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Top Sport, Excellent Travel Connections… and Cheap Beer

After record tourism figures in 2016 that might have encouraged a sense of complacency, Costa del Sol tourism officials have wisely not rested on their laurels. Municipal, provincial and regional authorities have been in Madrid en masse this week, promoting the area’s attractions at Fitur, one of the world’s premier travel and tourism trade fairs. The campaign was led by Andalucía’s minister for tourism and sport, Francisco Javier Fernández, who officially presented the “Andalucía: Pasarela del Deporte” (“Boardwalk, of Sport”) initiative. The schedule comprises a dozen major sports competitions in the region in 2017, including the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez (May), snowboard and freestyle ski world championship in Sierra Nevada (March), triathlon, beach horse races, polo, cycling, ocean sailing and, on the Costa del Sol, the Andalucía Valderrama Masters golf tournament in October. Fernández highlighted Andalucía as a privileged destination that offers a superb combination of tourism and sport covering a wide spectrum of activities and enhanced by favourable weather, hotel infrastructure, historical monuments, leisure amenities, friendly and welcoming people, and top-quality sports installations. He might also have added excellent transport connections, a fact highlighted by the recent exploits of two friends from the UK. As reported by the Daily Mail newspaper, Newcastle-based teacher Lucy Walker had planned to travel to Birmingham to see her university friend Zara Quli but was shocked to discover that the return trip would cost £105. “Trying to travel last-minute in the UK is always such a kick in the teeth as they put such a big premium on it,” said Lucy. “There are always these last-minute deals for flights and so we just checked for a better deal. We realised it was cheaper for the both of us to go to Málaga instead.” They both flew to Málaga on a three-day trip totalling 10,000 kilometres, and managed to save £30 on travel compared to what they would have spent on a 300-kilometre rail ticket. Lucy paid £9.99 each way for her tickets and Zara £55.29 return. The flights were cheaper than the rail fares between Birmingham and Newcastle would have been, despite the two cities being only 300 kilometres apart. Then there was the weather… 20ºC in Málaga on a winter day in January! “Everything is cheaper out there,” added Lucy. “Lots of things that add up in the UK, like the transport to get from the airport into the city is just €1.80, about £1.50. It works out a lot cheaper when you go out for a drink too.” Now, Villa Marbella Now would never encourage irresponsible drinking or “booze tourism” but we do appreciate good value – and Lucy is spot on. In fact, a survey by Post Office Travel Money on “the cheapest holiday destinations in the world based on the essential items you need for a relaxing trip”, ranked the Costa del Sol seventh globally for the price of a beer. So now we’ve determined that southern Spain is an incomparable tourist destination on so many levels, it’s time to consider making a more permanent move. When it comes to sport, and specifically golf, Marbella’s Nueva Andalucía is true haven for enthusiasts – home to what is popularly known as the “Golf Valley”. The villa featured here is located right in the heart of the valley (and priced at an excellent €1,850,000). Outstanding Homes We appreciate your taking the time to read about this exceptional property, but perhaps it is not exactly right for you? If not, we invite you to have a look at our other stunning selections for: Luxury Villas, Apartments, Golf Properties, Seafront Properties, La Zagaleta and Special Offers. Simply click on the category of your choice and follow the link. Also please feel free to roam around our website: www.villamarbellanow.com