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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I hope everyone is well. I have joined the forum as we are a couple, hoping to relocate to South / South Eastern Spain mid year from the UK.

We would like to rent a few holiday apartments/villas for at least the first 3 months (on a tourist visa) to get a feel for the areas to target, but we are unsure which actual towns / villages in the areas. I have some basic Spanish skills to get us by (I learned in Argentina, and my husband is doing an app so we can get started on the language basics before we come and learn properly)

The main info gives general areas for ex-pats, such as Malaga, Seville, Alicante - but not a lot more detail on the actual areas. We want to be close to the beaches (about 30 mins drive / moped), but don't want to live in a high tourist town, or urbanisation as we would prefer a village or town, and can travel to the beach.

We have only been to Barcelona, Madrid and all of the Balearics before, but not the coasts. We loved Madrid, but wanting something a bit closer for beach access.

We have our eye on Malaga / Estepona area, as there is lots of horse riding there too. I hope there might be some opinions and insights on towns / villages that might suit us, so we can search for some areas to target renting!

Thank you :)
 

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I assume you are aware of the restrictions on free movement since Brexit and how it might effect you in terms of wanting to.live in Spain?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I assume you are aware of the restrictions on free movement since Brexit and how it might effect you in terms of wanting to.live in Spain?
Hi - thanks for the reply. Yes indeed, very aware of Brexit here in the UK and that it has taken away free movement. We are wanting to relocate (we did before but timing was against us) and will use our 90 days new limit to rent and explore towns, but with a view to relocating rather than holidaying, so we want to sensibly use that limited time to explore possibilities, and not in holiday resorts. Hence the question, where we should target for villages or towns, a bit more specific for a handful of towns or villages to suggest renting in for local life, amenities, and about 30 mins to the beach? We are already in contact with advisors about the requirements to get a residence permit should we wish to apply after our initial visit. But we need to get there first and explore the areas. Thank you again :)
 

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Maybe you should expand on why you liked Madrid so much. It can be difficult to replicate the level of cultural offerings that a city like Madrid has on the coasts, the lifestyle philosophy is just so different... I would personally struggle to live in a smaller city now after having lived so long in Madrid, even if I would love to be near(er) the coast.

Maybe you need to be thining of the bigger coastal cities like Valencia or Sevilla?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you Overandout, that's very helpful. We loved Madrid for a number of reasons (which of course, we won't find at scale in a small village) which is fine but to answer - Madrid is our most loved city we have been to in Europe, friendly people and wonderful attitude. Lots of parks and green spaces, all very walkable (we also hired bikes too) as well as the food (of course!) like the San Miguel Mercado, and other smaller markets with local stalls for our tapa, weekly grocery markets and lots of useful local shops and amenties. We have traveled a lot, and I love the Spanish language and people I have met and worked with too.

Yes, Valencia and Sevillia look really great as does Malaga too - but there are so many towns and villages, and that is what we need to get more micro recommendations on specific towns (as they are huge regions). When I use the rental sites, they ask which area so I never know where to target in on, other than a broad region.

So just looking for any ideas of local towns or villages with markets, 30 mins from beaches, not so built up but good basic amenties (ie, shops, markets, cafe's)? Thank you for replying :)
 

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Based on your last reply, in particulr the indication that it doesn't have to be right on the coast, I would be looking at Granada very seriously. Beautiful place (mostly!)

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Based on your last reply, in particulr the indication that it doesn't have to be right on the coast, I would be looking at Granada very seriously. Beautiful place (mostly!)

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
Thank you very much, appreciated.

Any particular villages or towns you can name, that I can start my local area search on?

Thanks again :)
 

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Granada to Motril (on the coast) takes about 50-55 mins, so you could split the difference by looking at Velez Benaudalla which has access to good transport links: the A44, a railway link;, also pleasant countryside with a river, a decent sized lake, and grottoes.
I've not been myself but Motril was nice enough when I was there.
Be aware that horse riding times are very constrained by the heat of the day and you will need to wear protection from flies.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wonderful, thank you both - Granada to Motril, will check it out on street view and do some hunting on the portals. I would love to hear any more suggestions for the whole area, all the way to Cadiz even. That whole south / south east area is beautiful from what we can see, so any gems would be appreciated. Thank you once again Overandout and ccm47.
 

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If the beach is important a couple things to think about.

Thirty minutes mid winter might be more than an hour mid summer. The roads don't get any bigger but the traffic sure does. Thirty minutes inland is inland not coastal.

If the beach is important think about the kind of beach you're interested in. Cabo del Gato has some gorgeous desert island style beaches. But if you want loungers and beach front restaurants not the best choice.
 

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If the beach is important a couple things to think about.

Thirty minutes mid winter might be more than an hour mid summer. The roads don't get any bigger but the traffic sure does. Thirty minutes inland is inland not coastal.

If the beach is important think about the kind of beach you're interested in. Cabo del Gato has some gorgeous desert island style beaches. But if you want loungers and beach front restaurants not the best choice.
Thank you NickZ, they are great points that I didn't think of. Yes, having been in Australia most of my life, I used to live on the Gold Coast, which is miles of white beaches and the traffic was horrendous. Most locals live outside of the main strip of the coast and left the tourists to enjoy the high rises and holiday apartments. We are def looking for a more local beach life / village access as you rightly point out, but still close enough to get there in half an hour or so in Summer, for sure. Thank you for the Cabo del Gato beach reccy, I will look at this now. Thanks again :)
 

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Both Granada and Sevilla are lovely cities, but I wouldn't like to live in either one (too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter). Check out La Axarquia, the area East of Málaga. There are many nice villages, some as little as 15 minutes' drive from the coast, and access to Málaga and the airport is easy with a not very crowded motorway.
 

