Buying in the home of bananas and mangoes

LAST UPDATED: 24 Sep, 2010 @ 14:51
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Buying in the home of bananas and mangoes

By Sally Harrison

IT’S official, the property market is booming in the Axarquía.

More than any other place on the Costa del Sol people are discovering that this is the nicest area to live in.

Having the best climate in Europe – Torrox officially takes the title – means that tropical fruit grows in abundance with mango and avocado plantations as well as even bananas.

Palm trees line many roads and you really do find yourself driving over lemons!

Its not unusual to have to wait for a herd of goats or sheep to cross the road or to see huge oxen pulling carts and men going to work on their donkeys or mules.

Life here is far from the madding crowd yet if you want to play tourist there are 25 kilometres of beaches just waiting for you to put down your towel.

People know your name and watch out for you, watering your plants if you are away

When its raining on the coast you quite often find that up in the mountains you are above the clouds
and enjoying brilliant sunshine.

More and more people are discovering the joys of living in the typical pueblos blancos where the local traditions and tranquil way of life continue.

Foreigners are welcomed and most become part of the local community, learning the language and joining
in with the festivities.

People know your name and watch out for you, watering your plants if you are away for a few days and taking in your mail until your return.

If you are ill they are the first to come to the hospital or your house to offer support and food.

The simple ways of life that are lost living in big cities remain in these villages like a time warp.

Waking up in the morning to the sun rising over the mountains, which in winter have sprinklings of snow on top, is just one of the many little daily occurrences that make life in the Axarquía special.

You can breakfast in a t-shirt on your terrace while the snow melts as the sun heats the day.

On the subject of property, which I have worked in here in Spain for decades, prices are lower here than in other parts of the Costa del Sol.

You can still pick up small renovated three bedroom homes for decent prices and a ruined cortijo to renovate from as little as 120,000 euros.

On top of that, restaurants and bars give better value for money with a three course menu del dia costing from just seven euros.

While time has stood still in the Axarquía progress is evident with a new tram service linking the capital Vélez-Málaga to the sea side resort of Torre del Mar.

There is a fantastic hospital, 24 hour health clinics in the larger villages and most have municipal swimming pools.

There are good local schools, with buses ferrying children to and from school, as well as free internet and Spanish lessons available in most villages.

If a new, relaxed way of life is what you are looking for, then the Axarquía has it all.

14 COMMENTS

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  1. One wonder what planet Sally Harrison inhabits lol. Vélez-Málaga is so run down it actually has a ghetto. It also lost 80% of its shops and even hotels and large businesses run by expats are all up for sale. If it was such a great place the opposite would be the case. The local schools are ok for young kids, but beyond the age of 6 you’d better find an international school if you want your child to be anything other than a mango farmer (nothing wrong with being a mango farmer of course, if that’s your thing lol.)

    The Axarquia doesn’t have “it all”. It does have some stunning scenery and, er, that’s about it. What it does have is truckloads of illegal properties, poor infrastructure, no jobs, and barely any decent well-maintained facilities to speak of. As for the fantastic menu del dia, for seven euros you will surely experience some of the worst food imaginable lol. I should know, I’ve had the food poisoning to prove it.

    If you are going to retire here with lots of money, fine. If you are coming to bring up a family, forget it. Most of it is still run by bandits – they are called local government.

  2. YOU JUST LOVE TO KNOCK SPAIN …. DON’T YOU? ANY TIME YOU CAN GET A DIG IN, YOUR THERE WITH NEGATIVE COMMENT…WHY DONT YOU GET BACK TO THE “CAT IN THE BIN” SOCIETY,ANIMAL LOVER……LOL…UYC. GO HOME NOW BYE BYE SOON……

  3. 80% of its shops Fred? Come come that’s a bit of an exaggeration and the worst businesses are always the first to fail, usually the ones run by people with no previous experience what-so-ever. The only ones to profit from that are the landlords in the short term.

    You may have a point regarding the schools though but is the average british state school so very much better? I think not, I went to one.

