Where do we start? Living in Spain can be as relaxed or as hectic as you would like it to be. There are plenty of opportunities to join various clubs, groups, U3A (University of the Third Age), walking groups etc or maybe enjoying your garden and sitting in the sun ...the options are plentiful.
Most towns and villages have a fascinating mix of national and international culture. The Spanish and the local expatriates combine to enjoy the many Fiestas and special days in the area. The Restaurants are cosmopolitan and suitable for all tastes and budgets. Most of the year you are able to eat or take a coffee or glass of beer in the sun.
It's easy to see why the Spanish are reported to have good health, with a fabulously healthy diet and less stress. The pace of life is slower although it can start earlier and end later in the day. Shops open anytime between 8.30am and 10.00am and close around 8.00 – 9.00pm Most will close for a siesta between 2.00 and 4.00pm apart from Supermarkets and most Estate Agents!
Whilst many Spanish now speak English you cannot take this for granted. 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 discuss your recent experiences of living in a new country.
Driving can be interesting. The roads are much quieter and parking much easier. Very often there is free parking but look out for the blue lines, charges are applicable and yellow lines mean.....do not park. At Fiesta times you will find cars parked wherever they can. Road rage does not really exist, generally, it's just a shrug of the shoulders and a wave. Roundabouts can be a bit confusing, approach with caution and ensure you are indicating well.
The Spanish are very friendly and welcoming and a smile and a few Spanish words will go a long way...
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 Castillian or Valencia, as this will make a big difference to the future education of your children. As an EU citizen, you will 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 a lot faster, most becoming fluent within a year. Most state education is free, however, you may find yourself being asked for a fee towards books for the year, school dinners and the school bus should it be required. This is normal.
The International/English schools are not as readily available, but there are several around this area. Lady Elizabeth School and Xabia International College are local to Javea and Moraira. 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. We are able to discuss this with you and arrange appointments at the various schools during your visit.
General Adult language courses are available in the local town hall. Sometimes they are free or a small fee is charged. There are a selection of private language schools for all levels and ages, short or long term.
It is normally not a problem to bring your furry friends to Spain providing you have all the vaccination certificates in order (this can take several months). Your local Vet should be able to assist you with all the information or alternatively, contact MAFF on Tele (0044 02079046345
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. 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 Denia, Benidorm, Villajoysa, Alicante and Valencia.
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.
If you retire early or do not work then you can take out private medical care which is considerably cheaper than in the UK. Molino Villas work with ASSSA who have a local office and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 0034 965 744 033
Also, Annual Multi Trip Insurance is a good alternative if you want to visit up to 62 days at a time.
Whatever your questions, we are here at Molino Villas to assist you before and after, what is a major, and can be a life-changing decision. For sure, we know it is something you will never regret!