Living in Spain
Ok, you have heard all the buzz about how the sun shines 320 days per year and how this is the healthiest place on earth. You know all about the white sandy beaches, relaxed coastal atmosphere, and of course, you are well aware of the relatively low costs of living compared to home, and many other benefits to living in Spain.
All of this sounds good in theory, but what about the day to day life on the Costa Blanca once all the tourists leave and the temperatures drop?
Well, let me tell you, it is fantastic! For us who live here permanently, the best time of the year is actually between September and June; The temperatures are magnificent, the beaches and grocery stores are no longer crowded, and everything goes back to normal.
And by normal I do not mean boring. There is so much to do here – even on those rare days the sun does not shine. The Costa Blanca is the place where you can stroll along a golden beach in the morning, take in the breathtaking mountain scenery after lunch, go on a shopping spree, dine under the stars and even go skiing – all in one day!
But the best part about living here is that you do not have to do it all at once, you can relax and enjoy life at your own pace.
Socially, the Costa Blanca South is a very nice location, because it is a lively area all year around. Almost all the towns and villages have a local Spanish population as well as large international communities.
It is important when you are looking to buy a home here, that you choose a nice location with people all year around, so you do not end up in a off season, ghost town.
Making friends here is so easy and enjoyable, and there are so many activities and social gatherings to choose from depending on your interests. Most people who move here tend to develop quite a multicultural group of friends, as there is a sense of “unity” amongst newcomers.
The British, Scandinavian, German and Dutch communities for example all have their local pubs, restaurants, convenience stores and other gathering points, but often mix, say for example over an exciting football game or at a painting class.
There are several walking and cycling groups that allow you to explore and enjoy nature and are an excellent way to meet new people. Perhaps this is the right time to finally learn something new or something you have always wanted to, but never had the time for.
Spanish lessons are of course very recommended for those relocating to Spain. Being able to communicate with the locals is a big advantage, and will help you integrate into local culture and daily life much easier. Most city councils offer free Spanish lessons, and this is also a great place to meet new people.
Art classes, dance classes, yoga, pilates, golf, tennis, aqua aerobics and petanc are just some of the activities that you can explore further and are readily available all year around.
Many of our friends and clients who have relocated to the Costa Blanca South, have experienced that their social life flourishes here like never before. Soma say they have never before been so busy as they are here, and that it is so much fun!
Not only do you meet many new people, but you will see that friends and family back home will be eager to come for a visit. The low living costs allow you to enjoy dining out much more often, and the long list of social events will leave you spoiled for choice.
Please let us know if there is something more specific you are looking for, and we will gladly help you find it.
One of the benefits of choosing Spain, is that it is a modern European country, with all the infrastructure that entails, such as an excellent medical system. The heath sector, both public and private, is very well developed here on the Costa Blanca and you have access to some of the best specialists and treatment centers in the world.
Local hospitals boast modern facilities, full range of specialities and excellent specialists, the latest technological advances, and professional staff that speak languages and are accustomed to international clients and patients.
All certified medical practitioners, facilities and treatment centers in Spain uphold the strictest standards according to EU rules and regulations, so you can rest assured you are getting the best possible treatment.
The prices for private treatments and procedures are a fraction of those in other northern European countries, which is another main reason Spain is such a popular health destination.
For example, an hour treatment with a certified physiotherapist in Guardamar del Segura will cost you around 20€.
If you want more information about the local medical system and getting your SIP card, come and talk to us, we will gladly help you.
If you are moving to Spain as a family with children one of your main objectives will be to find a good school. You will have several choices that will vary between public, private or international. As a family you will have to evaluate several factors such as the child’s age, length of stay in Spain, budget, proximity to schools and travel time and preferred teaching language and curriculum.
Each situation is different, but generally expats who plan to stay for shorter periods of time will find a school in their native language, whether that is English, Norwegian or German etc.
For those planning to stay for more than a year or two, local schools are an excellent option and give the children an opportunity to fully integrate into Spanish society, and learn a new language.
The public school system in Spain is considered to be very good, and has a high ranking amongst European countries. Public school is free for residents, and education is compulsory for all between the ages of 6 and 16.
The Costa Blanca has many private and international schools to choose from. In Alicante you have the British School, in Elche the International Newton College, and El Limonar International School in Villamartin among others, all of which have excellent reputations. The fees vary, and most offer transportation for those living further away.
We recommend you contact the schools that interest you directly, they are all very accommodating and helpful.
Some schools will offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities such as languages, art, dance and sports although you will easily find local activities near you.
When you choose to become a resident of Spain, just like anywhere else, there are many practical issues that need to be resolved, and paperwork that needs to be done. You need to consider things like pension, taxes, insurance, education and health care arrangements etc.
Through our members club Camarclub we are able to guide our clients through this process and help them with their individual needs and interests. Our mission is to provide all the relevant information and support so that this process is easy and enjoyable.
For more information, please get in touch, we are happy to help you.