The best birthdays in Spain as in any country are the ones that are memorable. You want to make sure that your loved one has a birthday they will never forget. There are many ways to do this in Spain, and we will focus on a few aspects you will have to consider to make it memorable for your loved one.
Try To Identify Their Favourite Spanish Activity Or Interest
If your loved one enjoys a certain activity, try to make their birthday revolve around that. For example, if they love Spanish food, then take them out for an authentic Spanish meal. Or if they love going to the beach, spend the day at one of Spain’s beautiful beaches. This will make the day more special for them if it is something they enjoy doing.
You could find some help by asking other people they’re close to for ideas.
You’ll have to actively listen to your loved ones throughout the year to understand what they like. That is why planning ahead is essential to make sure their birthday is extra special.
Do Multiple Things To Make Their Day Memorable
Doing one thing for their birthday is great, but if you want to make it even more special, try doing multiple things. This could include getting them a cake and presents, taking them out for lunch or dinner, and maybe even going out for drinks afterwards.
You could also get creative and do something unique that they will remember forever. For example, you could organise a treasure hunt around the city or write them a heartfelt letter expressing your love for them.
The sky is the limit when it comes to making someone’s birthday memorable. It just takes a little bit of creativity and planning on your part.
Getting Them The Ideal Present
A lot of the time, people think that the most important part of a birthday is getting the perfect present. While presents are great, they are not always necessary. What is more important is that you put thought into what you get them.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, but it should be something that they will appreciate and remember. For example, if they love reading, get them a book by their favourite author or if they love art, get them a painting from their favourite artist or of their favourite Spanish landscape.
The key is to get them something that shows you know them and care about them. This will make the day even more special for them.
If you’re out of ideas, doing research online can be a great help for some inspiration. For example, you can read blog posts like “The 33 Best Gifts For New Parents In 2022” or “How To Make A Birthday In Spain Extra Special”.
Don’t Forget The Cake
A birthday cake is a must when it comes to birthdays. It is a tradition that has been around for centuries and is still going strong today. There are many different cake recipes out there, so you can find one that your loved one will enjoy.
You could also get creative with the design of the cake. For example, you could make a Spanish flag cake or a castle cake if they love history. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making a birthday cake. You could find some inspiration by researching which cakes are popular in Spain.
The most important thing is that you enjoy making it and that your loved one enjoys eating it! Remember to sing them a happy birthday song. If you’re up for it, consider learning the happy birthday song in Spanish too!
Make A Birthday Video
One of the best ways to make a birthday special is to create a birthday video. This can be a montage of pictures and videos from throughout their life set to music, or it could be a funny video you made yourself.
Videos are a great way to capture memories, and they will be able to look back on them for years to come. If you’re not sure how to make one, there are plenty of tutorials online that can help you out.
Making a birthday video is a great way to show your loved ones how much you care about them, and it will make their day even more special.
Remember To Take Photos On The Day
Another way to make a birthday special is to take lots of photos on the day. This way, they will have memories to look back on for years to come. Make sure to get photos of every activity and location you visit on the day.
If you’re not sure how to take good photos, there are plenty of resources online that can help you out. You could even hire a professional photographer if you want to make sure the photos are perfect.
Taking photos is a great way to capture memories, and it will help your loved ones remember their birthday for years to come.
There are many ways to make a birthday special for your loved one. It just takes a little bit of creativity and planning on your part. The most important thing is that you enjoy making it and that your loved one enjoys their day.
If a relocation to Spain is on the cards for you, there will undoubtedly be many questions you will need to answer regarding the new change of lifestyle and the logistics of doing things you previously took for granted, such as shopping, commuting, and getting around your day-to-day life.
An important consideration is how you can still stay healthy while living in Spain. The Mediterranean diet is often classed as one of the best ways to eat and can help you get everything you need daily while still being delicious. Exercise, on the other hand, can be trickier. With over half of Spaniards surveyed saying they don’t participate in regular exercise, you can be forgiven for thinking there aren’t many options available. But this post looks at some ways you can stay fit in Spain.
You can find some outdoor gyms right in the middle of the city, and they offer a variety of different equipment. For example, if you want to do some weightlifting while you’re working out, there are outdoor gyms that will have free weights and machines available. There are also outdoor gyms that offer other classes besides just weightlifting like boxing or yoga.
Outdoor gyms in Spain are free to use; all you need is to get some suitable footwear, find appropriate sports t-shirts and loose-fitting bottoms, put on some sunscreen, and you’re good to go!
