To stay or not to stay in Spain for Christmas – that is the question

Stay in Spain for Christmas If you are still in denial that Christmas is coming, it’s time to wake up and smell the mulled wine! We’re just eight weeks away from Christmas Day and so if you’re renting long term in Spain it’s time to make the decision on whether to stay here for the festive season, or make the annual exodus to friends and family elsewhere.

It’s a tricky decision if you’re settled here and have found your perfect long-term rental property, as you feel at home, love living in Spain and can probably already imagine the tree and the stockings by the fire. However think carefully, as Christmas can be lonely without friends or family around, so make sure that there will be enough people around, or that your loved ones are willing to travel over to the Costa del Sol to be with you.

There are loads of benefits of Christmas on the Costa del Sol, not least the weather, which is often good enough for a stroll along the beach after Christmas dinner. The Christmas lights in Malaga are a real highlight, the old towns are lovely to stroll around and do a little chilled out shopping and there are some lovely Christmas events organized by the Town Halls.

However, we want to be honest with you, it can be hard to get into the festive mood here in Spain, as it’s much more of a low key affair in general and let’s be honest, most people don’t associate Christmas cheer with a drink on the beach. Most expats living in Spain will probably head back home and the “traditional” Christmas events like the markets and carol services take place earlier in December to allow for this. So unless it’s your dream to escape the cold and dark in the UK, or you have a good group of friends around you, or the family is over, it can feel a little sad to be living abroad at this important time of the year, so if you’re not sure we’d recommend you head home.

Travelling from Malaga or Gibraltar to the UK is surprisingly affordable before Christmas and after New Year. Be warned though, travelling back to Spain between Christmas and New Year can be expensive, if you’re looking for the most affordable fares and don’t mind much about New Year’s Eve, then travelling on 31st December or 1st January is a real bargain!

Kids are at school until 23rd December, but then their holiday lasts until 7th January because of the Three Kings. Also bear in mind that here offices tend to be open right up to Christmas Eve and only have Christmas Day as a public holiday, going back to work on Boxing Day, so make sure you book holiday asap if you’re working.

We hope this post has helped you make the decision on whether you’ll be staying over Christmas or not, if you haven’t taken the plunge and moved over here yet, we have more great advice on life in Spain on our website, not to mention loads of great Costa del Sol long term rental properties.

If you want to stay, then in our next post we’ll be sharing our tips for making the most of Christmas on the Costa del Sol.

Costa del Sol Christmas Markets and Events

Costa del Sol Christmas Markets and Events Tis the season to get busy and there’s loads of festive fun to be had in November and December on the Costa del Sol. If it’s your first Christmas renting long term here, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it! Even if you’re not staying for Christmas itself, there are some lovely opportunities to get in the mood and do the Christmas shopping with markets and special events.

Here are just a few –

The Nutcracker Ballet Marbella Theatre 21st November 20.30- A lovely way to start thinking about Christmas is to enjoy the classic tale of the nutcracker, being performed by the Company Russian Classical Ballet More information

ADANA Xmas Fair – 22 November 2015 – Palacio de Congresos, Estepona from 10.30 to 16.00 – Fantastic day out with entertainment and lots of Christmassy stuff.  If you have a business on the Costa del Sol selling gifts then you can also book to have a stand. Enquiries to: or 697-289-922.

Discount Fair Marbella 3-5 December Palacio de Congresos Marbella 10.00-22.00 – Whilst not a Christmas themed event, this is a great place to get your gifts at amazing prices. With over 100 stands to look at and a huge range to choose from, you could get all the shopping done at once and there’s even a rest area, entertainment and a bar to rest those weary feet.

Peppa Pig Festival 12 & 13 December – Palacio de Congresos Marbella – An early Christmas present for the kiddies to experience the magic of Pepper and her friends and play with the characters for 4 unforgettable hours. Choose from a morning or afternoon session, and experience 10 different characters and 9 amazing activities. More information

Arboretum Winter Festival 20th December, Arboretum Marbella – This will be a winter festival outside in the beautiful setting of the edible gardens in Arboretum. There will be stalls, activities for children and the theme will be sustainable Christmas trees, with activities for making trees out of recycled materials. More information

To see what the Town Hall is planning in Marbella over the festive season in English, keep your eye on the Marbella Family Fun Christmas page where they translate the programme as soon as it becomes available.

If you’re looking for a Marbella long term rental for Christmas, please browse our selection of properties or get in touch with us to find out what we have available so you’re in and settled before this very special time of year.

