Baths: 3

• Plot size: 199m2

• Build size: 131m2

• Pool: Private

• Parking: Off-road

Ref CM7870


Av. Federico Garcia

Lorca, 15, Benijofar,

03178, Alicante

+34 966 714 719

La Zenia

C. Maestro Torralba, 2

La Zenia,


+34 966 714 719



672m 2

m 2

547m 2

m 2 Communal

m 2

m 2

m 2

5 3 Pool 66m 2 Parking 2 2

m 2 m 2 m 2 m 2

m 2

Ref: CM6210

Ref: CM8156

ALGORFA 58,000€ VILLAMARTIN 149,950€

m 2

50m 2 Parking Communal

m 2

2 1

m 2 m 2

Ref: CM7834

DAYA NUEVA 129,500€

m 2

m 2

98m 2 Parking 3 2 Communal

Ref: CM8168

m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2

CABO ROIG 89,950€

m 2

166m 2 Garage Communal

m 2

3 2

m 2 m 2

Ref: CM7649

@ info@casasmanuel.com @

m 2

m 2

71m 2 Parking 2 1 Pool

Ref: CM8145

m 2

m 2 m 2

m 2





lady of the seas

You couldn’t imagine a seaside city more

quintessentially Mediterranean and Spanish

than Alicante. It offers history, culture, culinary

experiences and authentic Spain while also

being at the heart of the Costa Blanca and its

endless beaches, coves and resorts.


little over an hour south of Valencia is Alicante,

the second-largest city of the autonomous

Community of Valencia. Midway between

Catalunya and Andalusia in culture, it is the elder

of the two cities, originating some 5000 years BCE.

This means the area has been an inhabited centre

for over 7000 years, and was already known when

Greek and Phoenician colonists began building their

trading port – long before Romans or Moors ever

set foot on these shores. Alicante has seen battles,

sieges, plagues, civil war, inundations and fire, but

survived them all, producing a city that is at once

rugged and beautiful.

It was the site of skirmishes between Moors and

Christians, and for a while found itself dominated

by Cid el Campeón, the famous Spanish warlord,

before settling down to become a more sedate

port city. The 1950s brought renewed importance as

the centre of an expanding tourist region, and this

has continued to this day, though academic institutions,

tech parks and film studios have added to growing

diversification in recent years.


In a port city such as Alicante, the focus will naturally

always be on the sea, and the spectacular bay and its

broad sandy beaches make it hard to pay attention to

anything else, but there is in fact more to this city than

just miles of sand, azure waters, wooded cliffs and the

palm-lined seaside esplanade. Alicante is certainly a

scenic city, but it is also atmospheric, so be sure not to

miss out on its authentic side.

Tourism is all good and well, but if you were to make your

way to the hill atop of which stands an ancient fortress

(the Castle of Santa Barbara on Mount Benacantil),

your breath would most likely be snatched away by

the spectacular views across the city, the beaches, the

port and the blue expanses of sea and air. Only when

you survey this does the true length of Alicante’s history

become clear, and what this means in terms of legacy.

Walk through the main thoroughfares, through shaded

parks and elegant avenues, and you will come to

the true barrios or city suburbs of Alicante. It is in

places such as the Barrio de la Santa Cruz that you’ll

encounter traditional character and colour, both in the

atmospheric architecture and the little taverns, cafes

and tablaos where fiery flamenco shows still spark with

raw non-touristy passion. The little, tightly-packed houses

stand against steep inclines, dissected by narrow streets

and alleyways.

But by all means end your visit to this most Mediterranean

of cities to the pretty Tabarca Island, which lies just a few

kilometres offshore. Once a lair for Barbary Corsairs, it is

now a beauty spot popular with visiting tourists – and

there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be one of them, so

complete a well-rounded exploration of Alicante with

some typically hedonistic sun-worshipping.




value added

tax for

property in


The ‘Plusvalia’ tax is one that every property owner

and new buyer should become familiar with, as it is

a tax applicable to any increase in the value of the

land your property stands upon when it is sold to a new

owner. It is important to note that the tax only applies

to the value of the land, and not to the property on it.

Furthermore, it only affects dwellings that are classified

as urban, not those defined as ‘rustic’.

Each municipality is responsible for collecting this tax

themselves, although some of them may delegate

its collection to their local Provincial Revenue Board.

Either way, it is due within 30 days of the property being

transferred to the new owner.


In the case of a property sale, the seller must pay the

tax. If the property is left as an inheritance, then the

person receiving the property is responsible for paying



Plusvalia tax is calculated by multiplying the tax base

by the tax rate:

a) The tax base is the increase in value that the property

has experienced during the time it has been owned

by the seller. This increase is calculated by multiplying

the cadastral value of the property at the time of

its sale by the annual rate set by each municipal

council (with the maximum limit established by law).

The calculation is based on whole years, not on

fractions of years.

b) The type of lien is the rate set by the municipal

council, and there is a 30% limit established by law.


There are, however, some variations depending

on the years of ownership.


Back in 2017 the Spanish courts determined that the

method of calculating the tax was only valid if the

seller profited from the sale, and that it would be

unconstitutional to levy the tax if there was a loss.

Another court then ruled that any loss must be proven,

either through documentation or expert evidence. In

proving a loss, neither the expenses associated with

the transfer of the property, nor any expenses for

property improvements could be taken into account,

since what is taxed is the increase in the value of the

urban land and not the buildings upon them.

And in October 2019, the Constitutional Court

ruled that that the tax is also unconstitutional when

the calculated tax payment is greater than the

increase in value actually obtained by the seller,

because “it would be taxed for a non-existent, virtual

or fictitious income, producing an excess of taxation

contrary to the constitutional principles of economic

capacity and is non-confiscatory (article 31.1 Spanish


In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that the method

of calculation applied thus far is unfairly biased

towards the town halls, favouring payment of

taxes even when there was no real profit made.

of calculation will be more evenly balanced between

town halls and property owners, and therefore more

in line with the reality of a situation, in which value

added tax only becomes applicable when a profit

has been made.

There were hopes that the ruling would go

even beyond this result and allow for claims and

reparations on the part of those who had ‘overpaid’

in the past, but it seems the authorities are happy for

the old system to end but also want to protect town

halls from claims. Overall, the ruling is a very important

step, and one that gives homeowners in Spain added

assurance that their interests are being heard and

acted upon – so all existing properties and any new

properties bought since autumn 2021 will fall under a

far more favourable method of calculating the value

added tax on property sales.


In other words, new buyers, existing

homeowners and those selling their properties

in Spain will no longer have to worry about

unfairly high Plusvalía taxes, as the new form




Less famous by name than some of Spain’s other costas, the

Costa Cálida extends from the Costa Blanca southwards to

the border of Almería province, covering a 250-kilometre

stretch of shoreline within the province of Murcia.

It’s a classic Mediterranean region of blue seas, rocky cliffs,

secluded bays and coves, and golden beaches dotted

with holiday resorts and traditional fishing towns. As its name

indicates, this is a warm coast, with warm summers and very

comfortable winters, and as rainfall is low the region also

offers a healthy climate to visitors and residents, making it

much-loved with families and especially retired tourists and

homebuyers from northern countries.

Formerly – and still – a rural area sprinkled with little country

towns, this is now a major holiday and retirement destination

that is marked by two distinct areas:


At its northernmost point, in El Mojón, the Costa Cálida

touches the Costa Blanca. South from here is the Parque

Regional de Las Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, a

coastal marshland protectorate named for the nearby town

of San Pedro del Pinatar. The centre of town is surrounded by

extensive residential and holiday resorts in suburbs such as

Las Esperanzas, Los Imbernones, El Salero, Las Pachecas, Los

Antolinos, Las Beatas, Los Sáez, Lo Pagán, Molino del Chirrete

and Los Cuarteros, which front the main feature of this part of

the Costa Cálida: the Mar Menor.

Where the more inland resorts offer residential golf living

complete with extensive on-site amenities and leisure facilities,

the beachside area that extends southwards towards

Santiago de la Ribera and fronts the western shoreline of the

Mar Menor up to a military airbase provides a more classic

beachside ambience. Though this is not the Mediterranean

but a saltwater lagoon – at 170km2 Europe’s largest – known

for its warm, shallow waters and delicious sweet fish. The lower

section is dotted with smaller resorts and towns such as La

Roda, Playa de Los Narejos, Los Alcázares, Bahía Bella, Punta



San Javier


Santiago de

la Ribera

La Manga

La Azohia


Mazarron Isla Plana


Sunrise at

Playa de la


Costa Calida

Brava, Los Urrutias, Estrella De Mar, Los Nietos and Mar de



The saltwater lagoon conditions of the wonderful Mar

Menor are created by a dry climate and the 22-kilometere

long sand bar that extends from the protected Playas de

La Llana down to the La Manga resort at its southern end,

where the land spit joins the mainland at Cabo Palos and

Playa Honda. Among the famous golf courses in this area

are the Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort, Hacienda del

Alamo, El Valle and of course La Manga itself.


