Anyone have experience of living near Girona?

Hi. I'm currently living near Aberdeen, Scotland. My husband and I retired a wee while ago and are considering a move to Spain. We do not plan to move to the south of Spain and therefore we have looked at a few other areas - both west and north Spain. Travelling soon to Girona to have a look around that area. We like the idea of still having some seasonal differentiation.  Anyone have experience of living near Girona?

Bear in mind that you will be stuck in an ex pat community if you don´t speak spanish. All the clubs and meetings will be in Catalan so you won´t be able to join anything other than a club for Brits. Think hard before you come.

I retired from the UK to Alicante five years ago and have not regretted it, but I am currently making plans to move to the Girona area later in the year. The reasons are twofold - firstly it's a couple of degrees cooler further north and I do find the heat here at times almost unbearable in the summer. The second reason is that the area around Girona is extremely pleasant, and bursting with natural and cultural attractions. I spoke no Spanish at all when I first came, but I found the Spanish people to be most kind and helpful despite that. I have slowly picked up some of the language, and using Duolingo am learning more. I do think it is only respectful to try and learn the language of the country if you live there, but it certainly isn't a major hurdle in my experience if you don't speak it to begin with, and certainly was not a barrier to me making Spanish friends!. Also apps are now available that will help when you first arrive;) My only advice would be to rent for at least 6 months first if you intend to buy - I did that and am grateful I did as the first place I stayed would not have been suitable at all.

Hello lindavan,

Welcome on board  :)

A new topic has been created from your post and the feedbacks you had on the Girona forum so that you may better interact with the members of this forum.

Best of luck,

Ros thanks for your quick response.  I do understand that it will be somewhat more difficult because of the use of Catalan. My husband is learning and has a good grasp of Spanish.  I have just started. We are used to living where there is some greenery and hills and also the south would be just too hot for us.   We shall have a look-see anyway. While we are in that area we also wanted to visit a couple of estate agents. Could you or someone you know recommend a couple of addresses in Girona. Thanks very much! 
You also mentioned an expat community. Is this substantial in Girona? Mostly Brits or a mixture of other Europeans?

Hi Fi! Thanks for your quick response - not sure if you can see my previous response to rosbentley. Also my sister-in-law has a house near Calpe (nr Benissa) and in summer it would be far too hot for us to live that far south. Therein our reason for looking further north. I like to walk in countryside so would need to be near to that type of landscape. I do love Scotland but am weary of the weather not that I am retired. My husband's Spanish is not bad at all and improving fast and I have just started so we are making attempts. We will be in Girona early October and will have a look around the area. We also like the idea to be close to a city and Girona seems to have a lot of interesting things to see /do. As well as a rail link. Good luck with your search too. Maybe we could keep in touch to see how it goes for one another. You obviously have far more experience so I'm assuming you will pick up stuff quicker than we shall do.

Hi Linda,
Good idea to keep in touch;)  We seem to share the same reasons for liking the area! Have a look at for groups in that area - mixed Spanish and English which is great;) I have signed up to the Girona group and am looking forward to meeting some of the members when I get there.

I just saw this thread, so may I add a few notes about Girona. I love it, it is a beautiful city, there are lots of things going on and there is absolutely no problem communicating if you don't speak Catalan, Spanish is fine. Both are official languages here. But I do get a certain amount of nagging about my not speaking Catalan because some Catalans feel that it is a sign of respect. But there are lots of Spanish-speakers here either from other parts of Spain or Latin America.

As far as the social side goes may I recommend you have a look at Meetup groups in Girona and I run a group called Girona Grapevine. I never wanted to live on the coast, the ex-pats in the city tend to be more integrated into the local life and culture. I hope this helps! (oh, I just noticed someone else mentioned Meetup!)

How did the move go ??? I'm an English lady who is currently planning a move to Girona.  Any advice would be welcome.  Jo x

Hi Butterfly!  I think you may be referring to my original email (or maybe the other lady's - FIJAM). Anyway we have not yet moved to Girona. Now we are at the point of getting our house n Scotland ready for the market. Only once we have sold will we move to Girona. Initially we plan to rent. So sorry not in a position to give any advice. However on last trip to Girona we went along to the Meetup meeting for the Girona Grapevine. Everyone we met there was very friendly and helpful. That quelled a lot of the hesitation that I had had about moving. So now I am excited about the prospect but it may be some time. Are you planning to move there soon?

Hi !  Thank you for your reply. I'm not in a position to move this year due to family reasons but a move may be possible next year.  It's a daunting prospect when you're moving on your own !!  I have to say i'm a little apprehensive about the result of the EU referendum.  It might makes things more difficult if we vote to leave.  I'm a member of several Meetup groups in the UK so I would definitely be keen to join any Spanish Meetup groups.  The more friends the better !  I've wanted to move to a warmer climate for many years.  I live in a very damp cool part of northern England and I hate it.  The grey skies are so depressing.  Nothing motivates me more than waking up to warm sunshine and blue skies.

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