Many people dream of changing their lives for the better and moving to warmer climes, but the reality of making it happen can seem a little daunting. There’s plenty of advice available on Kyero.com about the process of buying a property, but what about the reality of living there? What will it be like? Well, if you need a little inspiration and a dose of encouragement to finally make that move, here are five very persuasive reasons to move to Spain:
The Spanish diet features lots of olive oil, fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and cereals. People tend to cook from scratch and don’t rely on processed food or ready-made meals.
Each region brings something different to the table. Local dishes are influenced by local traditions and the availability of produce. On the coast people eat light, cool dishes during the day — like gazpacho or tapas — and feast late into the night on rice and grilled seafood dishes. Whereas in the mountains they specialise in slow-cooked roasts, bean casseroles, unctuous cured meats and hard cheeses.
Here’s our list of unmissable foodie hotspots:
- For haute cuisine restaurants and humble basque pintxo head to San Sebastian
- For the best shellfish and octopus head to Galicia
- For cured meats and cheeses head to the bodegas of Barcelona
- For fusion foods and fresh fish markets head to Madrid
- For Catalan fare served in 3-star Michelin style head to Girona
- For paella, you can’t go wrong in Valencia
You can’t swing a cat in Spain without knocking some grapes off a vine. There are over 60 official regional denominations of origin (that’s types of wine to you and us).
The grassy northwest is most famous for Alberino, a white grape and zesty wine. Along the Mediterranean coast, you’ll find mega-wines like Cava and Sherry but also lesser-known regional red and white varieties. The Ebro River Valley serves the famous vineyards of La Rioja and Navarra growing Tempranillo grapes. The Duero River region – or the Douro in Portugal – makes several very drinkable whites and reds. Dessert wine is a speciality of the Canaries and most of the most affordable table wine comes from the interior, near Madrid.
By far the best thing about Spanish wine is the way Spanish people drink it; most bars and cafes will have decent wine lists to match any budget, and it’s usual to drink and dine out late in the balmy summer evenings.
Yes, Spain is sunny, but not all sunshine is born equal. We’ve all had that awkward weather conversation, cosied up next to a stranger on the sun loungers, about the type of heat that day. Dry heat, humid heat, mild heat, tropical heat – Spain has it all.
Officially, there are three climate zones: the mediterranean climate on the south coast, the continental climate in the middle and the maritime climate in the Atlantic-facing north.
The mediterranean weather is hot and dry in the summer with a little rain in the mild winters. The middle of Spain has four definite seasons: spring and autumn are often wet, summers are guaranteed to be sunbaked, and in the cool winters you’ll find snow in the mountain region. The north has the coolest summers in Spain, the winds from the open ocean can carry misty squalls in winter. Even so, the weather is still on a par with south-east France.
4. Cost of living
The cost of living in Spain is generally lower than in other European countries. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everywhere is the same. Some areas attract the highest spenders in the world – the Balearics, Sotogrande and Marbella are playgrounds for the super-rich. But Madrid, for example, is 43% cheaper than New York and 39% cheaper than London as a place to live, not bad for an internationally renowned capital. The beautiful coastal regions around Valencia, Seville, Barcelona, Malaga and Alicante are even cheaper than that.
Costs such as house prices and rentals do fluctuate by region. Amenities like gas and electricity, taxes, dining, leisure facilities and public transport are usually variable and it’s a good idea to do a bit of research and calculate your costs with a specific area in mind. However other costs are standardised. Most importantly there is a state education system and state provided health care.
The term ‘cost of living’ is a bit of a misnomer, because really what Spain offers is incredible value for money. Free vitamin D from the sunshine, a slower pace of life, beautiful scenery that encourages outdoor activities, brilliant services for its citizens, friendly communities and excellent food and drink. Even on a tight budget, your lifestyle will be transformed.
5. An al fresco life
Whether you like serene coastal walks, a round of golf or adrenaline-fuelled extreme sports, Spain offers enough vast open spaces, brilliantly long and light days and eclectic natural environments for you to do something different outdoors every day for the rest of your life.
Here are just a few suggestions:
- If you like adrenaline: take your pick from kite surfing, skateboarding, paragliding, white water rafting, surfing, jet skiing, diving, parachuting, rock climbing and canyoning.
- If you like mountains: hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, quad-biking, canoeing or skiing.
- If you like the coast: golf, swimming, mudbathing, tennis, water parks, birdwatching, sailing and fishing.
- If you want to try a national sport: football, volleyball, beach football, handball, roller hockey, road biking,basketball or motorsport.
Ok, maybe don’t try motorsport straight away. But on top of all that activity, there’s plenty of time for arts and culture too. There are open-air theatres, beachside music festivals, concerts in caves, beautiful parks and gardens, historical squares filled with cafes to sit around in, miles of cobbled streets to walk and artisan markets to visit.
Failing all that, you could choose to simply watch the sunset from your balcony. If you want an enthusiastic personal story from someone who’s already made the leap, then read Marijke’s Finding Our Sunshine blogs detailing her own move and how her lifestyle has changed for the better now that she’s in Spain. Then if you’d like to get acquainted with the different regions of Spain, it’s worth browsing our detailed location guides before taking the plunge and delving into the 200,000 property listings on the Kyero site. Go on. You know you want to 🙂
Are you thinking about moving, or have you already moved, to Spain? Would you be willing to share your story with us, either as a guest blog or via our podcast series? Please do get in touch if so, we’d love to hear from you.
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