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Which villages are the most popular with foreign house-hunters?
Monday, July 11, 2022 @ 10:45 AM

HOMEBUYERS from abroad tend to head for coastal areas, large towns and cities, and tourism hotspots, depending upon their criteria - work, retirement, holidays, or eventually all three at different points in time. 

Fuente Obejuna, in the land-locked province of Córdoba, is one of the top villages for property viewed by foreign nationals (photo: Tiberioclaudio99/Wikimedia Commons)

At least, that's the majority, but recent figures released by various estate agencies have shown that a significant minority opt for villages - and specific municipalities have been highlighted as particularly popular. 

They include locations in coastal provinces, some practically on the beach and others a short drive away, but the ones that seem to attract the highest numbers of potential buyer visits are in provinces hundreds of kilometres from the sea.


Land-locked villages top the list

The top three so far this year are Fuente Obejuna (Córdoba province), and Garcirrey and El Milano (Salamanca province, in the centre-northern region of Castilla y León, close to the Portuguese border).

Garcirrey, in the province of Salamanca, is also attracting non-Spanish buyers this year (photo: Hovallef/Wikimedia Commons)

If the name of the first of these sounds familiar, that's probably because of the play written by 17th-century dramatist Lope de Vega, of the same name - although he spelled it as 'Fuente Ovejuna', the pronunciation is the same. It's based on the true story of the resident uprising in 1476 against the occupation of the village, eight years earlier, by the Order of Calatrava at the behest of King Enrique IV.

This literary and theatrical link is what makes Fuente Obejuna a day-trip hotspot for tourists in the Córdoba area, along with the Roman settlement eight kilometres away, known as Mellaria. 

El Milano, also in Salamanca province, is a key foreign house-hunter destination (photo: El Pantera/Wikimedia Commons)

Garcirrey currently has fewer than 70 residents, so peace and quiet is guaranteed, as is a real rural lifestyle - a country hotel with its own riding stables gets plenty of year-round trade.

El Milano, home to approximately 115 residents, is in the heart of two nature reserves - the Cerezal de Peñahorcada and La Zarza de Pumareda - and close to the river Duero, which becomes the Douro when it flows into Portugal and is a key wine region both sides of the border.


On the islands: Holiday hotspots and rural havens

Villages on the islands where more than half the property viewings so far this year have been by foreign home-hunters - whether would-be expats, existing expats looking to relocate, or residents outside Spain seeking a holiday bolthole - include three major coastal tourism magnets in MallorcaCala RatjadaCala Millor, and Cala Bona.



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