Gay Married Couple Looking to Relocate to Spain

The question is where in Spain would a gay married couple in their 60s feel more comfortable?

The choices are :

Malaga/Torremolinos, Alicante, or Valencia.

We like to make gay friends and have all the amenities that a decent-sized city would have such as transportation, and good healthcare, in an urban/or beach setting. I'm used to living with modern conveniences here in the US.

We don't speak Spanish, so being around English-speaking people would be a plus.
Since we haven't been there yet (I was in Spain 40 years ago, but was in a terrible plane crash in Malaga)
so I'm asking you for suggestions.

Thank you!
I currently live in Alicante and yes, it is a good place to live. However, if you are interested in opening a business or finding a job, chose to relocate to the north of Spain. Surprisingly, here in Alicante there is an exclusive Gay sauna and also, other places where you can hangout where people will not stare if you and your partner will express your feelings in public. With regards of English, well I am in the same situation (I don't speak Spanish) and within the last eight months spent here, I managed to find people speaking (poor) English. You should be ok here. I am a foreigner without any interest to promote the area, but since there is a decent cost of living, quite safe place and good weather, I've had choose to live here for a while (even that, nowhere is perfect). Good luck with your decision
I don't think that being gay enters much into the equation. Without knowing I would suspect there is more of a gay scene in Madrid and Barcelona than there is in Logroño but I live in a village of 8,000 people where the town mayor is gay, the bloke who heads up the local fiesta committee is gay and where being gay is no more remarkable than having a bad haircut.

There are English speaking people everywhere - absolutely everywhere but, if you end up in Valladolid or Caceres or Ciudad Real not speaking Spanish would be frustrating and limiting. The majority of Britons tend to live in Malaga and Alicante provinces or on the two groups of islands - in those places thousands of people seem to get by with limited and poor Spanish. There are much lower, but still significant, populations along all the coasts and Murcia has been attracting lots in the last few years. Madrid and Barcelona have a good number of English speakers too but they tend to be professionals rather than retirees or young families looking for the sun.

You mentioned Torremolinos and Malaga in one breath. They represent, in one way, one of the major decisions you have to make. Malaga, like Valencia or Murcia or Bilbao or Barcelona or Zaragoza is a city with all that implies and Torremolinos is a place where tourism is ultra important. Torremolinos, like Magaluf or Benidorm is the sort of town that we old Brits might describe as cheap and cheerful or as kiss me quick hats.

Providing you're rich enough to afford it, and sort of reading between the lines in your original post, I think you'd probably like one of the bigger cities on the coast. Oh, and don't presume that Spain is some backward rural idyll. I haven't seen a donkey cart for years and in all but the most rural of locations the stuff that comes out of the tap/faucet comes via a water treatment plant.

Best of luck
Alicante and in particular Benidorm has a gay kinda scene, but it is tourist centric, a bit old school drag shows, but with a mixed crowd but geared more towards tourists.  Malaga I don't  know but suspect Torremolinos is similar to that Benidorm vibe.  Sure will be friendly enough but not particularly Spanish or international, the Brits dominate more. 

Valencia is a fantastic city, good travel links.  Gay bars, the bear bear I went to particularly friendly as they usually are.  Everyone I spoke to spoke English.  But it's a proper city, if you wanted something quieter try a place on a travel link so you could pop into the city for nights out, stay the night really affordably, but have a smaller town outside but still have everything you need.  Valencia has a good beach but the whole stretch near Olivia is nice.  I think the train direct goes as far as Gandia. 

Gandia and Olivia towns not on the beach, just slightly inland, but have their own beach resorts too.  You're also then within easy access to other towns  like Denia and Javea and Denia has buses to Benidorm.  Valencia and Denia also have ferries to the Balearic Islands.  So really well connected to explore a lot of areas.  A budget hotel for a night to visit places you wouldn't necessarily want to live but go for a night out may suit, it would personally suit myself, dipping in and out.

May be worth starting your journey travelling the coastline for a while.  There some good YouTube vlogs of people doing that.  A friends parents did it in an RV but as already living in another EU country they just go for six months every year, now but they settle in Nerja every winter. After exploring they liked it there most, but they rent as long term for six months a year, they found was a good deal for them. 

I'm looking to buy a holiday bolt hole in Spain myself, eventually to retire but the retirement property is not what I want now due to the maintenance and upkeep of land when I'd only be coming for long weekends.  I'm torn with a tiny budget between a smaller seaside place, but I want somewhere quieter with less foreign tourism.  Or head to a nice town 30 minutes or so inland to get a larger house in a decent town with amenities and a small garden for a plunge pool.  There's not much difference in price with the two options, both would need work done on them in my budget, but it's about narrowing down what you want out of it.  As I live in London I'm veering towards seaside, so each weekend would feel the most escapism sitting with a drink looking out to sea.   But inland towns can be utterly charming in other ways, I've researched some that look peaceful as anything but come fiesta time it's foam parties and mayhem!.  My budget dictates where I pick in the end, whatever I can afford will have to do, but I have narrowed down some towns that often have affordable places come up, just needs visiting as some seem too cheap, so maybe there are other issues there that may make it less desirable.

