A guide to December on the Costa del Sol

A guide to December on the Costa del Sol

With the switching on of the Christmas lights in towns and villages along the Costa del Sol on the 30th of November, Christmas has definitely arrived and there’s loads to see and do this month. As Costa del Sol long-term rental specialists, we love the winter here and are delighted to see so many great things happening outside the summer period. To help you to make the most of this great time of year, here are seven of our highlights.

  1. Go to a Christmas Market – There are loads of lovely Christmas markets to go to where you can buy gifts, support local businesses and get in the Christmas spirit, here’s a nice rundown of Christmas markets to look forward to
  2. See a show or listen to a concert – There are some great new shows popping up along the coast. Posidonia in Puerto Banus are launching a dinner show this month, with music, dance and entertainment, which you can see on the 15th and 22nd of December, as well as part of a New Year’s Eve special. There are also some nice concerts by choirs and bands which will get you in the mood for Christmas.
  3. Visit Santa – Santa should now be installed in his grotto in the main squares of the towns along the Costa del Sol and visiting him is an essential for any of you with families. He is also making an appearance at a lot of the Christmas markets and can be found at the La Cañada shopping centre too.
  4. Learn a new skill – There are some nice workshops on how to make Christmas decorations, and Christmas cooking classes, which are a really nice way to learn something new and get prepared for Christmas. Food Room in San Pedro is offering a number of Christmas cooking classes for kids and adults this month that look a lot of fun.
  5. Go to Malaga to see the lights – There is an annual exodus to see the amazing lights in Calle Larios and their daily light and music show. This is an essential component of a Costa del Sol Christmas.
  6. Tour the Nativity Scenes – The Spanish love a good nativity scene and there are 8 in Marbella alone. A nice Christmas activity is to follow the route and tour these scenes and see if you can find the pooing boy!
  7. Join a Christmas Party – All the social and business organizations on the coast have Christmas parties and these are a great way to make friends and useful contacts for the year to come.

We hope that whatever you do this month that you have a wonderful time and enjoy the Christmas period here on the Costa del Sol.

If you’re looking for a change of scene in 2019, we have an excellent selection of long-term rental properties with availability for next year, so please contact us for more information.

What kind of expat are you?

What kind of expat are you

Many people dream of living in a hot and sunny climate, but few people actually make it happen. We find it takes a certain type of person to start a new life under sunnier skies. Ideally, you should love adventure, change and making new friends. You should be flexible, dynamic and prepared to try new things, learn a new language, be positive, resourceful and always ready for a challenge. If you fit this profile, you should be able to survive the challenges of expat life and really thrive, creating a great new life for you and your family.

As expats ourselves, who have all lived and worked on the Costa del Sol for many years, we were interested to see the results of the Expat Insider survey, which identified 6 types of expats. The most common across all their expat hotspots was the “Go-Getter”, someone who found a job or started a business and pursued their career in the new country. 

Following swiftly behind is what they call The Optimizer – those people who move for a better quality of life. I would say that most people moving to the Costa del Sol would fit into this category, although then they might become a “go-getter” to ensure they can stay for the long term. The quality of life that you can experience here, no matter your age is really a huge benefit. We see all kinds of people move over here, from youngsters looking for adventure and working in the bars and clubs in Marbella and Puerto Banus, young families wanting a wonderful place to bring up their children and help them become bilingual, to retirees wanting to live well for less, stay active and enjoy the sun. There’s something on the Costa del Sol for everyone, including “The Explorer”, someone who is looking for an adventure and a challenge.

The category which 10% of the respondents identified with is “The Foreign Assignee”, where they get sent abroad by their company. You may not think this applies much to the holiday area of the Costa del Sol, but you’d be wrong. This is most common for international companies based in Gibraltar. Most people working in Gibraltar actually live on the Western Costa del Sol, or Cadiz province, as rents are much lower and the quality of life is much better. We find most of our long-term rental clients who work in Gibraltar choose Manilva and Sotogrande to live and then commute from there. 