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Maybe look at the Spanish area of Murcia . Start at Aguilas, a very attractive good sized Spanish coastal resort, connected to everywhere by a dual carriageway, and work your way inland. Many attractive villages and towns plus this area has an added advantage of excellent train links in every direction except southwards. However this is due to change in the near distant future.
So many nice places to live am sure you will find your dream location. Just take your time.i
 

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I meant Granada the city, provincial capital.
I think Granada is beautiful and interesting culturally, but I wouldn't want to live there. The climate is quite harsh; it can be very cold in winter and I wouldn't want to live in an older property there for that reason, and can be brutally hot in the summer.
 

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Here are a few stream-of-consciousness thoughts...

Huelva - coastal, horse mad area

Denia, Xabia, Calpe - mountains meeting the sea, kind climate, loads of ex pats living the dream

Barcelona - Madrid by the sea, cosmopolitan, complex, expensive.

Valencia - laid back, bike friendly, less extreme climate, not as big nor as international as Barcelona

Malaga, much smaller than the two above, more non-spanish, parts are expensive

Alicante - I think it a nicer version of malaga,

Murcia - very hot inland, lots of people like Cartagena. Again, whole swathes of retired folk sitting about.

The north coast is lovely, more european. Places like San Sebastián offer a very high quality life if you can afford it. 4 seasons and rain in all of them.

Anyway, that glib list has probably annoyed many.

To get better advice, I think you should give a bit more information. Eg:

Weather important? Spain has a lot of different climates

You OK living in a sleepy village? There are many which have zero full time residents. Is that what you are after? You OK with living an hour away from a doctor?

How important is modern life? Do you want to have a local air conditioned mall with a cinema and a Burger King? Access to a good BMW dealer? Local Vegan restaurant?

Want to live among Spanish people leading Spanish lives? Would you like your neighbours to be web designers? Or farmers? Or from the local steel mill?


One thing I can reassure you about, is that Spain is good for roads. There are loads of them, and traffic is rare as the culture is to live close to work in a flat and to shop local.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I think Granada is beautiful and interesting culturally, but I wouldn't want to live there. The climate is quite harsh; it can be very cold in winter and I wouldn't want to live in an older property there for that reason, and can be brutally hot in the summer.
Your comment surprised me, so I checked the stats, the coldest month is January with an average of 2ºmin / 12ºmax compared to Madrid's 3ºmin / 10ºmax, while the hottest is of course August with 19º / 34º for Granada and July with 19º / 32º for Madrid.
So technically yes, there is a slightly greater extreme, but there's not a lot in it, if I didn't have to work I think I could "suffer" the extra heat better going down to Almuñecar to the beach! But ironically the humidity is quite noteably lower in Granada city than it is at the coast (probably due to the Sierra Nevada), so you probably are better off staying away from the bech in the hottest months!
 

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Your comment surprised me, so I checked the stats, the coldest month is January with an average of 2ºmin / 12ºmax compared to Madrid's 3ºmin / 10ºmax, while the hottest is of course August with 19º / 34º for Granada and July with 19º / 32º for Madrid.
So technically yes, there is a slightly greater extreme, but there's not a lot in it, if I didn't have to work I think I could "suffer" the extra heat better going down to Almuñecar to the beach! But ironically the humidity is quite noteably lower in Granada city than it is at the coast (probably due to the Sierra Nevada), so you probably are better off staying away from the bech in the hottest months!
The overnight minimum temperatures in Granada for the next 2 nights are forecast to be -4C - where I live 5km from the coast the forecast is for 5C minimum overnight. That's a difference which would be very noticeable. I have been there in May when I found it unbearably hot, and in February when it was so cold that all the water in the public fountains was frozen over (in the middle of the day), something we never, ever see here. We'd been hoping to get away to Sevilla for a few days, whilst travel restrictions permitted, just after Christmas but the difference in temperatures was such that it wouldn't have been pleasant so we settled for an overnight stay in Malaga instead, and going out in the evening there (and we weren't out late, obviously, because of the early closing of bars and restaurants and the curfew) was more than cold enough.
 

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The overnight minimum temperatures in Granada for the next 2 nights are forecast to be -4C - where I live 5km from the coast the forecast is for 5C minimum overnight. That's a difference which would be very noticeable. I have been there in May when I found it unbearably hot, and in February when it was so cold that all the water in the public fountains was frozen over (in the middle of the day), something we never, ever see here. We'd been hoping to get away to Sevilla for a few days, whilst travel restrictions permitted, just after Christmas but the difference in temperatures was such that it wouldn't have been pleasant so we settled for an overnight stay in Malaga instead, and going out in the evening there (and we weren't out late, obviously, because of the early closing of bars and restaurants and the curfew) was more than cold enough.
Now is not a good time for comparing actual weather data aganst averages though is it? Just 2kms from me there is a small airfield which 2 nights ago recorded the coldest temperature ever recorded inside the Madrid municipality at -13º. Anyway, the weather affects us all in different ways, a million people live in Granada, so it can't be that unhospitable. I would still rather have the more extreme temperatures of Granada than the higher humiditly of the coast. Horses for courses as they say!
 
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