If the northern areas surrounding the Mar Menor are where

most of the tourist and residential resorts are located,

then the coastline of rocky cliffs and bays extending from

La Manga down to Aguilas is rather more natural and

authentic. Here you will find a succession of fishing towns

such as

Puerto de Mazarrón and natural coastal reserves – as well as

the historic port of Cartagena, a cultural gem first founded

by Carthaginian traders more than 2000 years ago.

In the later years of Franco’s rule, a US aeroplane

accidently dropped bombs during naval exercises not far

from the coast. It sparked a massive ‘search and rescue’

operation on the part of the American forces, who much to

their embarrassment could not locate the errant devices.

Fortunately, some locals managed to do just that several

weeks later, and the potentially dangerous of equipment

was returned to its red-faced owners. Ever since, the Costa

Cálida has become not only one of the favourite tourist

destinations in Europe, but thanks to its climate, scenery

and good value for money, also a popular focus for yearround

residence and retirement.

The beach at




Costa Cálida

Market Review

Known as the ‘warm coast’,

the Costa Cálida extends over

250 kilometres of dramatically

changing shoreline within the

province of Murcia. Thanks

to its scenery, amenities

and healthy climate, it has

become one of the most

popular places to live and

own a property.

The Costa Cálida is sometimes mistaken for the Costa

Blanca, which in truth begins just after Murcia’s most

northerly coastal resort town, San Pedro del Pinatar.

Few of Spain’s littoral regions and holiday destinations

can boast such variety of scenery as the Costa Cálida,

and this, coupled with its dry, healthy climate and

extensive leisure facilities makes it one of the most

in-demand places to visit and live among foreign


If the dream of owning a summer home on Spanish soil

first began in locations such as the Costa Brava and

the Balearic Islands, and later spread to the likes of the

Canaries, the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol, then

the Costa Cálida is a relatively newer but already very

well-established destination in its own right, with a broad

offer of inland and seaside locations to choose from – a

factor that is given added depth by the scenic diversity

of this fascinating region.


In a region where you’re never more than half an hour’s

drive from two international airports and can similarly

choose from the cultural attractions of historic cities such

as the regional capital of Murcia and the ancient port

city of Cartagena, variety is the name of the game. The

most famous of the many golf courses are Hacienda

Riquelme Golf Resort, El Valle, Hacienda del Alamo and

the famous La Manga Club, which enjoy one of the

longest playing seasons in Europe.

The same is true of a summer beach season that offers


a wide variety of settings and resort towns, not to mention

one of the most unique features in Europe – the 170km2

Mar Menor, a saltwater lagoon whose relatively shallow

waters are ideal for water sports. Another stunning natural

phenomenon in the area is the 22-kilometre long La

Manga sandbar, which divides the Mar Menor from the

Mediterranean Sea, while the southern Costa Cálida is

marked by dramatic coves.


If you choose to own a holiday home or live in the

Costa Cálida year-round, choice once again becomes

a notable factor, as there is the option of buying in a

Spanish town or village, a coastal resort, a golf country

club or also smaller purpose-built communities, many of

which are gated and offer amenities such as restaurants,

cafes, sports clubs and shops. The most popular of these

are Tore-Pacheco, Los Alcazares, Villamartin, San Pedro

del Pinatar, Roda, Sucina, Fuente Alamo, Corvera and La


Here, and elsewhere, you will find apartments ranging

from €75.000 upwards, townhouses and bungalows from

under €100.000 upwards and private villas from as little

as €200.000. Some require a little renovation, while others

are perfectly maintained, and there are also newly-built

modern projects from as little as €120.000 to multi-million

modern mansions. The combination of sun, setting and

value for money ensures the Costa Cálida remains a

popular destination with strong demand for its lifestyle and





elegance by the Mediterranean

The capital of its own autonomous region within

Spain’s federal system, Valencia is one of the cultural,

historic, gastronomic and architectural gems of

Spain, a city of boulevards, monuments and parks that

also has a sandy beach. One of the ultimate lifestyle

destinations among Europe’s larger urban centres, it is

Mediterranea personified, and draws on a rich historical

heritage that includes the Iberians, Romans, Moors and

subsequent Spanish monarchy.

Valencia is also the home of paella, one of Spain’s

most iconic dishes, which like the saffron fields has its

spiritual home in the Albufera wetlands located just

south of the city. A little further south the northern part

of the Costa Blanca begins, positioning Valencia ideally

between Barcelona, Madrid, the Balearic Islands and

endless beaches to the south. Not surprisingly, it is very

popular among European and American visitors and



The city that has such a colourful past is also forwardlooking,

and among its landmarks are not just the

cathedrals, palaces, parks and grand edifices of other

centuries, but also gleaming modern ones in areas

such as Penya-Roja and the otherworldly theatres

and museums of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.

Designed by Santiago Calatrava, a local architect

who would go on to become world-famous, the

L’Hemisfèric, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia and Museu

de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe helped to give the city

a truly modern identity.

For all this, some of its greatest sites are still classical,

including the beautiful Mercat Central market, the

Monastério de San Miguel de los Reyes, the Mercat

de Colon in local Modernista style, Llotja de la Seda,

the city’s main cathedral and de Convento de

Santo Domingo, to name just a few. The Palau de


For those who are not familiar with Spain’s

third-largest city, it is a wonderful blend of

the first two – Madrid and Barcelona – but

on a more personable scale and full its own

character and charm. In other words: this

is one of the most attractive cities on the


la Generalitat Valenciana, the belfry tower of Santa

Catalina church and the Sant Joan del Mercat are

also gorgeous examples of local architecture, but

above all it is a delight to stroll through the avenues,

squares and parks of Valencia.


But if you’ve come to relax, then head for the beach

or the long park that has been created where the

Turia River once flowed, for the rest of Valencia is all

about action. It’s a city of sport, with one of the top

football clubs in the Spanish Liga, for several years

also home to the F1 Valencia Street Grand Prix, hosts

major international regattas, and is of course famous

for the Fallas, one of the noisiest festivals in Spain, and

therefore Europe. Expect raucous fire cracker salvos

along with processions of amazing (and huge) effigies,

which are spectacularly burnt on the final day.

Valencia is also home to many excellent food

markets, cafes and restaurants, and in addition to

paella is also the birthplace of Orxata de Xufa – a

drink served chilled that is made from tiger nuts. It

also comes in ice cream form, but the liquid version

is best for washing down Farton pastries. Aigua de

València – a cava cocktail mixed with orange juice

and vodka or gin – is one of many local delicacies,

and if the names sound strangely not quite Castillano

then that is because, while most people speak

Spanish here, the local vernacular is Valenciano, a

close relative of Catalan.

In many ways Valencia blends the best of its two

larger cousins, Barcelona and Madrid, and does so

on a more intimate scale in a great setting by the

sea. In fact, there are few reasons why you shouldn’t

experience this city for yourself.




Living in Spain

If you intend to live in Spain for more than 90 days

in every 180 days then as you may already knowthe

rules for non EU citizens have changed since

January 31st 2001.

We all love the weather in Spain the wonderful

beaches and most of all the outdoors and lifestyle

that is on the wish list for most UK citizens especially

those who plan to retire.

Therefore if you intend to spend any considerable

amount of time in Spain and if you want to remain

longer then 90 days in every six month period then

it is required to apply for your Spanish non-lucrative

visa. This must be done form you home country by

application to the Spanish consul. It is also advisable

to apply for an NIE number for things like opening

a bank account, registeration of a Spansih mobile

phome and also to buy a car. Infact the Spanish

NIE number is used for most things so even if you

intend to stay for shorter periods but live in Spain

part time you will find that life without a NIE is almost


For both the NIE number and the Spansih residency

visa (non-lucrative visa) you will need to fill in forms

in Spanish, also you will need to present the required

documents, some of the documents would need to be

translated and certified together with your passport,

utility bills and bank statements all with multiple


This process can be discouraging for those who

are considering a move to Spain, and expectadly

difficulties with the language, as well as which

documents to produce. Legal advice and support

is recommended to the simplify the process and

lead the way to a straight forward and stress free

application process. The timing which is most

important for those people wanting to buy a property

at the same time as selling a property and then move

to Spain as there are time restrictions on visas once

granted and necessary to apply for the residency TIE





power of



By Michel Cruz

Legal Services in Spain has produced a simple easy to follow guide

under their website https://www.getspanishresidency.com/

You can apply for your Spanish residency online or simply

arrange a free no obligation 30 minute telephone consultation,

that will save you time and headaches. Legal services in Spain will

help you every step of the way to becoming a resident in Spain.