Last but not least, are two categories which are quite similar in their motivation – The Romantic (12%) where people join their partner back in their home country, and the Travelling Spouse (8%) where the family follows the main bread-winner and sets up a new life abroad. The Costa del Sol is very well set up for these movers, with excellent international education options, where kids can study UK, German, French or Swedish curriculums, or even do the IB to keep their options open, while enjoying an amazing quality of life. Find out more about education on the Costa del Sol  

Whatever profile you fit into, there’s something for you here on the Costa del Sol. There’s also a well developed long-term rental market which can give you a comfortable, affordable, yet flexible base to start your new adventure. Compared to a holiday rental or hotel, they offer you excellent value for money and a home-from-home where you can settle, explore the area and decide what’s best for you in the long term. Many expats will try a few long-term rentals in different areas before they make a decision to buy, to keep their options open while they settle into jobs and the kids settle into schools. This flexibility combined with value, makes renting long-term the perfect solution for all 6 types of expats and we can advise you on the best location and property to suit your individual needs. Contact us and let us help you find your perfect base for expat life on the Costa del Sol.    

Spain recognised for amazing quality of life

Spain recognised for amazing quality of life

 

Spain was ranked in third place out of 68 destinations for its exceptional quality of life in the Expat Insider 2018 survey.  This survey was completed by over 18,000 expats living abroad and offers great insights into the merits of different countries for expat living.

The Quality of Life Index ranked countries based on leisure, health and well-being, safety and security, personal happiness, travel and transportation and digital life. Spain did well in all these aspects, doing particularly well in the aspects of peacefulness (90%) and personal safety (93%). It achieved the top position for leisure options (93%) and climate and weather (96%).

We’re proud to see Spain scoring so highly, but not surprised, as the amazing lifestyle here is one of the biggest reasons we moved here and have chosen to stay and make it our home. “Lifestyle” is a hard thing to define, as it includes so many things, such as weather, culture, activities, food and attitude, but for us the Costa del Sol really has it all and this survey shows we’re not alone.

When we find our clients a quality long-term rental, it’s so exciting to offer them access to this enviable way of life. It’s clear that many of our clients have been dreaming of a life in the sun for so long and that making the commitment to rent long-term, is the first step to making that a reality.

Many of our properties have facilities which are emblematic of the Costa del Sol lifestyle – a pool, tennis courts, terraces and lush tropical gardens. Showing these properties to expats who are fresh off the plane from colder climates is a real pleasure. It’s even better when expats see how much they can get for their money here. The affordable living costs is one important aspect of life on the Costa del Sol, which makes the quality of life even better. You can have a lovely time very cheaply here if you know where to look. When the sun is out, everything is a pleasure and a stroll on the beach is free! Eat and drink where the Spanish do for the best bargains. There are still many places where you can buy a coffee or a small beer for a Euro and a 3-course lunch menu for under 10€ – amazing really, in such a cosmopolitan area.  

For more on why we think the Costa del Sol offers expats an amazing place to call home, read our 5 reasons to live on the Costa del Sol. If you’d like us to help you make the dream of being an expat in Spain a reality, please get in touch. As well as a range of quality long term rental properties on the Costa del Sol, we are happy to share our insider knowledge about what to do and where to go to start to feel at home right away and to make the move as easy as possible. Get in touch today and take the first step to living here and enjoying the third best lifestyle in the whole world!  

Tips on going back to school in Spain

Tips on going back to school in Spain

September means the end of summer and the start of school. Most parents and kids look forward to returning to the routine after 11 weeks of holidays, but if you’re new to the area and don’t speak the language, it can be hard to know what to do. The HomeRentalontheWeb team are experts in life on the Costa del Sol and of course long term rentals, but we also have experience of all aspects of education in Spain. We have parents who have sent their kids to Spanish state school and those who have chosen international schools within the team, so we wanted to share a few tips and tricks to get you ready to start.

When does it all begin?

The school term in Andalucia starts on Monday 10th of September for primary and Monday 17th for secondary students. International schools tend to follow the English terms more closely and start around the 5th of September. Some Spanish private schools start the Friday before (7th), to give information to kids and parents before the official start on Monday 10th.

The most tricky years are the first year they begin a new school. There are also more daunting stages when they change from infants to primary school and primary to secondary. This can leave you unsure what to do and nervous whether you’re doing things right. If you’re feeling like this, don’t worry, even in your own language it’s hard to learn the ropes, but you’ll get there!