    The illegal builds are a problem and not likely to be resolved while the court system is in a state of perpetually overloaded chaos and the infrastucture can be quite second world but then our bills are a fraction of what they where in the UK and I’m confident I won’t be using the courts anytime soon.

    I don’t know where you live Fred but pehaps you should travel a little further for your meals. I have never had food poisoning from a menu del dia. Ever. Certainly been a little “consterned” after eating at some of the ferias but not as bad as a similarly cheap UK meal.

    I’m not even close to retired and I have enough work for myself and a spanish colleague and if you aren’t happy with your politicians, vote. Or run for office yourself. So enjoy the sun and your cold weather payments and smile ;-)

  4. Nick, your ongoing clutching of the ‘cat in the bin’ story shows you are in self denial of the treatment of domestic pets in Spain – ask any of the animal charities to get educated about the realities of the country you supposedly live in lol.

    Ben, at one point the town had lost nearly all of its shops. There are some big companies in Velez still, so a friend tells me (who lives in Velez), it was the smaller family businesses I was referring to. A couple of large expat ventures are now up for sale – hotels mainly. Velez is a very poor place in parts. It is getting some investment, but its allocated and spent ‘Spanish style’, so it will end up being spent on the wrong things or the quality and maintenance will be poor, or it will mysteriously disappear into a brown envelope.

    I would not say that all the bills in Spain are a ‘fraction’ of what they are in the UK – they are approaching the UK level I’d say, but hard to compare everything like-for-like. Just about everything has risen in price recently, water/gas/IBI/electric etc. Consumer goods in Spain, in particular, can be up to 50% higher than in the UK. Taxation and other associated costs are also higher here.

    Regarding food, I have eaten all over the CDS, indeed I eat out most days, so perhaps I have sampled more bad meals – realistically, the menu del dia is very rarely a quality meal (there are two or three exceptions that I have found).

    I also have a good few decades before the winter fuel payments, like yourself, although I’m sure they’ll be well and truly abolished by then.

  5. .Were you drunk when you posted your earlier nonsense?
    Aug 21st
    The Spanish never learn
    Aug 20th 2010
    Buyer beware, they say. However, what chance has the buyer if the legal system does not work. Whose fault is that? SPAIN of course
    Dec21st 2009
    Super efficient Spain and laid back Spain are like oil and water; hard to mix, and culturally not what people want – so they get the system they end up with, which is what they have now: CRAP.
    March 4th 2010
    Anyway, it’s no surprise to me. The Spanish people are secretly overjoyed that so many
    expats are leaving the country. Do you really think they like expats? I do so laugh when people say they are “integrating” in Spain
    Feb 16th 2010
    Whatever you say, Nob.
    March 17th 2010
    There is a mental health clinic in Alhaurin if you need the address, Pancho.
    June 4th 2010
    It is quite amazing how brainwashed the Spanish are on this subject
    Aug 20th 2010
    IF YOU DETEST THE SPANISH SO MUCH ……GO HOME……..I will never surrender……..never…NEVER…..

  6. Nick, you are suffering from ‘Schofield Syndrome’, which is an awful afflication that makes your CAPS LOCK stick and also leads to large bouts of cutting and pasting portions of other peoples opinions over and over again, causing mass boredom to take place lol.

    You can keep requoting opinions forever – they remain opinions. And yes, Spain’s legal and planning systems are crap in my opinion – just read the papers to see why lol! And yes, the Spanish that I have overheard, and who I have read posts from on other forums, and from Spanish friends I have talked to, are actually very pleased that expats are leaving en masse because many actually blame expats for all the problems. As Jon Clarke said, even Mr Zapatero blamed the “Snglo Saxon” influences. Most Spanish, especially the first generation folks, are also mighty pleased that Spain will most certainly be returning to the Peseta very soon as well.

    And yes, the Spanish are certainly brainwashed by their TVs and media – the Spanish are the nationality that watches the most TV in Europe a recent study said, and all their ‘news’ is about Spain and nowhere else. Spain knows nothing about the rest of the World at all, in fact according to Mr Zapatero on TV just yesterday, there is no debt problem anymore… and a few weeks back he said there wasn’t a crisis either lol.

