Spain tops Forbes list for retirement places

Three Spanish destinations on Forbes top retirement locations list.

Sunny Spain remains ever popular with retiring northern Europeans and unsurprisingly so. For one thing, it’s cheaper than much of the rest of Europe, particularly a few kilometres inland from the gorgeous coasts or within a short drive of big cities. Other factors include excellent healthcare; a low crime rate; relatively low cost of living; easy flight connections back ‘home’; fantastic weather and, of course, a healthy, more active and carefree lifestyle.

In a recent Forbes list of the best places to retire to abroad in 2020, the Costa del Sol, Bilbao and the Orange Blossom Coast are featured as favourite chart-topping Spanish locations. Here’s a quick roundup of each:

The Costa del Sol

This is mainland Spain’s most popular beach and golf destination for international holidaymakers and expats. With an increasingly young international demographic, services and facilities are often run by English speakers (especially in Fuengirola), removing the cultural and language barrier and enabling expats to enjoy a home from home while in Spain. Forbes specifically recommends glitzy Puerto Banús, Marbella and Nueva Andalucía, Nerja, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Estepona, Manilva and Mijas.

Orange Blossom Coast (Costa de Azahar)

If you’re looking for a slightly more authentically Spanish experience, yet with a well-developed infrastructure catering for expats, the lesser-known Costa de Azahar with its 120 kilometres of pristine shores also features in Forbes’s top 10. The area is conveniently situated between the regions of Catalunya and Valencia, and is just over an hour’s drive from beautiful Valencia city. Forbes also recommends neighbouring Torreblanca, Benicarló, La Llosa, and Oropesa del Mar.


With its high quality of life, pretty surrounding villages and endless Swiss-looking countryside, Bilbao is hard to beat. For city life you will enjoy exceptional cuisine, arts and modern and classical architecture (yes, including the iconic Guggenheim Museum), along with a public transport network that’s among the greenest and most efficient in Spain. Bilbao is just a short drive from San Sebastián and the idyllic La Concha beach. Many retirees enjoy the Basque Country’s climate, which is cooler than in Mediterranean destinations, yet hot enough.

The favourite, however, remains the jewel of the Spanish coasts, the Costa del Sol, with its unbeatable climate, amenities and lifestyle. Contact us if this sounds like your kind of environment. Altavista Property specialises in stylish modern properties for sale in Marbella and surroundings.