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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - Can anyone advise please? We are currently living on the Silver Coast, Portugal but are having doubts about it. We are 54/60 and have taken early retirement. Would like somewhere where:


* there's a vibrant expat scene
* there's plenty of activities/things going on
* a village or small town that is quiet, but with life
* interesting scenery/surroundings, not spoilt
* friendly locals
* cost of living/accommo (rental) not too expensive
* preferably where some people speak English
* where there are good health facilities (I have Diabetes)


Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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Spain is such a big place - you could find those facilities and more anywhere. What you need to do is drive down and have a good look around. Marbella area is expensive as is Barcelona, but apart from that ........

Jo xxxx
 

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Hi - Can anyone advise please? We are currently living on the Silver Coast, Portugal but are having doubts about it. We are 54/60 and have taken early retirement. Would like somewhere where:


* there's a vibrant expat scene
* there's plenty of activities/things going on
* a village or small town that is quiet, but with life
* interesting scenery/surroundings, not spoilt
* friendly locals
* cost of living/accommo (rental) not too expensive
* preferably where some people speak English
* where there are good health facilities (I have Diabetes)


Thanks for any suggestions.
There are several threads about this already so you could search the forum to find those. Other than that it would be useful to know why you think the Silver coast is not for you and why you've decided to leave the UK.
Having said that most people are going to reply along the lines of Jojo. Spain is enormous, more than 5 times the size of Portugal, and varied. The only way to make any headway is to see things yourself.
If you have a city in mind, also search that on the forum too
 

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]Hi Beverley,

why you are having doubts about the Silver Coast? Excuse me that I am asking for, but I am just curious - no other intentions!



Hi Antonio - Como estas? ...Why I am having doubts about the Silver Coast...That's a difficult one to put into words as it is a bit of this and a bit of that over a few months that eventually makes you decide that the no's outweigh the yeses' at the end of the day. O.K. here goes...the pros first: lovely, lovely people, the weather, the cons: the scenery, (I wouldn't mind if I never saw a eucalyptus or pine tree again), the food both in supermarkets and restaurants is uninspiring, the inefficiency, (was told to come back tomorrow for both prescription, and medication after repeated trips to both recently), the general greyness one senses in both the lifestyle and towns and villages, the lack of shops/poor quality of clothes. That said there's a sizeable expat community who are very happy here.
 

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]Hi Beverley,

why you are having doubts about the Silver Coast? Excuse me that I am asking for, but I am just curious - no other intentions!



Hi Antonio - Como estas? ...Why I am having doubts about the Silver Coast...That's a difficult one to put into words as it is a bit of this and a bit of that over a few months that eventually makes you decide that the no's outweigh the yeses' at the end of the day. O.K. here goes...the pros first: lovely, lovely people, the weather, the cons: the scenery, (I wouldn't mind if I never saw a eucalyptus or pine tree again), the food both in supermarkets and restaurants is uninspiring, the inefficiency, (was told to come back tomorrow for both prescription, and medication after repeated trips to both recently), the general greyness one senses in both the lifestyle and towns and villages, the lack of shops/poor quality of clothes. That said there's a sizeable expat community who are very happy here.
Seems that Antonio has left us, but I did ask you the same question anyway...
I'd say there are quite a few Pine and Eucalyptus trees on the Spanish coast too, so be prepared!
I wouldn't say the food was uninspiring though, especially if you can shop in a non expat area where you'll get less baked beans and HP sauce and more Spanish produce.
Inefficiency - a fair amount, but Spanish systems can be surprisingly efficient as well. You just never know until you go!!
Medication - I have a friend who is diabetic and I think he's very pleased with his treatment.
When I went on holiday to Portugal I was struck by how different it was to Spain. Much quieter, poorer, meal times much more in line with other European countries and yes, I remember having the same meal (which was very good) in every town we went to!!
Spain is different (as they used to say in Spanish tourism ads)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Seems that Antonio has left us, but I did ask you the same question anyway...
I'd say there are quite a few Pine and Eucalyptus trees on the Spanish coast too, so be prepared!
I wouldn't say the food was uninspiring though, especially if you can shop in a non expat area where you'll get less baked beans and HP sauce and more Spanish produce.
Inefficiency - a fair amount, but Spanish systems can be surprisingly efficient as well. You just never know until you go!!
Medication - I have a friend who is diabetic and I think he's very pleased with his treatment.
When I went on holiday to Portugal I was struck by how different it was to Spain. Much quieter, poorer, meal times much more in line with other European countries and yes, I remember having the same meal (which was very good) in every town we went to!!
Spain is different (as they used to say in Spanish tourism ads)
Pesky - many thanks for the info. So sorry I didn't reply before. Have got a few threads going on different sites. So you think Spain would be more to our liking then, more vibrant, fun? It would be nice to find some work actually, I'm a writer/copywriter, my husband was in Customer Service but otherwise voluntary work of some kind. Where can we find up-to-date info on the Costa Del Sol would you know? Had difficult finding comprehensive, up-to-date info.
 

