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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Myself and the soon-to-be Mr Meetloaf will be arriving in Spain early July for an extended tour in a motorhome to find the right place in which to settle. We have a wish list for that venue, although of course we're realistic enough to know that we won't find everything in one place. Our wish list would be as follows:

In sight of or in mountains
Near or within easy reach of the sea
Near a river
Plenty of cultural activity, art classes, groups, things to do.
Local Spanish community willing to mix with ex-pat Brits
Within reasonable reach of an airport
Winters that aren't too cold
Good local shops and, e.g., a market (ie, not wholly reliant on a supermarket for expats in a complex)
Reasonably competent regional authority
Good restaurants, possibly a "foodie" culture

Schools are irrelevant and we are learning Spanish. Our leaning was towards somewhere around Barcelona but Mr Meetloaf has since discovered how low the temps can drop in winter in that area. I'm not so convinced that being by the sea is a necessity, so as I say - the end result will be down to prioritising.

What I'm asking is whether anyone recognises elements of that list in the place where they are (happily) settled. It might only be one element, e.g., in the mountains. However, this would be very helpful as we plan our route. Any help appreciated.
 

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Apart from the colder winters (about 3 months out of 12, but this year a few weeks at most), Granada province is definitely worth a look.

In sight of or in mountains - Granada has the highest mountain range in Spain (but see my remark below...).

Near or within easy reach of the sea - Granada Costa is within very easy reach, but further inland, it would take about an hour or more to reach the sea.

Near a river - most here are dried up, but there are plenty of lakes. :)

Plenty of cultural activity, art classes, groups, things to do. - the larger towns and the city of Granada itself have these.

Local Spanish community willing to mix with ex-pat Brits - shouldn't be a problem. :)

Within reasonable reach of an airport - Granada airport at the moment has flights mainly to other parts of Spain since Ryan Air pulled out, but Malaga airport is about an hour's drive away.

Winters that aren't too cold - there you've got me :) - the winters can get pretty cold at night, but the days can still be very sunny.

Good local shops and, e.g., a market (ie, not wholly reliant on a supermarket for expats in a complex) - Many towns and villages have markets (even our small village has a market once a week). And there are plenty of supermarkets, large and small. As in many Spanish towns, you may not find a local main street - shops tend to be scattered about all over the place. but you get used to that. :)

Reasonably competent regional authority - They seem to be ok....

Good restaurants, possibly a "foodie" culture - depends what you are looking for. Most towns and many villages have restaurants and many we think are good.


About those mountains....
Travelling around Granada Province (and many other mountainous regions in Spain) in a motor home will depend very much on the size of the vehicle.

When we travelled around Spain in our old Winnebago, we found some mountain roads difficult, if not impossible to navigate (in the end, we stuck to mountain routes where we knew the buses went, or hired a car if we wanted to look at somewhere more off the beaten track), but this wouldn't be a problem for a more compact RV.

There are several campsites in Granada - at least one in the city itself, another about two miles out of the city, another in the Sierra Nevada mountain range itself, and a few more further out. I can't remember exactly where off hand, but a good campsite directory (and browsing the internet) would help you there.

It's certainly worth paying a visit here, wherever you eventually decide to live. :)
 

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Reasonably competent regional authority? :(
OK - so I guess that cuts out all of the Valencia region..................

I reckon it will gradually come to light that it cuts out pretty much all of Spain though :(

Jávea itself isn't too bad in the scheme of things
 

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OK - so I guess that cuts out all of the Valencia region..................

I reckon it will gradually come to light that it cuts out pretty much all of Spain though :(

Jávea itself isn't too bad in the scheme of things
Yes, I would have included Strav's post but don't know how to multi-quote.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, everyone. I have my map out and am sticking little pins in it. Googling your recommendations has been exciting - I might actually be living in one of those places soon!!

Sol, you do a good selling job on Granada! That's a very good point you made about the motorhome and we need to bear it in mind when planning our route - if a bus can go there, we should be able to. Otherwise, beware. We are now members of every camping and vanning organisation known to man. We will be visiting Granada.

