2 Apr, 2024 @ 12:06
2 mins read

These Costa del Sol ‘pueblos’ are the best options for Americans looking to retire in Spain – according to a leading US magazine

Playa De Bil Bil Benalmadena 1

SPAIN is becoming an increasingly popular destination for American visitors – and not just tourists, but also retirees looking for a place to live. 

For proof of this look no further than an article published in International Living, which specialises in helping US citizens with wanderlust find a new home. 

The magazine recommends five destinations in Spain to live, and also warns against two that it considers ‘less desirable’. The top two recommendations just happen to be on the Costa del Sol. 

Topping the list is Benalmadena, which the magazine describes as a ‘quiet, family-friendly beach resort with a population of 67,000’.

“Attractions include Tivoli World amusement park, a butterfly park, two aquariums, a dolphin and penguin exhibit, a casino, a cable car, and one of the largest marinas in Andalusia,” the article continues, highlighting that it is also ‘home to a Buddhist stupa’.

“Hotels of different vintages tower over a rocky shore,” the text reads. “Stairs lead down steep cliffs to small secluded beaches populated by sunbathers and fishermen. The nudist beach, Benalnátura, has its own café and bar.”

Second on the list is Mijas Pueblo, which International Living describes as a ‘white-washed Andalusian pueblo’ that ‘attracts expats from all over the world because it serves as the gateway to Costa del Sol’s “golf valley”.’ 

“With beautiful weather all year and reasonable greens fees, this location is a golfer’s paradise,” the article reads. “Mijas Pueblo is a seductive destination in itself, even without the allure of a golf heaven.

“Narrow cobblestone streets wind like white passageways between hidden plazas and warrens of shops filled with Spanish arts and crafts,” it continues. “Bright red geraniums spill from blue flower pots attached to stone walls. Beside the lovely large plaza, quaint carts pulled by adorable burros wait to taxi tourists to the many restaurants, bars, and churches.”

Third on the list of recommendations is Almuñecar, in Granada province, followed by Sitges in Barcelona province, and Miraflores de la Sierra, in the Madrid region, is fifth on the list. 

As for the places to avoid, the magazine recommends that American expats steer clear of El Mar Menor, the saltwater lagoon in Murcia, due to the ‘ecological collapse of marine life’ caused by pollution from farming and hotels. 

It also gives the thumbs down to ‘Gibraltar border towns’ such as Algeciras. It has a word of warning against Gibraltar itself, saying that its ‘commercial focus on online gambling and banking that offers international tax shelters adds to a somewhat unsavoury atmosphere’. 

“As a tourist destination, these elements do not pose a problem, but maybe you wouldn’t want to live there,” the article concludes about the British Overseas Territory. 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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