Every week we will write about living on the Costa del Sol. You'll find new stories, local and national events, comments, recipes and advice.

Topics will range from schooling your kids in Spain to tips on how to travel to the Costa del Sol, from insights on properties for sale to helpful advice on legal issues. But we also want to share events and culture, to show how wonderful life can be in the area around Estepona, Marbella and Malaga.

Scroll down or click through the list (right) to see previous posts full of interesting information and links about this great place.

Settling happily in Spain

Julie Savill // Monday, 23 September 2019

When you are moving to Spain, you need to learn to navigate your new environment – especially as you try and keep in touch with your old life. When you are preparing to move, you'll have any number of practical factors to consider and steps to follow. With that in mind, here are our top tips for settling in to your new life.

Before you move
Thorough planning and preparation before you move will be really useful, and there will usually be numerous expats sites and associations in the area you will be moving to that you look into. Spain is so popular with British expats, so there are many communities for you to join; the U3A is a particularly well known international organisation – and gives you the opportunity to meet those who have already been in the same position as you.
It’s also a good idea to use this time to look at maps of your new region and where you are going to be living. Assess where the facilities you are going to need are – the nearest shopping centre, medical centre, local market, nearby beaches and more-than-useful bar. We would also recommend taking some Spanish lessons before you go – having at least a basic understanding of the language will go some way to helping you communicate with your new neighbours.

On your arrival
Once you have moved into your new home, it’s easy to be side-tracked by the logistics of unpacking and arranging all your belongings, as well as finding out where you can buy the things you left behind. However, it’s very important to spend some time exploring your nearest village or town, and a local coffee shop where you can visit regularly and get to know the locals (maybe even other expats) and the owner!

 Join a group
If you have any hobbies you indulged in in the UK, or have something you’ve always wanted to try – why not give them a go in Spain? If you enjoy sport, seek out your nearest golf or tennis club – or perhaps the local stables? Whether you want to try amateur dramatics, flamenco, zumba, or yoga, there will more than likely be a local group run by expats or nationals – somewhere you can go to meet people with similar interests.

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It's still your move

Katherine O'Neill // Tuesday, 03 September 2019

The latest is that the government has been forced to scrap plans for a law that would’ve ended the freedom of movement - a heavily criticised proposal by the home secretary, Priti Patel. The new law would’ve seen freedom of movement end at the stroke of midnight on 31st October in the event of a no-deal Breit. 

As it stands now, the free movement of EU citizens does not end automatically as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

More from The Guardian

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What's not to like?

Katherine O`Neill // Wednesday, 07 August 2019

On a Monday evening in August, what’s not to like about a drink overlooking gently bobbing boats after a long lazy day doing not much?

Estepona port is a cut above many.

Enough to see and do without being rammed full of irritants.

Come and visit The Spanish Estate Agent at .... just up from the port.

Have a browse of our Estepona listings here.

Fly high in Malaga this weekend!

Katherine O`Neill // Thursday, 11 July 2019

It is the famous Torre Del Mar Airshow this weekend 12th-14th July!

Head down to the beach where there will be thousands of spectators and a real festival atmosphere.

Great music, great food and best of all 42 aircraft from five different countries will be dancing in the sky!

Why Estepona?

Katherine O`Neill // Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Estepona, with its beautiful old town and pretty port, is a real success story for the Costa del Sol. The town has really grown rapidly, but maintained its quintessential, traditional, Spanish roots; if you’re looking for a slice of real culture along the Costa del Sol, Estepona is where you need to go.

The old town is full of characterful cobbled lanes, tapas bars and pretty little hidden away shops. Bars are restaurants on this part of the Costa del Sol tend to be cheaper than its coastal counterparts, but still retaining excellent quality. Of course there are plenty of traditional meats and seafood, but international tastes are also well catered for.

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The Andalusian White Villages

Josy Williams // Monday, 03 June 2019

Those who are familiar with the province of Andalucia will most certainly have heard of its iconic white villages. These are villages that sit high in the mountains and stick out from their natural environment with their white-washed square-shaped houses. They are characterised by a sleepy atmosphere, breathtaking views and interesting cultural influences, incorporating Iberian, Moorish and Roman elements.

One of the most famous is Ronda, which you can find more about in an upcoming blog. However, there are many others that are closer to the coast such as Casares - apparently well-liked by Cesar which is where it is reputed to have gotten its name from. Outside of the province of Malaga, you will find white villages such as Arcos de la Frontera in Cadiz which is more of a town and therefore has more to offer in terms of restaurants and bars. If you’re after mysticism this could also be the place for you, but you’ll have to discover its dark side for yourself…

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Ajoblanco - the "white gazpacho"

Katherine O`Neill // Monday, 29 April 2019

If you've had your fill of 'regular' gazpacho - cold tomato soup - it's time to try this refreshing alternative made from garlic and almonds.

