Want a property with a sea view but no tourists on your beach? Or access to a swimming pool in a family-friendly residential neighbourhood? Or are you after a spot to park your yacht so you can hop onto dry land for a round of golf? Knowing what you want out of a new lifestyle is key to finding the right home to buy.
Although you can rely on the whole of Spain for the basics — summer sun, great food, and a reasonable cost of living — when you get into the details of what you want to spend your money on, then the location you choose should be specifically honed to your needs.
Take advice from our podcast guests Phil and Lesley, who wrote a 10-point wishlist before they went looking for properties, to make sure their desires defined what they bought.
Before you travel down the rabbit hole of online searches, take a look at some pointers below to get a taste for the diversity Spain has to offer.
1. If you’re seeking a sea view
If you want a sea view, the best homes to look for are beachfront apartments or villas in the hills overlooking the coast. The beaches will range in popularity with either Spanish or international tourists. Some will have seasonal traffic and popular expat areas might be busy year round, but you can still find coastal quietude if you go off the beaten track. At the higher end of the budget, you’ll find private luxury villas for sale in Bendinat, Majorca. For a mid-range hillside villa, take a look at Moraira on the Costa Brava or Blanes near Barcelona. As for cheap apartments, Calpe has lots to offer, as does Mojacar Playa in the Almeria Province.
2. If you want an authentic Spanish experience
If you’re looking to flex your language muscles, or want to immerse yourself in Spanish fiestas, food and friends then it’s worth looking at inland towns and villages like Coin, Pinoso or Huercal-Overa. The inland Province of Jaen is somewhat undiscovered and has a plethora of property options. For coastal charm, the Castellon Province doesn’t attract as much international tourism as the rest of Valencia. Meanwhile, the cities of Valencia, Pamplona and Barcelona offer fantastic regional festivals and old town quarters that celebrate the cuisine, architecture and religions of the various historical rulers.
3. If you’re into sports and leisure
Both the weather and terrain change throughout Spain, lending it to sports as diverse as skiing and volleyball. There is a thriving football, motor and athletics industry in Spain, and some of the world’s largest indoor arenas like Palau Sant Jordi and Fernando Buesa Arena host international events there. However, it’s taken for granted that amateur interests should have top of the range facilities too. For golf, head to the flatter, southerly regions, where they have golf-specific resorts like Villamartin (home to Lomas del Golf), Mijas Golf or La Torre Golf Resort. Nowhere along the Costa Calida is far from a golf green. For mountainous pursuits like hiking, biking or climbing, head to the Orba Valley, the Sierra Nevada or even Tenerife. Majorca is home to the UK Olympic cycling team training camp, chosen for its blue skies and clear roads. Water sports enthusiasts can find the best spots in Europe along the Costa Brava or around the Balearics.
Other things to consider before looking at houses for sale might be your size and storage needs, your language and food preferences, what kind of winter weather you prefer, the amount of privacy you want, your proximity to work, schools, healthcare or transport, what you want from the coast, and if you want to be near international brands or traditional culture. We’ve published a handy guide to buying a house in Spain that you can download to learn more.