Spain Explained

A guide for foreigners on every aspect of safe property ownership in Spain

Posts filtered by Life in Spain

Museums in Spain

It’s hard to know where to start with a title like ‘museums in Spain’. There are over 1,500 of them and no post on any blog can begin to pay justice to the variety that are available to the interested. Here, I can only touch on some of the best known and leave you to […]

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Books about Spain

The reasons why people buy a house in Spain are varied. Many people would admit that the weather was a significant draw here. However, culture, food, pace of life, fiestas, a rich history are all reasons given for making this financial investment. But how much do you really know about the country you have invested […]

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Sweden and Spain – forging the links

Perhaps they are not the most likely duo, but Sweden and Spain are building links. The country of the north with the limited sunshine is teaming up with the country of the south, siestas and fiestas. It’s perhaps because of rather than in spite of their differences, that the two compliment each other so nicely. […]

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Ábaco Advisers shares its story

Ábaco means abacus in Spanish. There are some very good reasons why Ábaco was named after this nifty piece of calculating apparatus. John Paoli, founder of Ábaco Advisers, explains, ‘Having a company name starting with the letters ab gives you a little bit of an advantage in the listings.’ It’s also very appropriate for a […]

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Some benefits to being part of the EU?

There has always been debate about just how beneficial it is for a country to be part of the European Community. For some countries it has been more controversial than others. There is continuing stress on relationships due to countries’ individual economies and perceptions held about the value (or not) that membership actually brings. Some […]

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Dealing with an emergency in Spain

We all hope that the need will never arise, but it is important to be prepared for an emergency in Spain – just in case. In many respects the Spanish emergency services work in a very similar way to most other countries. The European emergency number is 112. You might help a child to remember […]

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Spanish air-conditioning tax

I remember learning at school about the window tax of the 17th and 18th century. A property tax based on the number of windows in the house, it led to people taking all kinds of measures in order to avoid it. Now in the 21st century we can welcome its modern equivalent in Spain – […]

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Spanish padel tennis

In another blog I have written about the sport of pelota/ pilota – a ball game traditionally linked to Spain. Not unlike pelota, Spanish padel tennis has strong associations with Spanish-speaking countries. However,  it is not as old a sport and was developed in the late sixties in South America. It was then introduced into […]

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Pelota – fast and furious

Most Spanish sports and recreational activities are not much different from what you would find anywhere in the world. The Spanish love of football needs no coverage and Spaniards continue to excel in many sports such as tennis, golf and motor racing. However, there are one or two more unusual Spanish sports that you may […]

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Working in Spain

If you are not eligible to retire yet but are keen to live in Spain then unless you’ve won the lottery you are going to have to work here. Before you start handing in your notice in your home country, however, it is important to be aware that finding work in Spain, particularly now, is […]

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Bringing your pet to Spain

If you have been frustrated by the intransigence of the European quarantine laws when organising pet travel to Spain, then you might be delighted to hear that there are plans for the laws to be relaxed. New EU legislation has been proposed that will apply to cats, dogs and ferrets that should make the process […]

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The Spanish Market

As you would expect, a Spanish market is noisy and colourful with its fair share of ‘characters’. People watching is a good pastime at a market in Spain. Find yourself a spot at one of the little bars or side cafes and observe the hustle and bustle from there. Although you might struggle to find […]

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The best countries to be a mum

It should be a very special time. However, for many women across the world pregnancy and childbirth are very dangerous periods of their lives. ‘Surviving the First Day: State of the World’s Mothers 2013’ is a report by Save the Children. It was produced on commemoration of Mother’s Day and provides the shocking statistic that […]

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Changes to British passport applications

For British National residents in Spain it used to be possible to obtain a new British passport from Madrid. Since the 13th May, this option has been removed. All applications now need to be sent directly to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast. Although this might sound like a retrogressive step, we are […]

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Health care entitlement in Spain

Ensuring you have access to health care in Spain is at the top of every Spanish property owner’s agenda. We are aware that there is a lot of confusion around entitlements and what Spanish health care you can access with which card. There are three main public health cards in Spain that you might have […]

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Who’s the most depressed in Europe?

There is no doubt that it is harder to scowl than to smile when the sun is shining. The wonderful weather makes such a difference to your outlook as well as your way of life.  But is this just an impression we get or is there some truth in the assertion that Spain makes you […]

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You can’t beat Benidorm

For as long as most people can remember, Benidorm has been a household name. Unfortunately its reputation isn’t always a desirable one. For many, this Costa Blanca seaside town is the epitomy of bad behaviour abroad, with a variety of nationalities throwing caution to the wind and ‘letting their hair down’. Whatever views you hold […]

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Valencia – something for everyone

Valencia has had some bad press. Most people now have heard about the extravagant years when money was no object and bizarre buildings and projects were springing up all over the city. But to only see Valencia in this light is to do it an injustice. The buildings might be outlandish but the times were […]

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Swimming pools in Spain

They look lovely and inviting, particularly in summer. However, having a swimming pool in Spain also brings with it some responsibilities. They need upkeep throughout the year and their maintenance can be particularly heavy during the summer season. If you live on an urbanisation where there is a shared pool this removes some of the individual responsibility […]

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Hospitals in Spain

Experiences will always differ. However, by and large, the health care in Spain is good. The Spanish hospitals are clean, the service efficient and the investigations into whatever your ailment is, are thorough. However, there are differences in the approach taken here that are worthwhile you being aware of.  To begin with, it will be […]

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Spanish traffic fines (multas de trafico)

Probably everyone has been caught out at some time whilst driving in Spain. Sometimes you know you’ve taken a risk and perhaps allowed your attention to  drift from the speed dial. Other times it’s a genuine lack of awareness. This can be particularly common when you’re driving in a different country. They are probably few […]

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The meaning of Ábaco

Learning another language isn’t easy. There are all those verbs to learn, tenses to navigate, masculine and feminine to commit to memory and many words that sound so similar but one wrong vowel and it could change the whole meaning. So any little help along the way is good. One of the best ways of […]

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What to do if your electricity is cut off in Spain

We rely so much on our services that when they are cut off it comes as something of a shock. If you lose your electricity in Spain, in particular, you suddenly realise just how much you rely on it. There’s no television, internet, phone line. You can’t boil the kettle or put on the fan. […]

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The Camino de Santiago

There are many wonderful holiday destinations in Spain, and they don’t just involve lying on a beach. A fantastic holiday experience I have had was walking the ´Camino de Santiago’. To walk the ‘Camino de Santiago’ or the Way of St. James is included on the ‘things to do before I die’ list of many […]

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Spain – rich in cultural heritage

When you tell people that you live in Spain or have a house there, their first thought is usually of hot weather and beaches. The Spanish coastline is famous and people from across the world like to holiday here for just that reason – it’s hot (most of the year), sunny and the sea is […]

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