The Spanish are famed for their laid back lifestyle. The Costa del Sol, as it is known, is a dreamy spot for both locals and holidaymakers alike. In fact, many people choose to make it their home indefinitely. Nearly 400,000 British people now live permanently in Spain, mainly on the sunny south coast. But what exactly are the best things about Spain, and why should you consider going?
Spanish cuisine is some of the most famed in the world. It is often imitated in tapas restaurants overseas – but really, nothing comes close to the real thing. Also, it is only when you visit Spain that you realise how overpriced many tapas restaurants actually are! The origins of genuine Spanish tapas are largely unknown, although it is believed to have started during the medieval period. The name ‘tapas’ comes from the verb ‘taper’, which means ‘to cover’, and a ‘tapa’ is also a Spanish word for ‘lid’. There is another theory which states that a former king became ill and could only eat small portions of food. Typical tapas dishes include calamari, patatas bravas and meatballs. Don’t forget, it is all washed down with Sangria!
Spanish people are very social and value greatly the importance of family. Huge family meals are not uncommon. If you go to visit or consider a move to Spain, prepare for communal meals where everyone shares the food. In fact, in some traditional Spanish families, multiple generations can live under one roof. If you come from a large family, you will feel right at home with this Spanish way of life. Another aspect of Spanish culture is the siestas. Siestas translates directly as ‘nap’, and that is basically what it is. Shops, churches and museums will close during the early afternoon. This allows the proprietors to catch a nap during the hottest hours of the day, before opening up again afterwards. During your trip to Spain, make like the locals and head back to your villa for a spot of beauty sleep. Sites such as La Manga Club are quiet and comfy so you can relax in peace. Additionally, Spanish people also tend to socialise later into the evening than many other countries. It is not unusual to eat your evening meal at 9 or 10pm, then join your friends for a drink after. If you are a night owl of sorts, this could be the perfect lifestyle for you.
Spanish weather is very attractive to those coming from cooler European countries. The country’s Mediterranean setting means the south has around 6 hours a day of sunshine during the winter and up to 12 hours a day during the summer. North and northwest Spain is the wettest area, but you can still generally expect sun and warm temperatures. If you are looking for a holiday where you can spend a few hours a day walking around seeing some culture, but can also happily spend the whole day on the beach, then Spain may be for you.