· Assurance of the correct paperwork completed prior to visiting

the authorities

· An appointment made for you at a mutually convenient time at

the Police station and the Health centre

· Support of English speaking legal professionals on hand to

answer any questions you may have and provide the advice you

will need

· Assistance to find insurance companies for you to choose the

health insurance package that best suits your needs

· Help with your health insurance agent to ensure all documents

are issued correctly prior to presentation to the Spanish


In Spain the power of attorney is known

as poder notarial the document must be

drawn in front of a public notary and it

must clearly stipulate the types of activities

that are granted to another person who can

be a family member or a Spanish abogado


To grant someone the power to act on

your behalf must be carefully considered as

well as the powers you are granting to that


These powers are usually used when

overseas property buyers instruct a lawyer

to act for them. Simple actions such as

opening a bank account and registering for a

NIE number are amongst the common uses,

they would normally include the power to sign

deeds on your behalf to buy, sell or inherit

property, or to issue legal proceedings.

A power of attorney is a powerful document

which authorises the appointed attorneys,

and must be only be used for trusted people,

to carry out wide ranging powers on your


In Spain we have general powers of

attorney and special powers of attorney. A

general power of attorney is by its nature

wide ranging with general powers to carry

out a number of tasks. A special power of

attorney is used for a specific purpose, for

example to issue legal proceedings or to

incorporate a company.

If you want to get further advice and

consultation with a lawyer contact Alex

Radford legal abogado in Spain.

Sponsored by






It seems most Spanish costas are around 200

kilometres long, and the Costa de Almería is

exception, measuring 217 kilometres in length. In

essence, it is a continuation of the dry, warm, rugged

terrain of the Costa Cálida, but as you head south

towards the Cabo de Gata nature reserve the

landscape becomes increasingly ‘Martian’.

The sleepy little resort community of San Juan de los

Terreros marks the northern edge. At Pozo del Esparto

there is a delicious sense beachside seclusion in the

midst of a perhaps more lunar landscape, sure to

delight nature lovers. This part of the coast is made

for people yearning to get away from the madding

crowd, and even at the little marina and resort of

Villaricos there is no sense of a major high-rise town.

It was in nearby Palomares that locals discovered

missing bombs that the US Navy had waylaid but

had not been able to relocate, despite large-scale



This open-spaced, thinly populated coastline has

attracted such a concentration of nudists that a

resort dedicated to this kind of tourism sprang up in

Vera, where the Playas de Vera is now one of the

largest nudist resort areas in the world. Residents

of the nearby inland town of Vera are not always

pleased with the epithet, but it has put this part of the

coast on the map and creates many jobs in the area.

Just south of here are the resorts of Puerto Rey

and Las Marinas, which are marked by low-rise

development, Further along, at the marina resort

town of Garrucha, this culminates in a bit more of

a town feeling, complete with larger buildings and

a historic centre. One of the highlights of the Costa

de Almería is Mojácar, which is curiously divided into

the original hillside town – a pretty collection of whiteplastered

houses – and the charming beachside

resort of Mojácar Playa.


El Toyo, Almeria

Here too, the quaint Mediterranean ambience has been

remarkably well maintained. Some more small resorts

follow, before one enters a vast space of protected open

coastal scenery en route to Carboneras, another pretty

Andalusian style beachside resort village. At Aqura de

Emedio, midway between Carboneras and Mojácar, the

dramatic white cliffs and grey-white beaches stand out

against a world of blue skies and water.

It continues this way almost all the way to Almería city,

marking this as one of the most rugged, secluded and

natural of costas in all of Spain. For those who lament the

authenticity of earlier years, before tourism became so

large-scaled, the Costa de Almería is the perfect answer.

Dazzling the eye and the senses with its roughhewn beauty,

this is a place of small, intimate coastal resort and fishing

towns, where you can sip a cold beer at a bohemian

beach car or enjoy fresh fish to the uninterrupted sound of

the waves. Not for everyone, but paradise who those who

enjoy peace and natural pleasures.


Aguadulce Retamar

Belerma Cabo de








Agua Amarga

Las Negras

San Jose



Costa de Almería

Market Review

Situated in the south-eastern

part of Spain between the Costa

Cálida in the region of Murcia and

the Costa Tropical in Andalucía’s

Granada Province, the Costa

de Almería extends over 200

kilometres of coastline and some

of the sunniest climes in Europe.

Like the Costa Cálida, the Costa de Almería

is a relatively newer tourist and residential

destination when compared with older ones such

as Mallorca, Ibiza, the Costa Brava and the Costa

del Sol. Like its northern neighbour in the region of

Murcía, though, the warm, sunny and dry climate of

coastal Almería have made it a favourite in its own

right. One important distinction with most of the other

costas, however, is the fact that this coastal stretch

is less built up and therefore more natural and more

authentically Spanish – a key factor for many who

decide to visit and buy properties here.

Beside the space, healthy climate and authenticity

of this region, people are also drawn by the value

for money it offers, as both holidays and properties

are cheaper than in locations such as the Costa del

Sol, the Costa Brava, the Balearic Islands, the Costa

Tropical and also the Costa Blanca. More comparable

in price to the Costa Cálida, the Costa de Almería

provides an offering that is sufficiently different to

give it a distinct character and appeal – one marked

by expanses of unspoiled, rugged nature, traditional

Andalusian villages and towns, and small resort




The most popular resort towns and destinations for

foreign homebuyers are Mojácar and Vera on the eastern

side, and Almerimar and Roquetas de Mar on the southern

coast. Set between them is the provincial capital of

Almería and a series of national parks and reserves such

as Cabo de Gata-Nijar and Punta Entinas-Sabinar. Here

you will find an almost lunar landscape of rocks and sand

in places, dry but strikingly beautiful in its raw, rugged


Long, sandy beaches and private coves with crystalline

water make it a much sought-after area among visitors

who love open spaces. At Vera, a specialised tourist

segment catering to naturists has grown up, while

Roquetas de Mar and Almerimar offer classic beachside

resort pleasures coupled with water sports and golf.

Where the latter are especially popular among Spanish

tourists and second home buyers, the delightful village of

Mojácar has become a favourite of British, German and

other Northern European visitors and residents.


For foreigners, therefore, the area around Mojácar is

therefore the hub for property buying. Some has settled in

mountain and fishing villages where rustic homes can be

snapped up for under €50.000 and fixed up, but Mojácar

remains the main focus and consists of a pretty white

mountain village set upon a prominent hill overlooking the

sea, and a more recent beachside resort called Mojacar


Attractive apartments can be found here from under

€100.000 upwards, townhouses from little more and

smaller bungalow villas from as little as €150.000. Larger

villas start at €250.000 and can surpass €1 million, while

there are also modern new-build apartments and semidetached

homes for sale from €100.000 and €200.000

respectively, with contemporary villas starting at around

€300.000. Similar figures apply to Vera Playa and smaller

coastal resort areas such as Turre and Villaricos, as well

as Roquetas de Mar, and it is this accessibility along with

its natural appeal that marks the Costa de Almería out as

a vibrant sub-market within the Spanish costas, ensuring

it a gradual growing following of visitors, homeowners and

residents who seek space, nature and warm climes at

affordable prices.




Buying a


in Spain


In Spain the buying process has been simplified to become

easier and quicker since it was known to be complicated and

lengthy, now the sale or purchase of a home in Spain has not

only become easier, but also quicker.

The dual system involved joint documentation, the Land Registry

with a written description of a property while the Cadastre had

graphic representation in the form of a map or plan. There were

sometimes errors where the two did not match, this led to legal

disputes regarding boundaries. The Cadastre was not routinely

cross-referenced with the Land Registry, details that showed

alterations and extensions built that would not necessarily appear

on the Cadastre, again leading to legal complications.

