Costa del Sol property & lifestyle, news, views, advice & information

The Guardian’s Spain Special shows that the country still packs a punch

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 28th, 2014

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The beauty and diversity of Spain has the capacity to constantly surprise you

Despite its undoubted good intentions and excellent journalism over the past decade, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper receives a fair amount of stick for being a little too, well, full of itself.

Smugly ploughing its own righteous furrow, The Guardian’s editorials, writers, agendas and commentators often descend into unintentional parody of what many people assume ‘left-leaning’ individuals to be: quinoa-eating, sandal-wearing, hemp-clothed do-gooders who holiday in undiscovered Montenegran villages and name their children Mungo and Moppy.

So it was with surprise this weekend when I flicked on my laptop and automatically clicked on to The Guardian’s website (they have great sports coverage, you see) to be met with a Spain Special splashed across its travel pages. Now, Spain being a country in Europe and The Guardian being a national newspaper in the UK, this shouldn’t have been so surprising

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Affordable Spanish property attracting British retirees

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 27th, 2014

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Older Brits are homing in on the Costa del Sol's property market

A potent combination of a strong pound, the endless-appeal of the Costa del Sol and lower property prices is drawing British retirees back to the Spanish property market in their droves.

With the average property selling at VIVA for around £180,000 last year, British buyers aged between 40 and 60 are driving the market’s ongoing recovery – accounting for 42 per cent of all homes sold by VIVA in 2013

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Spain no longer in EU’s pocket

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 26th, 2014

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Spain has paid down its debt to the EU by a third in the past year

What a difference a year makes: figures released this week by the Spanish Central Bank show that Spain has reduced its debt owed to the EU by almost a third in the past 12 months – with the debt owed shrinking even further in the first quarter of this year… Continue Reading

EU elections of little concern for Brits in Spain, FT finds

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 23rd, 2014

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The hot sands of Torremolinos beach may not be a hot bed of political debate, but that's fine

Vox pop-style polls are a handy journalistic trick employed by time-pressed reporters seeking instant opinion on any topic they are trying to cover. Responses from the ‘man on the street’ can often range from the insightful and the humorous to the slightly unhinged and hilariously non-committal (“I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest,” being the one phrase you don’t want to hear)… Continue Reading

Study finds Brits’ dream holiday home is Spanish villa… with hot tub

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 22nd, 2014

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Artist's impression of the average Brit's dream holiday home

Artist's impression of the average Brit's dream holiday home

A recent study by Schofields Holiday Home Insurance has found that most Brits asked to describe their perfect holiday home – if money was no issue – would choose a villa situated right beside a Spanish beach.

The most common feature of this dream holiday home would be a hot tub, with 95 per cent insisting on having one installed, followed closely by a home cinema at 93 per cent… Continue Reading

Premier League stars head for Marbella’s celeb hotspots

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 21st, 2014

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Former Premier League star David Bentley (left) part-owns La Sala, which is a magnet in summer for current Premier League stars

And so another Premier League season has drawn to a close, and with it the weekly refereeing furores, diving debates and discussions over the size of Wayne Rooney’s pay packet are put on the back burner for at least another few weeks.

But as attentions turn to next month’s World Cup spectacular in Brazil, those unlucky not to have made the cut have instead drowned their sorrows in a series of increasingly exotic and far-flung locations across the globe.

There have been football stars snapped on beaches in Dubai, beside pools in Las Vegas and cruising the boulevards of sunny LA. But one location more than most still manages to draw Premier League players like the proverbial loose ball in the penalty area – Puerto Banús

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Spanish property among best priced in Europe, OECD finds

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 20th, 2014

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Spanish property among best priced in Europe, OECD finds

Property prices in Spain are among the fairest in Europe, finds an OECD study

An authoritative study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) assessing the valuation of housing among its 27 member nations has found that Spain has one of the best-value property markets in Europe

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The definitive word on expat healthcare in Spain

Author: Ian Clover  |  May 19th, 2014

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In the wake of a scaremongering story published in the Daily Telegraph last week, the UK’s Department of Health has teamed up with the British Embassy in Madrid to help spread the expat healthcare message.

Titled ‘Using your EHIC in Spain’, the specially commissioned cartoon helpfully informs British holidaymakers how to properly use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and outlines what their rights are. A second video, due shortly, outlines the healthcare rights of British expats and those who own property in SpainContinue Reading

Hot Yoga comes to Marbella

Author: Carolyn Mowlem  |  May 16th, 2014

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Lunge, hot yoga

Hot Yoga is considered to be one of the most effective yoga disciplines. Photo:

Forty yoga devotees were the first to experience the benefits of one of the world’s fastest-growing exercise trends – Hot Yoga, at Radiant Yoga Marbella’s recent Open Day.

Now open for business in Nueva Andalucía, the light and spacious purpose-built studio is unique in the area. Owned and managed by well-known multilingual yoga teachers and health professionals, Radiant Yoga Marbella offers a complete programme of yoga classes six days a week…

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VIVA Partner José Cánovas makes waves at the European Championships

Author: Carolyn Mowlem  |  May 15th, 2014

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José Cánovas - Eurochallenge 2014 Surfski & KayakWhat with the Costa del Sol’s fabulous year-round climate, it comes as no surprise that – as well as working hard of course – in their spare time the VIVA team are also into sports and leisure activities in a very big way. We have swimmers, golfers, hikers, bikers, kayak fishermen, mountaineers, skydivers, marathon runners… colleagues who play tennis, padel and squash… skiers and snowboarders, kitesurfers, surfboarders, horse riders… you name it!

And now, we have a sea kayaking champion, too…

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