Getting information

We find that most non-Spanish parents want to have information a lot earlier than they provide it, so that they can plan. Sadly, you’re unlikely to know much before the beginning of September, so there’s no point fighting against the system. However, if you want to get ahead, have a look if the school has a website, or check the AMPA (PTA) Facebook page to see if anything has been posted.

Have a look if there are any Facebook groups for other parents, such as Costa Mums and Little Ones and Costa Kids and Education. The more local the better with these groups, such as the Schools Noticeboard, which has been set up for information about schools around Manilva, Sabinillas and Casares. Getting more local groups avoids confusion between schools and areas. If you ask questions on the general ones, makes sure you state where your kids go to school, so people can give you the right information.

Often, notices are put on the school gates once the teachers are in from the 3rd of September and there are also some limited office hours during these times, normally in the morning. If you have questions, it’s worth heading to the school on the Tuesday or Wednesday in the first week of September and see what you can find out. You should be able to check whether your children have got a place at comedor (lunch and play from 2-4) in this first week of term too.

If it’s your first year, there may be a meeting the week before the start of term with the teachers and these are often on the gates, or on the AMPA pages. Look out for these to make sure you don’t miss it, as these are very useful meetings and are when you will get your book lists and information on what materials you need to buy, or whether you need to put money into a class account so that the teacher can buy the materials they need for the whole class. Books are quite expensive for infants, as they are workbooks. Expect to spend around 100€ on books and 50€ on materials and you won’t get a nasty surprise.

For primary students the books are paid for by the state and you should have got a “cheque de libros” at the end of term. This is a piece of paper with all the books your kids need with a stamp to show that the education authority is paying for these. You need to take this piece of paper to your local book store, ideally before the beginning of term, as it can take a while for the books to come.

School hours at the beginning of the term

Often the first week has reduced hours for the littlest ones, with only one or two hours the first few days, to let the kids get used to everything. This can be very tricky to handle for parents who are working, so bear this in mind and consider taking a few extra holiday days to make sure you can be flexible.

After school activities don’t start straightaway either. It was the beginning of October before these really got going at some schools, so make sure you have cover to pick up the kids earlier over this time.

We hope this information will help you settle into the new term. For more information about going back to school read our article five steps to preparing for the new school year

Best of luck!

How to survive the summer heat on the Costa del Sol

How to survive the summer heat on the Costa del Sol

Following the UK’s heatwave last month, the Costa del Sol is now hotting up, with the first weather warnings of the year issued by the International Met Office for the start of August. There are possibilities that Spain’s record high for 47.3°C could be beaten this month, so for those of you lucky enough to be renting long term on the Costa del Sol we wanted to share our tips for staying cool and sleeping in these very high temperatures.

At home

Try and catch the breeze – If you can, try and open windows at opposite sides of the house to draw the breeze through your long-term rental. A gentle breeze will keep you cool and won’t put the electricity bills up!

Keep your blinds down during the day – Those blackout blinds are your best friends in the summer, keep them down when the sun is shining into the room, only opening them when there’s no direct sunlight entering the room. This will keep temperatures right down, and although it seems a bit gloomy at first, it’s very much worth the effort.

Boost your fan with ice power – If you put a tray of ice in front you your fan, it will cool the air coming from the fan and cool things down nicely.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, add ice to bring down your body temperature

Make ice lollies – Freeze fruit juice for a cooling treat that is good for you too

Wear cotton, loose fitting clothes – These will be comfortable and cooling, avoid nylon and other man made fabrics, as they don’t breathe

Bedtime tricks – If you struggle at night, try putting a bowl of iced water by your bed with a flannel to lay on your head or feet and keep cool. Alternatively splash cold water on your wrists or feet before getting into bed to bring your temperature down.

If you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning but don’t want to run up big bills, put it on for an hour before you go to bed to bring down the temperature in the room before you go to bed and make it comfortable while you fall asleep. If you find that it gets too hot in the night, put it on a timer to come on for another half an hour in the night to bring the temperatures down again. 

Out and about

Seek out the shade – Before you moved here you’d probably be looking for any sun you can be in, but now you’re renting long term you know better! It’s way too hot to be in direct sun unless you can’t avoid it, so walk on the shady side of the street, go to the park so you can find some shade, and sit under the umbrellas outside the restaurants.