The Spanish government took action to update the

conveyancing process and ensure the two registries were

consistent when describing a property. Amongst the changes is

the requirement that Land Registry descriptions must include a

‘graphic representation’ of the property in the form of a copy of the

map or plan held by the Cadastre.

This will ensure buyers know exactly what they are purchasing

and the Cadastre will have to make note of any alterations to

a building marked on the Land Registry records, and the two

institutions will also have to use the same reference code for each

property in order to avoid confusion and make the comparison of

data between the bodies easier.

Government officials estimate it will avoid the need for

some 22,000 personal declarations a year, saving €1.8million.

More importantly, it will provide greater security, clarity and

transparency for people buying a property, and should speed up

the process greatly.



· Review your desire and essential


· Set your budget

· Choose the location/s

· Arrange the finance

· Allow for additional costs

· Arrange legal representative

· Plan your travel date

· Arrange viewings

· Research getting to know the

areas of your choice

Contact aradford@mylawyerinspain.com





· Get your NIE - Spanish tax


· Open a Spanish bank account

· Agent’s property brief and

information pack

· Viewings

· Make an offer

· Negotiations

· Pay a reservation deposit


· Review of property details

· Survey – Advice

· Legal documentation - Planning

checks – Land Registry Checks

· Draft of the reservation agreement

· Review any conditions

· Fixtures and fittings inventory

· Signing of the pre-purchase


· Pay the deposit 10% of the

purchase price less any

reservation deposit


· Establishment of liquidation

settlement including taxes

· The resolution of mortgage/loan

· The Notary Sign the deeds

· Payment – banker’s draft

· Registration and transfer of

property documents and utility


· Key handover – once the title

deeds have been signed and final

payment made you receive the

keys to your new home.


· Quality monitoring

· Agents support and advice




Without doubt the Costa del Sol is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Stretching from Almeria to Tarifa, it caters for all tastes, ages and nationalities; with such a

wide range of facilities and attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Miles of sandy beaches, fantastic all year round warm climate and modern facilities keep tourists

flocking back year after year to resorts such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella and


East of Malaga is less popular than west, but no less appealing, from Rincon de la Victoria, Torre del

Mar and Velez Malaga, to Nerja; the area combines beautiful coastline, with white- washed villages

and some of the most spectacular inland scenery of the Axarquía.


Mihas in


History & Culture

The area’s history dates back to the Phoenicians

and has since been inhabited by Greeks, Romans

and Moors, all of whom have left their mark on the

architecture and culture of the region. The Costa

del Sol is as much steeped in culture as any other

region of Andalucia; from Picasso, to bullfighting,

flamenco to the colourful ferias, the region has an

immense cultural offering.



Marbella Mijas




San Pedro Fuengirola

de Alcantara






Luxury in a natural setting

Since its very conception, the intention

has been to make Real de La Quinta a

luxury residential country club resort with

a difference. Quality of life within the midst

of nature is a key ingredient of this.

Set within the scenic beauty of hills and valleys just

inland from Nueva Andalucía, Marbella, the luxury

resort community of Real de La Quinta is emerging as

one of the most enticing residential options on the Costa del

Sol. The first development, Olivos, sold out quickly, with the

first owners already moving in. The reason for this success is

the fact that the boutique development of luxury apartments

and penthouses is not merely a single urbanisation but

forms part of a well-thought-out master-planned residential

resort that will include a variety of complementary villas and

apartment complexes. All this, built around a central concept

of low-density, quality of life living, surrounded by nature and

some of the most stunning mountain and sea views available

in this region.

All of this is possible because Real de La Quinta

encompasses a large gated country club domain of 200

hectares. Situated in the hills and valleys just inland from

Nueva Andalucía, it is the continuation of the original La

Quinta, but designed in and for the 21st century. This involves

not only the use of the latest technologies and amenities, but

also a very clear dedication to sustainable development and

the creation of a gated residential area that offers not only

luxury, style, comfort and close proximity to Marbella and its

amenities, but also a fantastic natural setting at the very point

where the municipalities of Marbella and Benahavis merge

with protected nature.

Living on the edge of Marbella – and a National Park

Not only is Real de La Quinta the first resort development

in Spain to receive BREEAM certification for sustainable

development – meaning that the commitment to

environmentally-friendly construction and management

systems goes far beyond the usual level. It centres upon the

creation of a collection of boutique developments surrounded

by open nature and overlooking a man-made lagoon that is

ringed by a lagoon-style pool, an elegant lakeside restaurant

and clubhouse with full amenities, as well as a pathway that

offers views of the water, the hills and the six-hole golf course.

“Even though we use grey water as part of our water-saving

management systems, we also opted for this configuration

instead of a nine-hole course exactly because it is a more

environmentally-friendly option,” says Marisol Serrano, Sales

Director of Real de La Quinta. Indeed, with the Golf Valley’s

courses just a few minutes away, the main focus is on creating

a golf course within a verdant valley so that residents have the

convenience and beauty of a golf course on their doorstep. It

all forms part of a clear focus on what some are calling ‘new

concept luxury’ – quality time and sensory experiences spent

in a safe, private and inspiring setting.

As with many other aspects, Real de La Quinta takes it a step

further. “Amazingly, and rather uniquely, we are on the edge of

both Marbella and an actual national park,” says Marisol, as the

Sierra de las Nieves mountain reserve which extends inwards

in all directions from here is about to be elevated to the status

of a Spanish National Park – the highest level of protection

that exists. “It will be the 16th National Park in Spain, and one

of only three in Andalucía,” says Marisol, “and this means that


there will be no further development bordering Real de La

Quinta.” She regards this not only as a bonus for quality of life,

but also for future property values within the resort.

The boutique concept of Quercus

The second development of 96 apartments and penthouses

is already under way – ahead of schedule due to strong

demand – and it showcases its own evolution of the timeless

architectural styling and material finishing that makes Olivos

so eye-catching. Clean, modern lines are added to with stone

and wood finishing in a use of architecture and materials that

is mirrored indoors and on the spacious terraces that form an

integral part of the quality of life that Real de La Quinta offers.

The developers have a long-term vision and commitment to

the maintenance and management of this residential country

club resort, and this is reflected in the timeless styles and

build qualities of both Olivos and Quercus.

The latter continues the boutique living concept initiated

with Olivos, and offers a combination of two, three and

four-bedroom apartments, penthouses and garden flats

overlooking lush gardens planted with indigenous species. At

their heart lies a crystalline swimming pool and sundeck, from

which to take in the majesty of the surrounding mountains and

the hills flowing down towards the Mediterranean. This blend

of sea and mountain views marks out Real de La Quinta, as

does the range of facilities within it, the proximity to Marbella

and the ability to head into the hills, wooded groves and

green valleys. It is perfect terrain for hiking, mountain biking

and horse riding – making full use of the country club’s own

equestrian centre.

Residents can spot goats on the hillsides from their sunny

terraces, along with eagles soaring overhead, and forests

that contain one of the marvels of the area: Castaño Santo,

a giant tree believed to be over 1,000 years old. It’s all part of

a unique mix of lifestyle ingredients at Real de La Quinta that

mix country life, nature, resort luxuries and modern homes in

a stunning setting on the edge of Marbella.

La Quinta Grupo Inmobiliario

Avda. Tomás Pascual 6, Of. 6, Urb. de La Quinta Golf,


Tel: +34 952 762 400







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from beaches to the ski

slopes in two hours!

In Andalucía, spring is for country drives

amid the floral beauty of the interior;

summer is for surfing in Tarifa and

beach life on the Costa del Sol; autumn

is for hiking in the countryside and city

escapes; and winter is when the ski

slopes of the Sierra Nevada’s very own

alpine resort beckon.

Few parts of Europe are as diverse and enticing as this;

you can be at the beach for breakfast, on the slopes

for lunch, and enjoying post-action après ski in the

evening – or heading into the nightlife of Granada, a beautiful

historical and student city less than half an hour from the ski



This adage is true anywhere in the world, but if the world is

your oyster then the southern region of Spain is a pearl. It

truly offers almost everything – from beach life, water sports,

golf, tennis, motorsports, fitness, wellness, horse riding,

culture and history to nature, hiking, biking, mountaineering,

caving, extreme sports, gastronomy and yes, winter sports.

All within a three-hour radius!


Not just that, but the combination of altitude and climate

make the Sierra Nevada one of the ski resorts with the

longest season in Europe; spanning in a good year the entire

period from November to May.