We'd already picked up on comments about the Valencia regional govt which initially was a big no, but on the other hand there are some really nice places in Valencia and as you comment, xab, in the current circumstances all kinds of inefficiencies may emerge from other regions. The Lonely Planet guide (our new bible) rates Javea highly as indeed it does the other suggestions. Thanks to your help our trip is starting to take shape. This is fun!
 

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Thanks, everyone. I have my map out and am sticking little pins in it. Googling your recommendations has been exciting - I might actually be living in one of those places soon!!

Sol, you do a good selling job on Granada! That's a very good point you made about the motorhome and we need to bear it in mind when planning our route - if a bus can go there, we should be able to. Otherwise, beware. We are now members of every camping and vanning organisation known to man. We will be visiting Granada.

We'd already picked up on comments about the Valencia regional govt which initially was a big no, but on the other hand there are some really nice places in Valencia and as you comment, xab, in the current circumstances all kinds of inefficiencies may emerge from other regions. The Lonely Planet guide (our new bible) rates Javea highly as indeed it does the other suggestions. Thanks to your help our trip is starting to take shape. This is fun!
In that case, take a look at Denia just the other side of the mountain from Javea.
 

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Myself and the soon-to-be Mr Meetloaf will be arriving in Spain early July for an extended tour in a motorhome to find the right place in which to settle. We have a wish list for that venue, although of course we're realistic enough to know that we won't find everything in one place. Our wish list would be as follows:

In sight of or in mountains
Near or within easy reach of the sea
Near a river
Plenty of cultural activity, art classes, groups, things to do.
Local Spanish community willing to mix with ex-pat Brits
Within reasonable reach of an airport
Winters that aren't too cold
Good local shops and, e.g., a market (ie, not wholly reliant on a supermarket for expats in a complex)
Reasonably competent regional authority
Good restaurants, possibly a "foodie" culture
Schools are irrelevant and we are learning Spanish. Our leaning was towards somewhere around Barcelona but Mr Meetloaf has since discovered how low the temps can drop in winter in that area. I'm not so convinced that being by the sea is a necessity, so as I say - the end result will be down to prioritising.

What I'm asking is whether anyone recognises elements of that list in the place where they are (happily) settled. It might only be one element, e.g., in the mountains. However, this would be very helpful as we plan our route. Any help appreciated.
We too spent some time touring from Denia to Marbella after being advised that winter weather is warmest in that area of Spain. My advice is to experience a winter here before making any decision on location.

I can recommend camping El Quinto in Mojacar, Almeria as a stopover on your tour. You will also find many of the elements on your wish list in this area.

Good Luck
 

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Myself and the soon-to-be Mr Meetloaf will be arriving in Spain early July for an extended tour in a motorhome to find the right place in which to settle. We have a wish list for that venue, although of course we're realistic enough to know that we won't find everything in one place. Our wish list would be as follows:

Our village is great. t is quite small near to Ecija which used to be the capital of Andalucia

In sight of or in mountains - No mountains but plenty in a short drive
Near or within easy reach of the sea - An hour to the beach
Near a river - River runs through our village and it is always full of water
Plenty of cultural activity, art classes, groups, things to do. - Our village organises pottery, sewing cooking classes etc which are normally free.
Local Spanish community willing to mix with ex-pat Brits - The spanish mix with the expats and involve us in everything. I belong to the womens association which organise trips courses etc.
Within reasonable reach of an airport - 1 hour to malaga airport 50 minutes to Sevilla airport
Winters that aren't too cold - It does get chilly, but unless you go to the Canaries, mainland spain does get chilly.
Good local shops and, e.g., a market (ie, not wholly reliant on a supermarket for expats in a complex) - Our local shop sells everything, most of the fruit, veg and eggs come directly from the village farmers
Reasonably competent regional authority - Seems ok to us we have lived here 8 years with no problems
Good restaurants, possibly a "foodie" culture - Local bars sell food, but lots of restaurants in a short drive

Schools are irrelevant and we are learning Spanish. Our leaning was towards somewhere around Barcelona but Mr Meetloaf has since discovered how low the temps can drop in winter in that area. I'm not so convinced that being by the sea is a necessity, so as I say - the end result will be down to prioritising.