Be Spanish and take a fan – It may seem a little odd at first, but an essential accessory for any woman in Spain over the summer is a fan. Stash it in your handbag and pull it out when you need it, they really work for cooling you down when you’re out and about.

Carry a spray bottle with cool water in it – Buy a little plastic spray bottle in one of the many Asian markets or supermarkets and keep it in your fridge filled with water. Packing this with you is a great way to keep cool on the streets or at the beach. We also like to freeze small bottles of water and take these out with us, so we have really cold water on hand.

Go to the beach in the evenings – Forget sitting on the beach in the middle of the day, it’s way too hot! Do like the Spanish and head down after work around six o’clock and stay there until the sun goes down, it’s a great way to escape the heat at home and enjoy the beach without frying.

If you have any tips we’d love to hear them, please post in the comments below or share them with us on Facebook.

For more information on living in Spain and renting long term please browse our website and read our blog, or contact our helpful team.

Costa del Sol – The Wine Lovers’ Paradise

Costa del Sol Wine Lovers’ Paradise

Andalucia is famous for the sweet wines found in Manilva and Malaga and the sherries in Jerez. The area is also developing quite a reputation for producing red and white wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Living on the Costa del Sol, you can visit some great wineries and wine museums and take part in some excellent events, you just need to know where to look. Here are our tips.

Visit Ronda – The conditions in the Serrania de Ronda are perfect for producing excellent wines and there are a large number of vinyards growing grapes and producing small batches of interesting wines. Recently, they have launched a wine route, which makes it easier for visitors to go to these bodegas, enjoy a tour and tasting and pick up a few bottles of your favourite. 

Visit Manilva – The pretty area of Manilva is covered with vinyards which produce very sweet dessert wines. Normally this is made by families and sold in plastic bottles in the markets and local shops. There is also a new wine producer Nilva, who are bottling Manilva wine in glass and winning a lot of awards for the quality of this dry white wine, as well as their sweet versions. They run a wine museum in the village, and do guided tours in English as well as tastings and even meals out in the vineyards, which are a lovely way to experience wine where it is grown, in stunning surroundings.

Keep your eyes peeled for wine events – The growing interest in national and international wines are increasing the number of wine events in the region and these are a great chance to try different brands and styles. On the 13th and 14th of this month Estepona is hosting the largest outdoor wine tasting event in Spain. This will showcase the wines of Rioja and around 400 people will be tasting wines, enjoying live music and experiencing the wonderful atmosphere in the Plaza de Reloj in the Old Town.

Visit a specialist wine shop or restaurant – There are lots of excellent wine shops around the Costa del Sol with very knowledgeable staff who can advise you of the best bottles for your tastes or the occasion and sometimes do tastings.

There are also a number of great restaurants which specialise in wines and offer regular tastings and an amazing variety of styles. In Cancelada, near to Estepona is El Secreto de Baco a lovely little wine bar, which runs mini wine tastings every Saturday night. These include 3 wines and 3 cheeses and are only 10€ per person, so they are a great way to try some different wines.

D-Wine in San Pedro is a mecca for wine lovers, with the best collection of Spanish wines in the area. It has a wine shop, a lovely restaurant and relaxed indoor and outdoor areas where you can enjoy delicious wines and food. The experienced sommeliers can guide you through the experience and offer tastings too, so it’s a real treat. 

Fine wines and great food is just one of the reasons why we love living on the Costa del Sol. It’s a real pleasure helping people to find their feet here in Spain by getting them a quality long term rental in the right area for them. Many people use this to try before they buy, others love the flexibility to move around different areas and experience the diverse ways of life in the different areas of the Costa del Sol. Whatever your situation, we have a great selection of Costa del Sol long term rentals which you can browse on our website. Alternatively, let us do the leg work for you! Send us your requirements, your preferred areas and any must have aspects of the property and we will send you a list of long term rentals which fit the bill. We look forward to hearing from you!

Your essential feria guide to partying like a local this summer

Your essential feria guide to partying like a local this summer

If you’ve recently started living in Spain and you’re looking for some Spanish culture, plus a really good party, check out our essential feria guide here!

To start with the basics – what is a feria?

