Buying property in Spain can be an arduous affair.
With great value real estate found across the country, it can take time for prospective buyers just to narrow their search down to a specific province, let alone a specific town.
Andalucia remains one of the most affordable places in Spain, but this, paradoxically, does not come with a trade off on quality of life.
Towns such as Benalmádena make for the perfect investment opportunity as people get wind of just how special a place it is.
This can be seen especially in relation to the area’s natural beauty and climate with Benalmádena the perfect example of a modern town which also has glorious nature acting as another string to its bow.
The scenic town is split into three main urban areas. The first, Benalmádena Pueblo, is the original village, which has all the hallmarks of a classic Andalucian village with traditional white villas perched atop lush green lawns.
This area has been a treasure trove of ancient artefacts in recent years owing to the soil’s rich minerals which has perfectly preserved countless bronze age monuments.
Then there is Benalmádena Costa, an urban development along the coast and the social hub of the town, complete with discos, hotels, beaches, shopping centres and the marina.
Arroyo de la Miel was once a separate village to the town but has since been perfectly assimilated into Benalmádena where it is now the main residential area and where houses are now hot property.
It is from here a cable car can be taken to the summit of the Calamorro mountain, which provides panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada and Gibraltar. On especially clear days, you can see the outline of the Moroccan coastline.
This is the beauty of Benalmádena – a town with an oriental infused character situated in the most glorious part of Spain that overlooks the dramatic landscape of North Africa and shows why buying property in Benalmádena is proving to be so compelling for expat buyers.
The climate is typically Mediterranean, with mild temperatures throughout the year, and few hints of a cold winter chill in the colder months with an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius throughout autumn and winter.
In the mountainous areas, unique flora and fauna flourishes including the white deadnettle, rock rose, and marjoram lily.
The area is also awash with juniper and pine trees and there are countless hikes that are perfect for a weekend dose of nature.
The wildlife is also a marvel, with mountain goats, genet, reptiles, eagles, kestrels and owls frequently spotted by eagle-eyed naturalists.
In addition, whales and other marine life have been sighted along the coast and there are many boat tours given by marine life specialists where you will feel as though you have landed in an Attenborough documentary.
Southern Spain rarely gets the plaudits it deserves when it comes to talking about its natural geography and wildlife, but it is just another reason why buying property in places such as Benalmádena is a wise decision.
For example, Spain has its own big five, a less famous but no less awe-inspiring group of animals native to the Iberian Peninsula. They are the Bearded Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Iberian Lynx, Iberian Wolf, and Eurasian Brown Bear.
The Iberian Lynx is one of the rarest cats in the world, but the best chance of seeing them in a native environment is in Andalucia.
Benalmádena is slap bang in the middle of the migratory route of many species of bird who travel to Africa and back with birds such as White Storks, Griffon vultures, Egyptian Vultures, Short-toed snake Eagles and Booted Eagles.
In the wetland areas, some of Europe’s most spectacular birds such as Greater Flamingo, Cinereous Vulture and Golden Eagle all make their home here. Finally of note is the small population of Northern Bald Ibis, one of the rarest birds in the world, which can be found in La Barca de Vejer in Cadiz.
In terms of marine life, the area also delivers, with killer whales seen between August and September and long-finned pilot whales a short distance from the coast, whilst the Common Bottlenose, Short-beaked Common and Striped Dolphins can also be seen playing off the Spanish shores throughout the year.
The town is just stone’s throw away from the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park and its accompanying spectacular landscapes are well worth a visit including the Pinsapo de las Escaleretas – a habitat built on a succession of ancient trees belonging to the fir family and a relic of a 20-million-year-old tree species.
The special climatic conditions, with abundant rainfall and large shady areas have allowed these Spanish first to survive as a species exclusive to the area.
It is as if someone has personally designed a place that has jaw-dropping nature and great weather, all of which can be basked in if you end up buying real estate in Benalmádena.
There is also a deep network of limestone caves that are among the best for exploring in Europe, such as the Sima GEMS, the deepest karstic area in Andalucia and one of Europe’s most important repositories for unique rock formations.
Then there is the Mirador del Guardia Forestal located on the northern side of the park, offering breath-taking views of the river Turón, the fir-woods of the mountains and the white town of El Burgo.
Elsewhere the Tajo de Caína trek is also a must-do trip if you own property in Benalmádena and is just under an hour’s drive away.
It owes its name to a woman, who was said to be as devilish as Cain and who was thrown from the top of the mountain by the Spanish Inquisition.
Not for the faint-hearted, the vertigos and slips may sneak up on you, although the views provided are truly one of a kind.
Benalmádena properties are thus likely to continue their upward trajectory in terms of value but with real estate prices still astonishingly low compared to the market in places like the UK and France, you really ought to spare some time to consider whether Benalmádena might be the ideal place for you.