Almeria - excellent property investment opportunity


Spain's Costa de Almeria represents a great find for both the investor and homeowner alike. With home prices at snap-me-up-now prices and a city steeped in history, head there now to find your dream home in the south of Spain. An extensive list of low-cost airline routes link Almeria to the rest of Europe. Located just 9km from the centre of Almeria, the airport is well placed for anyone wanting to get to the centre of town or further afield. Like most of Andalucía, Almeria basks in the glory of the Mediterranean sun with peak sunshine hours and temperatures in July and August. Almeria's climate is temperate all year round with lows of just 13 degrees in January. With little rainfall throughout the year, Almeria is the ideal destination for anyone wanting to escape to the sun, even just booking a few days before. If it's history you're after, Almeria's tiny streets and Moorish history set the scene for a place to explore at your leisure. The Alcazaba is the second largest Muslim fortress in Andalucia behind the Alhambra in Granada, another city that should definitely be on your agenda if you're looking to research the area's fascinating history and if that's not quite enough for one day, the shops and tea houses of Andalucía, easily found in Almeria, are such a gem that they'll win convert even the most adamant of coffee drinkers... Beachlovers are guaranteed to find a beach that meets their every need. One of Almeria's most famous beaches is Vera Playa, a naturist beach. In addition to Vera Playa there's a whole host of beaches reminiscent of those in the Caribbean on the Almerian coast. From Playa San Miguel to La Cañada and Playa Retamar, sandy white beaches and tranquil clear blue seas are a welcome break from the daily heat of a a costa that's bathed in the Mediterranean sun all year round. Added to this, there's one other advantage, budget conscious buyers need apply! Slightly further inland from the coast we have a selection of excellent properties at outstanding value prices, making your Spanish dream home an opportunity that is simply not to be missed. Contact the agents directly by using the contact form of each listing and discuss with them your home away from home requirements. Click on the link: Houses for sale Costa de Alemeria or Apartments for sale Costa de Alemeria to see the extensive selection of affordable property currently on offer. Sources:


Houses for sale Costa Brava: near local vineyards


Spanish houses for sale on the Costa Brava have a truly enviable location. With wonderful sunshine, Girona and Barcelona close by, what more could you ask for? Well, picture the scene, it's early evening, you're enjoying a wonderful meal made with ingredients from the local market or you've decided to head to a local restaurant near your home. What is the one thing that you will almost always order to accompany your meal? A good, local wine, that's what! A locally made wine is designed to accompany the food from the area, but it's often hard to decide what to drink, especially when you don't know the grape varities. Our mini-guide will help you choose the best wine for your taste and food choices. Catalunya is one of Spain's most famous wine producing areas - Catalunya. Catalunya produces wines under the D.O Catalunya denomination which is made up of ten D.Os (Denominació d'Origen) within their own right with one of the most famous wines proving to be very popular right now. That wine is Cava, produced under the D.O Cava denomination. It is a sparkling wine, available as both a white and rosé wine and most people agree that it is ideal for celebrations, a toast or as an entrée. Produced in the same way as champagne, it has similar characteristics to champagne but it is often slightly drier and has less of a toasty edge to it. DO Catalunya produces a plethora of still wines. Red wines produced in the DO Catalunya area are made from local, indigenous grapes such as cabernet franc, various forms of Garnatxa (including negra, roxa and peluda) samsó and monastre as well as more internationally recognised grapes such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon. White wines produced in the region are likely to be made from local grapes such as albarinho, garnatxa blanca, macabeu, malvasia and moscatell as well as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. Wines may be a single variety or a blend of two grapes or more. A house located in the Costa Brava is ideally situated for visits to local wineries, and even those which are slightly further afield. With excellent access by car as well as via local transport, many wineries offer tours which can be booked in advance, or you can often turn up on the day. Also, don't forget that your local winery probably also has a cellar shop, so you can take advantage of their latest products and taste a wider range than in the supermarket. Looking for a house in this lovely area? Please have a look on our website to find a nice overview of houses for sale in the Costa Brava Sources:


A straightforward process - buying a house in Spain


Buying a house in Spain is not as complicated an experience as some would have you believe. With the right broker behind you, the house buying process is relatively straightforward and manageable within realistic timescales. It is important to remember that if you make an offer on a house in Spain, even when it is accepted it is not a deal that is set in stone until certain processes have been followed. Until an initial contract is signed by both the vendor and the buyer, both parties can pull out of the sale. Once the initial contract is signed and a 10% deposit paid by the buyer the contract cannot be cancelled by the seller unless they pay 20% of the agreed final sale value. You should always ensure that the person selling the house is indeed the legal owner. This can be checked via your broker who will do the necessary steps for you, as opposed to a conveyancing solicitor in the UK, for example. The initial contract includes details of the person(s) selling the house, your details, addresses, agreed payment dates and the house details. Once you have this, unless you already live in Spain, you will need to get a tax number, similar to a National Insurance number in the UK, a so called Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) which enables you to legally purchase a house in Spain. Acquiring this number and the card which shows it can take anywhere between one to six weeks, so it is best to start the process as soon as you have agreed the purchase and signed the initial contract. You also need to have a Spanish bank account which will need to have the funds available to purchase the house on the agreed final date of sale. The final purchase amount owed will need to be made via a banker's draft from your Spanish bank account so you need to ensure you have cleared funds at least 48 hours before you meet at the notary's office to sign the contract. On the contract exchange day you and the seller will exchange contracts in person at a notary's office chosen by you, the buyer. The notary ensures once again on the date that the house is officially sold that there is no mortgage or debt linked to the house anymore (which you would otherwise take on). Our brokers can recommend notaries who perform legal work at a good level. In addition to the cost of your new home in Spain, typical costs, depending on where you purchase and the final sale value of your new home, are normally around 11.5% for a house that is already built. Speak to our brokers for more information to buy a house in Spain and advice as to the best option for you and your new home in the sun. 


Empuriabrava: Haven for Boating Enthusiasts


Situated in the heart of the Spanish Costa Brava, Empuriabrava is a large purpose-built coastal resort which forms part of the municipal district of Castelló d'Empúries in the province of Girona. With around 5,000 moorings, Empuriabrava is one of the largest and most impressive residential marinas in the world. It has an extensive network of navigable canals which give unrestricted access to the sea, an enormous sandy beach and a good choice of shops, restaurants and bars. For the boating enthusiast, this truly is paradise. Indeed, it is also an ideal location for all water sport devotees as well as being able to accommodate those who enjoy other outdoor activities such as cycling, golf and horse riding. For the skydiving aficionado, a visit to Skydive Empuriabrava (i) is a must. Established in the 1980's, it has gained the reputation of being one of the leading skydiving centres in the world and it is one of the major training venues for many skydiving teams. The magnificent houses and apartments in Empuriabrava epitomise luxurious living, many of which have their own private mooring and an outdoor swimming pool. These impressive buildings, together with the spectacular moored boats and yachts, are best viewed from the water. Sightseeing tours are available, or you can rent a small boat and explore the waterways yourself. Because it has been in existence for just over 40 years, the town is devoid of historical monuments and buildings. Nevertheless, Empuriabrava's ideal location allows its many visitors easy access to numerous nearby towns and villages with an abundance of sites of historical interest including the Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria and the interesting Museu Cúria-Presó in the neighbouring Castelló d'Empúries. Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dali, houses the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí and the 18th century military fortress Sant Ferran Castle. The beautiful town of Roses, just a 9km drive, is home to many historical sites: the 16th century Trinity Castle, the Citadel and Bufalaranya Castle. If you are interested in ancient history, the Ruins of Empúries, just half an hour's drive from Empuriabrava, is definitely the place to visit. Whether you wish to reside permanently in Empuriabrava, purchase a second home, or you are a visitor looking for short-term or holiday accommodation, comprehensive details of all properties available for purchase and rental, together with a selection of land for sale, can be found on our website Further reading: Castelló d'Empúries:- Basilica of Santa Maria in Castelló d'Empúries Museu Cúria-Presó (Curia-Prison Museum) Roses:- Roses Tourism Citadel of Roses Bufalaranya Castle Figueres :- Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí Sant Ferran Castle Ruins of Empúries References and acknowledgements: (i) Skydive Empuriabrava