The top 10 lists of the most popular hikes across Spain will give you plenty of options. As well as some good old fashioned walking, hiking is an excellent way to burn calories and get your heart rate up. It also boosts your mood and has been known to help people with depression. You can do many different hikes in Spain, from coastal walks with gorgeous views over the mediterranean sea or inland high mountain routes for more experienced hikers.
Walks or Runs On The Beach
The beach is a great place to start your day. This can be especially true if you’re lucky enough to live near the beach. There are many benefits to starting your day with a walk on the beach. First, it’s a beautiful way to get fresh air and exercise in a scenic setting. The clear air will provide ample opportunities for deep breathing and reduce any stress you might have before starting the day. And, of course, there’s the added benefit of having an active ocean view as you stroll along with the waves crashing in front of you! You’ll also have the opportunity to see new things and meet new people.
Swimming is a great way to keep in shape while living in Spain. You can take advantage of the country’s many beaches and seaside towns and have a swim whenever it suits you. It has been said that this activity also helps with weight management while giving you a full-body workout.
If there is one thing they know how to do in Spain, it is dancing. There are so many different styles of dance you can learn in Spain. At one point, there were over 200 different styles of traditional Spanish dancing. These days, there are far fewer. However, dancing remains widespread, and you can find dance classes in any region of the country.Now sure what style to pick? Why not try a range of dances to what still you prefer before committing to any classes.
You can choose from: Flamenco, Fandango, Pasodoble, Bolero, Zambra, to name a few.
If you are looking to play a sport and join one of the country’s favourite pastimes, you need to enter a football club. Football is king in Spain, and they take their games seriously.
Over 29,000 football clubs are registered in Spain, and around 23 clubs are classed as professionals. You can find a team pretty much anywhere, or you can even get to know your new neighbours and join a local team for fun to keep you fit.
In conclusion, there are so many ways you can get out and about and join in with different exercise styles or even make healthier lifestyle choices – did you know there are nap clubs you can head out in Spain for an afternoon siesta? Naps are taken seriously and are a great way to recharge and avoid the midday heat. So make the most of your move, get outside and explore everything Spain offers.
Before moving to Spain with your family, it is essential to know how best to help your child dig in and transition. This guide will provide you with four simple ways that will help ensure that your child is happy and prosperous in their new life in Spain.
Discuss with your Children About the Move
It is essential tolet your child know you will move to Spain. You want them to know that the new home they will move into is unique for everyone. It would help if you discussed the reasons for the move, so your children can feel at ease. A more straightforward way of describing it is by saying that you are on an adventure. Your children will benefit from this information as it helps them understand why things may seem different.
Pack and Ship Before You Move
You will want to ensure that your child’s room has plenty of their belongings, but you will also want to make sure you don’t pack everything until they arrive. Pack and ship most of your child’s belongings to Spain before you arrive. It helps your child feel like they already have many things with them when they get here. It can frustrate a child if their clothes and toys are still in boxes even after they’ve moved into a new house.
Give your Child New Exploring Opportunities
When you arrive in Spain, please encourage your child to explore their new home and surroundings. When they are out exploring, have a map of the area so your child can become familiar with their surroundings and to help them easily find their way back home.
Since it is a new area, take all precautions necessary to ensure that they are safe. You may choose to appoint someone to accompany them as they explore the new location. Better yet, to be safe, you can track your child’s cell phone without having to install any tracking app; you canread the guide here.
Once you arrive and settle, get your child involved in language classes. These language classes will give them the tools to continue to learn and pick up additional phrases and vocabulary about Spain and themselves.
The teacher can also be constructive in this process as they will try to decipher how your child learns. It is helpful because they will find a method to help your child keep learning and comprehending things better.
When you take these steps to help your child adjust to their new home in Spain, they will feel right at home. Your child will feel like they belong wherever you live, and it will show in their behavior and lifestyle.
You want them to flourish in this new environment, so the extra time and effort you put into getting them to acclimate to the new location are worth it. As a parent, you want them to thrive wherever they are.Spain is great for kids to live and grow up in, so make it work for your family.
One of the chores that you should have on your list right now is the one where you clear out your garden in preparation for the season ahead. It may still be a place to capture winter sun, but plants in Spain still go through cycles in temperature. A seasonal cleanup is always good for your garden, and whether you call in an expert or you do it yourself, your cleanup is going to be a great thing to do to keep your plants and your lawns healthy.