It’s the town or village’s main annual party, which normally celebrates their patron saint. Typically, these last a week and feature flamenco (music, dancing and amazing frocks), great food and fairground rides. They have two different sections, the day feria which is dancing, music and food from lunchtime until around 8pm and the night feria, which includes the rides and dancing late into the night.

These are summer parties, starting in June and running through into October and every village and town has them. If you like the feria vibe, you can find one a week through the summer and they are a great way to visit new areas and really enjoy the atmosphere.

What’s the downside?

Some foreigners can’t cope with the volume of the music, the large crowds, and the endless flamenco. It is an assault on the senses, and can seem quite overwhelming at first, but as long as you’re not too sensitive with noise and you like music and dancing, you’ll love it.

When and where should you go?

Well that really depends where your long term rental property is, as it’s a great way to see your local area in it’s most colourful, exuberant state. Check with your local town hall when your feria week is, then consult our list below for the biggest and best, which are worth travelling for –

Marbella Feria 5-11 June

This is one of the first ferias and one of the best. Marbella is the right size for a feria to have a real party atmosphere, without being difficult to get around. The day feria takes part right opposite the Old Town with wonderful sea views, so it’s a lovely spot to party. The night fair takes place up by the La Cañada shopping centre and there are special buses to get you up from the centre if you don’t want to drive. The lovely folk at website Marbella Azul have translated the whole programme into English for you, so you can know what is going on during the week.  https://marbellaazul.com/marbella-feria-programme/

San Juan 23 June

This is something which is celebrated all over Andalucia, and is a lovely festival marking the longest day of the year. Everyone heads to the beach for bonfires, bbqs and fireworks. The biggest San Juan celebration takes place in Sabinillas and is amazing. Find out more about San Juan Celebrations

Estepona Feria, first week in July

Estepona is very greedy and has two patron saints, therefore two ferias! The first one is in May, but the July fair is the biggest and the best. There are activities taking place all over the town, but it is centred on the large fairground and sports complex just up the hill from the centre. This is an unusually large and modern space, so is more manageable for those people who struggle with the noise.

Nueva Andalucia Feria, third week in July

This feria is smaller than Marbella, but can be more manageable and has lots of activities for the kids, as well as the usual music, dancing and drinking.

Malaga Feria 11-18 August

This is the biggest party on the Costa del Sol, with thousands and thousands of people descending on the regional capital for a week of fun. There are lots of activities taking place through the town and late night revellers should head to the fairground by the Palacio de Congresos.

Torremolinos Feria 29th September to October 2nd

This is another big one with the day festival in the centre and the night fair on the San Miguel promenade.

San Pedro de Alcantara feria third week October

This is the last main feria of the season and is a great way to experience this popular town in full swing, with lots of great activities and events for all the family. 

This really just scrapes the surface of the brilliant ferias that we can enjoy by living on the Costa del Sol. Your local Town Hall or tourist office are the best source of information on the events taking place in your area. Some expats complain that they don’t know about these things until after they happen, as they aren’t on the grapevine. To be in the loop, keep your eyes open for posters, make sure you’re in the groups on Facebook for your local area and see if your Town Hall foreigners’ department or Feria department has a mailing list.

We’re here to help you enjoy your life on the Costa del Sol to the full by providing high quality long term rentals and insiders’ advice on living and working in this great area. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Doing your bit for charity on the Costa del Sol

Doing your bit for charity on the Costa del Sol

When you live on the Costa del Sol, a great way to integrate, understand the area and make new friends is to support a charity. You can join in with charity events, volunteer in a charity shop, take dogs for a walk, visit the elderly, fundraise and much more. Anything you can do is highly appreciated and it’s a great way to really help others, while getting to know people and settling in to your new life.

Last month’s United Nationalities of Marbella event shone a light on the many charities and organisations that need our help. Charities which were present included Age Concern, Concordia Aids Charity, Debra Butterfly Children, Malaga Orphanage and Triple A Animal Charity. All of these are very short of volunteers and need support with fundraising too. To decide what you want to do, check out their websites, call the team and choose the one that really tugs on your heart strings.

