Winter might just be one of our favourite seasons here in Spain: temperatures are still comfortable (it’s 20ºC in the south at the moment) but the crowds have gone and it can feel like you have the place to yourself. Only briefly though, because, as any home owner in even the smallest Spanish village will tell you, it’s fiesta time. Cue fireworks, processions, good food, drink and cheer, and a chance to meet and mingle with your neighbours. Here are some of our favourite of Spain’s winter fiestas, beyond Christmas and New Year.
It is no accident that retirement in Spain is so popular with the British. There are numerous reasons for this, not least of all the climate. It brings on average 2200 hours of glorious sunshine. Then, there are 4,964km of coastline, not to mention the relaxed lifestyle. Imagine waking up to blue skies and warm sunshine and walking onto your terrace to take a dip in the pool before breakfast, or indeed ambling down to the beach for a swim.
The Canary Islands tourism authority claims the islands have the ‘best climate in the world’ – and it is hard to dispute. They get an average of 21°C year-round, and over 2,800 hours of sunshine a year. That’s over 1,400 more than the UK! You can see why this area is so popular with expats, especially when you add in the island lifestyle: easy access to the beaches and sea and plenty of fascinating towns and villages within a short drive wherever you are.
In 2017 I will have been living in Spain for 10 years, says our Spain writer, Sally. Some of my friends back in Britain will congratulate me, others will wonder how I survived. The fact is, I have really enjoyed being here, though I would be lying if I said everything was always easy. For those of you coming to Spain to work or retire, here are some tips to help smooth your path.