When it comes to quality of life, southern Spain tops the charts in just about every category that relates to health, gastronomy, comfort and happiness with its endless sunshine, over 320 days per year! It’s no wonder Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world.
Living in Spain is a dream for many. If you visit inland Costa del Sol, up in the mountains, you will discover the authentic Spanish whitewashed villages with charming cobblestoned narrow streets, lovely shady squares with flamenco music playing in the background, and a great choice of local cafes and fabulous restaurants.
More and more foreigners seem to be moving to inland Costa del Sol. Although many people like the fabulous beaches and nightlife that the coast has to offer, if you move slightly more inland, up into the hills, you get to discovery and enjoy the real Spain, you will seek a way of life that seems almost untouched by tourism, it’s like taking a step back in time.
The valleys scenery is spectacular in all directions. As roads wind their way up the mountains, the views get better and better. The Guadalhorce Valley includes 8 municipalities; Alhaurin de la Torre, Alhaurin el Grande, Almogía, Álora, Cártama, Coín, Pizarra and Valle del Abdalajís. All are within a 30/40 minute drive from the coast, so really not far at all and the road infrastructure is very good making a journey by car a relaxing and enjoyable experience. If you want to be a little bit more adventurous you can branch off from the main road and take any of the many dirt tracks and you will quickly come across herds of goats and sheep and often mules ploughing between the olive trees.
The lifestyle that this part of Spain will offer you is incredibly rewarding in so many ways.
For one, the opportunity to get to know and live within an entirely different culture is something most people never get to experience.
You can spend a lifetime exploring this natural habitat either on foot, bicycle or horseback.
You will be amazed by the quality of life and how cheap it is to live well in this part of Spain.
Water costs are very low, particularly in the inland areas. Homeowners pay a municipal tax that is a fraction of the rate that you would pay in other European countries. Other expenses such as home and car insurance are also much lower.
Eating out is very reasonable.The average price for a full menu del dia (menu of the day), is between 8-10€ available in nearly all bars and restaurants.
In local bars, you pay no more than 1-1.50 € for a beer, glass of wine or a cup of coffee. And for groceries there is a wide choice of supermarkets. The local markets offer cheap fresh produce and a wide range of household necessities.
Another very important factor to take into consideration is the crime rate which is low in this part of Spain. When you compare the crime numbers to other countries, we are quite fortunate to have a lower crime problem.
Aside from the wonderful weather, there is also less pollution in this part of Spain. The major industries are mainly located in the north of the country. This part of Spain relies mainly on agriculture and tourism.
Life here in the mountains runs at a much slower pace. This is something that most foreigners would find strange at first, but this kind of lifestyle is certainly welcomed. This can have a huge impact on your health, as it can significantly reduce stress levels.
Spain prides itself as having a very diverse and rich culture. In these old towns and villages there are a lot of activities that not only serve as a form of entertainment, but also as a means of conserving old traditions and practices. Fiestas and festivals are the perfect example. Residents continue to practice old customs.
For years, the warmth of the people have made it a wonderful tourist attraction. The regions wonderful personality makes visitors feel immediately at home, integrating them into their culture. This joy permeates in the streets, especially in summer and that energy can be contagious. A typical Andalusian is a helpful person, willing to help others, especially visitors, making southern Spain a favourite destination for foreign visitors for years.
Andalucía is the best place in the world for the good life according to The Telegraph and this is not the first time it’s been granted such a popular destination.
Another bonus for people living inland from the Costa del Sol are the seasons. In this part of Spain you can really appreciate the changes of vegetation and enjoy the four seasons of the year and what they have to offer.
Although the climate in Andalucia is characterised by hot and dry summers and mild winters, between seasons you can enjoy the changes in flora and fauna. You will see snow-covered mountain peaks in the winter and lush green pastures in the spring covered with almond blossom and bright yellow endless fields of sunflowers. Autumn brings a palette of dark ochre and green colours that paint the landscapes of Andalucia.
