Spain is once again a hotspot for foreign tourists. More than 47 million people visited the country in the first eight months of this year, while Bank of Spain figures show the economy growing again after the crash of 2008.
“The appeal of Spain is strong,” says Alexander Vaughan, of Lucas Fox. “But buyers are cautious and want a wise property investment.”
Golf has always been a big draw, with 400-plus courses in Spain, and for those who want a second home on a golf resort, there is plenty of choice.
PGA Catalunya Resort is close to the city of Girona. Owned by Irish telecoms billionaire Denis O’Brien, whose other trophy asset is Portugal’s golf haven Quinta do Lago, it has a stylish collection of Scandi-style, contemporary villas, townhouses and apartments in a landscape of hills and woodland.
White-rendered, low-rise homes overlooking the fairways come with huge expanses of glass and open-plan interiors. Just 368 properties and plots are sprinkled across this 300-acre enclave, making for a relatively low-density development with good rental investment prospects, enhanced by a confident bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2022.
Prices start at £284,600 for two- and three-bedroom apartments. Townhouses cost from £525,000 and villas from £1.06 million.
The resort has all the usual facilities — residents club, restaurants, gym, spa, tennis and beach club. The area has one of the world’s biggest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants, including the acclaimed El Celler de Can Roca.
La Manga Club, covering 1,400 acres, features a David Leadbetter Golf Academy and is one of Europe’s most famous golfing destinations. Set on a strip between the Mediterranean and the Mar Menor, one of Spain’s largest lagoons, La Manga is a vast resort that is three times the size of Monaco, with three golf courses, 28 tennis courts and eight football pitches, all with professional training facilities.
A five-star hotel with 15 restaurants, fitness suite, spa and beach club are part of the impressive facilities. And despite the mostly unremarkable location, rental occupancy levels average 80 per cent in the summer months.
Owner Arum Group plans to add a further 1,000 homes to the existing 2,300. Two new communities, Buganvillas and Las Acacias, both overlook the Mar Menor, with 39 villa plots.
Prices start from £162,600 for plots, with custom three- and four-bedroom villas from £406,500.
The Canary Islands
Closer than the Caribbean, with arguably Spain’s best year-round climate, Tenerife is also working hard to shake off a cheap-and-cheerful reputation. Now with BA flights from Gatwick, new five-star hotels and nine golf courses, the largest Canary Island has a growing number of affluent holidaymakers.
Abama Golf & Spa Resort on the sunniest south-west coast is just 30 minutes from the international airport. It is home to the five-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel, with a scenic, challenging golf course overlooking the sea.
The resort has 10 restaurants, including two with Michelin stars, a spa, tennis courts, seven pools and 22,000 palm trees across the beautiful 395-acre site.
One- to three-bedroom flats and detached bespoke villas are priced from £258,600, overlooking the golf course or the sea. Facilities include a private club with restaurant and spa.
Trying hard to overturn Costa Blanca’s mass tourism image, Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, near Murcia, is a quiet resort with a Cabell B Robinson-designed golf course and a range of Scandi-style homes with clean lines and dazzling white architecture.
Most visitors are from Belgium, Denmark, Norway or Sweden. This is a hugely appealing resort, from its wonderful sushi bar to elegant landscaping in 815 acres. Facilities include kids clubs, tennis courts, a gym and beach club 10 minutes away.
Prices start from £148,000 for plots, apartments and detached villas.