What I'm asking is whether anyone recognises elements of that list in the place where they are (happily) settled. It might only be one element, e.g., in the mountains. However, this would be very helpful as we plan our route. Any help appreciated.
If you need to work it can be very hard to manage Inland as most of the work is on the coast, saying that we work more hours here than we did in the UK!!
 

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Hi

We live near L'Ametlla de Mar, Catalunya which is about 50 km south of Tarragona.

Certainly, the winters here are colder than we expected. The wind seems to make it feel colder than the UK. You certainly need central heating for at least a couple of months.

The area where we live is known as being windy - OK so the wind turbines nearby should have given us a clue.

As the locals prefer to speak Catalan, being able to speak Spanish is not such an asset - although better than nothing.

Best of luck
Jennifer
 

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Wish list

Hi,

Where I live you could tick all on your wish list, well almost, unlikely as the media and popular belief would have it, I live inland a tad from the Costa del sol. We bought our house 8 years ago this month in readiness for our retirement, my husband retired in July last year and we moved here full time on 28th October last year. We have had 4 wet day since then and enjoyed our first bar b q of this year on Monday though we could have had loads as the weather has been absolutely fab.

I look out of our window and see the Sierra Mijas mountains, they change every minute and we never tire of watching that. We are 30 minutes, (ten as the crow flies) from the coast so in the event we ever feel homesick or missing a full English, we get in the car and go down there. It has to be said we have not suffered those feelings much as yet however quite often on a Sunday we take ourselves down to the coast, there are some fab eateries, (Spanish not English, we very very seldomly do English though the odd bacon butty goes down well now and again).

Our town, Alhaurin el grande, is very Spanish, that's not to say it is to the exclusion of any Brits however you will need to speak Spanish, or make an attempt to, the old town is lovely and Juan Sanchez's bar serves the best tapas in the world as far as I am concerned. There are a conglomerate of shops including a couple of supermarkets, all Spanish.

We do have several rivers here about however not much water in them I'm afraid.

Malaga airport is an easy 30 minutes away. Fab road into Ojen, Marbella and Malaga.

Were we live there are a large English population it has to be said but also there are Spanish, Swiss, Portugese, Dutch and my neighbours are from Norway.

As there is a large xpat population on and around the coast, (because this area has everything), there are clubs and associations for everything and everybody.

I must add here that we had never been to Spain for our holidays so it is not that we had a wish to come here because we were familiar with it, in actual fact, our love affair of this place only started when we used our home for holidays prior to retiring, it has grown and is still growing since then. When we go into town now we always see someone we know which in very comforting when away from family and old, long term friends, we count how many Spanish and how many English whom we know, on Monday when we were in town we met 3 Spanish and 2 English, I liked that, we felt right at home when one Spanish friend drove past and called out our names.

Good luck but don't forget to do plenty of research before commiting, to anywhere. Our story thus far and it is relatively early days, has been extremely successful however I have heard stories to the contrary.

Margaret

Myself and the soon-to-be Mr Meetloaf will be arriving in Spain early July for an extended tour in a motorhome to find the right place in which to settle. We have a wish list for that venue, although of course we're realistic enough to know that we won't find everything in one place. Our wish list would be as follows:

In sight of or in mountains
Near or within easy reach of the sea
Near a river
Plenty of cultural activity, art classes, groups, things to do.
Local Spanish community willing to mix with ex-pat Brits
Within reasonable reach of an airport
Winters that aren't too cold
Good local shops and, e.g., a market (ie, not wholly reliant on a supermarket for expats in a complex)
Reasonably competent regional authority
Good restaurants, possibly a "foodie" culture

Schools are irrelevant and we are learning Spanish. Our leaning was towards somewhere around Barcelona but Mr Meetloaf has since discovered how low the temps can drop in winter in that area. I'm not so convinced that being by the sea is a necessity, so as I say - the end result will be down to prioritising.

What I'm asking is whether anyone recognises elements of that list in the place where they are (happily) settled. It might only be one element, e.g., in the mountains. However, this would be very helpful as we plan our route. Any help appreciated.
 