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Pesky - many thanks for the info. So sorry I didn't reply before. Have got a few threads going on different sites. So you think Spain would be more to our liking then, more vibrant, fun? It would be nice to find some work actually, I'm a writer/copywriter, my husband was in Customer Service but otherwise voluntary work of some kind. Where can we find up-to-date info on the Costa Del Sol would you know? Had difficult finding comprehensive, up-to-date info.

Here are some links to newspapers from the CDS. I thought they might give you a feel for the place. Quite honestly, I'm probably the least qualified to be giving you answers cos I live near Madrid and don't go down that way very often, so I'm going to shut up and see if anybody else from that area will fill in the gaps.
Have you asked the same question on other forums? If so, I'd be interested in what other peoples' opinions are, so if you have time you could post smth on here??
Thanks, and good luck!
Leader Newspaper - News, Sport, Advertising, Property, Classifieds - Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Costa Calida, Costa de Almeria, Spain

http://www.euroweeklynews.com/virtual-newspaper/costa-del-sol/


News, Costa del Sol, Spain, Town Crier Newspaper, News, Costa del Sol, Spain
 

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I live in the costa del sol - well a couple of KMs inland, but I really dont know what to say about it lol!!! I love it. The costas themselves are very touristy, but fun, I wouldnt want to live there, but I enjoy going down and being a tourist for an afternoon! Inland a bit IMO is better. There are some lovely towns and villages, some have lots of expats, others dont. I think I have the best of everything. I'm on the edge of a village close to a medium sized town which is mainly Spanish, we're close to the campo and its fairly rural where I live - lots of views and space.

My advice, as usual is you have to come and take a look. We all have different opinions, views and likes!

I'm not sure theres much work about tho, but there are loads of areas that would "tick your boxes" !!


Jo xxx
 

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What type of info do you need? PW has given you some great resourse but there is NOTHING like getting across and smelling the coffee. The CdS is a huge coastline (London to Yorkshire) and I would have thought had something for most people. The bright lights of Marbella and Puerto Banús, the tacky gay bars of Torremolinos, package tourism in Benalmádena, La Liga, Picasso and bull-fights in Málaga quiet coves, sand dunes, Tivoli and safari parks or the understated elegance of places like Cásares. You want it, the Costa del Sol has probably got it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What type of info do you need? PW has given you some great resourse but there is NOTHING like getting across and smelling the coffee. The CdS is a huge coastline (London to Yorkshire) and I would have thought had something for most people. The bright lights of Marbella and Puerto Banús, the tacky gay bars of Torremolinos, package tourism in Benalmádena, La Liga, Picasso and bull-fights in Málaga quiet coves, sand dunes, Tivoli and safari parks or the understated elegance of places like Cásares. You want it, the Costa del Sol has probably got it.
Thanks Guys and Gals - this is all very encouraging and interesting. It is easy to be put off of the Costas for the obvious reasons, but as Jojo points out if one lives a little inland one can experience a bit of the real Spain and a bit of peace and quiet whilst at the same time dipping into the fun as and when one wishes. What about the weather...does it get REALLY hot or just HOT! Also we are looking to rent a house whilst we make up our minds/smell the coffee at around 400 per month starting from November. Is this about the right price? Many many thanks.
 

