Two months in Spain this coming winter. Suggestions.

Discussion in 'Overseas Travel,Holidays,Hotels & Airlines' started by SoylentGreen, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. SoylentGreen

    SoylentGreen Frequent Poster

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    I have a family member who will be having renovations to his home over this winter. The plan is that they will move in to our home and we will move to Spain for about 2 months.

    I am fairly familiar with Spain but not so much over the winter months.

    We are looking to stay somewhere that has good transport links. Train, local buses so we can move about and maybe stay over for a night.

    We were thinking the east coast. Somewhere between Valencia and Murcia. Our preference is the Valencia end as there are year round flights and cheap flights to the Balearics from there.

    We would need a decent resort type area that will be "open" all week rather than just weekends.

    About €1k per month.

    Any thoughts? Thanks
     
  2. SBarrett

    SBarrett Frequent Poster

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    Seville? A girl who used to work in our office came from there and used to complain about the cold all the time. Said it was always warm in the winter there. I've heard it's a nice enough city.
     
  3. Gordon Gekko

    Gordon Gekko Frequent Poster

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    Are the Canaries out?
     
  4. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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    1. The Canaries are a runner all year round.
    2. Seville:- Inland and probably colder over the winter than Cork.
    3. If anybody pays over €750 per month (electricity and all utilities included) for a centrally located 2 bedroom apartment, low rise, over winter/spring in Spain, they must be making it "soft."

    The further south you go in coastal Spain is driest and warmest. The Murcia region is warm enough though. Here's a thought:- The warmest and driest area of Spain (and in fact the whole Mediterranean basin) is Costa Almeria nestled between Costa del Sol and the Murcia region. Costa del Sol is colder and wetter although not by much.

    Suggested Resort:- Mojacar Playa. I would say that, of course, we have an apartment there. But, it is open 12 months of the year. Rental is cheaper than most other Costas. Eating out:- €13.00 or less for a 3 course meal. Supermarets as good as ours. Wine:- You can buy the equivalent of €9.50 bottles for about €1.00 but splash out and pay €3.50 and you're drinking a bottle of wine that would cost €25 - €35 per bottle in Ireland. The Spaniards traditionally go on walkabout on New Year's Day with coats buttoned up to their necks and gloves that an explorer would wear to the South Pole while Paddy swims comfortably in water hotter than in Ireland during August. Walks are on the level by the 3 miles of beaches. Walks in the countryside can be as difficult as you wish. English is spoken throughout and the population is split 50/50 Spaniards and Expats.

    Access:- Alicante Airport (2 hours drive), Murcia Airport (90 mins drive), Almeria Airport (45 mins drive), Malaga Airport (2.25 hours at least, I haven't tried the new completed motorway yet). Public Bus service between cities (Alsa Bus) is good. Local buses cost €1.20 per trip and service is good. Local Taxis:- Absolutely Dreadful with a capital D.

    Nightlife:- Good for those over 50.

    Threats:- Your suntan is so good, you'll have lots of requests for visits from your family/friends.

    Rule of Thumb re Clothing:- Shorts and tee shirts during the day until 4.00pm and then as heavy clothing you would wear in Ireland. Duvets necessary from mid November - April.

    Pest Control:- Be careful if dealing with estate agents re deposits, finders fee, deposit against breakages.

    Main Danger:- It is likely you'll enjoy the place so much that you will purchase property there later. You've been warned.
     
  5. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    I think we'll see a big increase in this winter break with the new silver haired foxes coming into the age group that want options to our cold damp climate. Thanks for that insight Leper.
     
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  6. ALEXA

    ALEXA Frequent Poster

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    Cabo Roig approximately 40 minutes south of Alicante airport and just 20 minutes from Murcia San Javier airport. Fabulous beaches and walks in winter sunshine. Very reasonable rentals close to the beach, restaurants and supermarkets. Large shopping centre nearby at la Zenia. Don't consider Seville for winter as it's as cold as Ireland but you could take one of the organised tours there. Granada is also a lovely tour to do. Christmas is lovely in Spain - no as commercialised as Ireland but special with the Belen - nativity scenes all around the coastal towns. I can recommend a letting agent if you need one. Wherever you go enjoy the 2 months in Spain - you'll probably want to stay longer!
     