Garden clean-ups prevent pests from building up, weeds from strangling your good plants and it makes your home look tidy – which is exactly what you want. You can clear out the garden and enjoy a newly blooming space, because you’ve taken the time to clear up. If you need some new parts for your garden tools, you can get those replaced before you wrap your things up into the garage or shed for the season. Clearing out the garden shouldn’t be a huge issue but it should be done so that you don’t have to worry about it anymore! Let’s take a look at the tips you need to get it right.
Removing the pests. Disease and pests can eat through your garden and make it look awful, kill your plants and cause infestations you really could do without. The first tip for cleaning out the garden is to sort your pest issues out and call in an exterminator for those pesky bugs that just won’t let go!
Maintain your compost pile. You don’t want to have any issues when it comes to your compost, so make sure that you prevent mold growth and seeds from blooming in your compost bin. Re-line the bin and make sure that the lid stays firmly closed. You can spread the compost over your perennial plants and feed them nutrients along the way. It protects from weed growth, too!
Clear up the vegetable patch in your garden if you have the chance. You want to know that your vegetables can thrive and grow without being strangled by weeds and that means raking, pulling back, and clearing off dead leaves. The compost can keep them looking good for springtime, and that’s what you want for your plants.
What will happen with back to school 2020 in Spain?
What are your thoughts? How are you feeling? What do you know? What do you wish you knew?
By now, most parents are longing for the “vuelta al cole”, after the seemingly endless (although, these days we wish they were longer) summer holidays we enjoy in Spain. However, this year we are clouded in incertitude. The future is currently clouded by the continuing presence and threat of Coronavirus.
As I write this post, Friday, August 21st 2020, I am anxiously awaiting an email from our children’s school. On Monday this week, we received an email advising, amongst other things, that today we would be explained how “back to school 2020” would be organised.
I must tell you that I am not too concerned about our children going back to school, I am confident that their school will take all the necessary precautions and that our children are old enough and wise enough to take the necessary precautions. However, I am unhappy that our children are returning to school earlier than usual and that there is a possibility they will be expected to attend a school trip at the start of the term. Can you imagine? Around 200 students in a camp together, having been so careful for so long. It is my nightmare!
I am also concerned about the long term health effects, catching the virus may cause our children to suffer.
However, as new measures are currently being imposed across Spain due to a new spike in cases, I am hoping that the school’s plan will be changed. I am hoping that by the time I post my ramblings here that I will be able to tell you the outcome!
And about the spike in cases in Spain … can anybody tell me why Spain is portrayed so badly in newspapers, online portals and TV programmes all around the world? What have they done so wrong? Or is it really a scaremongering tactic? And if so, to what avail?
Yes, there are more cases being detected. Yes, there are lots more tests being carried out. Yes, the track and trace system is tight. Yes, strict measures are put in place in an attempt to slow the spread. And yes there are much fewer hospitalizations and deaths. But how long will this last …
I asked on social media for parent’s thoughts about back to school 2020 in Spain. Here are some comments:
I’ve seen letters being published by some of the local AMPAs with their demands but can’t help hoping that plans are being worked upon and we have to have a little faith in those to whom we entrust our children who also have a vested interest in keeping the children and themselves safe. Either that or my head is well and truly buried in the sand!
Hey Lisa, I’m going back to teaching this year after a 5 year break and in answer to your question – we don’t know what is going on. There are plans for all 3 scenarios – all virtual, semi-presencial and all in person. Our daughter would be starting nursery at the same school as a 2 year old and we are planning to keep her home at least the first few weeks if need be to see if it’s actually safe and how things go. I don’t feel like things are under control – too many questions and variables – if I have a fever (for some other cold or run of the mill illness, does my whole class and their families quarantine? Will the 20 child bubble group I’m meant to teach actually be a bubble – how can that be controlled on weekends with extended families and the inevitable Sunday lunches? Too many questions and lots of anxiety.
Hi here there is no news yet, the mommies I know don’t know either. My kids are in infantil, primaria and ESO. We live in Castilla y Leon. For me, I really hope the kids go back to school as it has been a real struggle to keep up with their homeworks and projects from home, even though they were in contact with their teachers and class online on a daily basis ( the child in primaria ) but most importantly for their social skills and their interactions with school kids and teachers. Of coarse safety is a top priority, and if it is decided that going to school is high risk, then that is that.