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Thanks Guys and Gals - this is all very encouraging and interesting. It is easy to be put off of the Costas for the obvious reasons, but as Jojo points out if one lives a little inland one can experience a bit of the real Spain and a bit of peace and quiet whilst at the same time dipping into the fun as and when one wishes. What about the weather...does it get REALLY hot or just HOT! Also we are looking to rent a house whilst we make up our minds/smell the coffee at around 400 per month starting from November. Is this about the right price? Many many thanks.
The actual coast isn't uniform from say Malaga to Estepona -there are tacky, touristy places that are cheap e.g. Mijas and tacky touristy places that are expensive e.g. Marbella. There are also stretches of unspoilt quiet beaches which cannot be easily accessed by road. Some inland places aren't particularly 'Spanish' - as Jo will tell you, Alhaurin el Grande has a large British population.
Around our area you would not get a house for 400 euros pcm, in fact I doubt if you would find a two-bedroomed piso in a 'good' urbanizacion for less than 600 euros pcm.
A detached villa/house with pool would set you back at least 1200 euros upwards, I'd say.
We live in a middle-class Spanish residential street, very quiet but only a short walk to an unspoilt beach. This whole area is very tranquil, no bars or night-life but you have Marbella for glitz and Estepona for a quieter, more Spanish experience..
Last summer it was hot...really hot. We spent almost every day for months just lying by and swimming in the pool and only ventured out after sunset. (Rather like a pair of vampire bats:D) I think the temperatures must have been in the mid-forties at least. Whatever, it was too hot to do anything that required a lot of physical effort.
My ideal home here would be an isolated vine-clad finca with unspoilt views of orange, lemon and fig groves, a stream flowing, views of the mountains and the sea, total tranquility.......but then I also want satellite tv, internet, good shops of all kinds, a vet and health facilities.
I don't think it's easy to combine all these requirements!
 

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you need to come over and have a look!!! It is very hot in the summer months - it was 50c around our pool in the heat of last summer, even the pool was 35c and like a bath! Oh how I could do with some of that now, altho its sunny today, its still a bit nippy - only 15c!!! The nights are cold in the winter!

As Mary says, with the costa del sol, the rule of thumb is Marbella is expensive and the further east you go the cheaper it gets !!! Inland there are some "British towns" Alhaurin El Grande is very British - has a chippy, a british newsagents, british bars etc - nice to go to if you miss a bit of your mother tongue. Alhaurin de la Torre, is bigger and much more Spanish - in fact a bit on the cosmopolitan side. Shops and Bars of all nationalities, but mainly Spanish live there. 20 minutes from Malaga irport which is a bonus if you need to travel or have visitors

Have a look on "google earth" at these places to get a feel for them and where they are

Jo xxx
 

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Won't be long now before we're having a dip in the pool under the stars, Jo!
It's what keeps us going on chilly days like today.
Weather should be better next month, we'll come over to A de la T and take you out for lunch in return for a guided tour.
 

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The actual coast isn't uniform from say Malaga to Estepona -there are tacky, touristy places that are cheap e.g. Mijas and tacky touristy places that are expensive e.g. Marbella.

I don't consider Mijas to be cheap, or tacky. And its not ALL about tourists either. Its a big area as well as a pueblo, and caters for all tastes. I wouldn't dream of making sweeping derogatory statements about a place I don't live in.
 

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The actual coast isn't uniform from say Malaga to Estepona -there are tacky, touristy places that are cheap e.g. Mijas and tacky touristy places that are expensive e.g. Marbella.

I don't consider Mijas to be cheap, or tacky. And its not ALL about tourists either. Its a big area as well as a pueblo, and caters for all tastes. I wouldn't dream of making sweeping derogatory statements about a place I don't live in.
Apologies if you are offended ...but the parts I have seen were imo not nice, especially at night and in summer.. Just like parts of Marbella are definitely unattractive. Funnily enough, I was going to ask if there were more to places like Mijas, Torrevieja, Torremolinas and so on than the not very attractive touristy bits that I have seen.. When people talk about visiting London or any large touristy city they do not normally visit the posher suburbs. They take their view from the centre.
I have a friend who lives in Benalmadena which also has parts I wouldn't spend much time in. He too was offended when I asked why he had chosen to live there. But when I visited I found that where he lives is quiet and not at all like the small downtown touristy area. But that small area is the part that gives Benalmadena its image.
Fact is that places like Mijas, Benalmadena, some places on the Costa Blanca are routinely referred to on tv /radio as the 'cheaper' holiday resorts. It was stated in an earlier post that it gets cheaper the further east you go. That's a generalisation accepted as fact. Tackiness: well, it's in the eye of the beholder and has nothing to do with cost. I'm sure that there are very attractive, expensive parts of all these towns but they do not get highlighted.
Marbella is also referred to as tacky, tawdry, full of wealthy posers and not-so-wealthy wannabes.
I think that's a fairly accurate picture, to be honest, and I don't get hot under the collar when I hear it described in those terms. Our perceptions are of necessity based on subjective experience. I think of Venice as a place of many thieves as I had my bag stolen there and the police station was full of robbed tourists.. Unfair, I know, but that was the experience that coloured that and my subsequent visits.
I lived for years in the UK in a town that was described in very derogatory terms by many who didn't live in it and many who did. I agreed with the criticisms as I personally agreed that it was a dump. The day I left it was the happiest of my life.
 

