Overseas property investors are often attracted to the southern Iberian coast in West Andalusia or the East Algarve due to great climate, and living close to the border of Spain and Portugal offers easy access to two cultures.
But which one should you base yourself in? Over the next two weeks we look at the two alternatives.
A long way from the built-up beachfront and crowded expat communities of the Costa del Sol, West Andalusia offers quiet, family-friendly resorts with uncrowded beaches.
The section of the Costa de la Luz (coast of light), where it meets the Portuguese border in West Andalusia is home to untouched expanses of sweeping white beaches and traditional white towns. Tourist development is limited and much of the area is protected natural wetlands, all of which helps to create a peaceful and authentically Spanish vibe.
The majority of property buyers in Huelva province, the westernmost point of the region, are Spanish. However, there are many from other parts of Europe including the UK, and many are also starting to arrive from Portugal, attracted by lower property prices than they can find across the border.
The easiest way to reach the western Costa de la Luz is to fly into Faro in Portugal. From there the transfer over the border is a 45-to-50-minute drive. Seville airport is a 1-hour 45-minute drive away and Gibraltar is about three hours away.
West Andalusia Destinations
Ayamonte is a charming old town with a marina, situated on the banks of the Guadiana opposite Vila Real de Santo António on the Portuguese side.
Linked by a causeway to Ayamonte is the Costa de la Luz’s most prominent resort, Isla Canela. Purpose-built and occupying a 1,700-hectare island, much of Isla Canela comprises protected salt marshes, while on its southerly ocean-facing side is a stunning seven-kilometre-long stretch of Blue Flag beaches.
Highlights of the resort, still privately owned, include its own championship golf course with a four-star hotel, a marina with a selection of bars and commercial outlets, and an old fishing community, Punta del Moral, home to excellent restaurants.
Ayamonte’s other tourist resort is Costa Esuri, a partially completed urbanisation 10 minutes upriver on the Guadiana and 20 minutes from its nearest beach at Isla Canela. Moving east along the coast, another resort that combines golf and unspoilt sweeping beaches is Islantilla at La Antilla. Built among the 27 holes of the championship golf course, 500 metres off the seafront, are small complexes of apartments and townhouses, mostly owned by Spaniards.
West Andalusia Property
Property at Isla Canela in West Andalusia is spread across a selection of frontline developments, typically with gated security, communal pools, landscaped gardens and tennis facilities. There are also individual villa plots, including around the golf course.
Off-plan prices in the latest ‘Los Flamencos’ development start from €170,000.
Another recent, more upmarket development at Isla Canela is Ocean Homes, the first phase of which was completed this summer, but has sold out. The second phase still available offers two-bedrooms starting at €220,000.
Resale properties on older developments at Isla Canela are available through local agents in Ayamonte. Homes and Fincas has a selection of two and three-bed apartments there, typically priced from €130,000 to €160,000, depending on development and size.
At Costa Esuri, resale two-bed apartments start from around €90,000 and three-bed townhouses range from €120,000 to €170,000, with similar prices at Islantilla.
Or, if you’d prefer to be more local, opt for a traditional town home in Ayamonte, with three/four-beds available for about €150,000.
West Andalusia Rental Returns
Holiday lets in West Andalusia are regulated according to a regional law introduced in 2016. To let a property to holidaymakers legally, owners must register with Andalusia’s tourist department or their local town hall and their property must have all its paperwork in order and meet specified health and safety requirements.
The high season in July and August should see a two-bedroom apartment rent for around €900 to €1,000 per week.
That’s West Andalusia – next week we look across the border at the East Algarve.