Nothing yet here in Mijas Costa. My son is due to go back to school on the 10th September. It’s pretty shocking that we have had no updates from the school but they got their school fees Definitely would hate to hear home schooling again
Hi! My son’s 4 and due to my start Reception soon after preschool. He needs it and he’s so excited. They’re going to be in preschool for the first two weeks to get them used to being back in school and then onto “big school”! I’m excited for him to go to, he’s an only child and it’s just me, him and my Mom so he’s going to learn so much more being around his friends again.
In Sotogrande on September 8th. We just received today (18 August) a thorough and complete re-opening document with Covid-19 health and safety measures. All parents must read and sign this before children return. How do I feel about it? Cautiously happy. Social interaction is crucial for our students well being. However, the policing of their distance to one another, (no hugging, no touching, no high-fives) is very sad to imagine, but not impossible. I taught in Japan for two years and they all bow to one another and there really isn’t any touching, so we will adapt to other ways of showing our affection. We must make that a key component of returning to school.
Here is an extract from the initial email from our children’s school about back to school 2020 plans:
in spite of everything that is happening, we continue to work with hope instead of fear of the unknown because we know that far beyond the security of certainties, human beings need the security of a community, of belonging to a group linked by bonds of commitment and affection (especially during moments of uncertainty and adversity). This is how we have evolved as a species over time and this is how, this year too, we will give the best of ourselves and create learning conditions in which our children feel that, whatever happens, they will never walk alone.
As a parent, I do value the social interaction going to school provides our children. Mixing with and learning in the presence of children of their age is an integral part of growing up. It is part of what helps them develop. However, we also need to weigh up risks and rewards. It is easier for me to say this as our children are now 13 and almost 16 years old. I do feel that parents of younger children are dealing with a much bigger challenge. How do you cope? What do you feel?
During the initial lockdown in Spain, our children received a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, online classes in the morning each day of the week. Classes were taught by their usual teachers, all students were present and joint tasks and projects were set for later in the day. Despite the expected initial hiccups and technical challenges (by some students and a couple of teachers!) classes ran smoothly and the sense of routine made the whole experience a lot more bearable for us all.
Based on this, I am preparing us for the possibility of returning to online classes. Even if this does not happen initially, I expect it may happen at some point. Some parts of Spain are already preparing for a mix of presential and online classes.
This is our school’s comment on online vs presential classes:
With regards to “Technophobia and Technophilia” which divides, sometimes excessively the state of opinion between those who advocate the advantages of classroom-based and online education, the truth is that during the last months of the previous academic year it became clear that there is good and bad online education, as there is also good and bad classroom-based education. We have been and are, without the slightest doubt, in the first group of both and we firmly believe that the two complement each other and offer advantages.
However, in the current situation it is not a question of arguing in favour or against, but rather being aware that in the circumstance of uncertainty both are necessary as part of a routine or habit that allows a transition to one extreme or the other in the event that the health authorities consider it necessary.
No matter what, a decision needs to be made and soon. Tension is rising in many parts of Spain. Both teachers and parents need to be reassured that the education, health and safety of the children are the priority. Articles like this one published in El Pais in English is not what we all need right now.
Like many times during this pandemic, fingers are pointed, people search for blame. We are all fighting this together. Surely, cohesion and teamwork is better than fragmentation and fighting … or am I still living in my bubble?
UPDATE: At 10 pm we finally received the 29-page document from the school. I am disappointed to say that they are still insisting on taking around 200 children to an activity camp from August 29th. How crazy is that? Or am I crazy for not agreeing with it?
When people think about going to Spain, they often think about packing their sunglasses, making sure they have a hat, and the number of beaches they’re going to enjoy. But actually, Spain has much more to it than just beaches and balmy evenings. There are several things that you should know before you head to Spain.
Of course, you want to plan your hot look with gorgeous sunglasses, a beautiful summer dress or some cool linen shorts, but like everything is better when you’re prepared.
Learn some Spanish
Like almost all countries, many people speak some (or fluent) English, however, learning a few key phrases is just proper etiquette. You’re going to want to be able to ask some questions like Donde Esta…? Where is…? And some simple greetings like Buenos Dias or Hola. And yes, you’re going to want to finish with gracias, because it’s just nice.
What is important to note, is that Spanish is not the only language; in fact, some regions have a second official language like Catalan, Basque, or Galicia. And while you don’t need to learn these extra languages, as almost everyone will speak Spanish, it wouldn’t hurt either.
