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How to decide where to live in Spain

So you want to move to Spain, but where in Spain should you live? Spain is a big country, around 2.1 times bigger than the United Kingdom, so there are a lot of places to choose from.

The different areas of Spain vary wildly when it comes to the weather, the terrain, customs, food, and even the language.

We were very lucky that we new exactly where in Spain we wanted to move to as we’d been coming to a family holiday home on the Costa Blanca for over 10 years before we made the move.

If you don’t know Spain that well yet, you’ll need to do a lot of research before you make a decision. It’s really important to think about what you as a family want from a new home town. Start with a list of priorities and use this to find a place that matches your requirements.

Here are some things to consider to help you decide where to live in Spain…

The climate

One of the main reasons that most people want to move to Spain is for the weather. Who doesn’t want sun all year round?

The Spanish climate varies massively across the country so it’s important to know the average temperatures in the area you’ve chosen to live.

The weather on the Costas (Costa Blanca, Costa Calida, Costa del Sol) is pretty good all year round. Even in the coldest months you can expect the lowest temperatures to be around 14 degrees during the day, with around 320 days of sunshine a year. So if you’re looking for somewhere sunny for the majority of the year then these areas might be for you. However, in July and August temperatures regularly get up to 40 degrees or more which can be too hot for some people to cope with.

If you’re looking for slightly cooler summers then the North of Spain might be a better option with temperatures in the mid 20s, but be warned the winters are cold and you can expect snow in some places.

Coast or inland

Do you dream of a property near the sea and regular visits to the beach? Or is your dream home in the campo (countryside) or near the mountains?

This will affect your decision a lot, and also the cost of properties. Houses near the coast are usually a lot more expensive than those further in land. You will also get a lot more space for your money if you choose a town or village in the countryside.

You will also usually find that villages inland are a lot more Spanish and less ‘expat’ than those near the beach.

It’s also important to consider your transport needs – you’re unlikely to find a regular bus service for example in the Spanish countryside!

Town or city

Another thing that will help you to start a shortlist of locations is to think about the type of town or city you want to live in. You might need to be in a busy city for work, in which case you will want to check out the four biggest Spanish cities – Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia (named the best city in Spain for expats), and Seville.

The cost of living in Spanish cities is obviously higher than the quieter towns and villages, so this might factor in your decisions.

If you want the best of both worlds, take a look on a map at some towns within commuting distance of a larger city. Look for urbanizaciónes which are basically residential areas.

Type of property

Thinking about the type of property you want to live in is also important and will have a bearing on the location you move to. Many towns will be made up mainly of apartments with villas found on the outskirts.

If you dream of having a lot of outside space with room for fruit trees and growing your own vegetables, you’re not likely to find this in Spanish towns.

New build villas being built in the more touristy areas tend to be very modern and not very Spanish in style, so you may want to look in typical Spanish villages if you are hoping for a more traditional property.

Expat areas

This is something that is a bit of a ‘Marmite’ situation! Some people don’t want to be near lots of other British Expats, they move to Spain to live in a Spanish village with Spanish people and really experience life in Spain.

On the other hand, some people moving to Spain will want to have fellow expats nearby and more of an English speaking community. It’s all down to personal preference.

If you are looking for an area with a lot of expats, you are likely to be looking at coastal towns in more touristy areas. The urbanizaciónes are often full of international residents and you will probably be surrounded by British, Dutch, and German neighbours rather than Spanish.

Plan some visits

Whilst people can give their recommendations of their favourite places in Spain, you really need to make a decision based on your own family preferences. The best way to do this is to narrow down some areas you’ve found through your research, and then visit.

Moving to another country is a huge step, and the dream can easily all fall apart if you pick the wrong location. Not to mention that having to find another property and school will be a real hassle!

Ready to book a trip to Spain?

If you’re ready to start booking your Spanish trip, these links may help…

Hopefully these points have given you some things to think about in your search for a new home in Spain. Do you have an idea of where you want to live in Spain? If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

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How to decide where to live in Spain | Our Spanish Adventures

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