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Recommendations for winter residence please?

Hi forum members,

I have been actively exploring parts of Spain for the last three years, looking for a place to land and stay for about 6 months over the winter, with a view to relocating at some point if it works out.  Have ruled out the North because, although wonderful in summer, it's a little too cold for me in winter.   Love Valencia city but the rentals are higher than I'd like to pay and recently I visited La Alpujarra region, which is wonderful but I didn't find a town where I felt I could settle for long (I'm told everything goes very quiet there in the winter).  My ideal would be a warm winter climate (certainly warmer than the UK!), somewhere that doesn't close down outside the holiday season (so a working Spanish town), with a good mix of native Spanish and expats and a strong community feel.  I love many cultural pursuits, hiking and am a long-term meditator/qigong practitioner so a slightly 'alternative' community would be welcome, but not essential.  A town/small city location is preferable, within striking distance of good walking country.  I like to see the sea but I'm not a beach person so doesn't have to be on the coast.  Would love to hear from forum members who have resettled or are part-time residents with your experiences and recommendations.  Thanks for getting this far!  Warmest wishes,

You seem to be looking for the same as me.  Please let me know what your research reveals.  Tim

Have a look at Vinaros. Property is very affordable. It's about 1.5 hour drive north from Valencia or 1.5 hour drive to Barcelona. Small town, very relaxed, very short winter, amazing summer. Part of a 4 town community; Peniscola, Benicarlo, Vinaros and San Carlos Rapito.

I am married to a Spanish national and have been living in Alicante off and on for about 21 years (split with Albuquerque, NM, USA). I speak Spanish fluently and Valenciano  somewhat less fluently so I am pretty much totally integrated into Spain, with little contact with expats. There s an expat community here which has get togethers, but I am not active with them. I do occasionally go to Labor International meetings and I am active in the Spanish association for restoration of the historical memory.  There is a lot to do in Alicante year round and it is an inexpensive place to live, much cheaper than either Valencia or Barcelona. There is a lot of free entertainment, undubbed movies, guitar concerts, etc. as well as international concerts in the new ADDA. Museums are the mostly free, except the MARQ which is excellent, with temporal exhibitions from other museums in europe. There is an excellent central market. Temperatures here are about 5 degrees C warmer than Barcelona, and "winter" is very short. Very little rainfall. Very little crime in the city, very safe, but the "north zone" is a bit more conflictive. You might also want to look at Denia or Malaga. The smaller coastal towns are not lively in winter. Torrevieja and Altea are also options if you yearn for expat interaction. As an American I would rather live in Alicante than anywhere in the USA. Although I pay more taxes to live in Spain, it is totally worth it. I have an 18 year old son who was raised in Alicante, except for 4 years in the US, and I couldn't be happier with the education that he has received here in the public school system. He has a variety of excellent  friends, many immigrants from other countries. He currently attends the University of Valencia.

We plan with my husband to spend winter near Torrevieja. We are looking for independent house not too isolated in quiet area and 20 minutes away from Alicante Airport. I heard about Catral, is it worth ?
I speak spanish and french. Thanks for your advice.

Nathalie and Guy from Belgium.

Don't know much about Catral, but Torrevieja has a large expat population, maybe 60%. My stepson says Torrevieja is the cheapest place to live in Spain, as far as rent goes.  Cant say much else, onlt been there once.

We know some friends living in Torrevieja; we already visited a few houses in Urbanization but to close from each other. We will discover Torrevieja and La Mata where we will stay. Santa Pola seems nice too. The best is to take our time and like you said be there ! We hope to find a finca to rent for a year.

Around Alicante, can you suggest me nice village to discover ? Thanks.

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