Think Spain – for a “beach destination” holiday and many will naturally think of the Costa del Sol or Benidorm or the Balearics.  Not that you hear many say that. “Magaloof” (sic) or “Ibeefa” (sic) perhaps and it always leaves me scratching my head when you hear, “oh I went to Spain” and when asked where “oh Tenerife” Yes strictly speaking that is true, but only in the same way that it would be correct to say that you “visited Britain” when actually it was Gibraltar or even Saint Helena.

I digress.

I visited Andalucia in October 2015, just to have a look at one of the lesser known parts of the southern Spanish coast.  It is a large region that encompasses Seville, Malaga and the border with the afore mentioned Gibraltar. Where I stayed was beyond Almeria and kind of half way between Malaga and Valencia it remains largely unspoilt but there is clear evidence that prior to the economy all going wrong there were clearly efforts to turn it into another ‘Costa’ for the northern Europeans to visit.   In truth they still do, and what is also a fact is that the Spaniards – much like the French – like to holiday on their own soil (and why not?!) and it is here where they come in the summer months of July and August.  Beyond that though, the coast appears to be a mainstay of the Baby Boomer generation from Germany, Britain and the Netherlands in the main.

There are little resort towns, some finished, some half-finished, some not started.  Some look to be full as holiday lets, or just second homes (for the said northern Europeans) whilst others, to me, looked empty.  One sees “Se Vende” (For Sale) around a fair bit and estate agent windows appear to be jammed to the rafters of properties that are on the market.  Not the sign of a vibrant market I fear…  I was actually surprised at the price of some of them, though.  £80,000 for a two bedroom apartment by the sea may sound cheap to UK standards but this is Spain.  I honestly thought that they would be less than this, whilst an actual villa will be setting the buyer back £200,000 plus.  So, yes, second home potential is there and a seller could comfortably sell their £400,000 three bedroom semi somewhere grey in England and get themselves a nice villa on the Costas.  But, is there a school of thought that those that are/were going to do that already have, and I just cannot see that the next generation – those over the age of 45 in the UK – are really going to have the funds.   Thus are these little resort towns – which are dotted all along the coast of Spain going to thrive or just survive.   And as for those looking for a holiday, no denying that nice as it is, Spain has become what the southwest of England once was for those going away and has become very run of the mill – nothing new there it changed during the 1990’s – but with new destinations popping up such as Cape Verde and now even its own old colonies in South America Mexico and Costa Rica are seriously starting to grab the market, especially in the lucrative “winter sun” stakes against the Canaries (which, yes are Spain, but not Spain blab la)

I flew into Almeria airport and was able to very easily book an airport transfer via Travel Republic.  Flights are with EasyJet from many of their airports (I flew from Gatwick) and alternatively there are many more into the far bigger and busier Malaga or from the north, Alicante – both of which are over a two hour drive, though.

But, at just over two hours flight from the UK – I had a very nice short break in southern Spain.  Everything ran like clockwork.  Nice hotel, nice sunshine (late 20’s in early October) so there is most definitely life in this one yet… (Espana that is, rather than me!)