During the past few months there have been many articles in various English publication that have tended to run down the Costa del Sol. To be frank they are not telling lies but they do tend to put an unwarranted dampener on things for the genuine people who live and work here.
We are all aware of the crisis and the after effects of all that has happened in the financial world over the past few years but to run down the Costa del Sol is self defeating. We know that in general things are not as good at the moment as we would have liked. But where else are they? So lets take a moment to look at some of the plus sides. The Costa del Sol is still as appealing for many reasons. For example it has one of the largest number of expats in the world and to be frank there is a very good reason for that.
Lets look at some more reasons to be happy about the Costa del Sol after all so much of this is about personal priorities and preferences.
The location of the Costa del Sol is only two and a half hours from most other European Cities. The winters here can be some of the warmest in Europe and it is always a pleasure to walk along the beach in December. You can be in the countryside within minutes and a picnic or a trek into the campo is a great way to enjoy the clean air. Always appealing to those fed up with clouds and rain, are the all year round sun and warm weather.
On average we have 320 days of sunshine each year. During winter, temperatures regularly rise above 20 degrees (Celsius). For those who live here full or part time then the standard of living is really quite good compared to the rest of Europe. There are many international schools and colleges for all ages and a healthy way of life can be had by any youngster.
There is a civilized standard of living here at a reasonable cost and it is a fairly safe place to live. Many international supermarkets offer food and treats from home and the quality of local foods is very good. The medical care is good here with easy access to the medical centres and quite often there is a translator in the centre to help with appointments etc.
For an evening out then do try a Spanish restaurant perhaps slightly away from the coast and you will find prices very reasonable and the staff usually very friendly. Often there is a traditional Spanish cabaret to enjoy as well. In general property prices along the coast are dropping again, after the boom a few years ago finding a secure home for the family is not quite so expensive as it was with many bargains to be had whether renting or buying and with some property around 50% of the price reduced.
Also attractive to many expatriates is that English is widely spoken and you will find that many of the banks, shops, restaurants and health centres along the Costa del Sol are staffed by bi-lingual employees. The Spanish people in general rather appreciate it when you try to speak their language and there is always the chance that you will get the odd free Spanish lesson from a Local resident or neighbour. Watching children enjoy the Spanish way of life can be rewarding in itself and they will soon leave Mum and Dad behind when it comes to learning the language.
The Costa del Sol is certainly expanding as people begin to move further inland. The Road networks have been much improved and are increasing in many areas which is making the inland areas much more accessible
to the coast and to the main airports.
Just a twenty minute drive from the coast will bring such a different outlook to Costa life, where the grand country houses and small fincas stand side by side with each other in the vast areas of agricultural land.
So listen everyone, keep your chin up and look for the positives in life on the Costa del Sol. We can always moan and be grumpy but if we cant do anything about it then it is just a waste of energy.
If you really get a bit homesick then a day in Gibraltar is not an obstacle. Family and friends can visit often and trips back home are fairly easy to arrange.
There is more of an outdoor social lifestyle than is possible in wetter countries and the 161 kilometres of Mediterranean coast stretching from Gibraltar to Nerja are lined with beach bars, cafés and restaurants, where sitting outside over a daily coffee with friends is part of a way of life. So always look on the bright side of life.