This Andalusian specialty is a summer favourite and can be had alone or a slightly thinned version to go with a baked potato. 

Find this simple, no-cook recipe by clicking below - alternatively, we've included a video recipe.

Enjoy!

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Agents: much more than selling property

Katherine O`Neill // Monday, 22 April 2019

The best estate agents in Spain are like gold dust, while the unsavoury ones – which thankfully these days are few and far between – could turn your dream into a nightmare.

The bad eggs are usually easy to spot. Prone to a bit of bling and heavy on the hair gel, they’ll steer you towards properties they want to sell rather than ones you might like to buy. A reliable agent should be there for you throughout the buying process, from the moment you start browsing properties right up to the day you get the keys to your new home and even beyond.

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A day trip to Ronda

Josy Williams // Thursday, 27 June 2019

An hour and a half from the hustle and bustle of city life in the provincial capital of Malaga, Ronda is an architectural gem hidden in the mountains inland. Set between two national parks - Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves and Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema - it is rich in history and natural beauty. Here you will find a list of must-see attractions.

The number one monument that cannot be missed if you are making the trip to Ronda is Puente Nuevo, from which you will enjoy amazing views of the Tajo Gorge below. If you go in spring be sure to wander down into the gorge which will be filled with flowers.

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Brexit Update - Healthcare in Spain

Chloe Williams // Friday, 15 March 2019

Brit's access to Healthcare and Pensions in Spain Now Guaranteed until December 2020

Spain recently announced a royal decree to limit the impact of a no-deal Brexit on British expats that own property in Spain. They will guarantee healthcare provision and access to the social security system, which gives rights to pensions, until December 31st 2020. This will be a big relief to the 300,000 Britons, many of which are pensioners, living on the Costas who rely on access to local hospitals and doctors.

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A day trip to El Chorro

Josy Williams // Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Climbing enthusiasts will be most acquainted with El Chorro, a village in the province of Malaga, around an hour or so north of the eponymous capital city. With world-renowned climbing walls as well as one of the most famous (and up until recently, dangerous) hikes in the world, it is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

You will approach El Chorro from Ardales or Alora, both routes are scenic although the Alora route slightly more so, so if you are not stuck for time I would recommend going down these windy roads and seeing the little villages along the way.

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Holiday from the coast to the slopes

Katherine O`Neill // Friday, 08 February 2019

Agent Shirin Sharifi has been taking a well earned holiday to Sierra Nevada. To be fair, she only has to go a mere 2 hours from home to hit the slopes and have a break from the coast (can you imagine saying that? Ever?).

She thoughtfully sent us this with plenty of snaps:

"It’s boiling hot, I’m sunbathing while having a beer, the slopes are stunning covered in great quality snow because they have snow cannons here. I'm at the highest resort in Europe at over 3500 metres and there is something for someone of every standard for skiers and boarders alike

 

To integrate or not? Balancing local and expat culture.

Josy Williams // Thursday, 24 January 2019

Congratulations! You’re moving to Spain. You must be very excited! And so you ought to be. You’re about to discover a whole new culture, language, way of doing things and general attitude towards life. As someone who has moved to a new country four times in 10 years, I have found it useful to not to concentrate on stereotypes and approach the new country of residence with as open a mind as you can muster.

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Easy Guide to Buying a Property in Spain

Chloe Williams // Wednesday, 09 January 2019

Whether you are looking to buy a large villa with a swimming pool, or a stylish apartment overlooking the beach, once you have found your dream property in Spain, you will need to think about the process for the actual purchase.
Luckily The Spanish Estate Agent is by your side every step of the way.

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Spanish PM reassures Brits in Spain

Katherine O`Neill // Thursday, 03 January 2019

The Spanish PM, Pedro Sánchez, has recently reassured Britons living in Spain that their rights will remain unchanged even if Britain leaves the EU with no deal. Mr Sanchez aims to have an outline of the rights of citizens in the respective countries by February; the plan is conditional on the same rights for Spaniards in the UK.

Great news for the most popular retirement destination in Europe for Brits. Some 300,000 of us have settled there, mostly along Spain's stunning coastline, and, of course, sun-seeking retirees are hard pressed to find a more agreeable alternative! 

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