Thinking about going to La Duquesa? Whether you are looking to spend a brief vacation or moving to La Duquesa, this quick guide should be able to help you get started in your adventure.
If you are thinking of moving to La Duquesa, then you must read our expat interview with Tim Watts of Duquesa Estates who covers the La Duquesa area.
In particular, we wanted to hear from Tim why people would consider La Duquesa as their new home as well as all of the advantages that one can get from living in the area.
Tim, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we better start off by asking what would you say would be the advantages to living in La Duquesa compared to other Costa del Sol towns?
When we first found Duquesa we labelled it “Spain’s best kept secret.” This was because it was actually August and the beautiful Marina was virtually empty, a couple of people walking about but that was it, in August!
We quickly fell in love with the area and made an offer on a property which was accepted on the very same day.
The advantages we see over other areas must be its location, half way between Gibraltar and Marbella is just great, we have all the benefits of those areas but are far enough away to not have the congestion and issues associated with larger populations, being just 20 a minute drive from Gibraltar we also have a decent community of permanent residents who work in Gibraltar but choose to live here, this gives us a unique advantage on the coast of being a truly year round resort.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
The area would suit anyone really.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
We have a near hundred percent Spanish population in Manilva which is the centre of local government, more locally Sabinillas and Duquesa itself a mix of Spanish and other Europeans with British, Irish and Scandinavians making up the expat community here.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Being situated between a championship golf course and sports marina a lot of people come here to enjoy these but the area offers all sorts of options including horse riding go karting and some lovely beaches to explore.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
Having such a great mix of nationalities in the area we have seen an increase in eating options, the marina itself is where most visitors automatically head to but having Sabinillas, Manilva and Casares plus Castillo de la Duquesa to pick from the choices are literally endless.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
With our permanent resident base we are lucky to have the choice of several dentists, medical centres both public and private along with decent shopping and you can take your pick of Supermarkets and banks.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
Castillo del la Duquesa is right next to Duquesa but is regularly overlooked by many tourists, this is a quaint little pueblo with some lovely restaurants, and just a short drive away is Casares one of the most photographed villages in Spain.
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
The nearest international School is Sotogrande, this is a great school with excellent teachers and facilities, I know this first hand with my son recently graduating from here.
Is crime an issue for expats?
Like anywhere on the coast petty crime is more prevalent in the summer with tourists being targeted but this is the norm anywhere you go in the world, serious crime is virtually unheard of here.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Property prices have been steadily increasing over the last few years but have become more stable again now which is what we all want.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
With a stable market it is a good time to look at what’s available, repossessions though are generally not good buys, if a properties been repossessed then the mortgage was more than the property was worth and we don’t see banks giving these away, if the price is low be very suspicious.
Prices in this area are still very good compared to other locations on the coast especially when you see what the area offers.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
We have a number of different urbanisations and they all different, some are around the golf course with a mix of townhouses and apartment others on the beach side being mainly apartments , some are further back with the majority being villas.
How much are the typical property prices in La Duquesa for apartments, villas etc?
Apartments a little further back start from just over €100,000 for a 2 bedroom property with underground parking and communal pools, beach side will generally start at around €150,000 going up to over €500,000.
Townhouses on a nice community will start now at around €170,000 and Villas will start at around €300,000.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in La Duquesa or surrounding area?
Think about what you want but look at all options, quite often people come over with a pre conceived idea of what they want for them to actually buy something completely different when they arrive and see what they can have.
If you want to rent out the property for holiday rentals which are very desirable here buy as close the beach as possible and look at how much sun a property gets, in the summer it doesn’t matter but in winter sunshine is priceless.
If you do buy here though I’m sure you’ll love it.
Tim, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact him, you can find his details below.
Below is a video showing some of the interesting places in La Duquesa.
Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.