Where to buy your Spanish home from home (and avoid the crowds)


This tranche of Andalusia east of Malaga is less busy than the Costa del Sol, and while Nerja and Torre del Mar are busy resorts, buyers have been heading into the hills for a quieter and more authentic experience. 

It was the views of the campo (countryside) with locals on their horses, or shepherds with their goats around the white village of Comares that attracted Vicky and Lee from Northampton to buy a two-bedroom house with a pool in 2021 – for £131,000. “The local bar serves simple but delicious food like dorada [mahi mahi] and a beer costs around €1,” says Lee, 46, and they harvest their own olives. 

Another pretty white village, Cómpeta at the foot of the Sierra Almijara, is one of Idealista’s most searched-for locations. The portal is listing a two-bedroom townhouse with roof terrace for €200,000 in the village, while the “raisin town” of El Borge – famed for its muscat grapes – has seen rental listings occupancy rates increase by 25pc, according to AirDNA.


With dozens of pristine and Caribbean-like sand beaches that are generally accepted to be the best in the Canaries archipelago, Fuerteventura is a low-profile island, and a great bet for accessible year-round sun. 

Less developed than Tenerife, calmer than Gran Canaria and more affordable than Lanzarote, it’s also got a lively surfing scene in the north. 

Amongst the best beaches are the windy Sotavento (good for kite surfing) in the Jandia National Park in the south of the island, La Concha for snorkelling or El Moro (Drop Beach) for surfing, recommends John Goldcare of agent GoldAcre Estates.

“Most of our buyers spend around €125,000-150,000 for a one or two-bedroom property but some buy villas for €200,000-500,000,” he says. And there are some bargains to be had. His agency is selling a new two-bedroom villa near Lajares on the north coast for €165,000 (see below). 


The quieter little sister of Ibiza and Mallorca, it’s easy to escape the crowds along Menorca’s sleepy country lanes, coastal walking trails or tiny coves. Even its vibrant capital Mahon is free from the sort of bars you find in Magaluf or San Antonio, although it offers an increasing number of chic boutique hotels.

“Menorca’s gastronomy and arts scene is thriving, it’s a safe, family-friendly location plus it is one of the finest examples of sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean,” says Gary Hobson of Engel & Völkers Menorca. 

The pandemic-driven race for space helped the island, too. Transaction volumes for Menorca in 2022 were more than double 2019 levels, according to official figures.

You can find a three-bedroom apartment in central Mahon for €265,000, or a four-bedroom villa in a private, quiet location on the south coast for €1.7m (see below). Beware that flights are seasonal and that there’s a moratorium on the issue of new holiday rental licences.

Baix Empordà 

Beautiful and accessible, this part of Catalonia really ought to be more popular. Located east of the historic city of Girona, the Baix Empordà is a short drive from Girona airport, 1.5 hours from Barcelona or drivable through France. 

Dubbed “Spain’s Tuscany” it has lush green rolling hills dotted with beautifully preserved stone medieval villages, such as Ullastret, Pals, Palau-Sator, Monells and Peratallada with both the sea (Costa Brava) and ski slopes (Pyrenees) nearby. 

An inspiration to artists such as Picasso, Miró and Dalí, it’s home to the Perelada Jazz Festival and the Cap Roig Festival, another gastronomic favourite and a magnet for cyclists. 

A traditional four-bedroom Catalan stone country house (masía) will start at around €1.2m, says Tom Maidment of Lucas Fox.