The Natural Park, ‘Sierra de las Nieves’, is one of those destinations worth discovering with its authentic white villages and its beautiful natural spaces. It is one of the areas of Malaga, as the name implies, where it can snow in winter.
The villages in the Sierra, with its highest peak Torrecilla of 1.919m, are surrounded by extensive fields of almond trees that are a delight when in pink blossom.
The Guadalhorce Valley, also known as the orchard of Málaga, is where you will find endless fields packed with fruit trees.
No wonder so many northern Europeans travel south in search of their Mediterranean dream home.
If you have not yet visited this part of Spain…what are you waiting for!?
Inland Costa del Sol is waiting for you!
This article was written by Kelly Summerelle of Mediterranean Homes a local family run business. We have worked with Kelly for many years.
If you are thinking of moving to the Malaga area, renting or purchasing a property,
Before I start, I need to be brutally honest with you.
I am not in the slightest bit interested in whether you voted to leave or to remain. I don’t care about the figures in the millions and billions being thrown around by opposing sides. Who knows what we should believe. Who we should believe. When the Brexit in Spain bombshell actually landed, I was on the point of saying that I didn’t care whether the UK was in the EU or not. But that would be taking it too far.
Of course, I care.
I care a lot.
But I’m a realist.
I grew up with the EU.
Who else remembers the “snake in the tunnel” explanation of the euro currency being explained in A level economics classes?
As an Erasmus student, I was fortunate to spend two years at university in France. What an experience! Without the Erasmus grant, this probably wouldn’t have been possible. (Please note that despite not earning over the required wage, post-graduation, I paid back every penny of my UK student loan!).
Since graduation, I have travelled and worked my way around most parts of Spain and the islands and many in France. My ability to work wherever I went meant my trips were self-funded. Europe has been my home and I never envisaged the day that it may not be for my children…
June 23rd 2016 I went to bed with a sinking feeling in my stomach.
The following morning I awoke into the land of the unknown. To face the aftermath of Brexit in Spain. In Limbo Land. Little could we have imagined that Limbo Land would be our home for the next three years …
And so to current day, January 31st 2020.
Whether you love him or loathe him, Boris did get Brexit done (actually, he’s so far only done a half job but we’ll look at that later). Finally, it was time to look forward. For the main part, the part that makes our family life in Spain and the lives of others looking to relocate to Spain, at least until the end of 2020, things are finally much clearer.
Call me selfish if you like, but my priorities lie with my family, friends and many acquaintances. I am speaking about those of us who have endeavoured to follow procedures and play by the rules for living in Spain. The many couples and families who we have helped make the move to Spain have also followed our lead and played by the rules. And thankfully we can all now breathe a huge sigh of relief.
I am not saying obstacles may not lie ahead. But life would be boring without a few challenges along the way, wouldn’t it 😉
How has Brexit in Spain affected our lives so far?
We have literally spent three years living in limbo. Carrying on with life as best we can (and I must admit we do that pretty well!) swimming amongst the tide of never-ending misinformation flying around all media channels both on and offline. Always with hope and belief that everything would work out in the end. Just not knowing when that end would come.
One of the worst experiences was the ever-growing divide of “Them and Us”.
But, who is Them and who is Us?
Are we talking Leavers vs Remainers?
Or maybe EU Residents vs Non-EU Residents?
Or Brits living in the UK vs Brits living abroad?
No matter where you looked, there were constant battles. Nastiness. Bitterness. Accusations. Personal battles amongst people who had considered themselves friends. Not to mention the scenes witnessed against non-British people in parts of the UK.
For a long time, I was embarrassed to think that I was British. Having lived in the EU for more than half my adult life, why was my passport now going to make me only British?
So, after long deliberation, I decided to take steps to help my children obtain a Spanish passport. After all, they were born in Spain. But as many of you will know, it isn’t that easy. But is it worth it? I don’t know! How can I know? I know the procedures, I know the rules but what I don’t know is if we should move forward or sit and wait.