Learning Spanish – Looking for a house

bigstock-Puzzle-Button-Do-you-speak-sp-79535224The Costa del Sol is one of the most amazing places to live and if you’re thinking of relocating we’d definitely encourage you to take the plunge. There’s so much to offer in terms of climate, lifestyle, sports, great food and more. We believe that you get the most out of living here by making an effort to learn the language and so we cover different useful vocabulary in our Learning Spanish blog posts.

When relocating to Spain, we would recommend that rather than buying straight away, that you start off by renting long term and then invest in a property of your own. This gives you time to be sure where you want to be and have checked out the lifestyle and all its pros and cons and know that you want the Costa del Sol to be your long term home.

We are long term rental experts and can help you find a great property on the Costa del Sol in English, so please don’t hesitate to ask. But if you want to shop around and see what Spanish rental agents have to offer, then here’s the vocabulary you need.

¿Tiene algo para alquilar? – Do you have anything to rent?

Necesito una casa con tres dormitorios. – I need a house with 3 bedrooms.

¿Cuánto es por mes? – How much is it per month?

¿Cuánto es la finanza? – How much is the deposit?

¿El contrato es de seis o once meses? – Is the contract for 6 or 11 months?

¿Es renovable? – Is it renewable?

Con piscina y jardín particular. – With private pool & garden.

Con piscina de comunidad. –  With community pool.   

Está completamente reformada. – It’s completely modernized.

Aparcamiento. – Parking.

Una casa de dos plantas. – A two story house.

doble acristalamiento – double glazing,      armarios empotrados – fitted wardrobes,   cocina amueblada – fitted kitchen,  casa adosada – terraced house,    finca – country house with land,      ático – penthouse,      sótano – basement,      ascensor – lift,   suelos de mármol – marble floors,     luminoso – light

With thanks to Spanish teacher, Translator and Interpreter Michelle Lewis for providing these very helpful terms. Contact her if you need any help with learning Spanish or dealing with the Spanish system. Email or call 680 155 254.

Please browse our selection of Costa del Sol long term rentals on our website and let us find you the perfect place and explain all the terms and conditions in English. It can remove a lot of the stress from your property search!

Green Costa del Sol

bigstock-Spanish-Vineyards-Overlooking--300935The Costa del Sol is a wonderful place to live and rent long term for many reasons, one of them is the amount of green space and clean air. Did you know that Fuengirola has 350,000m2 of green space or that you can find many lovely parks tucked away in the heart of Marbella and all the towns in the area?

As well as the urban green spaces, stray just a few kilometres away from the coast and you will find yourself in beautiful countryside, with rolling hills, national parks and golf courses. The combination of all the amenities that you want with countryside on your doorstep is one of the best aspects of life here. There’s loads of ways you can enjoy the great outdoors, such as weekly hikes which are put on in Mijas Pueblo, Manilva and many places in between. You can join a riding club and do hacks through the mountains, grab your bike and go, birdwatch, or do a quad-biking trip. Keep your eye on social media and in the local media for news of events, associations and activities being arranged near you.

Renting long term in the countryside around the Costa del Sol is a great option if you want to be part of a small community, have peace, quiet and enjoy beautiful surroundings. It is also excellent value for money, being significantly cheaper than in the bigger towns. For example, just inland from Elviria up in the stunning hills is this Elviria three bedroom penthouse apartment. It is modern and constructed to the highest standard with stunning views for just 600€ per month. Or how about this stunning long term rental villa Mijas? It has 3 bedrooms and bathrooms, a private pool and spectacular country views, it’s close to the hikes around Mijas Pueblo, but within very easy access of Fuengirola and due to its more rural location it can be rented long term for just 800€ per month.

The Costa del Sol is also becoming greener in another sense of the word! Organic gardening is increasing in popularity and low food miles, organic or raw restaurants are popping up such as Km 0 in San Pedro. There are Transition groups in Marbella, Coin and Malaga to name a few, trying to make their communities more sustainable and an environmental charity called Arboretum creating a people’s forest behind Marbella’s bus station.

Next week Marbella is hosting an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Course at Arboretum Marbella, which will further enhance the area’s reputation as an environmentally friendly destination. It is certified by the British Permaculture Association, is carbon neutral and is flying over some really high profile speakers from the UK including Naresh Giangrande and Aranya. This is great news for Marbella and those living on the Costa del Sol. If you want to take part, there are a few places still available.

