Costa del Sol vs. Costa Blanca: The differences?

When considering settling in Spain, the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca are two of the most popular destinations. Both of these coastal areas attract a large number of foreigners who want to enjoy the pleasant climate, the fantastic food and the relaxed lifestyle. But what exactly are the differences between them? In this blog post, we will explore and compare the main differences when it comes to housing costs, housing prices, climate, airport transport and the local population

Housing expenses

Costa del sol

Accommodation costs on Costa del Sol may vary depending on exactly where you choose to settle. Generally speaking, rents can be higher in popular areas such as Marbella and Puerto Banus, while lesser-known towns and villages may offer less expensive options. Areas that are also connected by trains to and from the airport may have higher rental prices, but then you are often not dependent on a car.

Costa blanca

On the Costa Blanca, living expenses are generally cheaper compared to the Costa del Sol. Cities such as Alicante and Torrevieja can offer affordable rental rates, especially outside the high season

House prices

Costa del sol

House prices on the Costa del Sol have historically been high, especially in exclusive and popular areas of Marbella. But there are also more affordable options such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena, La cala de mijas etc. If you look outside the most sought-after areas of the destinations, you have the opportunity to find cheaper alternatives.

Costa blanca

On the Costa Blanca you can find a wide variety of housing prices, ranging from luxury villas to affordable apartments. Generally speaking, house prices are lower on the Costa blanca compared to the Costa del Sol.


Costa del sol

Costa del Sol is known for its pleasant Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. The average annual temperature is usually between 18°C and 30°C, and the area has over 300 sunny days a year.

Costa blanca

On the Costa Blanca you can also enjoy a wonderful Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature in summer is usually between 25 °C and 30 °C, and the area also has plenty of sunshine all year round.

Transportation to and from the airport

Costa del sol

Malaga Airport is the main airport serving the Costa del Sol and it is well connected with both domestic and international destinations. There are also good public transport links and a well-developed road network in the area. The local train runs between Malaga city centre and Fuengirola, with stops at the airport. Which makes it very easy when commuting and saving money on the use of a rental car.

Costa blanca

Alicante Airport is the most important airport on the Costa Blanca and it offers many domestic and international routes. There are also good public transport links and a good road network that makes it easy to get around.


Costa del sol

The Costa del Sol has a large international population. In some areas there are more Britons, other areas the majority are local. In some areas, several Scandinavians live. The Norwegian school is located in Benalmadena, and many Norwegians choose to settle in the surrounding area. The Danish school is also located in Benalmadena, while the Finnish school is located in Los Pacos and therefore several Finns live there. 

Costa blanca

On the Costa Blanca there is also a significant international population, but there are also many Spanish residents who live there all year round. The area has a more varied population composition compared to the Costa del Sol.

Here are 10 significant differences between the two:

  1. Location: Costa Blanca is located on the eastern coast of Spain, stretching from the town of Denia in the north to Pilar de la Horadada in the south, encompassing cities like Alicante and Benidorm. Costa del Sol, on the other hand, is situated along the southern coast of Spain, running from the town of Nerja in the east to Estepona in the west, including cities such as Malaga and Marbella.

  2. Climate: While both regions enjoy a Mediterranean climate, Costa Blanca tends to have a slightly milder climate compared to Costa del Sol. Costa Blanca generally experiences warmer winters and cooler summers due to its more northern location.

  3. Terrain: The landscape of Costa Blanca is characterized by rugged mountains, cliffs, and sandy beaches, whereas Costa del Sol features a more varied terrain with both mountainous regions and flat coastal areas.

  4. Development: Costa del Sol is generally more developed and urbanized compared to Costa Blanca, particularly in areas like Marbella and Torremolinos, which are known for their high-rise hotels and apartment complexes. Costa Blanca, although developed in parts, still retains more of its traditional Spanish charm in many areas.

  5. Tourism: While both regions are popular tourist destinations, Costa del Sol tends to attract a more upscale clientele, with luxury resorts and high-end restaurants being prevalent, especially in places like Marbella. Costa Blanca, on the other hand, is known for its family-friendly resorts and vibrant nightlife, particularly in cities like Benidorm.

  6. Cultural Influence: Costa Blanca has a stronger Valencian cultural influence, with traditions and festivals unique to the region, such as the Fallas festival in Valencia. In contrast, Costa del Sol reflects more of Andalusian culture, with its flamenco music, Moorish architecture, and vibrant street life.

  7. Beaches: Both coasts boast stunning beaches, but the beaches of Costa Blanca tend to be wider and more expansive, with soft golden sand. Costa del Sol beaches are often narrower and more crowded, particularly during the peak tourist season.

  8. Cost of Living: Generally, the cost of living is lower in Costa Blanca compared to Costa del Sol. Housing, dining, and entertainment expenses tend to be more affordable in Costa Blanca, making it an attractive destination for retirees and expatriates seeking a more budget-friendly lifestyle.

  9. Transportation: Transportation infrastructure is well-developed in both regions, but Costa del Sol benefits from its proximity to Malaga, which has a major international airport serving the region. Costa Blanca also has airports in Alicante and Valencia, but Malaga Airport offers a wider range of international flights.

  10. Golf: Golf enthusiasts will find numerous golf courses along both coasts, but Costa del Sol is often referred to as the 'Costa del Golf' due to its abundance of high-quality golf courses, making it a preferred destination for golf vacations. Costa Blanca also has several excellent golf courses, but they may be fewer in number compared to Costa del Sol.

Where is the best place for you to live?

Both the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca have a lot to offer those considering settling in Spain. While the Costa del Sol may appeal more to those looking for a luxurious lifestyle and exclusive surroundings, the Costa Blanca can attract those seeking more affordable housing options and a more authentic Spanish experience. Costa del Sol can also be easier for those who commute as the train is an easy way to get to and from the airport with 17 stops in the surrounding area all the way from Malaga city centre to Fuengirola.

Whichever area you choose, you will be able to enjoy the wonderful climate, fantastic food and relaxed atmosphere that Spain is so famous for.