You’ve made it! You’ve found your dream house on the Costa del Sol with a sun-filled terrace, palm trees in the garden, a cheerful housekeeper and a view of the sparkling Mediterranean. You’ve signed all the necessary papers with the help of your agent and your mortgage broker. You’ve given your new address to all your loved ones so that they can visit when they get the chance. So, now comes the best part – relaxation!
It would take many a long time to get bored of the lovely weather, beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and delicious food, but if you do ever find yourself looking for things to do in Spain, then you will find that there are more than enough activities to keep expats of all ages busy. For those with an avid interest in history, Moorish South Spain abounds in architectural wonders, such as the Alhambra Palace and the Generalife in Granada, the Mezquita in Cordoba or the Giralda in Seville. Andalusia’s rich cultural history can be seen in its many museums, and visitors to Valencia are blown away by the architecture of old and new on visiting the late Gothic La Lonja de la Seda (silk exchange) and the City of Arts and Sciences.
The diversity of options means you’ll always have something to do
Spain is never short of festivals and carnivals big and small, from Valencia’s spectacular Las Fallas to the extravagant carnival of Cadiz, every month brings in festivities of a different kind, welcome to all kinds of people. Find out more about Andalusian festivals here. Lovers of art will be amazed by the selection of art on offer, with Malaga’s recently-opened Picasso Museum displaying 285 works of art in the artists’ city of birth. In Barcelona the works of the surrealist artist Jean Miro can be viewed at the Fundacio Joan Miro, and the stunning architecture and designs of Anton Gaudi are not to be missed. It is difficult for anyone to not be enchanted by the passionate and romantic flamenco dances for which Spain is renowned. Andalusia is particularly famed for this alluring age-old tradition, which has been shrouded in mystery for centuries. Flamenco performances can be seen at summer festivals, at “tablao” such as the Seville Night Tour, or at “Flamenco Penas” which give a more authentic view of flamenco in its original form.
If you are feeling more inspired by the local cultures and traditions, then perhaps a visit to one of the many bullfights will be of interest to you. In Andalucia alone there are around 70 bullrings and, although it has been a controversial issue at home and abroad for many years, bullfighting has been an important part of Spanish culture for generations. A trip to a local bullfight can help expats and visitors to Spain to better understand the unique Spanish psyche. Due to the large numbers of expats in Spain (in 2013 nearly 90,000 Brits moved to Spain), familiarity is not hard to find, whether it be an Irish pub & restaurant or a German bakery. But why not take your time to discover the country you are now in? You will find an elegant and mysterious land rich in culture and abundant with beauty. Those lucky enough to be retiring in Spain will be spoilt for choice of ways to fill their days, and will certainly not have a moment of regret!