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Top reasons Brits move to Spain

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Blog post Barcelona

Climate

One of the most important factors cited by Brits moving to Spain is the climate. Most of the country enjoys beautifully hot summers and very mild winters, making it perfect for anyone looking to escape the cold and the drizzle. But snow-seekers despair not, you can still find some up in the Pyrenees, where ski-season lasts several months over the winter.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Spain is significantly cheaper than in the UK, approximately 18%, and the rent is a whopping 33% lower! This different apply to the cities as well as rural areas – Madrid and Barcelona are between 20 and 25% cheaper to live in than London.

Quality of life

Though the cost of living is down, many see the quality of life as much better in Spain. The OECD Better Life Index ranks it very highly for safety, work-life balance and community. The cliché of the daily siesta may be tired (sorry!) for much of the country, but Spain retains a more laidback approach to the working day than we do back home.

Strong expat community

For better or worse, there are parts of the Spanish coastlines that can feel like an enclave of Great Britain. This can make it perfect for expats who just wish that Southend was a bit sunnier. However, there are certainly communities of assimilating expats, for those who want to absorb a little more Spanish culture.

Culture

If you do want to dig a little bit deeper, you’ll find that Spanish culture is rich in beautiful art, music and architecture. Explore the street of Barcelona to discover the almost mind-bending shapes of Gaudi’s buildings, or spend a few hours taking in the displays at the Prado Museum in Madrid. For a something a little different, La Tomatina in Buñol, near Valencia, is an enormous, annual food fight of around 150,000kg of tomatoes.

Healthcare

British medical journal The Lancet ranked the healthcare system in Spain as no 8 worldwide (where the UK ranks 30th). They spend more than most European countries (per capita) to guarantee high quality coverage for all residents, free at the point of use, with funds raised from social security contributions (much like our National Insurance). Only 10% of residents choose to use private healthcare, which is still significantly cheaper than in other countries such as the USA.

Food and wine

Spain is the world’s biggest producer of olive oil, and it forms the basis of their rich Mediterranean diet. You can also expect lots of fish and seasonal vegetables as well as meats like their famous jamon and cured sausages like chorizo. The ‘small plates’ tradition of tapas means you can sample as many of these dishes whilst enjoying a sociable, sharing meal.

Spain is the world’s most widely planted wine producing region, and is home to a huge variety of grapes. Although the Tempranillo used for riojas is known as Spain’s ‘noble grape’, you’ll find plenty of new wines to try. In the Basque region, Kalimotxo is a cocktail made of equal parts red wine and cola – don’t knock it ‘til you try it!