Pradollano village is the heart of the winter sports action

in the Sierra Nevada – the scene not only of professional

facilities that have hosted among others the FIS Alpine World

Ski Championships in 1996, the 2015 Winter Universiade

and the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World

Championships 2017, but also some of the cosiest eateries

and most luxurious hotels and spa retreats this side of the


The station can boast two cable cars, 17 chairlifts, two

T-bar lifts, two Magic Carpets and one ski tow, as well as over

100 kilometres of ski runs – and with all of this just two hours

removed from beaches, it means you can head for the pistes

on a marvellous whim.

Words by Michel Cruz

Photography by




The next

evolution of


“The banking sector is diverging,” says Kaspar Huijsman,

director of Hugo Investing and the man who brought online

investment of this kind to expats in Spain. “On the one hand,

normal banks are cutting back their services and retreating

online because of both the current difficulties and as part of

an on-going technology-based trend, but at the same time

there is a growing demand for specialised financial services

accompanied by personal attention.” Hugo is an example of

such a firm, as it offers a very well-established and multifunctional

online investment platform managed by experienced

investment personnel that provide support, information and

help clients develop a sound strategy.

Back in the late nineties, Kaspar was part of a team that

developed one of the first online investment platforms in the

world, and brought it to Spain some years later. “We have over

twenty years’ of experience in this field,” says the financial

professional who has been involved with the stock markets

for more than 25 years now. “It remains a highly rewarding

asset class, but of course you have to know how to interpret

Hugo Investing is the next information and make decisions based on a predefined

evolution of BinckBank, the online strategy.

A good investor doesn’t base his or her decisions on the

investment platform supported by

present moment but looks ahead, and we help our clients

qualified personal service at the develop all these skills, providing all the information, tutoring

company’s welcoming investment and support they need along the way.”

centre on the Golden Mile in

Evolving into Hugo

Marbella. As such, it gives investors The firm first reached Marbella as the Alex Bank, which was

complete control over their money later rebranded to BinckBank, when Saxo Bank provided the

technical systems and Binck the expertise in financial service.

and their investments, without

The combination worked so well across Europe that Saxo Bank

hefty commissions but with full took over the company, and now Hugo Investing in Marbella has

personal support. become an independent entity closely aligned with the Danish

mother company. “We fit hand in glove and continue to provide

the same structure and service as before, with clients opening

an account through which to manage their investments.”

Structured this way, Hugo forms part of Europe’s largest and

fastest-growing online investment network, but provides local

support and a personalised service.

“People are used to insuring their cars, homes and even

holidays, but in reality should also take out insurance coverage

for their investment portfolio,” says Kaspar. “However, even

then it pays to know your market, and in this case many of

the countries and banks that underwrite investments may

be overleveraged themselves, so working with a Danish

investment bank such as Saxo Bank, which doesn’t carry the

risk of providing loans or mortgages, and which comes from a

country with a very solid balance sheet, provides extra security

and peace of mind.” This makes it possible to escape the gravity

of virtually 0% returns from banks to more direct personal

investment where you control where your money goes and your

advisors don’t sell or promote their own financial products.

Independent, bespoke financial support

“Unlike institutions such as banks, we don’t lose track of our

clients once they’ve invested, as we provide continuously

updated online information and tutorials, as well as regular

seminars and personal guidance in our offices on the Golden

Mile.” In fact, clients are welcome to visit Kaspar and his team

at the comfortable office on the Golden Mile whenever they

want, where they provide information, guidance and help them

create an effective investment strategy suited to their personal


needs, experience levels and appetite for risk. “There

are no guarantees here as in most other fields of life,

but if you’re armed with the right fundamentals and

information, you can make your money work for you

without even having to expose yourself to much risk.”

Our saying is: “If you’ve worked hard for your money,

don’t throw it away,” and we ensure that people have the

best possible chance of success with their investments,”

says the specialist broker who is welcoming not only

Northern European, but also more and more Spanish

clients attracted by the system and the returns it can

produce. “We help them create a plan of action that

builds on security, analytical thinking and a feeling

for spotting sensible opportunities, and this requires

interpreting information the right way, separating hype

from potential, and looking a little bit further afield than

the companies and sectors we already know well.”

Kaspar even collaborated with Maastricht University to

set up an Alex Academy back in 2004, so he is wellversed

in guiding investors.

A Spain-wide investment centre

He and the team at Hugo provide direct one-to-one

online and Zoom support whenever clients feel they

need it. The comfortable offices feel more like a trendy

New York café and indeed, the coffee is always brewing

and a warm welcome awaits private investors and

professional traders alike, both of whom comment

on the fact that the investment centre feels more like

a personal club than a financial office environment.

“For all that we’re relaxed, modern and welcoming, we

focus very much on helping both inexperienced and

professional traders achieve their target goals,” says

Kaspar, who also produces informative weekly vlogs on

Youtube, which give away valuable know-how built up

over many years.

Kaspar works hard for his clients, believing that the

lack of financial worries is one of the cornerstones of a

happy, stress-free life. “You should work for your money,

but you should also make it work for you, and this implies

above all a certain quality of life and peace of mind.”

He and his team listen to their clients’ feedback and

personal needs to develop a strategy that achieves that

definition – which is different for each person – through

the widest possible network of investments available.

“Through us you have access to stock exchanges and

markets across the world, and we guide you through the

process, whether you have a lot to invest or a smaller

amount. We know either way it’s very important to you,

so we take our responsibility equally seriously.”

In other words, at Hugo you direct your own

investments but build upon a high-tech system and

can take full advantage of the know-how of professional

investment experts to reduce risk, avoid painful lessons

and maximise your chances of success.

Hugo Investing – Kaspar Huijsman


Urb. La Carolina, Edif. Aries, Local N, Marbella

Tel: 951 56 56 56

www.hugoinvesting.com OR




MÁLAGA ‘the other Barcelona”

Just as Barcelona was once ‘discovered’ and its beauty

and charms related across the globe through the likes

of Lonely Planet, so Málaga has since been undergoing

the same process – leading this Mediterranean port city to

be dubbed ‘the other Barcelona’.

Some years ago cities such as Barcelona, Bilbao and

Seville joined the pantheon of must-see beauty spots on the

planet, and just a relatively short time ago it was Málaga’s

turn to join this international Hall of Fame. The why of it is

no accident, as it coincides with a process of beautification

and development that has indeed transformed Andalucía’s

second largest city from one often overlooked into a veritable

Cinderella. Now a beautiful city of museums, art, culture, fine

dining and shopping in a spectacular Mediterranean setting,

Málaga breathes Andalusian passion along with a newfound

sense of big-city sophistication.

Its historic buildings sparkle newly renovated, grand

squares and former traffic choke points are the elegant

domain of shoppers and café society, and the tree-lined

avenues are grand once more. It is fair to say that Málaga

has been ‘discovered’, making it a top European destination

in its own right for the 220 cruise ships and 18 million

passengers that dock every year or for those who jet in from

abroad. In addition, the city has also become the cultural

and gastronomic jewel in the crown of the Costa del Sol, and

at under an hour from most of the resort towns along this

coastal stretch is a fantastic resource for local residents

and property owners too.

Malaga breathes Andalusian passion along with a newfound

sense of big-city sophistication


To many across the world Málaga has become a museum city

to rival the likes of Paris, London, Madrid and Florence. This

revolution started with the opening of a museum dedicated

to the city’s most famous son, Pablo Picasso. Its success

paved the way for more, and now the city can boast of the

Carmen Thyssen, the CAC centre of contemporary art, the

Glass Museum, a fantastic car and design museum, as well

as its very own Pompidou. If you’re an avid fan of culture also

don’t overlook the Interactive Music Museum, the Museo

Jorge Rando, the Museo del Patrimonio, the Revello del Toro,

Sea Museum, Russian Art Museum and the Málaga Wine

Museum, which very nicely rounds off a fantastic offering of

art and culture in this bustling city.


The millions who visit Málaga throughout the year are

also drawn by the vibrant authenticity of an archetypal

Andalusian city that still lives to its typical daily routines.

Visit the flamenco tablaos and, if your Spanish is up to it, the


local theatres. You can also immerse yourself in local colour

by visiting the wonderfully ambient food market or strolling

around the streets and cafés of the Bohemian quarter near

the Teatro Cervantes. Students keep the vibe as young as

it is Spanish, while traditional little shops stand close to

glamorous modern outlets as a living testament to the Spain

you would have encountered in the not so distant past. Much

of it is still alive if you follow your nose and fan out from the

main shopping Street around Calle Larios.