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  7. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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    The Recession is over (a surprise to those living outside the Pale, Cork, Limerick, Galway etc) and people are paying for house insulation, extensions, attic conversions. The easier option is to move out during renovations. House rental prices in Dublin are at an all-time high. Coastal Spain (and probably all of Spain, currently having the exhuming of Franco's body as a huge news subject to divert the population's mind from the economy, recessions etc). Suddenly, a move to sunnier climes is a worthwhile runner. When I first retired (age 47) I spent the winter in Spain (mid October - mid April); no car, no telephone, no internet), absolute bliss, walked every day, lost some unwanted weight, worked on my Spanish (although no need), took a cookery course (definite need) in a Spanish cookery school, my art capabilities improved surprising even me what landscapes I could paint (even ran into an art commune).

    OK! you have no RTE television, but we have to make sacrifices. BBC + ITV television kept me abreast of news. The Dutch national cycling team trains through Mojacar Playa. Mrs Lep claims she assisted in their future Olympic medals horde by lending one of the team a bicycle pump. Another sacrifice I made was visiting a café every morning to drink coffee, water, orange juice, two tapas and nuts for all of €1.50 (2018 price) and watched the world go by. After cooking lessons, the local bus (@€1.20 current price) brought me back to the apartment. Siesta Time! Into bed from 2.00pm - 5.00pm after which I put my new culinary skills into operation having bought fresh local produce down the road which kept Irish supermarkets looking like extortionists. I made new friends there (mainly Brits) and some Spaniards.

    I replicated stays there on a few winters (availing of Special Leave - Nil Pay, but tax efficient over time) when I could. We bought a couple of bicycles, again good quality but at prices much lower than Ireland. Mrs Lep who wouldn't be seen dead on a bike here was a daily cyclist and eventually wore more lycra than some of the contestants in the Tour de France.

    My first retirement was good but I had a Frank Sinatra moment and having being offered a job in the Health System I made a comeback. I'm not sorry I made the comeback, but this time there won't be another comeback. I've moved on from Frank Sinatra retiring forever.

    Now for a money saving hint (with the expensive property rental situation here) it makes sense to rent out your Irish property to finance a long stay in Spain and with the rental differential you'll make a few bob while enjoying warmer Spain. There might even be an incentive in the forthcoming Budget (just a guess). The Brits are doing this for years, but of course what do they know? Why should we do what they do? After all they can keep their Premiership, Coronation Street, Marks & Spencer, Tesco etc.
     
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  8. SoylentGreen

    SoylentGreen Frequent Poster

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    Thanks for the responses so far. I was hoping to hear from Leper again. Always a good read.

    Ryanair fly to Murcia over the winter so I will do a bit of research on CaboRoig. The transfers to Mojacar Playa seem a bit long. A pity the usual suspects don't fly to Almeria in the winter. Never liked the Canaries for some reason.

    I would pay less than €1k per month for a rental but at this stage of my life I would want somewhere comfortable and well located, maybe a bit upmarket, a bit of space. Sea view.

    Places like Benidorm are out. Not fond of high rise resorts, loud pubs, More in to promenades, scenic views, beside old town etc

    U.K. TV would be good but I will be bringing a laptop. Good WiFi needed.
     
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  9. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Leper how much was the cookery course and how many hours?
     
  10. Cervelo

    Cervelo Frequent Poster

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    Having spent the last two winters cycling in Spain, in a town close to Mojacar Playa I would second Leper's suggestion of the Almeria region
    But when I read your post yesterday and not knowing what you'd be interested in doing on a long stay holiday, I was thinking would you be better staying in or very close to Valencia
    I'm suggesting Valencia because during the day there is lots of things to do, museums, art galleries, historical city to explore to name a few
    and you could hire a car for about 20 to 25 euro a day to go explore the surrounding area, Barcelona is a couple of hours drive north

    No mater where you end up, as Leper says you'll have a great time and will start looking at Spanish property prices
     
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  11. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    1. The Cookery course was over 4 days 10.00am to 1.30pm. Actual Cost I cannot remember, but it was not overly expensive. All the others on the cookery course were locals on a kind of FÁS scheme. I was the eldest by far but I feel I got a lot out of the course and my eating/purchase of food has improved as a result. I think we never bought Bisto or packet soup since and all our sauces are carefully planned. Knife skills were excellent. You could choose from different kinds of courses. My choice was of a general cooking nature and where I used to work in Ireland I used to treat some of the staff to the cholestrol inducing dessert dishes I learned. It is a serious industry in Spain, but lots of trainee cooks, etc most probably going no further than the nearby tourist restaurants. I say that with respect and don't wish to sound snobbish.

    2. The €750 per month rental + electricity is at the upper end of the winter rental market in Costa Almeria. I could inform you of places that cost much less, but if I wouldn't go there, I wouldn't recommend. I'm talking 2 bedroom apartment (low rise), centrally located, gated, communal large garden, private terraces, 2 mins walk to beach, supermarket, restaurants, sea and mountain views. The promenade is literally 30 yards down the road. But, if you want to pay more there's nothing like the apartment owner (or estate agent) in Spain to fleece you and smile in the process. Sorry about that.