Working on the Costa del Sol

bigstock-Image-of-businessman-running-a-56868947Are you dreaming of relocating to the Costa del Sol, but are concerned by newspaper reports about high unemployment and don’t know if you’ll be able to find work? The great news is that things are most definitely looking up! Despite worries that the Greek debt crisis would negatively impact Spain, a recent study by Markit has revealed that Spain was actually the best performer of the Eurozone’s big four, leading the way out of recession with steady growth at around 0.4% per quarter. Read more

We’re seeing first hand that job offers are increasing all the time, especially in the real estate sector, where there is a lot of recruitment for sales staff, telemarketers and administrators to respond to the growing demand. Unlike before, the better real estate companies are offering a basic salary plus commission, so if you are comfortable with sales then this is a great opportunity to make an excellent living.

The recovery of the real estate sector sparks business in all areas of the Costa del Sol, although this takes a little longer to filter through. To see job opportunities we recommend reading the newspaper Sur in English online, as this has the best job section. You can also sign up to recruitment agencies such as Howard Bond Recruitment and look at job boards on websites such as Costa Women (link) and Think Spain.

International schools are also good employers and often look for qualified teachers, as there is a high turnover of staff travelling the world with their work. So if you’re a teacher wanting to travel, then make a list of all the schools in the area by searching and send CVs to them to see what they’ve got.

One interesting option for career opportunities is Gibraltar, a thriving economy which was largely unaffected by the global slow down. Banking, online gaming and financial services are very strong in Gibraltar and there are a lot of opportunities for customer service staff, IT and marketing amongst others. The salaries in Gibraltar are very competitive and what many people do is base themselves on the western Costa del Sol, such as Estepona, Manilva and Sotogrande and then commute into Gibraltar, leaving their cars on the Spanish side and cycling, walking or taking a moped into Gibraltar to avoid the boarder queues. There are a number of specialist recruitment companies for this area such as SRG who can help you to find the right position.

There are options out there, but you need to know that in Spain salaries are significantly lower than in the UK. However, when calculating things know that the rent and cost of living is a lot lower too, so many of our long term tenants report that they feel a lot richer living in the Costa del Sol, even when they take a salary reduction. For example, you could rent a three bedroom apartment in Calahonda for just 575€ per month, a fraction of the cost of rental in London and the South East of England!

Please contact us or browse our website for long term rental properties and we can let you know costs of living on the Costa del Sol, so you can make that dream an affordable reality.

The Costa del Sol Coastline

bigstock-Aerial-Panoramic-View-of-Costa-47140480We’re so lucky to live and work on the Costa del Sol and it’s a pleasure to be able to help the thousands of people relocating here each year to find a quality long term rental property to call home. One of the biggest draws of life on the Costa del Sol is to be within easy reach of the 161 kilometres of glorious coastline at all times and be able to pop down to the beach on a weekend or after work for a stroll, a dip or to let the kids play.

If you love beaches, then you’re really spoilt for choice here. Our favourite stretches of beach are the lovely cove at Cabopino, the stretch of beach around Elviria and the famous Nikki Beach and also the Western Costa del Sol such as Estepona. For something a little different, take a day trip east of Malaga to Nerja, where the sandy beaches are replaced by pebbly coves with crystal clear water and great options for rock pooling.

The coastline is so important to this area, both in terms of tourism and attracting foreign residents from around the world to relocate, that there was a lot of concern over a possible project to drill for gas off the Fuengirola coast. So it was great to read in the Euroweekly last month that the gas drilling project has finally been abandoned after a decade of uncertainty. The paper reported that “Repsol has renounced the rights it was given in 2004 to drill in search of gas off the coast of Mijas and Fuengirola …. so the Malaga coasts are officially free of prospection projects, at least for the time being, as back in April CNWL Oil España also renounced its rights to drill for fuel in the Alboran sea.” Great news for the Costa del Sol’s beaches!   Read more

Let us know if you’re searching for a Costa del Sol long term rental property on the beach, or with sea views and we can find you some great options near some of the best beaches and close to all the amenities that you need.

Expats – Don’t worry about whether the UK will leave the EU

bigstock-Brexit-text-with-British-and-E-93444095Since the topic of the EU referendum has been in the news, we’ve had a lot of our long term rental tenants on the Costa del Sol concerned about how it would affect them if the UK did choose to leave the EU. There were fears that we’d all have to return to the UK or become illegal immigrants! So we were really pleased to read an article in the Telegraph at the end of June that these fears were not grounded in legal fact.