Málaga has its shopping malls, but theidea of high street

shopping in a classic quarter surrounded by the sights and

indeed sites of over 2,000 years of history is a rather exotic

and bewitching one. Calle Larios, once a busy road leading

off the main boulevard, is now a beautifully tiled pedestrian

street blissfully free of traffic. Its shops, cafés and tapas bars

have blossomed to the point where it now exudes that big city

refinement, but stroll across this pedestrian district and you’ll

find a full range varying from exclusive and chic to young and

trendy, rustic and even surprising. The architecture in the old

quarter is beautiful, enlivened by shops and restaurants that

breathe life into majestic structures, squares and parks where

Phoenician archaeological findings blend with an unearthed

Roman amphitheatre, Baroque churches and the soaring

battlements of a Moorish fortress.


This city on your doorstep is everything you want it to be:

romantic, exciting, cultured, trendy and just fun. Stroll along

classical streets or head for the modern minimalism of

quayside Muelle Uno, where you look back across the port

and the nearby city centre. For an even better view there is a

modern Ferris wheel, but the best panorama is undoubtedly

to be had from the Moorish Alcazaba fortress that sits atop

a mount overlooking the city, port and the Mediterranean

coastline as it stretches towards Fuengirola and Marbella.

Though a monument, this expansive 11th century complex

is also home to a luxury Parador hotel, so in Málaga you can

enjoy good food from the water’s edge and hill tops right into

the smallest streets and squares.

El Pimpi is perhaps the bestknown of the many excellent

tapas bars, while the elegant Puerta Oscura and authentically

rustic Antigua Casa de Guardia are also must-do experiences.

The classic Lepanto patisserie also belongs in this category,

but really you can enjoy dining in Málaga from Michelin star

restaurants all the way to charming family-run ones, with

a world of cuisines in-between. With this sparkling city little

more than half an hour from the coastal towns of the Costa del

Sol, there is every opportunity for local residents to regularly

enjoy what visitors from across the world travel far to savour

just once.





















Part of an ambitious development project that stretches

back to the mid-nineties and also included the general

beautification of Málaga’s historic city centre, the science

park is a large business complex that is home to over 600

businesses and employs 17,000 people, most of them highly


It is an industrial hub focused on technology and

research, with the bulk of firms specialising in electronics, IT,

telecommunications and computing, These include important

engineering firms and support services in the form of specialist

laboratories, training centres, R&D facilities, consultancies and

technical advisory bureaus.

The large international corporations present here account

for much of the employment at the Málaga Technology Park,

including amongst them Oracle, IBM, Accenture, Huawei, TDK, CGI

and Ciklum. Though generally much smaller in their operations

than these multinationals, local firms also play an important role

– not just in creating jobs but also in developing the skills and

expertise needed to create a thriving 21st century technologybased

economy in the Málaga region.


In this the science park works closely with Málaga University

and other academic institutions both in Spain and abroad. A

core part of the initiative is to give university and college leavers

specialised vocational skills, an international perspective and the

entrepreneurship not just to work for companies, but to create

their own products and businesses. Stimulating the founding of

value-added start-ups is therefore an integral part of the formula.

For this reason there are exchange programmes with

international universities and technology centres around the

world, but especially in the USA and South Korea, two global

leaders in the field of digital technology. The students and

employees who return from one or two-year stints abroad not

only deepen their technical knowledge, but also improve the

language skills, world vision and creativity needed to really

succeed in the new world.

This exchange also extends to the key members of embryonic

tech start-ups, many of which encounter growing problems

within the first few years of their founding.

It has seen burgeoning Andalusian Bill Gates contenders

acquire invaluable experience in situ with Silicon Valley

companies or even includes the incubation of a small Málaga

start-up within such a large corporation.

In this way, the Andalusian Technology Park is opening new

frontiers for economic development in this part of Spain, and

Alcazar baths of

the fact that it is the world headquarters of the International

rain water.

Association of Science Parks underlines its position as one of the

most important centres of its kind in the Mediterranean.





of the ages

This ancient settlement at the heart of the

Andalusian plains is much more than a

city, or even a beautiful historical one. It is

a cultural and architectural gem endowed

with a great deal of atmosphere and

charm – the perfect place to enjoy and lose

yourself in as you stroll through cobbled

streets and grand avenues lined with

historic landmarks.

Set within the fertile floodplain knows as the Vega,

Granada also lies within the shadow of the towering

Sierra Nevada mountain range. They form a perfect

backdrop for a place that is in many ways the epitome of

Andalusian Spain, a rich melange of Iberian, Roman, Moorish

and Castilian Christian influences that together add up to

one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the world.

The winter air carries the chill of a plateau at 700 metres

altitude, added to by icy gusts carried down from the snowcapped

mountains that provide such a spectacularly scenic

backdrop. While ski lovers are enjoying themselves at the

alpine resorts in these nearby mountains, people in Granada

itself huddle in cosy tavernas where it is said the tradition

of offering a free tapa with every beverage ordered first

originated. Not all tapas are still gratis in Granada, but it is

one of the centres of excellence for this uniquely sociable

and Spanish form of cuisine.


Today, Granada is above all a lively student city with a thriving

local social scene in which tapas bars, cervezería eateries,

cafés and bars play a central role. Whether tucked away in a

pedestrian street or basking in the sunlight of a broad plaza,

they add contemporary life to a city that is steeped in history.

It’s everywhere, from grand Baroque churches, palaces and

avenues in the centre of town to the more densely packed

market and student quarter just beyond. An undeniable

highlight is the magical Alhambra, a Moorish palace fortress

that conjours up One Thousand and One Nights.

A city of layers

Set upon a panoramic hillock that towers over the city it

overlooks, the Alhambra is itself one of the most iconic

scenic pictures one could imagine, often framed by mighty

snow-capped mountains that rise beyond it. This complex of

palaces, patios and gardens is so popular that the authorities

have wisely decided to cap visitor numbers in a first come,

first served manner. Even so, if you book ahead you should be

Words by Michel Cruz

Photography by

able to arrange a dreamy tour of its exquisite workmanship

and wondrous gardens, not to mention the views enjoyed

from here.

Even more beguiling than a daytime visit is the nightly tour,

when the complex seems to come alive, and if you stay at the

nearby Parador palace hotel you can enjoy both and wander

through the beautiful Generalife gardens at will. The Alhambra

is the symbol of Moorish Andalucía, as it was here that the

last Muslim state held out until 1492, when the Christian

reconquest of Iberia that began over seven centuries earlier

was finally completed. From its fortress wall another Moorish

gift to the city of Granada beckons enticingly.

The Albaícin

Divided by a small river and standing on the opposite hillside,

this erstwhile Moorish suburb retains a wonderfully artistic

charm about it. The Albaícin is a maze of cobble stone streets

that dissect white-washed houses rolling down a gentle

hillside. It is a place of elegant gardens and terraces hidden

behind high walls; pleasant squares and flat roof terraces

where in Moorish times families would sleep on mattresses

to escape the worst of the summer heat. Stroll through its

streets, visit an Arabian Hammam spa or enter a classic tea

room to absorb the atmosphere.

Not far away is Sacromonte, a somewhat poorer district

complete with troglodyte cave houses that has long been

home to Granada’s Gypsy community and as such is one

of the finest places in Spain to experience their unique

Flamenco artform. In this most authentic of settings, the

unbridled passion of dance, guitar and song produces a state

known as duende, and it fits well into the bohemian ambience

of Sacromonte.

From elegant and stately to raw and authentic; Granada

blends its ancient past with the vibrancy of a youthful student

city, and the effect is enticing.



Spanish Architects

Who have made a name

for themselves

Most people will have heard of Antoni Gaudí, the ingenious

creator of Barcelona’s iconic landmark, the Sagrada Familia, but

thereafter the list of well-known Spanish architects thins out

quickly. Which is strange, as this country has a rich heritage of

design that spans the centuries and continues today.



The name Fernando Higueras may not be as universally famous

as that of Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster

or Zaha Hadid, but in reality he is one of Spain’s greatest modern

architects and during the 1970s belonged to an international elite.

Born in Madrid in 1930, his style came to represent a fusion of

Constructivist, rationalist and organic architecture. Though typical

of his era in that he worked a lot with concrete and created heavy,

solid structures, Higueras moulded this industrial material into

natural, organic forms that either mimicked nature or were inspired

by the setting of each individual project.