The charms of Ibiza Town


Ibiza often conjures up images of non-stop partying, sunset beach sessions and hedonistic clubs, but those who choose a house in this sun-kissed white isle know that there is much more to the island than first meets the eye. Its calmer side is yours to discover. Ibiza Town has a raft of places to go and is easily accessible from across the island. It is divided into three sections; Dalt Vila, the New Town and the Marina. Dalt Vila Dalt Vila, as it is known in Catalan, is the older part of town. Founded over 2,500 years ago by the Phoenicians, there are still traces of the cultures who have lived there since, from Phoenician to Carthaginian, Moorish, Roman and of course, Spanish. Plaza de la Constitución, the entrance to the Dalt Vila, has a food and plant market which has been held daily in Mercat Vell since 1873. You can stop for a coffee afterwards in the many cafés which line the market. The Ibizan Contemporary Art Museum (Museu d’Art Contemporani d’Eivissa) is found here and is free to enter. We recommend a visit to the Bastion Santa Lucia for great views of the harbour and Bastion Sant Joan for views of Formentera island. New Town The New Town is flatter and as the name suggests, is where the more modern town centre can be found. It's here that you will find international shops and more upmarket bars and restaurants. One of the main squares is Vara de Rey, where houses built at the start of the 20th century can be found. The Plaza del Parque, also found here, is perfect to while away some time in the sun or to enjoy a chilled drink with the locals. It was pedestrianised in 2017 making it an even more pleasant experience than in the past! The Marina The celebrity spotting part of the town, Ibiza Town's two marinas, Marina Botafoch and Ibiza Nueva, are awash with beautiful yachts and the rich and famous, especially in summer when they moor up here to enjoy the sunshine and party lifestyle of the town. If you want to enjoy a spot of beach time in this part of town, Talamanca beach, a short walk from Marina Botafoch is the place to be. It's refreshingly quiet here and you can head back to Ibiza town by ferry from the beach resort's marina. Contact our partners on Ibiza via our easy to complete form to ask them for more information about properties for sale in Ibiza. Sources


A taste of Spain in your own home: Jamón Ibérico


Jamón Ibérico is a type of cured ham produced in Spain where it is a protected Denominación de Origen in some regions. In regions where it does not fall under DO regulation it is still a premium, highly prized food, recognised as an essential part of the tapestry of colours and flavours that makes up a Mediterranean table. Also known as pata negra (black hoof), jamón ibérico is produced from piglets reared in the west and south of Spain. Protected denominaciones de origen include Huelva and Córdoba, both in Andalucía, within driving distance from many of our homes on the Costa de la Luz. The piglets are fed a special diet based primarily on acorns, olives and barley. There are three principal types of jamón ibérico and these are labelled according to the pigs’ diet. They also reflect the quality of the ham. Jamón ibérico de bellota is produced from pigs who only eat acorns (bellotas) in the oak forests on the border between Spain and Portugal. These forests are called dehesas, a reference that is often found in premium Spanish restaurants around the world. Bellota ham is cured for 36 months. Jamón ibérico cebo de campo comes from pigs which are reared in pasture on a diet of acorns and grain. This is cured for a minimum of 24 months. Finally, jamón ibérico de cebo also known as jamón ibérico is from grain fed pigs and cured for 24 months. Jamón ibérico is a premium delicacy, often served as an aperitif or with tapas. Stored on a jamonera in a restaurant or even in people’s homes, it is juicy with fragrant aromas and is often described as a food that melts in the mouth. Served as an aperitif it is ideal paired with melon for a sweet and savoury flavour contrast. It also works well as part of an aperitif platter, served with salted almonds and hand-cooked salted crisps. To serve with wine, pair with Albariño or Verdejo or even better, with a Manzanilla or fino sherry. Jamón ibérico also works brilliantly with an ice cold beer. It really is the perfect sharing food for evenings when you want to relax with family and friends on your terrace. Would you like to enjoy more tastes of Spain and have your own dream home over there? Click at this link: property for sale in Spain.  Sources:


Torrevieja’s hidden secrets


Torrevieja’s hidden secrets The Costa Blanca has always been a popular choice for buying a holiday home or a place to retire to in Spain. It has a well-established expat community with all of the home comforts of your native country blended together with the benefits of living in Spain, from excellent healthcare to good food and sunshine. With over 200 kilometres of sandy coastline, there is a beach for everyone’s taste and budget. Here is our guide to the smaller beaches and towns around Torrevieja. La Zenia With a tree lined beach and a newly built shopping centre, La Zenia has a varied international community. The beach at La Zenia is home to the European handball tournament. For shopping, eating and watching the world go by, the La Zenia Boulevard shopping centre has a long list of things to do. In total over 150 Spanish and international brands line its shopping streets, with names such as Zara, Desigual and Massimo Dutti available. With restaurants, a 5D cinema and social events such as wine tasting and Flamenco shows and a supermarket everything is literally in one place. Playa Flamenca From a big shopping centre to the more local market held at Playa Flamenca every Saturday, you can stock up on fruit, vegetables and gifts in a traditional Spanish setting. The three beaches of Cala Peñas, Cala Mosca and Cala Estaca at Playa Flamenca are quiet and unspoilt, with Cala Mosca and Cala Estaca being the most commercial. These beaches are lined by a promenade with views of the coastline and rocky headland. Cabo Roig Cabo Roig is a laid back place, ideal for those who want to combine a trip to the beach with easy access to golf courses. The old town is made up of traditional Spanish avenues lined with palm trees and gardens and views of the La Manga resort and the Mediterranean Sea. Cabo Roig has its own marina and the beach next to is blue flag certified. Restaurants here serve a mainly Mediterranean based menu, from fish to paella with some international influence including Indian, British and even an Australian themed pub. Daily flights from local airports The Costa Blanca is particularly easy to access from Northern European airports, with direct flights from small local airports available with low cost airlines, even throughout winter. A home here is the perfect escape from winter weather and the luxury of being able to stay in your own home for the period of time you choose, means you have even more opportunities to get to know the area. Offering excellent value for money in an established expat area, we recommend you get in touch now to book a viewing of your place on the Costa Blancan coast.


Get away from it all on the Costa Maresme


If you are looking for a holiday home with access to a fantastic city but that offers you the chance to simply sit back and relax with a beautiful view when you're not taking in the sights in the city centre, then the Costa Maresme is the perfect choice for you. Located just north of Barcelona, it's a relaxing haven away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. Stretching from the north of Barcelona to Blanes, taking in Mataró, Arenys de Mar and Sant Pol de Mar. Easily accessible by car from both Barcelona and Girona airports, once you've arrived at your holiday home, we suggest you leave the car on the drive and head off to explore by train. The train from Barcelona follows the coastline for a significant part of the journey, promising fantastic views of the beaches and sea from your seat, with stops just a few kilometres apart. This was the first railway line to open on the Iberian Peninsula way back in 1848 when the rich people of Barcelona started to build houses on the Costa Maresme and their charming 19th century houses still host tourists today. The spa town of Caldes d’Estrac has a fantastic local spa that you simply must visit. Offering a wide range of treatments for medical conditions as well as those who simply want to be pampered, prices start at just €12. For art-lovers the Fundació Palau is the result of Josep Palau i Fabre's friendship with Pablo Picasso - he saved a wealth of drawings, notes and artwork by Picasso and it is now on display at the museum which bears his name. If you're a fan of markets the town of Arenys de Mar has a Saturday flea market with a plethora of treasures to look through. If you're looking for fresh food to take home to cook at your villa whilst staying near to Arenys de Mar, there is a daily local market held in a modernist building constructed between 1923 and 1929. Alternatively, head to San Pol de Mar, or indeed any of the small towns along the train route and enjoy tapas and a chilled beer or local wine with the scent of sea air and the sound of crashing waves against the sandy beaches as your backdrop. To search for a holiday home for sale on the Costa Maresme you can also use our search service to find the best home for you. Sources