The article states that in the case that the UK did leave the EU, British expats would be protected by the Vienna Convention, which means that people living in an EU country before any exit would have “acquired right” to remain in Spain legally, as when they moved this was sanctioned by law and the “the EU’s freedom of movement rights would be honoured for all those citizens who reside in other EEA nations prior to any Treaty changes”. Read the full article here So the 55,000+ British expats living in the Malaga province can relax and enjoy the great lifestyle on the Costa del Sol without worrying about what may happen in the referendum.

Another concern which we are seeing is the impact of the crisis in Greece on Spain, commentators have said that if they leave the EU then it could be a signal to Spain, Portugal and Italy that they could leave too, but with Spain having adopted the austerity measures and now coming out of crisis, there is little suggestion that they would really want to come out of the EU. In fact the signs for the whole economy are excellent, with a recent IMF report predicting that by the end of 2015 growth will be over 3%! This growth and positivity and the improving property market will lead to more jobs and opportunities for people in Spain, so there’s lots of reasons to be cheerful.

In our experience most people relocating to Spain love it so much they never want to leave, but if you’re not sure, then a good move is to rent long term first and then decide your long term future later when you’ve had a chance to try it out for yourselves.  You can check out our selection of long term properties in your favourite area by using our click and view interactive map, or if you’re not sure where you want to live don’t worry, our experience team of long term rental specialists can help you find the perfect place.

Live alongside people from all over the world on the Costa del Sol

bigstock-Diversity-of-Hands-Holding-Nat-62229854The Costa del Sol has a fantastic climate and lifestyle and has been attracting people from all over the world since the 1960s. This has created a unique cosmopolitan location which retains a lot of Spanish charm and character, but has been influenced and enriched by all the cultures and nationalities calling the Costa del Sol their home.

Here you can enjoy almost any cuisine you can think of, with fantastic Spanish restaurants alongside the normal British, American, Chinese and Thai restaurants being easy to find, plus a few new unusual ones popping up, such as a great Korean restaurant in Calahonda and a Georgian Café in San Pedro!

Plus you can hear many languages, join clubs to meet and socialise with people from your country, see performances from artists from around the world and feel the influence of expats on the way of doing business and how technology is being adapted. You get to meet so many interesting, well-travelled people and become a lot more open minded and culturally aware.

At HomeCareontheWeb, we champion integration and learning the language, but also love the diversity and international influence on the Costa del Sol, and so were really interested by a new report into the nationality breakdown of foreigners living in Spain. It revealed that according to statistics (which are often inaccurate due to low levels of foreigners registering to live here) as of 1st January 2015, over 10% of the national population of Spain was not Spanish – over 4.7 million foreigners in total.

The breakdown of nationalities is surprising, with the largest group being Romanian (751,000), followed by Moroccans (749,000) and the British (282,000), then a long way behind are people from Italy (179,000), Bulgaria (142,000), Germany (130,000) and France (99,000). There are also 845,000 people living here from South America and a surprising amount of Chinese (191,000), with only 68,000 Russians in Spain as a whole.

Obviously this is a national picture and the region of the Costa del Sol has a different demographic, with the Scandinavians being an important community and the Russians also playing a major role, and of course the British, with 55,000 in the Malaga province alone. You can read the full article here

We’d like to wish anyone thinking of relocating to the Costa del Sol a very warm welcome – it’s a great place to live wherever you’re from. We can help find long term rental properties throughout the Costa del Sol and also advise you on the best place to live. Depending on your objectives we can show you areas which are particularly popular with certain nationalities or what places are the most international, we can also find you somewhere to immerse yourself in Spanish culture and recommend language schools and ways to integrate yourself and your family. Please browse our website for long term rental properties or contact us and let us know how we can help.

Why Living in Spain is Good For You

Why Living in Spain is Good For YouAt HomeRentalontheWeb we are all passionate about living on the Costa del Sol and love the lifestyle it offers us and our families, which is why we’re so committed to helping people find the perfect long term rental property to make their dreams a reality.

You will find that living on the Costa del Sol definitely puts a spring in your step and makes you feel fit and healthy, and if something does go wrong there’s an excellent health service at your disposal.