As he rose through the ranks and established a name for himself,

the projects grew in scale to encompass an oeuvre composed of

the Spanish Pavilion in New York (1963), the Polivalent building

project in Monaco (1969), the Fierro House in Marbella (1971), iconic

apartment complexes in central Madrid, hotels, churches, college

buildings, museums and government edifices.




A contemporary of Higueras, Bofill represents the rich design

tradition of Barcelona, of which he has become an important

exponent. His Taller de Arquitectura emerged as a leading studio

from the 1960s onwards, racking up over 1,000 projects completed

in over 50 countries to date. From his very first project, a summer

villa in Ibiza designed at the tender age of 17, Ricardo Bofill’s portfolio

has grown to include churches, villages, offices, housing estates

and private villas. His vision is clear in the transformation of an old,

disused ruin of a cement factory into the suitably mesmerising head

office of his Barcelona-based architectural practice, RBTA.

Though famous enough, with iconic projects to his name across

Barcelona and Spain, in France, Algeria and other parts of the world,

Ricardo Bofill is perhaps one of the most underrated architects of

all time, for his is a singular mastery of form that blends touches

of industrial brutalism with nature, culture and a sense of magic.

Indeed, his creations conjure up the ethereal to offer not just

housing or functional spaces, but the power to stir emotions.

Walden 7 (Barcelona), La Muralla Roja (Costa Blanca), the Meritxell

Sanctuary (Andorra), Les Espaces d’Abraxes (Paris) and the Houari

Boumedienne agricultural village in Algeria all attest to the almost

Escher-like geometry of this unique architect.







Enric Miralles was married twice, both times to a fellow architect. His

first wife was Carme Pinós, also from Barcelona, who rose to fame

in the 1980s and 1990s, first in partnership with her then husband,

and later as an independent architect with her own practice. Public

projects in Barcelona were followed by parks, schools and wineries

in her native Olot, in the Catalonian countryside. The experience

garnered here through a constant process of experimentation and

immersion in the local cultural and natural setting was recognised

in the form of commissions to design a museum, auditorium and

cultural centre in Zaragoza, an art and design centre in Barcelona,

and a hotel complex in Mallorca.

More work followed in Spain, in the form of bridges, waterfront

refurbishments and a long list of public works, including the Catalan

government’s headquarters, museums, urban renovation projects,

and designs for corporate and public clients in Latin America. Pinós

is also responsible for the design of the campus of the Vienna

University of Economics and Business, whose angular forms recall

the jagged geometry of another famous architect, Frank Gehry.




Also a native of Barcelona, Miralles continued the

Catalan penchant for unusual, pioneering forms driven

by a strong sense of artistry and social conscience. It

led at first to mostly specialised public projects such as

the Igualada Cemetery, the archery range and pergola

at the Olympic village, as well as the conversion of the

Santa Caterina, all in Barcelona. The rather unique

styling of projects like this drew attention, and earned

Enric Miralles national and international recognition.

It is hard to pin his style down, but he was influenced

at once by the machinist brutalism of Le Corbusier

and the more vernacular, natural architecture of Alvar


This much is visible in works such as the extension

to the city hall in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and the

Scottish parliament building in Edinburgh, though

perhaps the skyscraper he designed to be the

corporate headquarters of Gas Natural deviates from

the more idiosyncratic style associated with him.



Perhaps the most famous of modern Spanish architects

is Santiago Calatrava, whose reputation carries far and

wide. Born near Valencia, he helped to revitalise the city

through the creation of a futuristic new arts and sciences

complex on the outskirts of the centre. The iconic structures

created here helped to put Valencia on the map the way the

Guggenheim did in Bilbao, but they also made Calatrava a

controversial figure in his homeland.

An engineer as well as architect, he has become famous for

the many bridges he designed, from Seville to Rotterdam,

basing these, and also communication towers, office blocks,

galleries and museums, upon the structures of the body, a

philosophy that is also visible in Calatrava’s designs for the

Athens Olympic sports complex – the grand opus of a man

who has given Spanish architecture renewed stature in the




For those who haven’t travelled there yet, the Balearic

Islands are an archipelago in the Mediterranean off the

Spanish east coast. The four main islands are Mallorca,

Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera – and though they share a

common history, culture and local dialect of Catalan that

is also closely related to Valenciano, Provencal, Ligurian,

Corsican and Sardo (Sardinian) – each has a character

and ambience of its town.


By far the largest and dominant island is Mallorca, where the

capital Palma de Mallorca is the main cultural, economic

and metropolitan centre of the Balearics. This historic city

is a treasure trove of imposing architecture, with cultural

layers that date back to pre-Roman, Byzantine, Moorish

and later periods, influencing the local cuisine, traditions,

art and people. In addition to the many cathedrals,

fortresses and elegant streets and plazas to enjoy are the

picturesque old city, the harbour area with its old towers

and of course the white sandy beaches within a stroll of




If you avoid the built-up tourist town of Magaluf, which not

long ago catered mostly to British package tourism but is

now being upgraded, skirting the southwest cape will take

you through a series of rather stylish beach resorts such

as Santa Ponça overlooking idyllic bays. Head inland to

the pastel-coloured charm of Andratx or Valdemossa, a

quaint mountain village reminiscent of the prettiest ones in

Provence or Tuscany. The whole western mountain range

and rocky coastline is a spectacle of pretty little towns

overlooking spectacular cliff-side scenery.

Round this region and you reach the Bay of Alcudia,

where mountains give way to plains and expansive,

white sandy beaches. This too is a visitor’s paradise

complete with stylish coastal resorts, and as you trace

the eastern shoreline you’ll be rewarded with elegant

little towns and in places gorgeous beaches that have

a very natural and untouched fell. Round yet another

spectacular cape and you approach some of the most

spectacularly beautiful Mallorca coastal scenery in

places such as Cala Pi, whose iconic aquamarine water

pretty much sums up the island.







Cala Ratjada






Santa Eulária

des Ríu



Cala d’Or




If Mallorca has captured the hearts of tourists and jet-set visitors

such as Claudia Schiffer and Michael Douglas, then Ibiza will

forever be associated with heady summer holidays and the birth

of the beachside club scene. Many of the most famous DJs,

such as David Guetta, cut their teeth here and the likes of Calvin

Harris, continue to feature on a regular basis at landmark venues

like Pasha, which turn partying into a resort occupation. There is,

of course, also another side to this famous party island, as seen in

the historic charm of its towns and country villages, as well as the

natural beauty of much of its coastline, where areas such as Es

Cubells are popular with high-end visitors and celebrities seeking

privacy, luxury and seclusion.


For more of that iconic beachside beauty in the form of green

Mediterranean pine groves that grow right up to white sand

beaches washed by azure waters, Menorca is the place to visit.

More intimate and natural than the larger islands, it is a scenic

paradise where the land feels like it spills into the ever-present

Mediterranean Sea. Even smaller and more sauvage, Formentera

is where lovers of nature, sea, sky and sandy dunes will feel at

home – on land as well as snorkelling in its clear blue waters.



When it comes to quality real estate,

Mallorca is not a place of large

concentrations, but rather of many little

treasures dotted around the island. That

said, you’ll see names such as Pollensa,

Alcúdia, Port Adriano and Puerto Andratx

appear frequently as they are among

the finest, most popular residential areas

overlooking gorgeous coastal scenery

near all amenities.


The same is true of Ibiza, but those in the

know look for homes in Sant Josep De

Sa Talaia, Santa Eulalia Des Ríu and also

Sant Antoni De Portmany – all perfect

examples of privileged living on this

golden isle.


In Menorca, it will be hard to resists the

atmosphere and scenic charm of the

Ciudadela de Menorca, though others

head to the coastal pleasures of Maó

and Es Mercadal, while in Formentera

Cala Envaster is a perfect spot on a bay

in an island otherwise made up of small

communities and country properties.




Shabby Chic

and much more!

Shabby chic” a word that has come to characterise Ibiza a style that is considered by many

to be the ultimate in trendiness. Ibiza is about summer, beaches, open-air parties and latenight

clubbing. The capital of Europe’s summer clubbing scene has spawned its own genres

of music, as well as numerous world-famous clubs, but aside from techno, trance and chillout

music – not to mention throngs of swaying, sweating bodies – there is another, more cultural

side to this tourist isle that is being cultivated.

