Beach Bar Protesting

Bring Back the Beach Bars!

The Orihuela Costa region has began shutting down more & more beach bars on the local beaches. Areas such as Punta Prima & La Zenia have been suffering from the laws causing the bars to be shut down. We first saw this back in September when the Sunrise Beach bars were shut down. Last time the people were caught by surprise but this time round there has been a far bigger uproar from the public.

Tourism & Jobs

Spain, especially the coastal area of Costa Blanca relies heavily on tourism to help its local economy and to provide jobs for it’s citizens. Many of the staff that worked in these beach bars could be seen protesting against the closing of the beach bars as this is their livelihood and job and many of them would be left unemployed if the bars were to shut down permanently. Aside from the employees of the bars, the locals will also be affected by the closure of the bars as many of them were choice locations to bring visiting friends and family. Lastly the tourism in the area is mostly driven by the beaches & the beach bars are a must in our opinion as they encourage the tourists to visit again and again.

Health & Safety

Aside from the more obvious reasons stated above as to why people are fighting to keep the beach bars open is the health and safety. Many of the people reading who are not local to the area will be unaware that there was a recent tragedy involving a young boy that was perhaps preventable had there been a beach bar with a defibrillator accessible. Many locals were filling petitions and making arrangements to make the beaches a safer place, all of this work will become undone should the bars be removed from the beaches.

Shutting Down

As with the Sunrise bars, the reason as to why the bars are being closed down is full of speculation & rumours and without a definite answer we will not dig deeper into them to spread misinformation. When more information becomes available we will share it across our Facebook & blog. We invite anyone with access to the online petitions to keep the bars open to contact us and we will update this post with the link available for anyone who wishes to sign.

 

 

Flag of Spain

Lifestyle In Spain

Lifestyle in Spain can be very different in subtle ways to lifestyle in the UK and here are a few points you should probably know to prepare for your holiday or first home in Spain. Spain is very tourist friendly and you’ll find many UK themed and inspired businesses, bars and restaurants, especially in the Costas such as Costa Blanca & Costa Del Sol but for those of you going more inland or just looking to blend in a little better and avoid any inconveniences, here’s what you should know.

Don’t get locked out!

One of the less obvious differences between the UK and Spain is the way safety is handled. In Spain it’s very common to have grills or bars across all windows making entering through them impossible without removal of the bars. What many people don’t notice is that in Spain most houses come with a door that only opens with a key from the outside. In the UK many doors have handles which open the door from outside as long as it’s not locked, in Spain however many doors need the actual key to open the door from outside rather than using a handle or door knob, effectively locking the door from the outside whenever it is shut. This catches many new property owners or holidaymakers off guard, going outside to enjoy the sun only to realise they’ve left their key inside and now can’t get back inside the property! In this case it’s usually advisable to call your rental agent for a spare key or a local locksmith if it’s your own property!

Window grill lifestyle in spain

Going hungry

A big lifestyle difference in Spain is the time at which the Spanish have their meals & drinks. In Spain it is common to have breakfast as the first meal as in the UK, however in the UK normally people have a sandwich or small lunch around midday. To contrast, in Spain lunch is the main meal of the day and usually had around 2 or 3 pm. Moving over to dinner which is often in-between 5 and 7 pm in the UK, it is at 9 or 10 pm in Spain. This reflects in many different aspects of Spain, the shops are open later (usually closing 8:30pm – 10:00pm) and going out for drinks is very different. In the UK drinking is usually to get drunk, in Spain drinks are often restricted to mealtimes. When the Spanish go out drinking it is called Botellon and it consists of drinking and pub crawling before ending up in a nightclub. In some cases they drink in the streets in large groups and share alcohol, a very friendly atmosphere that is a good experience for any fans of social drinking.

 

Fiestas & Siestas 

Two very frequent phrases you hear when people talk about the lifestyle in Spain, what do they mean? A fiesta can be anything from a festival or party to a bank holiday. This catches people off guard as many assume that fiestas usually just mean there’s going to be a party of some kind, but many shops will close and in more religious and traditional Spanish areas will shut down completely during a fiesta. They can be a little bit tricky to work out as different parts of Spain can have fiestas that do and don’t apply to them. So in some instances all of Spain may be closed, in others it may just be your pueblo so it’s important to pay attention to which areas your fiesta apply. Secondly we come to Siestas, the time is a little different between areas but usually it’s from 14:00 until 17:00. Often you’ll find shops and cafes open from 9:00 or 10:00 until 14:00 which is Spanish lunchtime. At this point many places close so the owners and staff can go home for lunch or a “siesta” to catch up on sleep. at around 17:00 or 18:00 all the doors open again and now stay open until late into the evening. Tourists can get stuck looking for a place to eat dinner whilst Spain is taking its nap time, so if you’re going inland be sure to keep your eye on the time.