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Myself and the soon-to-be Mr Meetloaf will be arriving in Spain early July for an extended tour in a motorhome to find the right place in which to settle. We have a wish list for that venue, although of course we're realistic enough to know that we won't find everything in one place. Our wish list would be as follows:

In sight of or in mountains
Near or within easy reach of the sea
Near a river
Plenty of cultural activity, art classes, groups, things to do.
Local Spanish community willing to mix with ex-pat Brits
Within reasonable reach of an airport
Winters that aren't too cold
Good local shops and, e.g., a market (ie, not wholly reliant on a supermarket for expats in a complex)
Reasonably competent regional authority
Good restaurants, possibly a "foodie" culture

Schools are irrelevant and we are learning Spanish. Our leaning was towards somewhere around Barcelona but Mr Meetloaf has since discovered how low the temps can drop in winter in that area. I'm not so convinced that being by the sea is a necessity, so as I say - the end result will be down to prioritising.

What I'm asking is whether anyone recognises elements of that list in the place where they are (happily) settled. It might only be one element, e.g., in the mountains. However, this would be very helpful as we plan our route. Any help appreciated.
Hi, Myself, wife and 8 yr old have lived in Granada district for the past three years, 25 minutes from the coast in the mountains inland from Salobrena, a village called Guajar Alto, quiet but beautiful, search Google.
30 mins to Motril, 40 Mins Granada city, 90 mins Malaga. I would recommend a visit. Best of luck in your travels.
 

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stevinspain

Myself and the soon-to-be Mr Meetloaf will be arriving in Spain early July for an extended tour in a motorhome to find the right place in which to settle. We have a wish list for that venue, although of course we're realistic enough to know that we won't find everything in one place. Our wish list would be as follows:

In sight of or in mountains
Near or within easy reach of the sea
Near a river
Plenty of cultural activity, art classes, groups, things to do.
Local Spanish community willing to mix with ex-pat Brits
Within reasonable reach of an airport
Winters that aren't too cold
Good local shops and, e.g., a market (ie, not wholly reliant on a supermarket for expats in a complex)
Reasonably competent regional authority
Good restaurants, possibly a "foodie" culture

Schools are irrelevant and we are learning Spanish. Our leaning was towards somewhere around Barcelona but Mr Meetloaf has since discovered how low the temps can drop in winter in that area. I'm not so convinced that being by the sea is a necessity, so as I say - the end result will be down to prioritising.

What I'm asking is whether anyone recognises elements of that list in the place where they are (happily) settled. It might only be one element, e.g., in the mountains. However, this would be very helpful as we plan our route. Any help appreciated.
Hi there. We have lived in Denia on the Costa Blanca for 9 years. It is a 95% Spanish town with some other nationalities including UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium etc. But not so many. We have almost all of the requirements you list. There are mountains behind us, and the sea and beach in front. We are NOT a tourist destination apart from mostly spanish visitors from Madrid/Barcelona etc. in the summer. Culture is high on our list with all sorts of classes available. Our local spanish people are a delight, and both Alicante and Valencia airports are each 1 hour away. Winters are fairly mild and most acceptable. Shops and markets are plentiful and diverse. Local government is excellent so the town is clean and bright all year round. Restaurants are varied and represent all cultures from Japanese to Yugoslavian and everything in-between. Our missing item is the river, but there are a number within a 20 minute drive.
 

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I'm astonished that no-one has mentioned the Serranía de Ronda, the mountainous area around Ronda in Málaga province.

I would say it meets all of your criteria.

I've been coming to the area for a dozen years and finally settled here just over three years ago.

Definitely worth a visit, as is neighbouring Cádiz province (to the west).

Good luck!
 

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We too spent some time touring from Denia to Marbella after being advised that winter weather is warmest in that area of Spain. My advice is to experience a winter here before making any decision on location.

I can recommend camping El Quinto in Mojacar, Almeria as a stopover on your tour. You will also find many of the elements on your wish list in this area.

Good Luck
I really do agree! everything on the list sees to be in that area. In fact I'm moving down there myself.

Downside is over an hour to the airports.
 
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