August 24, 2016 No Comments

Living In Spain – It’s Not All Good!

When you think about it, moving to Spain has quite a few disadvantages. The native tongue is not English. It can get damn hot. They drive on the wrong side of the road. On top of that, there are tons of outdoor activities to take part in, which means you tend to go a lot and don’t get to watch much TV,  the cuisine is superb so you might put on weight, and if you live here, where on earth are you going to go for your holidays?

Now we have the cons out of the way, let’s look at some of the advantages.

Whether you have had enough of the weather in the UK, the social problems in many UK towns, or are simply looking for a different way of life; a possible way of improving your lifestyle is to move to a different country. But why choose Spain?

There are many reasons people decide to relocate to Spain, and common lures for would-be expats include the climate, the cheaper cost of living compared to the UK, the diverse cuisine, the glorious beaches and overall laid-back outdoor lifestyle.

Can One Million Brits Be Wrong?

It is estimated around 1.8 million Britons are living in Europe outside the UK, and of these, almost a million chose Spain as their new home. Only around 400,000 of the 1.8 million UK expats in Europe claim a pension from the UK government, which translates to roughly 1.4 million UK expats earning a living abroad.

Although Spain is not the top destination for UK expats in the world, it is the leading destination in Europe, and the top choice of country that does not speak English as a first language. Australia is the top destination, with the USA in second place, and Spain following closely behind as the third choice.

Spain is around twice the size of the UK and covers an area of 504,782 km², or 194,897 mi², and has 3,084 miles of coastline (4,964 km), with the Mediterranean coast alone spreading over a distance of 1,038 miles (1,670 km). Compared with the UK´s 93,638 mi², and the fact that Spain only has a population of around 41 million compared to the 65 million squeezed into the UK, you will find the country feels, and indeed is, a lot more spacious than overcrowded Britain.

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Climate

While different provinces enjoy varied climates, the daytime temperatures during the Spanish summers can reach up to 40°C or 102°F in most areas.  In the South of Spain temperatures have been known to reach as high as 43°C, or 109°F.

In winter in Mediterranean areas temperatures average 10 to 14°C, or 50 to 57°F. Although this is relatively cool compared to the hot Spanish summers, you will see sunshine most days.

Spain gets a lot less rainfall than the UK, but when it does rain it tends to pour extremely hard for a few hours and then stop, as opposed to days and even weeks of steady rainfall that we see all too often in Britain. Steady rain spanning several days in most parts of Spain is rare, though not so uncommon in the green northern provinces of Asturias and Cantabria. It is not unusual for around 100mm to fall in just a few hours in Mediterranean towns; in 1957 the resort town of Javea was soaked with a staggering 878mm during a violent storm, which was almost surpassed 30 years later in 1987 when Oliva in the province of Valencia was drenched with 817mm within just a few hours.

Rainfall in Spain as a country varies greatly year-by-year, with variations of around 20 per cent being quite normal. It also differs quite considerably by area, but the average rainfall in mainland Spain is 650mm with the wettest north western part of Spain rising to around 1200mm. England and Wales averages 926.9 mm a year.

Cadaques beach

Cadaques in the Catalan province of Girona

The Murcia and Alicante regions are known to have the best all-round climate in Spain; indeed the climate in this part of the world is considered the best in Europe. An average 300 days of sunshine annually make this a very pleasant area in which to live, and although experiencing heavy rainfall, as previously stated it is usually delivered heavily within just a few hours to be quickly replaced with sunshine. The official record heat in the area was an amazing 46.1°C, or 115°F, although summer temperatures of around 35°C are the norm. It is said the World Health Organisation claims the region has one of the healthiest climates in the world, although this may be a rumour repeated by individuals promoting this part of Spain rather than an actual statement by the WHO.

Scenery

Spain has some truly spectacular scenery, and in most regions is mountainous and the land arid. Resort towns have the advantage of outstanding views of the inviting Mediterranean, which surely beats looking at the murky English Channel from a Brighton flat, or a view of the freezing North Sea from a home in wet Whitby from just about anyone’s point of view!

Toledo

The historical city of Toledo

Many parts of Spain have a rich Arab and Moorish history, so there is plenty for the interested explorer to view. Numerous centuries-old buildings are still standing, some now archaeological sites, and you will find these historical influences even in newer buildings. There are also a number of old Roman sites around the country to be explored, and everywhere you go you will find museums where you can while away a few fascinating hours on the rare occasion of bad weather.


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