Living on the Costa Blanca in Spain can be a beautiful lifestyle. There are plenty of opportunities to join various clubs, charity work, groups, U3A (University of the Third Age), walking groups etc or maybe enjoying your garden and sitting in the sun ...the options are plentiful.
The Spanish and the local expatriates together enjoy a fascinating mix of international and national culture in the towns and villages. The local Fiestas are a time to get together and enjoy those special days in the area. The restaurants are cosmopolitan and suitable for all tastes and budgets.
The pace of life is slower in Spain and the Spanish are reported to have good health, with an enviable healthy diet with less stress. Some commercial businesses and shops / banks are open early between 8.30am and 10.00am and close around 8.00 – 9.00pm, however banks close at 2.00pm and do not open until the next day. Most other businesses will close for a siesta between 2.00 and 4.00pm apart from most Estate Agents and Supermarkets.
We would recommend anyone considering moving to the area to learn some basic Spanish. There are plenty of non expensive classes in the area, and is a good opportunity to meet new friends and share your experiences with each other.
The Spanish are very friendly and welcoming. A few Spanish words will go a long way. The usual greeting with a smile is Hola or Buenas Dias.
The roads are much quieter and parking is easier. Very often there is free parking but look out for the blue lines, and yellow lines mean.....do not park because charges are applicable At Fiesta times you will find cars parked wherever they can. Roundabouts can be a bit confusing, approach with caution, make sure you are in the correct lane and ensure you are indicating well.
If you are considering moving to Spain with children, their education is always a big consideration. Education standards are high and similarly in many countries you have a choice of Spanish or International (English) schools.
Each town has at least one local Spanish school but check if they are teaching in Valencia Castillian or Valenciana as this will make a big difference to the future education of your children. As a EU citizen you should have no problem in finding a place for your child. In our experience the younger the child starts the better, as they integrate more quickly and will learn the language faster, most becoming fluent within a year. Although state education is free, you may find yourself being asked for a fee towards books for the year, school dinners and the school bus should it be required. You will find this is normal.
The International/English schools are not as readily available, but there are several around this area. Xabia International College (in Javea) and Lady Elizabeth School (close to Moraira where the secondary school will be finished in 2018). These are private fee paying, so you will need to consider these costs as part of your move. The education system is good and works in a similar way to that of the UK with GCSE's and O'Levels. A coach service is available that covers most areas.
The town hall offer adult language courses, short or long term.
If you plan to bring your furry friends with you to Spain you will be required to provide all the necessary Vaccination Certificates (this can take several months). Your local Vet should be able to assist you with all the information.
The Spanish are some of the healthiest people in the world and have an average life expectancy of 82 for women and 76 for men, the highest in the EU. The oldest living people in the world live in Jesus Pobre on the Costa Blanca. A diet of garlic, olive oil, red wine and fresh fruit etc, contributes to the fact that heart disease in Spain is amongst the lowest in the world.
Healthcare in Spain is efficient and depending on circumstances can be freely available because of reciprocal arrangements within the EU. There are numerous centres locally, with the main hospitals in Benidorm, Alicante, Valencia Denia, and Villajoysa, however all hospitals will admit emergency cases.
The World Health Organisation ranks Spain as one of the better countries in the world for health. Healthcare is free to men and women of retirement age or if you are employed and paying taxes.
Also annual Multi Trip Insurance is a good alternative if you want to visit any where up to 62 days at a time.
Impressive Property can assist you before and after your purchase. If you have the questions, we have the answers.