Dec 262011
Spain 2011 and predictions for Spain 2012 – a summary!

So, 2011 gradually ebbs away – a year that many people in Spain will be pleased to see disappear, hoping that 2012 will herald better times ahead.  Unfortunately, I fear that may not be the case and there are compelling arguments to suggest that 2012 may be more difficult and challenging for Spain than 2011. So, how does one round up 2011? Well, I think reactions to Spain in 2011 depend very much upon who […]

Dec 232011
Christmas in Spain, a panacea!

So, Christmas is almost upon us again and with it the chance for a rest – after a year that has been testing for most people – with the Spanish economy ‘melting down’ and the Eurozone problems of worry to any expatriate living in Spain.  Thankfully, for a few days at least, that can be forgotten. In any event, Spain for most people is about holidays and that is one area in which Spain excels […]

Dec 212011
Spanish air strike, 29th December 2011

Are you due to fly on Iberia on the 29th December 2011?  If you are – then be aware that 118 Iberia flights scheduled that day have been cancelled.  This is due to a Spanish air strike by pilots of Iberia who are protesting about the creation of a new Spanish budget airline – although the reasons for their discontent escape me. The Spanish air strike on the 29th December will affect some 36% of […]

Dec 192011
How to be a green traveller in Madrid

  Spain’s capital and its largest city, Madrid is a wonderful place for tourists to enjoy an environmentally friendly trip. The foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama act as a scenic backdrop for this young, dynamic city which has seen huge growth since the end of the Franco period. Madrid has more green surfaces and trees per resident than any other European city. Atocha, the main train station, is a place where visitors wouldn’t expect […]

Dec 152011
Spanish tax liability on holiday homes in Spain

Did you know that if you have a holiday home in Spain that you are liable to pay an annual tax and that you must file a tax return, every year, with the Spanish authorities?  In fact, you are liable to pay two different annual taxes in Spain on your Spanish property – to be strictly accurate. Almost everyone knows that they are liable to pay Spanish rates (IBI – Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles) on […]

Dec 132011
The traditional food of Spain and menus del dia: value for money?

Throughout Spain around lunch time, you cannot fail to notice the numerous blackboards outside of restaurants boasting various renditions of the ‘Menu Del Dia’ or Daily Menu.  For those not familiar with the concept, this is a set menu in Spain providing anywhere from two to eight or more choices of ‘primero plato’, (first plate), ‘segundo plato’ (second plate) and dessert.  More often than not the set price also includes wine, water, bread and coffee […]

Dec 062011
Cheap holidays in Spain, thanks to the Spanish government!

Did you know that as a resident of Spain that you could be eligible for cheap holidays in Spain?  These are available to all nationalities but you must come within certain parameters including being over 65 or a widow of 55 (or over) receiving a widow’s pension or over 60 but on an early retirement pension or government invalidity pension. Does that sound like you? Well, if it does, and you are resident in Spain, […]

Dec 042011
Beach holidays Torrevieja

For many people, beach holidays in Torrevieja are exactly what Spain is all about. After all, Torrevieja provides almost everything that many people want from their holidays in Spain: consistently fine weather, great beaches, an azure Mediterranean sea, a lively nightlife, a pretty marina, plenty of golf courses, an elegant promenade, good shopping and lots of accommodation. However, Torrevieja provides something else special to English speakers: an infastructure that has developed over many years to […]

Nov 192011
Driving in Spain, good news at last!

For many years Spain had an appalling record for traffic accidents, to such an extent that driving in Spain was considered to be more dangerous than anywhere else in Europe with an unacceptable number of fatalities and injuries.  However, that seems to have changed radically as shown by some statistics recently released by Spain’s Institute for National Statistics (INE).  In fact, traffic fatalities from 2001 to 2010 have dropped by a staggering 55%! Good news, […]

Nov 162011
Mistella wine and the sweet life of Alicante in Spain

Recently I lay awake suffering from one of my regular bouts of insomnia and in search of sleep I turned to my latest birthday present, a Kindle e book reader. Stored on my Kindle was the ‘The adventures of Brigadier Gerard’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the celebrated author best known for his Sherlock Holmes tales. Brigadier Gerard was a flamboyant, fictional French cavalry officer during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century, who […]

Nov 122011
Culture of Spain under attack

It will come as no surprise to you to hear that the dreadful economic crisis in Spain is damaging the arts culture of Spain.  This is taking two forms namely a dramatic reduction in governmental (and commercial) grants for arts related institutions, exhibitions, festivals and shows and a genuine questioning by Spaniards about the endemic corruption (moral and financial) within Spain. Certainly,  grants (whether state, regional or local) are being brutally slashed for arts related […]

Nov 092011
Bird Watching in Spain, the stunning diversity of Valencia

The east coast of Spain, particularly the area that lies within the Valencian Community, offers some of the best bird watching in Europe.  Of course, bird life in Spain is exceptional, by anyone’s standards, but this is all the more notable in the Valencia region of Spain.  Indeed, bird watching in Valencia is unusual for its extraordinary diversity.  This is due to two key factors: Firstly, the geographical position of Spain as a country means […]