    3. I didn't realize Ryanair flew to Murcia over the winter - must check that out for my own visits. The transfers from Alicante Airport cost €30 each per adult. I don't know of transfers from Murcia (but I reckon you can't get one at the minute). Perhaps when Corvera (new airport of Murcia) opens later this year the transfers might be available from there. I agree that the long length of time regarding transfers is not good.

    4. Like Cervelo said perhaps Valencia region is for you. I never stayed there but the region has lots to offer. Be careful hiring a car because the insurance can cost you bigtime but you would be wise to take out excess insurance in Ireland beforehand.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  12. Thirsty

    Thirsty Frequent Poster

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    @Leper - do you have any sites/agencies you'd recommend for longer term rentals in Almeria?
     
  13. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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    Have a look at DoneDeal where are hundreds of rentals in Spain (under Holiday Homes Overseas, I think). You most likely would be dealing with an Irish owner.

    TripAdvisor has some too. The local estate agents would have many on their books too. But, I recommend dealing with owners only (no finders fee, no other add-ons).

    Do your homework well; avoid the usual pitfalls; ensure you're not being scammed. Usually there are more properties on the apartment complex for rent, so google the name of the complex which is a good place to start your investigations.
     
  14. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    That cookery course sounds exactly what I'd like to do in retirement. €750 a month is not bad for a decent place in a good location like you've outlined. How warm is it in the winter there? I have a dream of going to Thailand for Jan to March for the heat. Because I thought Spain might not be hot enough.

    Leper another way to figure out flights it to look at the arrivals and departures for each airport.
     
  15. iamaspinner

    iamaspinner Frequent Poster

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  16. Grizzly

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    It is interesting watching the Channel 4's afternoon programme, A place in the Sun, Home or Away.

    A number of participants are doing both. Downsizing their U.K. home AND buying a bolthole abroad.

    Certainly with the costs associated with this I would imagine that renting a property owned by someone else is the way to go.

    There is always the option to rent over a two month period in Spain but to move about from location to location in the process.

    http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/tarifas/tarjeta_dorada.html

    Also in Portugal, you don't need to purchase a discount card for train travel. Just turn up at the train station and present your passport and get 40% off. (Over 60's).
     
  17. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    I watched that programme yesterday. I thought the property split into 2 was a really good idea. It was 2 X 2 bed apartment. So you could rent out one of those for 500 (I'm guessing in peak season) giving yourself an income and you then as a couple would only have a reasonable sized property for yourselves, which cuts down on costs and the dreadded cleaning. And then for the times you would have visitors you wouldn't rent the other apartment in those weeks. It was the Costa Blanca and looked far more appealing to me than anything they showed in Kent.

    Another thing that struck me about Spain, those big terraces are all very well but it gets pretty hot there so a shaded place might be better. Which is why the Spanish and French have shutters on their windows or have small windows.

    I have a feeling that a lot of the Brits and Irish that holidays in Spain this summer won't go back next year as it was way too hot. I was in France myself and I've never seen it so hot.
     
  18. Cervelo

    Cervelo Frequent Poster

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    Thirsty, Airbnb is also another good place to find long term rentals as some are full during the summer months but empty throughout winter, so the owners are more likely to do a deal with you.
    It's where I found the place I have stayed in, The normal rate is €100 per night B&B for the 3 bed house but I get it for €200 a week all in including all my food and a dinner cooked for me every night
    I quite possibly could do it for cheaper but feel I would loose out on some of the non-tangible benefits that are provided while I'm there
     
  19. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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    Anybody interested in renting or buying in Spain would be better served by not believing everything they hear on television programmes selling homes in the sun. I would believe OJ Simpson faster than I'd believe most of the real estate agents in the programmes. They are well trained on twisting the truth; in fact they are professional at it. Hopping on a plane and spending a fortnight looking at property available is not the right way to approach living in Spain or anywhere else.

    Then there are the programmes where property is bought for GBP£7000 and then a spend of GBP£3000 max on renovations. The programme indicated that the entire building was gutted; the furniture brought by van to the UK for brightening up and repair and brought back to Portugal later; extensive roof repairs; connection of electricity, water, internet; new stairs, new doors + doorframes, new windows, new plastering, painting, Blue Bin for left over brickwork; floor repairs and all for under £3K. Anybody believing the projected costs here should be watching Celebrity Big Brother forever and nothing else.
     
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  20. Sophrosyne

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    Didn't they do well! :D