How to settle in Spain

How to settle in Spain Thinking of joining one of the 300,000 Brits living, working, studying or retiring in Spain? Here are some useful tips on how to settle in and make the transition easier.
Maybe you are looking thinking of retiring in a sunny climate, or maybe you are able to work remotely, or you are an offshore worker looking for a great place to spend your time onshore, Spain is a great option; far distant enough to feel like you're somewhere else yet close enough to be back in blighty in a couple of hours.  Most of Spain has a warm sunny climate, but here in Javea we have one of the best climates in the world.  If you are thinking of making the move, here are some tips to make it just a little easier...

The Rain in Spain...

..does not fall mainly on the plains.  In fact the mountainous regions of the North see the majority of the rainfall in Spain, which is why most of the beef comes from that region -  lots of lush green grass for the cows to eat.  Here on the Costa Blanca we enjoy, on average, 320 days of sunshine per year.

1, 2 or 3?

Europeans greet each other with a kiss, the number varies country by country but in Spain it's two, one on each cheek.  Don't worry guys, the men usually just use the traditional handshake.  If you're not sure, go with the flow - it is Spain after all.

Fancy a drink?

Watering holes are easy to find in Spain, there is one bar for every 128 people, so finding a local drinking spot should no problem wherever you are. Quite a few supermarkets have a (quite well stocked) bar attached, as do some petrol stations.  Make sure you have a designated driver!

Driving Force

Javea is a great place to spend your time, lots to do year round.  It's also a good place to use as a base to explore the rest of the country.  The easiest way is by car, public transport outside of major cities is a bit lacklustre.  The Spanish are more likely to obey the rules of the road than those from other European countries but be careful on the roundabouts, no-one knows how they work here!

The Lingo

There are several regional dialects in Spain but the national language is Castellano.  Here in Javea, we are part of the Valencian community, which means some of th locals speak Valanciano in addition to the national language.  In Javea, lots of the locals speak English too (they want to practise usually).  Long term learning the language would be a massive help if you intend to live here permanently, but you can get by quite easily in the early days.  There are lots of options with regard to Spanish classes and they are also a good way to make new friends in the area.

Banks in Spain

If you are living here long term, you will need a bank account with a Spanish bank to be able to pay bills and so on.  We covered this here.

Take a break...

... in August, most of Spain and indeed Europe shuts down for the whole month and goes to the beach.  Lots of businesses close at this time meaning it's tricky to get any paperwork done, so why not join them at the beach?

Posted on Wednesday 28 December 2016

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