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. I wouldn't dream of making sweeping derogatory statements about a place I don't live in.[/COLOR]
Thinking about it, if that were true , there'd be no holiday reviews, no sites like TripAdvisor etc.
I've visited or spent time in lots of places I've really loved....and then there are the places that I absolutely hated.
For example: having spent time in many British seaside resorts for Conferences etc. I have incubated intense dislikes for many of them.
If I offend any erstwhile residents or natives of Blackpool, Eastbourne, Scarborough or Llandudno...sorry but I wouldn't go back to them if you paid me.
Whereas the good folks of Swanage, Glasgow, Brighton, Dorchester - anywhere in Wessex -can feel a warm glow since I find their home towns delightful and would gladly visit time and time again.
But frankly, my opinion is just that.....one of very many for and against any place in the world you'd care to name. I'm sure the residents of Blackpool won't be losing any sleep or sending out a lynch party..:)
If they do, they'll have to look for me in tacky, tawdry Marbella:D
 

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No worries! I couldn't be offended so easily! The fact is, I'm very content with life as I find it here in my little part of Mijas. I have just had a lovely walk across the campo with my dog, looking at all the beautiful spring flowers down by the stream. I don't know why you think Mijas is a concrete jungle at all??? Do you think you mean Fuengirola? I quite enjoy a wander down the paseo sometimes, in the 'concrete jungle' that is Fuengirola.
I guess I don't judge places so strongly on brief visits.
 

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No worries! I couldn't be offended so easily! The fact is, I'm very content with life as I find it here in my little part of Mijas. I have just had a lovely walk across the campo with my dog, looking at all the beautiful spring flowers down by the stream. I don't know why you think Mijas is a concrete jungle at all??? Do you think you mean Fuengirola? I quite enjoy a wander down the paseo sometimes, in the 'concrete jungle' that is Fuengirola.
I guess I don't judge places so strongly on brief visits.
I've been several times but I think you are quite right, I've seen only a small part and that I didn't like. The part between the A7 and the sea? Is that Fuengirola? And yes, I tend to take instant likes or dislikes to places and remain confirmed in my probably unfair first impressions. Guilty as charged.;)
Now walking your dog........I am jealous as there isn't a great choice of dogwalking places here - in fact, there are really only three or four and they are not all accessible year round.
I just don't like noisy crowded places as my preferred pastimes are walking the dog in rural surroundings , reading and talking/eating with friends. I'm probably quite a grumpy old sod really.
I don't think where we live is that attractive in scenic terms but it's so quiet....apart from barking dogs (not ours, he's the strong silent type) and the camion de basuras which for some reason comes between midnight and 01.00.
 

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I've been several times but I think you are quite right, I've seen only a small part and that I didn't like. The part between the A7 and the sea? Is that Fuengirola? And yes, I tend to take instant likes or dislikes to places and remain confirmed in my probably unfair first impressions. Guilty as charged.;)
Now walking your dog........I am jealous as there isn't a great choice of dogwalking places here - in fact, there are really only three or four and they are not all accessible year round.
I just don't like noisy crowded places as my preferred pastimes are walking the dog in rural surroundings , reading and talking/eating with friends. I'm probably quite a grumpy old sod really.
I don't think where we live is that attractive in scenic terms but it's so quiet....apart from barking dogs (not ours, he's the strong silent type) and the camion de basuras which for some reason comes between midnight and 01.00.
Sounds like you have been to Mijas Costa then. As I said before, Mijas covers quite a large area, and the coastal part going up towards Marbella is indeed built up and busy in the summer. Not my cup of tea either, but it suits some people who like the buzz. I am based on the way up to the pueblo, and have some lovely campo to explore with the dog. There are views both up the mountain and out to sea over Fuengirola. The A7/N340 does not have a particularly nice aspect anywhere along the coast. It's only when you get off the main arteries and drive off a bit that the countryside opens up.
 

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. It's only when you get off the main arteries and drive off a bit that the countryside opens up.
Yes, it was Mijas Costa. Not my taste. But lots of people like it:) Sobre las gustas....
We've decided we need to get about a bit more before it gets too hot. We've really only seen the 'obvious' places from here to Malaga.
Attractive places to walk with a dog are our number one priority.
 
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