Here are our reasons for thinking a Spanish lifestyle is good for our minds, bodies and souls


  • You’re never SAD – Excuse the play on words here, of course you can feel down wherever in the world you are, but there’s no doubt that the sunshine that we enjoy here for an average of 300 days per year definitely lifts the spirits, gives us much needed vitamin D and cures anyone who gets the winter blues
  • It’s a healthy place – Spain has one of the top seven most efficient healthcare systems in Europe and people live longer – Spain is ranked 15 in the world for life expectancy (compared to 30 for the UK.) With the well-known health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, you’ll feel and look great for longer. Find out more about the Spanish Health Care system and accessing healthcare in Spain
  • You’re more active – Due to the lovely weather you’re outside more and there’s a culture of doing sports and keeping fit, plus excellent facilities to make it easy and great fun to get involved in everything from golf, to padel tennis, to swimming, kite surfing or paddle boarding.
  • You’re more relaxed – The atmosphere on the Costa del Sol is so much more relaxed and laid-back than other parts of the world and even after a stressful day, a stroll down the beach, a dip in the pool or a trip to the park in the sunshine will make the stress melt away. Stress is one of the biggest causes of illness, so this alone should keep you healthier and happier.
  • There’s a great sense of community – Although relocating to the Costa del Sol means leaving loved ones back at home, all the expats are in the same boat and this leads to an excellent community spirit where even people you hardly know will go out of their way to help. You will find that friends become like family and the bonds are incredibly strong and let’s be honest, home is where the heart is!

If you’re thinking about relocating to the Costa del Sol and want to enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle, we can help you find a great long term rental property, as well as offering advice on where to live, the best schools, job opportunities and more. Renting long term allows you to try before you buy, so you can check out the options and really understand the area and how you want to live here. Please contact us to find out more and find that perfect property for you.

What’s On in July & August on the Costa del Sol

What’s On in July & August on the Costa del SolThose of us living on the Costa del Sol, whether we’re renting long term, or own a property, are in the very lucky position of being in one of the most desirable places in the world for a summer holiday and there’s loads going on that we can take advantage of, without having to spend a fortune renting a place or staying in a hotel.

There are things happening every day during this exciting season, but here are some highlights for July and August –

Global Gift Gala, Marbella 5th July – This annual event at the Gran Melia Don Pepe in Marbella is a place for celebrities, VIPs and philanthropists to get together to raise money and awareness of the plight of children and the empowerment of women worldwide. Described as a magical night of hope and inspiration, featuring entertainment, stunning cuisine and celebrity guests this is not to be missed if you can afford the 500€ ticket price.

Elton John, Malaga 15th July – This month the legend that is Elton John is playing in Malaga, for the first time in a decade and will be bringing his best known songs and charisma to the Carpena Sports Arena for just 8,000 lucky people to enjoy. Tickets are expect to sell quickly, but check out and or pop into FNAC, Carrefour, Halcon Viajes or El Corte Ingles for last minute availability.

July Champagne Spray Party Ocean Club 26 July – This fantastic party at Ocean Club Beach Club in Puerto Banus brings together thousands of revellers in a cool environment, with great music from Sintillate and of course lots of champagne to spray! There are regular champagne spraying parties throughout summer, but be warned, beds book fast so don’t leave it too late.

World Vision Gala, Sea Grill, Puente Romano 15 August – Raise money for charity World Vision whilst enjoying a stunning gala dinner under the stars at Puente Romano’s beautiful beachside restaurant. This VIP gala is featuring Kym Mazelle from Soul 2 Soul and Los Manolitos from Gypsy Kings performing live.

Starlite 18 July-22 August – One month of concerts in the impressive, outdoor Starlite Auditorium in Marbella, including performances from Lenny Kravitz, Placido Domingo, Lionel Richie, the Village People, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias, Anastacia, Alejandro Sanz and Andrea Bocelli. Plus when there are no concerts you can go and enjoy the atmosphere in their lounge every day from 8pm to 6am, and there will be fashion shows, film screenings and entertainment.

Spandau Ballet live in concert, Puente Romano Tennis Club 21 August – Spandau Ballet will be performing at the intimate venue of the Puente Romano Tennis Club this summer, playing their best known hits in a great environment. VIP seats are so close to the action that you can almost touch the performers and everyone gets a brilliant view.

Amazing Sundays Nikki Beach – Throughout July and August Nikki Beach host regular events such as their Skandi party, Venician Carnival and much more, but one of the locals’ favourites is the Amazing Sunday parties for a fun, uber stylish, glamorous Sunday experience.

Let us know which event you’re most looking forward to this summer in Marbella and why you feel smug about renting long term on the Costa del Sol during the hot summer months by commenting on this post.