So what will we do next?
We will do what we have always done. We’ll keep calm and carry on. We’ll keep updated and informed, to the best of our ability. We will be ready to take whatever action is required as soon as it is needed.
And, of course, we will keep you updated and informed about everything we learn, via our Facebook page.
Oh, and before I go, no matter what you voted, nor what you believe, I hope everything works out for you, your family and friends, wherever in the world you may be. Challenging times may lie ahead but we can all get through this together!
And then my friends, came the CORONAVIRUS … (to be continued!)
As I write this article, introducing you to Casa Global Gift, the world is in an unusual situation. Coronavirus pandemic is affecting people worldwide. How long it will last, nobody knows. Our lives are being lived from day to day, awaiting further instructions and guidance from the powers that be.
Here in Spain, we have been in self-isolation, housebound for five days so far. We were initially told it would be for 2 weeks, we now expect it to be for longer, a minimum of 4 weeks. We cannot focus on that though, we need to focus on how to better a difficult situation.
This may not be the ideal time to share this post about Casa Global Gift with you but I hope it makes you stop and think for a while.
We have so much to be grateful for. Let us look at what we can for others. Not only now, when we may have more time to do so, but also once life returns to as it was before…
The children and families that this charity is providing for, have a lifetime of worries and concerns. Sadly, for most of them, their lives will never be “normal”. They don’t have a 2 or 4-week window to survive. They have a lifetime. And every little effort to make this easier for them is very welcomed.
What is the Global Gift Foundation?
The Global Gift Foundation is an international non-profit organization, based in Marbella, Spain, created in June 2013 by Spanish entrepreneur and philanthropist Maria Bravo.
Declared of public interest, it was duly registered in the National Register of Foundations of the Ministry of Health, Equality and Social Policy, with the number 29-0090.
To create a positive impact on the lives of children, women and families in need.
Empowering women and changing social mindsets and roles.
Promote and educate about the educational and social inclusion of children with special needs.
What is Casa Global Gift?
Casa Global Gift, located in Marbella, is one of the main projects of the Global Gift Foundation. Its objective is to provide state-of-the-art therapies and treatments to children with special needs and/ or rare diseases in a warm space where children feel at home.
It is a space of social innovation, collaborative work and training where other charities and social entities will be based, benefiting from the synergistic effect that allows us to share more experiences, resources, activities, and be part of a great team that contributes towards progress in equal opportunities, creating a major impact on society.
Their mission is to improve the quality of life of the children and their families, through therapeutic, pedagogical and leisure programs, to promote their development, independence and social inclusion.
Casa Global Gift will offer the most innovative therapies and rehabilitation machinery, as well as workshops and leisure programs designed to promote social inclusion.
It will also be the only centre in Spain with a copper-coated unit specially designed to treat children with Cystic Fibrosis.
Thanks to the enormous effort of generous donors, sponsors, collaborators and the entire Global Gift Foundation team, they are now close to the opening of this wonderful house where hundreds of children and their families can receive workshops and therapies.
Padel court in need of refurbishment
Swimming pool with access for reduced mobility
Office space for charities
Garden area for growing fruit and vegetables
How can YOU be part of the Casa Global Gift project?
You can make a difference and contribute to this fabulous project by donating your time and skills through volunteer programs. Now that many of us have more time on our hands, why not think of ideas of events you can organise when we return to normality? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below and we will pass them on for you.
If you cannot donate your time then you can help by contributing through financial support offering the amount that best suits your monthly possibilities.
This will be paradise for many children & families!
What are WE doing to support this project?
All proceeds from the sale of our book, Moving to Spain with Children, are being donated to this beautiful project. We are also offering consultations for monetary donations to Casa Global Gift.
We are also offering a 50% discount on our downloadable ENGLISH & SPANISH language learning materials on Cooking with Languages. All monies raised using the DISCOUNT code “CASAGLOBALGIFT” at checkout will be donated to them