Moving to Spain late summer 2021, gay single in my 40s

I have visited Spain several times and I know it pretty well from a tourist point of view but I'd like to hear the point of view of expats who live or have lived there.
I am a single gay man, in my 40s, currently living in London (for the past 18 years). My company will allow me to work remotely from Spain, from any place, which I am looking forward to to begin a new chapter in my life after my very long relationship ended last year.
I would like to be on the coast and I am currently looking at Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga, all of which I love and I believe I can afford living in quite comfortably. I would love to have easy access to the beach walking/cycling preferably, or by public transport. I also love outdoor sports and nearby mountains would be a plus but of course not necessary. I like warm weather but if it rains every now and then it does not bother me too much. I speak intermediate Spanish (castellano) although I should brush it up soon...
I am no longer into partying but not knowing anyone there I believe that a big/biggish city would be best to start with, to meet new people (not necessarily just gay people) and then just seeing how things progress.
I'd be grateful for any recommendations on which city you think would be best, or any place other than the three I mentioned.
Thank you very much,

I have been going to Peñíscola every year from 2012 to 2020.
I lived there for all of 2017.
We are renting an apartment, year-round.
We are Canadian and EU citizens, so it's easy for us to stay in Europe, whenever.
I am not a fan of big cities, nor is my wife.
So, we chose a quieter spot.
I did love each stay there.
We were there last year, for 5 weeks, and out of 5 weeks,
we did 4 weeks of near-absolute confinement as the country took extreme measures.
We will be going back this fall or next winter.
I prefer Valencia to Barcelona.
If you'd like to know about this particular region, I'd be happy to answer any question.
Good luck

François N.

Hello François,
Thank you for your message.
I have just looked up Peniscola and it looks really beautiful.
I think though that for me being on my own it may be best to be in a city as a starting point as it'd make it easier to meet new people and expats. But if I end up in Valencia I will definitely visit Peniscola!
Thanks again,

If you're asking about a city then, to be honest, the choice is so personal that nobody can really help much except to point out their personal preferences.

If you're really asking about being gay in Spain we live in a village (8,000 people) which traditionally votes conservative in general elections. The mayor is gay and the other day we went to a wedding between a couple of older gay men and the posting on Facebook got nothing but positive comments.

Hi Culebronchis,
You are right about personal preferences, that said sometimes there are things I may not have considered so those could be helpful too.
Great to hear about your village! Conservative yet so liberal when it comes to gay life. I should not rule out smaller places than the cities I mentioned, I will certainly explore after landing there.
Thanks a lot

Well, on coastal cities places like Alicante and particularly Malaga have a thriving social and cultural life, smaller cities like Cartagena and Almeria or Cadíz have the advantages of cities (and the disadvantages from parking problems and noise to more crime) but they are also small enough to slot into. The coastal towns on the North coast obviously don't have the good weather but lots of them are really pleasant places to be.

cadiz /Puerto de santa maria for me Large american naval base there good food  people and beeches Bang on my friend

Hi David
I have been living near Denia (to the south of Valencia) for over 15years. Its a lovely place to stay near the coast. Its fairly quiet, outside of summer, and very relaxing.
Its possible to travel to Valencia or Alicante for the day. Both cities are about 1.5hours drive or about 2hours by public transport, mostly bus.
Its a very beautiful area, close to the sea, not too far from larger cities and plenty of natural areas to explore. I love it.
Good luck in finding your place.

I did not think about Cartagena and Alicante, I will investigate (I've been to Almeria and it was not my 1st choice).
There are indeed very beautiful coastal towns in the north but I'm positive I want to be close to the Mediterranean.  Thanks again for all your thoughts!

And I did not think about Cadiz either. I really don't know it, so I will take a look. Thanks!

Thank you btozer too, One more on the list for me to check (Denia).
I did not expect so many messages in this forum, very grateful to you all for the suggestions. Researching and planning online is already half the fun, I'm finding!

I totally understand and agree with you that being single in a new country, a biggish city would be a good starting point. There will be more options socially. Barcelona is fab but it's getting chaotic especially with the covid hitting the most touristy cities the hardest, and crime rates go up.

Malaga  could be a little small, with most of the people in normal times being tourists.

I will think Valencia will be perfect for you. It's like a smaller,  and less crazy version of Barcelona and is not far from there anyway.

Hi David,
I am also researching a place to move to. So far Torremolinos is my first choice. It is 20 min drive from Málaga, so close to airport, etc. 2 bedroom condos for less than €750. As cheap as Málaga, and for someone from Vancouver Canada, it means half the cost of living, rent included. And gay life like Barcelona or Sitges.

For ideas in place to rent,

And you should likely know

Hello Daniel,
I'm gay too, so I could advice about gay living in Spain.
I would look for bigger cities if you are alone, not for parties, but for a more lively and open gay life. It's easier to meet people.
You won't find issues being gay almost everywhere, but in small towns life is more closeted.

Feel free to send me a message about this and other aspects.

Welcome to the sunny country!

Hi David

I am from London, also gay and in my early 40s, and moved to Valencia last year. It has all the things you describe such as an excellent cycle network, huge beaches, proximity to mountains, and is compact enough to get around easily. Plus is affordable and the weather is brilliant.

There's not a huge gay scene and one thing the city lacks is the edge that places like London and Barcelona have, but that's quite a relief for me in some respects. One thing I have noticed is more openess for gay people. I'm not saying it's perfect (I haven't been out too much over the past year because of restrictions) but I've seen more same sex couples walking around holding hands in under 18 months than I did in nearly 20 years in London. Other places are probably very similar.

A couple of things to check, though, will be your eligibility to live and work in Spain. Since the end of the Withdrawal Agreement you will be limited to a total of 90 days in the Schengen area in every 180 days unless you have an EU passport. This will include any travel for work or holidays. If you are applying for residency you will probably have to do so as a Third Country National and there are more requirements than before Brexit.

You'll also need to make sure which country's employment laws you will be working under (Spain has more bank holidays and your company might be forced to let you take them rather than the UK ones, for instance) plus you might need to demonstrate that you are not, in effect, a subsidiary or foreign office otherwise taxation might get a bit tricky.

Best of luck with the move wherever you decide on.

Hi David,

My name is Marc and I live in Saint Petersburg, Florida in the US. I am very seriously looking at becoming an expat and moving to Spain. From all that I am hearing and the research that I have been doing it seems that Valencia my be the best place for me to move to. What have you found or learned in making your plans and transitions to living in Spain?


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