Costa del Sol charities in focus  

One charity that has been really struggling for funds recently is Triple A Animal shelter. This animal charity looks after around 500 abandoned dogs and cats and tries to find them a home. They need members, volunteers and people to walk the dogs and cover their overheads, as there was a fear that they would have to close their doors at the end of last year. This is a lovely way for animal lovers to make a difference to our furry friends, keep this great charity going and meet like minded individuals.

One of the best known charities on the Costa del Sol is Cudeca, a cancer charity which offers a day centre and hospice for cancer sufferers and their families on the Costa del Sol. One of their biggest fundraisers is coming up and it’s a great one to take part in. The Cudeca Walkathon is taking place on Sunday 20th of May leaving from the Hotel Sunset Beach Club in Benalmadena. There are a number of routes, a 10 kilometre challenge which sets off at 10.30am and five and two kilometre trails which leave at 12. It’s 10€ for adults and 6€ for children to take part if you register online and all the money raised goes to the charity.

If that sounds like a bit too active for you, how about eating wonderful food from eight of the regions best chefs in aid of charity? There is a fundraising gala dinner on the 21st of May in aid of Aldeas Infantiles which works to provide homes for deprived children and help vulnerable families. It is taking place at the Los Monteros Hotel in Marbella and will feature an eight course menu, with courses from chefs with 1 and 2 Michelin stars, plus entertainment and surprises. This costs 350€ per person and you can buy tickets online

Whatever you do, from attending a charity market and buying some goodies, supporting a charity event or volunteering will really make a real difference to those in need. Plus, it will give you a sense of being at home here on the Costa del Sol, and bring you in contact with some genuine, lovely people, who also want to make a difference.  

For more information on living in Spain check out our website. Our team of long term rental specialists are passionate about life on the Costa del Sol and have helped thousands of people make the move and have a wonderful life here in Spain. Let us know if we can help you too.  

Being Vegetarian on the Costa del Sol

Being Vegetarian on the Costa del Sol

If you are thinking of relocating to the Costa del Sol and you’re a vegetarian, you may be concerned what options there are for you. Spain is a nation of meat eaters and the vegetarian revolution has been slow to start but it is finally gaining traction.

This is proved by this month’s VegFest, a one day festival in Fuengirola on the 14th of April. There are stands with vegan friendly products, services and of course loads of delicious vegetarian and vegan food. There’s also live music and activities for a party atmosphere.

Another great event for vegetarians is the Feria de Arte Sano in San Pedro which is taking place on the 28th and 29th of July. This is an alternative festival with lots of great activities and almost all the food on offer is vegetarian.

Year round, there are now a growing number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and there’s a great list of the most highly rated vegetarian restaurants on the Costa del Sol on TripAdvisor.

Also, don’t despair that you won’t be able to enjoy Spanish food, there are lots of great options which don’t contain meat. Here are our top recommendations –

Gazpacho – This classic chilled tomato soup makes a great start to a meal on a hot, sunny day. Don’t be alarmed if it’s served in a glass, almost like a shot – it’s delicious.

Salads – There are lots of lovely fresh salads available in every restaurant. The “tomates aliñados” make the most of the delicious Spanish tomatoes by simply dressing them in olive oil, garlic, oregano and salt. Most restaurants offer tomato and mozzerela salads too which are always yummy. If you don’t eat fish, please bear in mind that an “ensalada mixta” (mixed salads) almost always contains tuna, so tell your waiter to leave it out and perhaps supplement with avocado or cheese.

Vegetable Paella – There are some really good vegetable paellas out there and there are also plenty with fish and seafood if you eat that.

Berenjenas con miel – Thinly sliced aubergine, deep fried and drizzled with dark honey. Sounds strange, but done well, it is delicious.

Patatas bravas – This is just one of many great potato dishes in Spain, but one of our favourites. Cubes of potatoes, deep fried and served covered in a spicy sauce – yummy.

Olives – While not a meal, the olives here are great and normally come free with a drink, so make great nibbles.   

Pisto – This rich tomato and vegetable dish is a little bit like ratatouille and is often served with a fried egg on top and makes a delicious and healthy light lunch.

Manchego cheese – While others enjoy ham, a plate of the famous Manchego cheese is the best option and available everywhere!