Ryanair’s New Bag Policy

It’s no secret that Ryanair is one of the most commonly used airlines for flights from the UK to Spain. Starting January 15 they’re putting new policies into place that they believe will encourage more customers to fly with them and it’s also supposed to combat delays. Popular destinations include Alicante, Malaga and Valencia

Changes to Ryanair Bag Policy

The most important changes are as follows: Ryanair is reducing the costs of checked bags from €/£35 down to €/£25 and increasing the size from 15 kilograms up to 20 kilograms. However there is a catch to the new system. In order to help prevent delays Ryanair will only allow passengers who have priority boarding (at the cost of €/£5 during booking or €/£6 after booking ). to take 2 bags on board, their cabin bag (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and a smaller handbag or backpack (35cm x 20cm x 20cm).

Non Priority Passengers

Passengers who don’t pay the extra fee to become priority will as usual be asked to queue in the “Other queue” as normal, however they will now be asked to place their cabin bags into the hold, only being allowed to take their smaller bag onboard. Ryanair suggests that you take any items needed for medicinal purposes or for your infants on board in your smaller bag. non priority passengers who refuse to comply and don’t allow staff to put their bags in the hold will be refused travel with NO REFUND issued.

A 50 Million Euro Gamble

As said above, they’ve made these changes to help avoid delays and they believe that this change will increase the amount of passengers who book with them, we can only hope they are correct as the cheaper prices and larger bags allowed from this change will cost Ryanair approximately 50 million euros per year. With the forecast for 2018 being that more properties will be sold, and knowing that a large percentage of properties sold are to Brits, it’s no surprise that flights between Spain & the UK will continue to be in high demand, especially during the holiday seasons in which Ryanair has hinted that costs of checked luggage may rise by up by €/£10 to compensate for increased baggage handling costs by the large amount of passengers flying during peak seasons.

All information is sourced directly from Ryanair’s official website.

What is the Sunniest Costa?

If you’ve read our recent article about the huge amount Brits moving to Spain despite brexit making the pound weaker, then you’ll probably wonder why Malaga was such a popular destination and even more so, what Spanish coast boasts the most sunshine all year round? Let’s find the sunniest costa.

Top 3 Sunniest Costas

So the runners up are Costa Blanca & Costa De Almeria, both with almost 3,000 hours of sun per year (Average of 2,994 hours). Another honorable mention are the Canary Islands, boasting an average of 2,822 hours of sunshine per year. The winner by just a fraction is the Costa Del Sol, having over 3,000 hours of sunshine and it’s name literally translating to “Coast of the Sun” makes the Costa Del Sol the sunniest coast in Spain. Malaga in particular has the most hours of sunshine and reports say that Malaga has the best climate in the whole of Spain! Mild winters and the sea breeze keeping summers moderate makes Malaga a favourite for many expats.

When it rains, it pours

Rainfall is something that doesn’t come to mind when thinking about the sunniest costa in Spain, but you should now that on those few days of rainfall we get enough to keep the plants watered for the rest of the year! The most rainfall ever recorded in the Costa Del Sol is 497mm of rainfall! That’s over four times the usual average and was recorded in Malaga, the town voted with the best climate. This was recorded way back in 1989 but we still expect over 100mm of rainfall in the months of November and December. The rest of the year is generally speaking pretty dry and not much rain is expected and rain during the summer months is a rare occurrence.

Spanish Flag with the word Brexit written on it

Brits are still moving to Spain despite Brexit

The high cost of properties in Britain has pushed many Brits to take the leap of faith and end up moving to Spain, which is an extremely popular choice among Brits. Figures from 2015 show that 1 in 5 properties sold to foreigners are sold to Brits! The study shows that almost 13% of all properties sold that year in Spain were sold to foreigners and out of all those properties sold, nearly 20% was sold to Brits.

What about Brexit?

Now with article 50 being triggered earlier this year and Brexit having many people worried about what to do with the Great British Pound being at a low, it would seem that all of this has had a negligible impact on Brits buying their dream homes abroad. A study performed by Spanish Legal Reclaims shows us that 55% (more than half!) of Brits who are considering to purchase a property abroad say that Brexit has no impact on their choice, and a staggering 10 percent have said that they’d be more likely to purchase a property abroad.

Expats in Spain

Spain is the favorite winning with 45% of votes, France being second with 37%. So, who else is moving to Spain right now? Well the runners up after the Brits are the French and then the Russians.

There are now over 750,000 people with British nationality officially living in Spain, most of them move to Spain’s tourism areas, the canary & Balearic islands, Murcia (Costa Blanca) and Andalusia (Costa Del Sol) being the most popular destinations. Property prices in Spain are on the rise and the housing market is healthy & active, although not as booming as before the crisis, figures are on the rise.

UK Property prices vs Spain

Apart from the sun, why are so many Brits moving to Spain? As the title suggests, price in properties. In the UK, the average price of a house per square meter is £2,216 or as high as £11,321
in some areas of London. Now lets compare that to Malaga, one of the most sought after areas to live in Spain by many Brits, here the average price per square meter is 1,662 and areas such as Valencia are 952 per square meter! After taking the exchange rate into account, the cheaper living costs and the average of almost 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, it’s clear to see that regardless of Brexit, buying abroad remains as popular as ever.

Malaga Spain
Malaga – Spain