    I do hope the OP is going to devote extra coverage to the biggest corruption court case in Spain’s history – corruption central: Marbella. Should make the front page I think.

  7. LOL…WHEN YOU GENERALIZE ABOUT SPAIN AND THE SPANISH..THAT LOL IS BIGOTRY ..WHEN YOU CRITICIZE CONSTANTLY THE SPANISH PEOPLE, THAT IS RACISM..IGNORANCE AND STUPIDITY GO HAND IN HAND WITH THESE TWO FACTS..LET ME TEACH YOU SOMETHING LOL….STATEMENT “SPANISH ARE BRAINWASHED BY THERE TV.S AND MEDIA” ..THIS IS WHAT YOU COULD WRITE…”IT SEEMS TO ME THAT PERHAPS SOME SPANISH PEOPLE COULD POSSIBLY BE INFLUENCED BY THE MEDIA AND TV”…NOW PAY ATTENTION …THIS IS WHAT WE CALL A COMMENT…WHEN YOU SIT ALL ALONE AT YOUR KEYBOARD..WITH ALL YOUR ANGER AND UPSET LOL. CONSIDER THE HARM YOU ARE CAUSING..THIS IS WHY I WILL DO ANYTHING TO PREVENT MYSELF AND THE PEOPLE I KNOW THAT ENJOY SPAIN..BEING ASSOCIATED WITH PEOPLE LIKE YOU,UNDERSTAND??? I KNOW YOU WONT, BUT TRY…I VISITED GRAZALEMA YESTERDAY A TRUE GEM OF SPAIN..GO AND HAVE A LOOK AT THE MOUNTAINS AND RECONSIDER YOUR FOOLISH WAYS…..LOL

  8. Nick, criticising Spain is not racism. You are poorly educated and do not understand the meaning of the word. Sorry to dissapoint you but I am not sitting at the keyboard with anger an upset; far from it. You just have a real chip on your shoulder that someone else can air another opinion that differs from your own.

    And yes Grazelema is beautiful, I have been many times and have friends there – its beauty has nothing to do with my comments, coincidentally, so not sure what you are going on about. Calm down Nick. The only harm being done in Spain is by unscrupulous property developers, corrupt officials, and a truly weak government.

    PS. oh and Nick, caps lock off, please lol.

  9. HI Fred,
    I must say first – DON’T FEED THE TROLL. You are lucky, on audio forums we have shedloads of trolls, luckily they nearly all only infest cable threads.

    A menu de la dia in 2010 for only €7 – that was what we paid over 8 years ago in Ferrol/Galicia at the excellant working mens restaurant – Juanitos. I just don’t think it is possible to use quality ingredients, well prepared for that kind of money.

    I am amazed that just over the RN88 here in France we can have a ‘formula’/menu de la dia for €10.50 without wine and it’s of a quality that not even Juanitos could hope to match and yes it caters for construction workers and reps but does’nt have the economy of scale that Juanito has – over 200 covers.

    A ruined cortijo for ‘as little as’ €120,000 – is she for real this woman and this price is being asked after or should I say during the property crash – what the hell was the price 3 years ago – simply unbelieveable.

    Because of a health problem (sciatic pain) I missed out on two building plots here in the Avreyon, right in the area we want to live – high ground, beautiful views, first class soil, water phone and electricity close by – 2,000 sq.m for €20,000 each. Both went quickly bought by, Frenchmen – they leave the old houses for foreigners to pour their money into – oh yes, the planning consents are all kosher today, tomorrow and forever.

  10. Don’t dispair Nick,
    I’ve had several quarrels with this character and he´s got tunnel view. This guy is a deep idiot since his father and mother were flirting. He lives in Montejaque, therefore next to Grazalema town and within the natural park, however he´s wasting an spanish live forgeting that behind the first trees there´s a forest.

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