Seaside or hillside?


Choice of location for your dream home frequently comes down to this – hillside or beachside – and here we make a comparison of the options.

Article by Vivion O’Kelly.

Marbella mountain and beach

The Romans probably indulged in the same debate a long time before we arrived, but it’s still relevant. Where to live – near the beach or in the hills overlooking the beach. The Moors who remained after the Reconquista had no say in the matter: they were forced to live a certain distance inland. We have a choice. Most people immediately think of a beachside home when considering the purchase of a property on the Costa del Sol, but this being the best choice is not a given. There are, we believe, alternatives to suit allcomers.

Popular beach

But before getting down to the nitty gritty, we should first distinguish between spending a short holiday in a place and actually living there. The inconveniences of some noise, lack of privacy and overcrowding may well be worth putting up with for the benefit of central location or proximity to the beach, but only for a short vacation. One of the principal luxuries of any full-time residence is peace of mind.

Inland lake

Nothing about this debate is written in stone. You could be wealthy enough to have purchased a humungous beachside plot that guarantees peace of mind at all times, or you may be the owner of a remote villa in the hills, only to find an adventure sports company has been granted permission to build a motorbike track beside you. Or you may simply prefer the hustle and bustle of the surroundings of a beachside property.   

Benefits of both

The benefits of an interior location are mostly self-evident: clean and healthy air, pristine environment, privacy, panoramic views, closeness to nature and the absence of crowds. Perhaps what is not self-evident is the beneficial effect of clean air on one’s health. Air on higher ground has fewer pollutants, and this affects blood cell levels, helping alleviate respiratory conditions like asthma and reducing depression.

The benefits of a beachside property are – obviously – the beach, closeness to the action, seaside views and easy access to shopping, health, entertainment and town centres. For many people, a home on the Costa del Sol means a home near the beach, and in any case, most residents with interior properties within short driving distance of the coast will go there frequently.

Marbella view

For what it’s worth, we asked colleagues in the property business to assess personality types with regard to clients in both camps, and generalising their comments, we came up with the following: mountain lovers tend to be more reserved, philosophical and creative. Beach lovers are generally more fun-loving, restless and extraverted.

The Best of Both Worlds

But what if an interior location can also offer many of the advantages of a property near the beach?  There are many quiet locations in the hills with all the water-sport facilities on your doorstep, and some of them happen to be no more than a few minutes’ drive inland. Vista Lago Residences is one such place.

The view from sofa at Vista Lago
The view from your sofa at Vista Lago

Vista Lago is a luxury development of 18 individually designed villas in the hills just west of Marbella, built on one of the highest plots in the 200-hectare Real de la Quinta residential country club estate. Despite its absolutely private location, it’s just a few minutes’ drive to the coast road, surrounded by magnificent rugged landscape and out-of-this-world views over the coast itself, the Mediterranean Sea and Africa beyond. These advantages alone might change the minds of the most dedicated beach lovers, but for them, Real de la Quinta has gone one important step further. They’ve brought the beach to the hills.

View of the amenities at Real de La Quinta
View of the amenities at Real de La Quinta

And they were thinking big. A 400-metre-long lake, no less, complete with promenade, beach and infrastructure of bar and restaurant, lake club, wellness centre and leisure areas.  The beach has sand as natural as the water itself, while the entire landscaped area looks as if it had been in existence long before any property was built on this privileged piece of real estate in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. With more trees planted than felled and a greater variety of native species than had been there before, the lake and its surroundings fit in perfectly with the Vista Lago philosophy of total respect for nature.

Concept of the beach at Real de la Quinta
The ‘beach’ has been bought to the hills at Real de la Quinta

Needless to say, all variety of water sports can be practiced here, from paddle boarding and water biking to kayaking, canoeing and rowing, although for many residents, a swim in the clean and fresh water is luxury enough.

The balance is delicate, the choice ultimately subjective. Making your mind up is not easy. Beachside living is perfect for some people and not for others. Any decision with regard to location is purely personal, and we tend to make all life-changing decision in the sure knowledge that ultimately, life is a compromise.

For more information on Vista Lago, visit our information page or call our Sales Team on (+34) 682 105 002, you can also email themon