Monday, November 07, 2005


Almeria, which sits between the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol, is regarded as Spain?s Secret Coast. This makes it well worth a look for a potential investor, for whom being in on a secret at an early stage has to be a good thing.

From Mojacar, an ancient hill fortress town in the South, which the Moors and Christians fought over for centuries, through the hustle and bustle of Vera, up to the relaxed family-orientated fishing village of Villaricos in the North, this stretch of coast has something for everyone. In the background are fertile plains framed by mountains and desert, and the national park of Cabo de Gata to the south.

Inland, the area is being developed on a scale that will rival the Costas to accommodate a recent boom in domestic and international tourism. The area is served by three airports; at Almeria, a 50-minute drive away, Murcia and Alicante ? we made it door-to-door from central London via Almeria airport in six and half hours.

It?s still quiet outside the peak summer season (temperatures range from 35 degrees in July to 19 degrees in January), but estate agent Capital Eyes area sales manager Peter Stilma, a veteran of the Costa del Sol, recognises the signs.

?They?ve learned many lessons from the development of the Costas,? he maintains, ?and this area is benefiting from that experience.?
The government is committed to regenerating the area, and infrastructure is highly developed already, with new roads, medical facilities and schools. Zoning has been carefully thought out, and consequently you won?t see a single high-rise.