By Michel Cruz

“Those in the know, like Richard Branson and other wellheeled

Ibiza modern and trendy yet ancient and mysterious with

latter day flower power children, have long since

a host of modern and rustic private villas, secluded low-rise

been enjoying its pleasures. Together with the creative types boutique hotels and other hot spots overlooking paradisiacal

who helped develop the iconic Ibiza style, they are turning coves or white yachts bobbing quietly on the turquoise

this super cool spot in the sun into one of the most mustexperience


places of the moment. If there were a colour to The old walled town is so pretty that the entire area has

represent the island and encapsulate its ambience it would been declared a world heritage site by Unesco, complete

be azure; the deep aquamarine blue of its coastal waters, with castle, churches and the quaint houses and little plazas.

the intense blue of its skies and the liquid freshness of sea

Here you will almost stumble over the history of the island, or

air. Or perhaps the pure, stark white of its plastered walls,

simply drink in the atmosphere, while on the other side of the

the sails that play against the horizon or the white linen that bay luxury yachts lie in the trendy marina fronted by luxury

seems to become an inadvertent uniform for sophisticated boutiques, eateries and lounge bars. Much of the nightlife

urban types seeking summer epiphanies in the Med. Such continues to be concentrated around calle Barcelona, while

descriptions are not unlike the islands of Greece, complete the town is also home to some of the most popular clubs,

with pretty white-plastered windmills, and indeed, the

among them the famous Café del Mar, where revellers

quintessentially Mediterranean island of Ibiza is in many ways come to chillout and watch the sun set.

a reflection of its cousins on the other side of the vast sea.

More than 40 clubs and trendy bars that dominate the

summer clubbing scene, and though the island has tried to

become more upmarket the popularity of nightlife tourism

shows no signs of diminishing. New hotels, however, have

all been five-star in recent years, and the overall trend has

been towards smaller scale and greater character. The

result has been that Ibiza has been tapping into the cool

chic scene that is so strongly associated with it, catering in

the process not only to young revellers and cultural tourists

but also the well-heeled visitor wishing to remain young at


The more rustic destinations just inland are also very

popular, and while this new international jet set likes to dip

its toe into the feverish partying of the main tourist areas

you sense that they are more at home enjoying freshly

caught fish or organically grown vegetables at a quaint

– but stylish – seaside venue. It is at unassuming locations

like this where, on a good day, you could find yourself

surrounded by Liam Gallagher, Kate Moss and Mark

Ronson, if you care for that sort of thing.

Besides crystal clear waters inviting the visitor to swim,

sail and scuba dive, Ibiza offers a surprising amount of

beautiful nature for so small an island. From the cliffs and

coves rises the pine cover that the island is famous for,

converting into maquis heather in the hardiest of spots

before opening up into idyllic valleys covered in green

fields, blankets of wild flowers and almond trees. This is

rustic Ibiza, a place of goats, donkeys, quaint villages and

old rural traditions. It is also home to an amazingly stylish

form of rural tourism in which easy elegance and comfort

have been raised to an art form.

A popular natural area is the Ses Feixes wetlands,

a swampy lowland area bordering Ibiza Bay that is a

wintering ground for countless species of bird. You will also

find bats and reptiles where the Moors once cultivated

land using a complex irrigation system of canals and

water deposits. Here, where intense agriculture flourished

for centuries in a man-made environment, nature began

to reclaim its marshes and return them to their wild

inhabitants from the 1960s onwards. Though threatened by

property development, the islanders are now beginning

to recognise the value of this natural spot with its deep

historic connection.

Much of what makes this island so haunting can be

traced to its ancient roots, which though planted in a very

distant and hazy past continue to produce fresh shoots.

While it shares much of its story and characteristics with

mainland Spain – Ibiza is just 79 kilometres east of Valencia

– this is above all a Mediterranean world. As a result, the

Pine Islands – the name for Ibiza and its smaller neighbour,

Formentera – have always been a little removed from their

mother nation. Claimed by the Catalan as their own, the

people speak a local dialect of that tongue, yet could

also communicate with the Corsicans and Sardinians with

whom they share an almost invisible yet ancient bond.

Beaten by the salty sea winds and the voyagers they

carried here, these tiny islands have been invaded,

sacked and pillaged more times than you’d care to

know, but the many stones have produced an interesting

mosaic. There must have been people on the islands

when the Phoenician traders from the other side of the

Mediterranean founded the town of Ibossim, but by the

time control passed to the Carthaginians the islands had a

strong Punic culture also touched by traders from Greece

and Rome, which would later come to rule the territory

under the name of Ebusus.

Most of the beautiful seaside that now draws so many

people were devoid of population, made uninhabitable

by fear. The seaside villages we see today date in the

main from the 19th century, before which you needed an

impregnable fortress to retire to when the raids came. The

town of Ibiza is a fine example of this. Though it now houses

almost half the island’s 125,000 people, it was for long

little more than a small port protected by the Almudaina

Castle. This large walled fortress, which stands at the top

of the picturesque Dalt Vila (Old Town), provided the

protection that made life here possible, but from the mid-

19th century onwards Ibiza’s capital developed quickly, a

process that was further boosted by the rise of the tourist

industry from the 1950s on.

What Ibiza offers visitors is therefore becoming

increasingly diverse in nature, but always based around

a strong sensory experience – from the release offered by

the clubs to the relaxing, almost spiritual atmosphere to be

found along the pretty little coves and secluded beaches.

Where the package vacationers follow the well-beaten

path to the 18 kilometres of large sandy beaches such as

those at Calls Bassa and La Salinas, those occupying the

private villas and low-slung boutique hotels will seek out

secluded spots far away from the madding crowds. Lying

ensconced within small pine-covered estates, the private

lodges they stay at offer peace and anonymity in what is

a typical Ibiza mix of laid-back hippy style complete with

Thai or Indian influences, yet suffused with comfort, luxury

and first-class service.

After all, a Richard Branson or Jean-Paul Gaulthier

may seek out hip venues where they can chill out and

get closer to nature, but they will not easily forsake the

subtle pleasures and comforts of life. As a result, the Ibiza

chic venue is earthy, designed in a way that appears to

be random and informal yet is actually demanding of

creative energies, and provides five-star services in an

ambience that seems to want to decry earthly luxury and

opulence in favour of a more ethereal way of being. Some

will even feature yoga classes and detox regimes amid the

fragrance of flowers and incense, while others are more

starkly minimalist in their avant-garde sophistication.

Either way, they combine with the shabby chic simplicity

of favoured seaside fish restaurants in pretty little coves

or villages, days spent lazing on secluded beaches,

watching the sun set on yachts and trekking into the

rustic countryside – as well as heading off to the most

exclusive of the lounge bars and clubs – to produce a

style of Ibiza-branded experience that is drawing more

and more visitors to the dramatic beauty of this coolest of

Mediterranean islands.




Bodegas for a

modern era

wine cellar used to be just that, a somewhat

dank stone or brick room hidden in the vaults

of a home. Indeed, it didn’t use refrigeration

but had to be located beneath the main house to

attain the ideal temperature and humidity conditions

required for storing precious vintages. As time

moved on and classical homes become more

comfortable in style, the bodega, as it is also often

called, became a little more accessible.

By the late 20th century it was no longer just the

place where the erstwhile butler or chef’s assistant

would go to find the requested bottles of wine,

but now an increasingly attractive space, not

infrequently in the style of a winery, a traditional

café or even a tapas bar. Fancy brickwork was

accompanied by a bar, tables for wine tasting and

even card-playing, as this was the sort of room that

had become part of the modern villa’s basement



With the trend switch to sleek modern architectural

Besides sunken fire pits, open-plan living

rooms and minimalist kitchens and bathrooms,

the modern wine cellar is one of the classic

additions of 21st century home design.

styles this decade, has come a veritable revolution in the

shape and function of this centuries-old space, which

has seen it totally redefined from a traditional brick space

located below the home to a glass-and-chrome vitrine

situated right at the heart of its living areas. In other

words, in this century the bodega has come out of the

dark and into the light.

If the look and location of the wine cellar have changed,

the function hasn’t, and as many of these beautifully

styled glass cabinets are located at the point where the

kitchen and dining room meet, the wine tasting can now

be done at the kitchen bar, the dining room table or even

on the terrace outside. Now, the modern wine cellar has

also become a true design feature in its own right, for

a glass-and-chrome bodega is attractive by day and a

visual delight when lit up with LED.

Coming in a wide range of sizes and configurations, what

is effectively a gently refrigerated cooling cabinet can

be a practical and aesthetic addition to anything from

a studio apartment to a large mansion, and they range

from standardised designs to anything you want them to

be. Modern technology ensures the sky is the limit, so be



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