Many people who visit quite a few European countries still don’t know that you can actually drink the tap water. Big cities like Barcelona and Madrid both have very safe tap water to drink. In fact, in Madrid, it comes fresh from the Guadarrama mountain range – if you like cool facts. So you’ll be much better off bringing a reusable water bottle, then you will keep buying bottles of water in the local stores. It will save you money in the long run.
Spain is famous for its Tapas culture. This means when you order a drink in almost all cases, it’s going to arrive with a small bite to eat. Sometimes it’s potato chips/crisps other times its olives. It may even be ham or cheese, depending on where you are.
This is a polite gesture and is an indicator of how hospitable Spain can be. This free and tasty snack is simply meant to be enjoyed alongside your drink.
The siesta was historically common throughout Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and even in mainland China. That traditional daytime nap has been put to bed. It has been reported in previous years that Spaniards actually work some of the longest hours in Europe, making a siesta something that most of them are not likely to see.
However, if you’re there on holiday, or have a very generous working schedule, you can feel free to nap. But you’re unlikely to see people taking a siesta.
When you arrive in Spain, whether it be for a holiday or for a relocation you’re going to notice the Spaniards are pretty snappy dressers. And you can spot a tourist a mile away with flip-flops and jogging bottoms.
Choose lightweight fabrics and you too can deal with the heat while looking fabulous.
It’s not uncommon to find that many shops and businesses will close for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. So ideally try not to plan to have anything done between 1pm – 4pm while you are on holiday; other than enjoying the fact that you are on holiday.
Many people enjoy long lunch breaks, especially when the midday heat is so hot. In the bigger cities, supermarkets and larger stores are often open, but you can’t guarantee that you’re going to find a smaller shop open in the middle of the day if you live in a village.
Although you will find the shops do stay open later in the evening. And many people, especially people who enjoy shopping, enjoy the fact that Barcelona and Madrid usually stay open until around 10 pm in the evening.
Ditch the Sangria
Unless you really love Sangria, then it’s quite a tourist drink. Most locals instead enjoy a Tinto de Verano, which is a summer wine. It consists of red wine and lemonade mixer.
Ideal for those long warm evenings. If you’d rather blend in with the locals than tourists and avoid paying a premium for that overpriced Sangria, go for the Tinto de Verano.
If you are a meat-eater, there is something that you simply cannot leave Spain without sampling. You will find it on most menus because it is one of the most beloved foods, called Jamon. Jamon is cured ham, and the most likely one you’ll find is Jamon Iberico. This is the best quality that you can get, and that comes from Blackhoofed Iberian pigs.
These pigs are quite luxurious and are fed extensively on acorns, which gives them their unique flavor.
Public transport is efficient and fast. The Spanish train system is ideal for getting between major cities, however in the south of Spain and certainly, towards some of the smaller cities, there aren’t always those connections. Here buses are equally fast and efficient and certainly are the best option if you’re going off the beaten path.
It should be noted that the train can be the most expensive option for public transport.
When the shops are closed, lunch is on. This means you will enjoy a wonderful lunch between 2 and 3:30 pm, but that pushes evening meal hours to much later in the day, typically from 9 pm till 10.30 pm. So you have to plan trips accordingly or take snacks in your bag if you can’t get with the schedule.
Tipping isn’t required and isn’t expected, it’s really something that you should just do anyway. Outstanding service or service, in general, should always be respected.
Indulge in the Culture
Many people when they get to Spain want to eat as much paella and drink as much Sangria as possible. And while that’s fun for many, there is a better way to enjoy Spanish culture. You will notice that the Spanish culture is much more about taking your time, enjoying the people in your family that you are spending time with, and the scenery. Relaxing and enjoying life. Go with the flow rather and fall into the tourist traps.
Rest on a Sunday
You are unlikely to find anything that is open on a Sunday, this is a designated day to get lunch with friends, visit family, relax and unwind. So if you’re planning on being in Spain for a Sunday, or you really want to make the most of that Spanish culture while you’re integrating; then plan Sunday as simply to be a day of family, food, and fun.
Big Cities and Little Villages
Large Spanish cities are busy and modern and filled with people from all over the world. They’re exciting and have a lot to do. It will give you a considerable taste of Spanish culture, but there are many tourist traps to keep an eye out for.
The smaller villages remain a space for century-old traditions that can still be found to this day. Spain is known as a country of traditions and culture. But to understand all of the different facets of that, try a few days in the city followed by a few days in smaller villages.
Spain is exhilarating and welcoming, with a rich history and the lives of culture. If you like spending time with family and friends and indulging in wonderful food, then it might be just time that you spent a little bit longer in Spain.
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