The next post in our series of guest posts about living in Spain and looking for the best place to live in Spain, written by people who have actually lived there.  This time Diana tells us about the maybe lesser known towns of Archidona and Frigiliana in southern Spain.

No negatives from Diana this time. Have you lived in either Archidona or Frigiliana? We’d love to hear your thoughts…

I am lucky to have had the privilege of living in two of the most beautiful towns in Spain, in my opinion. Frigiliana, which is close to the coast of the Costa Del Sol, east of Malaga and Archidona, which is inland of Malaga, close to the borders of Seville and Cordoba and the almost dead centre of Andalucia. Here are my views on each place, I love them both equally and can recommend either one to anyone moving to Spain, but I will let you make your own minds up…

The good points of Frigiliana

  • The café and restaurant life in Frigiliana is fabulous, there are so many bars and restaurants to choose from and all have stunning views. You also have a huge choice of international cuisine in nearby coastal towns such as Nerja and Torrox.
  • The nightlife is a little quieter, apart from the bars that are open until late, but there is a great choice of bars, clubs, shows etc in nearby towns if that is what you enjoy.
  • Frigiliana is close to the beaches of the Costa Del Sol and all the attractions there, all of the main motorways and airports are easily accessible.
  • You are close enough to the international school at Almunecar if that is the type of education you would prefer for your children. If not there is a primary school in Frigiliana and other primary and secondary schools in nearby Nerja.
  • If you need to use public transport there is a regular bus service from Frigiliana to Nerja daily and from Nerja you can travel to other major cities by bus.
  • frigilianaThere are lots of great walking routes and mountains to explore in the area if you enjoy walking or climbing then this is the place to be.
  • Frigiliana old town is steeped in history with many winding cobbled streets and steps leading to who knows where to explore.
  • There is a large expat community in this area, as, in most areas of the coast, this means contacts and friends are made easily here.
  • Frigiliana has its own microclimate giving a more moderate climate all year round compared to some other places in Spain. The summers warm and humid and the winters are mild here with snow being very rare.
  • There is a more international feel in this area and the Frigiliana 3 Cultures festival is testament to that, celebrating the history and multi-culture of the town.

The good points of Archidona

  • Archidona 1Archidona is more or less central in Andalucia so if sight-seeing and travel are your things it is a fabulous base to explore the whole of Andalucia.
  • There are two primary schools and two secondary schools here so a great choice of education and all are equally as good as the next. Granada, Seville, Malaga and Cordoba universities are all within easy driving distance for those with older children.
  • The town and surrounding villages are very family orientated, everyone knows each other and what you are up to, you can judge for yourself whether you think that is a good thing or a bad thing!
  • Inland Spain is much more “Spanish” than the coastal areas, you won’t find many people who speak English so learning the language is a must here. Archidona is very traditionally Spanish, there aren’t many people of different backgrounds living here so it’s a great place to immerse yourself in real Spanish life.
  • The bars and restaurants in Archidona all serve Spanish food and free tapas and you won’t find it difficult to find a cheap and filling “menu del Dia” for around 7 or 8 euros for 3 courses.
  • There are local walking groups and lots of lovely walking routes to get you out and about in the glorious countryside.
  • If you prefer more defined seasons, weather wise, then you will prefer to live inland where summers are hotter and much less humid than the coast and winters are cooler, we even get snow here every other year or so!Archidona 2
  • If you are visiting or moving to Spain to get away from all the hustle and bustle of home then you will love it here, it is quiet and has fewer tourists and visitors than the busier Costa Del Sol.
  • There are 2 lakes in Archidona which are nature reserves and we are also close to Lake Iznajar and the El Chorro lake district for water sports, fishing and sailing.
  • Local festivals are an intimate affair where locals meet up to dance and drink the night away and you can see toddlers and great grandparents until all hours of the morning enjoying the festivities.

I can’t really give you the bad points as in my opinion there aren’t any for either! It depends entirely on your age, family life, work and education needs as to which you prefer. Some like the more cosmopolitan atmosphere of the coast with its more modern lifestyle and infrastructure while others prefer the more laid back and traditional life that inland Spain offers.

Diana is the owner of Supported Holidays Spain providing holidays for adults with learning disabilities and she also has a beautiful holiday apartment for self-catering holidays:

¡Gracias Diana!

Do you agree or disagree with Diana’s thoughts? Where would you rather live? Post your comments and we will welcome other ideas too about where to live in Spain.

Don’t forget to read Molly’s thoughts about Granada v Barcelona HERE

and Caroline’s thoughts about Madrid and Valencia HERE

If you are thinking about moving to Spain, watch out “Moving to Spain videos” for lots of essential information.

For details about how we can help you Move To Malaga, visit our relocation website:



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