I think your best bet is definitely to explore first, especially as you've not been in so long, take your time, wind your way along the coast and see what fits.  There will definitely be some places you'll prefer over others and will help you whittle it down.

I have been to many places in Spain as I was looking for a place to live as a single gay man turning 65 in July. Today I got notice that my Visa application has been approved and I have an appointment on Monday to get the visa put into my passport.

My choice of where to live was made after many checklist and visits. I decided on outside of Santander for several reasons. But they are my reasons and may not fit for you. I don't go to gay bars and am an introvert who doesn't need a lot of social life. Two or three good friends that I see periodically are enough for me. I don't mind going to a concert, museum, restaurant, or bike-ride/hike on my own. I love travel and have good travel mates.

I like smaller towns but enjoy being close to a small city or large town. Walking to the store or out to eat and not driving for weeks at a time is my preference. I also need decent access to an train station to get me to France, Denmark, Portugal... and an airport to get me to Norway, Italy, Greece....

I am entry level in my Spanish but am putting forth the effort to learn it. I am attending a month long intensive class at the International University in Santander in August to boost my learning curve. At this moment, I have gotten very good at pronunciation and often use Google Translate to know what to ask for if I encounter a non-English speaker. I've been able to get everything done I've needed including a computer repair. Two factors come into language: the smaller the town and how touristy it is. Small villages on the coast will have English speakers at restaurants and hotels and maybe even gas stations, grocery stores, and barbers. In Santander (a decent sized town) it seems less than half the folks at the grocery store will speak English.

The other main reason for me to choose Santander is the temperature in the summer and fall. The older I get, the less I can take the humidity and heat. I was in Valencia last October and was miserable. I love the city but hated it at that time of year.

Regarding attitudes toward being gay, as others have said, it is so much a non-issue. This still seems surprising to me as I grew up in Alabama and have spent a lot of time in Florida. I can't imagine you'd be the victim of bias in business dealings because you're gay. I wish all people in the US could let go of the sexual shame and repression that is so much a part of the US culture. The world would be a better place and the US would be a much happier and enjoyable place.

All this is to say that you need to decide the place and area that meets your desires that are so far beyond your sexual identity unless you feel a need to have a substantial gay community nearby. But as others have said, it is so easy to get around the country and relatively inexpensive to stay for weeks or longer to enjoy that too.


[link under review]

- @tomwins

I didn't think that Spain was having issues with human rights. Thank you for sending.

@tomwins hi Tom, I am curious to know more about why you hated Valencias weather in October? I am still

trying to decide where I want to retire amd I thought Valencia had great weather.  Inquiring minds want to know.   I actually have a million other questions and would love to connect.  Thanks

Hi Redlodge

I haven't seen Tom's response, but I live in Valencia, and having lived and travelled the world, for me its the best place ever, which the exception of one thing Las Fallas, and thats because we have 3 little fur babies.

Happy to help if I can




Sorry it took me so long to reply but I just saw your request for me to tell you why I don't like September in Valencia.

I don't like heat and humidity. As long as the temperature is below 25 I am fine. In dry climate I don't mind 26 or 28 degrees. But when it is both humid and above 30 I just want to stay indoors. As soon as I walk outside I am drenched in sweat and feel like I'm pulling myself through the air just to walk.

I have been in Santander where it is also humid but it isn't hot. It is perfect for me.

When I was in my 20 and 30s I lived in Florida and it didn't bother me. I then moved to San Diego where it was a dryer and more temperate climate and over the decades I was there adjusted to liking cooler weather.

I have friends in Florida who say they have grown to hate the heat over the years and don't ride their bikes or go for walks anymore. They go from the house to the car. And when I was visiting the US last year I found myself doing the same because it was too uncomfortable to be out of the air conditioning.

I don't have AC here and over the winter used the heat for part of the morning to "knock the chill off". I am outside to bike, hike, and/or walk every day without feeling uncomfortable.

I realize this is me and why the heat bothers me now when it didn't when I was younger I don't know. I love Valencia and visit there often. It just isn't the place I want to live for an active outdoor life for me.



STIGES, below Barcelona has an active Gay community. You don't have to live in the centre of town lovely villas and apartments just outside the main hub. It's quite international so although Spanish would be an advantage you can get by without, in most cases.