Why now is the time to buy your deam holiday home in Spain


Investing in a new home in Spain with the view to developing it as a business opportunity in between your holidays there hasn’t looked so good since the financial crisis of 2008. Excellent return on investment With a potential return on investment of 11.2% given by the Spanish Central Bank in November 2018, investing in Spain now could be a wise choice for those who love the country, its food, culture and people, and of course those who want to see their money grow for them in the form of bricks and mortar. This expected return on investment is calculated based on a gross rental yield of 4.04% and a capital gain estimated at 7.16%, making it one of the best outlooks since 2008. The market has grown steadily since 2012 with a breakeven point in 2014 which has grown and grown to today’s investment opportunity. Real estate prices in Spain Spanish property prices remain low and in some places are still at levels lower than 2007. For those looking to buy a home for investment purposes or simply as a home away from home in the sunshine, Spain really does represent an excellent opportunity. The Spanish economy is on the up With unemployment falling from 26% to 15% and car purchases growing by 6.8% from 2017 to 2018, consumer confidence is high and it shows. GDP is expected to rise by 2.5% this year and the outlook for Spain according to their own Central Bank in a recent statement remains one of growth, until 2021 or beyond. Mortgage rates Mortgage rates, like much of Europe, remain at an ideal level for those looking to borrow at low interest rates, with the average rate hovering around 2%. Inflation is rising, however, and these interest rates may not remain low as the months go by. Getting a mortgage in Spain Our partners can advise on the house buying process in Spain and work with local providers to get the best mortgage for your needs. They can also advise on the Spanish property purchasing process, which protects both buyers and sellers and prevents gazumping which is allowed in the UK. Speak to one of our trusted agencies on the Costa del Sol, Costa Brava or Costa de la Luz amongst others for help with the purchase of your dream home in Spain. They can help you obtain a Spanish personal tax number, deal with notaries, banks and the local town hall, making the process straightforward for you.


The top three Spanish cruise vacations


Each year, more than two and a half million tourists decide to take a cruise along the Spanish coast and see the wonders that port cities such as Mallorca, Barcelona and Cadiz have to offer. Going on a voyage through the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean allows you to experience the vastly different sights, tastes, and festivities of different regions in just a few days. Here are some of the top cruise lines offering tours of the Spanish coast. Windstar Cruises Spanish Serenade Traveling from Lisbon to Barcelona in just over a week with plenty of entertaining and safe activities onboard, the Windstar Spanish Serenade cruise stops at two Portuguese ports before moving onto the Spanish coast. Guests can see the world-famous Alcázar Palace in Seville and tour the Alhambra Palace in Granada as well as the Generalife Gardens, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The cruise also stops in Málaga, home of artist Pablo Picasso, the pristine beaches of Mallorca, and the bustling city of Barcelona where you can take in the works of architect Antoni Gaudi. The Windstar Spanish Symphony cruise also travels from Lisbon to Barcelona, giving guests a tour of the romantic beaches of Costa del Sol and the architecture of picturesque coastal “white villages”. You can also see more of Spain on the Island Gems of Spain and Portugal tour, the Star Collector cruises, and the Treasures of Southern Spain and Morocco. All cruises stop along major coastal cities, allowing guests to explore to their heart’s content. Norwegian Cruise Lines Spain Cruises Norwegian Cruise Lines offers both day cruises and longer itineraries. You can explore the Gothic plazas and wander the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, relax on the beaches of Mallorca, see the unique architecture of Malaga, or visit the breathtaking streets of Seville. Norwegian Cruise Lines also offers cruises around the Mediterranean and Barcelona, allowing you to see Spain and the neighboring countries of France and Italy. Royal Caribbean Cruises from Barcelona You can travel the coast of Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands with Royal Caribbean Cruises. Voyages around the Mediterranean and the Iberian peninsula bring guests in close contact with cities along the coast such as Barcelona. You can also relax and enjoy a transatlantic journey from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to the beaches of Spain. Most Royal Caribbean cruises last between one and two weeks. Experiencing the Spanish coast on a cruise liner is one of the best ways to see all that the country has to offer. You can kick back and relax as you watch the scenery go by, or disembark at port cities to explore. Windstar Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean all offer a number of tour packages for individuals and families looking to experience Spain. Immovario provides the perfect platform to find your Spanish base before you embark on a cruise to remember. Why not check out the properties we have available today? Text by Ali Ayres Photo by Matthew Barra from Pexels