About Spain

About SpainSpain is an exciting and vibrant country, which has seen dramatic changes and improvements, not only in its economy and infrastructure over the past decade, but also in the general standard of living for its citizens.


Many people used to see Spain as just a holiday destination, but the country offers much more than just sandy beaches and sunshine. There are numerous outdoor activities, a host of places to see, places to visit, and restaurants to suit every single taste.


Spain is now a completely different country to that experienced by the early tourists. Most now come to see the real Spain and its cultural heritage and are amazed to find un-congested new motorways, new public buildings and modern airports. And it's a golfers paradise. With so many golf courses between Gibraltar and Malaga, you will be spoilt for choice.


Spain also has an excellent health service, (and with the E111 form issued by your local post office in the UK, medical cover at the hospital is free) dentistry needs are quickly and efficiently dealt with, and at a lower cost than that in the UK. There are also 24-hour private medical centres throughout the Costa del Sol, many of which have bilingual staff. On the Costa del Sol, there is an emergency helicopter service, (Helicopteros Sanitarios) with whom, for a small payment cover emergency medical costs for the family. This is an excellent and cost effective service, treating common illnesses through to emergencies with an ambulance, and if necessary a helicopter, and all staffed by qualified paramedics and doctors. If you need to go to hospital, the nearest hospital is advised of your condition before you arrive. As important taxis are obliged by law to transport medical emergencies to hospital when requested to do so.


In addition to the medical benefits of living in Spain, the Spanish people provide a genuine welcome to visitors and settlers alike. They are very family orientated and adore children. 'The family' is an important factor in all their lives and their children occupy a central role.


Spanish children enjoy the outside world and happily play outside rather than watch TV or play computer games indoors. They just love being treated as equals in restaurants, no matter what time of night, and grow up with a self-esteem that comes with belonging to a tight knit community. They have few issues or threats that children have to deal with in the UK and enjoy a level of freedom that seemed to exist in the UK only in days long gone - And at Fiesta time it is a genuine pleasure to see the young Spanish children dressed up in their national costumes and all taking part in their local events. It is at these festival times that the exuberance of the country is never more evident. No matter what time of the year it may be, there will be a fiesta happening somewhere, the most important in July being in honour of the 'Virgen del Carmen', patron saint of sailors and fishermen. This is celebrated in most of the coastal towns and is a fiesta not to be missed.


Inland there are the major cities, many of which are recognised as being some of the best in Europe. Madrid was voted European City of Culture, Seville hosted the World Expo, Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games, Granada has the famous and magical Alhambra Palace nearby, and Bilbao has the Guggenheim Museum. Interestingly, Spain has 36 UNESCO World Heritage sites, which is far more than any other country in the world. In many parts of Spain you will see buildings dating back over 700 years that bear witness to the Moorish influence of those times. There are literally thousands of white hilltop villages with winding narrow streets and hidden courtyards with masses of flowing shrubs.