So as you can see, while being a vegetarian isn’t as widespread here in Spain than in other parts of the world, there are still plenty of options to enjoy. It’s a trend that is growing in popularity, so we expect more vegetarian and vegan restaurants to pop up and restaurants to get more vegetarian friendly. The amazing produce and the ability to grow your own in our fabulous climate is another reason why it’s easy to live healthily and meat free if you wish.

So don’t let being a vegetarian put you off your move to Spain, we love it here and we’re sure you will too. Check out our 5 reasons to live on the Costa del Sol to see why!

Browse our blog for more great tips on living on the Costa del Sol, or ask our experts for relocation advice and long-term rental properties.

Could you survive expat life?

Could you survive expat life?

Deciding whether to move abroad is a big decision and one not to be taken lightly, but thousands leave their home country for a new adventure abroad each year, so how hard can it be right? Well, the answer to this question really depends on the kind of person you are, how you deal with challenges and how motivated you are to make life in a new country succeed.

The profile of an ideal expat

Here are ten character traits which mean you can handle expat life. If you fit this profile, then you should definitely take the plunge.

  1. You crave a new adventure and find life at home boring and limited
  2. You love to meet new people and make friends, and are excited about the idea of starting again
  3. You are flexible and dynamic and not afraid of a challenge
  4. You want to learn a new language and understand a different culture and you are flexible to adapting to a new way of doing things
  5. You like different foods and enjoy trying new experiences
  6. You are skilled in a trade, work in real estate, or are entrepreneurial and want to start your own business
  7. You don’t mind taking a pay cut to achieve your dream of living abroad
  8. You have some money behind you to set up a new life and wait to find the right job, or you can work from anywhere with your current job
  9. You never want to come home when you’re on holiday and love the warm weather
  10. You understand that starting a new life will be hard, but you know it will be worth it to have a new life in the sunshine and enjoy the adventure

If this sounds like you, then you would make an ideal expat, so the next step is to choose the right destination for your expat adventure.

Why the Costa del Sol is a great expat destination

Those of us who have made our home here on the Costa del Sol love the life and opportunities we have and couldn’t imagine going back. The Costa del Sol works particularly well for expats for the following reasons –

  1. There is a large expat population – This means there are services and facilities tailored to your needs, such as English speaking private medical cover, international schools, translators and fixers who can sort things out for you. It is easy to make new friends as there are loads of groups you can join and it’s a really welcoming place.
  2. The weather and lifestyle is amazing – It really makes a difference when you wake up to sunny skies and can be outside to do sports, walk, eat and just enjoy. The Spanish way of life is relaxed and social, based around eating, drinking and having fun and it’s a lovely way to live.
  3. The cost of living is relatively low – Although salaries are lower, so is the cost of living in general. Rents are significantly lower, eating and drinking out is cheaper and fresh fish and fruit and veg is cheaper too. Being outside, going for a walk, heading to the park or beach are all essential parts of life and totally free, so money goes a lot further.

For more reasons to make the move read our 5 reasons to live on the Costa del Sol

People who struggle as an expat

We want to be honest with you that expat life doesn’t suit everyone. Here are a few things that make moving away hard.

  1. If you are very close to your family, love to be surrounded by old friends and couldn’t imagine being away from them.
  2. If you hate change and fear making a new life for yourself you will find it hard, you really need to be ready to throw yourself in to the experience and take on the challenges.
  3. If you want to live the dream – Many people who head home quickly are expecting the same experience as being on holiday all year round and have this idealised vision of how their life will be. When you have to work, send the kids to school and manage your home then it won’t all be roses, but those of us who have lived here for years much prefer to do these things under sunny skies!
  4. If you aren’t open to learn the language and don’t have the money to use professional translators, have private medical cover, or send your kids to private schools. You don’t need to speak Spanish to thrive here on the Costa del Sol, but you do need money behind you to choose English speaking alternatives, rather than go through the state system.

Take the plunge

If you fit our ideal expat profile and don’t identify with the persona we’ve described above then expat life is for you and now’s the time to take the plunge. There really is no time like the present!

Come over and rent long-term for a few months to see how the life here suits you and whether it will work in the long run. We have some excellent Costa del Sol long-term rentals which start from 400€ per month, so you can live very affordably while you job hunt and get settled. Please contact us for advice or support with finding a place to live, we’re here to help start off your expat adventure!