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Expat life: Making new friends

Expat life: Making new friends

Moving to a new country is fraught with challenges – finding a new job, getting to grips with the local way of life, new culture, new food etc. But there is another challenge and one that is often overlooked amidst all the other pressures of the move: making new friends. This can be especially difficult for adults who don´t have the advantage of going to school every day and being forced to make friends that way, as is the case with children. Thankfully, there are loads of ways of smoothing this part of the transition and ensuring that finding your place in the sun needn´t mean abandoning your social life.

Expat Forums

When you first arrive in a new country it can be very comforting to seek out your fellow nationals who have been living there longer: they know the ropes and the pitfalls and can point you in the right direction until you find your feet. In Spain there are numerous forums where you can ask questions of other expats about things like the school system, health care, housing etc. Often, regular contributors to these forums will suggest meeting up to get to know each other person, this offers a good opportunity to establish the all-important network of fellow expats to help orientate you in your new surroundings.

Meetup

Meetup is an international organisation that brings people together around shared interests – whatever they may be. Meetups are great because they are really informal and no matter what your preferred pastime, no matter how mundane or out of the ordinary, you are sure to find likeminded enthusiasts to share it with. They tend to attract people from a broad cross section of international society meaning you get to mingle with all sorts of people while broadening your cultural horizons.

Language exchange

If you want to break out of the expat bubble and work on your Spanish skills at the same time then signing up for a language exchange is the way to go. These can be organised in groups through sites like Meetup or you can opt for one on one exchanges. The beauty of this is that you kill two birds with one stone; on the one hand you pick up the language and on the other it presents the opportunity of making friends with a local.

Join your building/local association

So you have made a host of friends from around the world with Meetup and gotten to know a few locals through language exchange and you´re ready to take the integration process to the next level. There´s no better way to do this than by joining the residents association in your district or apartment building. Regular meetings are held to discuss the local issues and going along to a few would be a great way to get to know your neighbours and let them know that you are no blow in – you´re here to stay and you want to contribute to the well-being of the community.

TOP 10: Costa Blanca’s most beautiful coves

TOP 10: Costa Blanca’s most beautiful coves

Alicante province has 218km of coastline made up of some of the most beautiful beaches and coves you could imagine. The region receives the largest number of Blue Flags each year for the great quality of the water, sand and the wide range of facilities offered. In fact, Costa Blanca is worldwide known for featuring the best beaches in the Mediterranean.
Now that we are immersed in the hot months of summer and a heat wave hits the country with temperatures shooting up to over 40 degrees Celsius, what could be better than having a cooling dip in the wonderful deep-blue waters of the Costa Blanca?
What follows is a selection of the most amazing coves.

Granadella Cove in Jávea
A rocky and pebble cove surrounded by a unique natural landscape. Its crystal-clear waters and sea grass beds make it a paradise for scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. There is a fantastic hiking route which begins from the gorge leading onto Granadella Cove.

La Caleta, Villajoyosa
A small pebbly beach bathed by calm waters. It stands out for the transparency of its waters and its location. It is nestled between cliffs away from the buzz of the city. It is a perfect option for those who are not very keen on crowded beaches.

Tabarca Island Beach
A small idyllic beach situated on Tabarca Island. A sandy-pebbly beach known for its rich sea beds and its protected marine reserve. Its mesmerizing turquoise water will amaze you.

Moraig Cove, Benitachel
A gravel beach with crystal-clear water nestled between the Morro Falquí cliff and Moraig fault. A craggy shoreline silhouetting an outstanding landscape. It is home to Cova dels Arcs and a tremendous marine and underwater ecosystem which makes it perfect for scuba diving.

El Racó Cove, Calpe
El Racó Cove is situated at the foothills of El Peñón de Ifach, the Rock of Ifach, an outstanding natural reserve bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. There is an underwater path with signs and information panels on the seabed.

Tío Ximo Cove, Benidorm
Tío Ximo Cove has nothing to do with the crowded beaches stretching along Benidorm coastline. Its clear water makes it perfect to practice snorkelling. You will fall in love!

El Portet, Moraira
This small beach with transparent water is an ideal spot for diving and kayaking. It is situated in an exceptional setting between sea and mountain.

El Mascarat Cove, Poble Mascarat
Gorgeous hidden cove next to Poble Mascarat Beach. It can only be accessed by boat and offers an amazing landscape. Ideal for intrepid explorers and snorkelling enthusiasts.

Las Calas, Torrevieja
​Las Calas is a rocky area on Torrevieja coastline. The coastal erosion has shaped these lovely coves which are perfect to lay back and enjoy the sea. Its rich marine ecosystem and clam water make it a perfect zone for snorkelling lovers.

Cantalar Cove, Cabo de las Huertas
El Cabo de las Huertas is made up of different coves. The most outstanding one is Cantalar Cove, a small sandy-rocky cove close to Camino del Faro. Enjoy a quiet stroll beside the sea with the sea as a backdrop picture.

National healthcare system for expats in Spain

National healthcare system for expats in Spain

If you plan to move to Spain, you should note that it is essential to make your own arrangements to get a health-insurance coverage for yourself. The European Health Insurance Card is only valid for a limited period of time, i.e. people on a holiday or a temporary visit to Spain.

In order to raise awareness amongst expats on the need to perform this procedure, the Department of Health and the British Embassy in Spain have launched an informative video on the importance of having a health care coverage and how to access healthcare as a resident.

This would avoid unpleasant surprises which might imply having to spend a considerable amount of money. If you are not registered for healthcare and do not have you social security card, you will not be entitled to receive free or low-cost healthcare. You will be treated privately and will have to pay 100% of the cost of the treatment. Some people have paid a large sum of money because they were not properly registered.

The Spanish National Health Service is ranked one of the best ones in the European Union, alongside Belgium, Cyprus, France, Italy, Sweden and Netherlands. However, being a resident of the European Union does not imply getting free or reduced-cost healthcare. The change of domicile is required to be notified to both British and Spanish Administration. It is a simple procedure which will mean complete peace of mind for you in the future. You will have access to health coverage in Spain.

There are different ways to access public healthcare in Spain depending on your personal circumstances: you work and pay social security contributions in Spain, you are a retired person or pensioner… For further details on the necessary requirements to access public healthcare in Spain, please, visit  http://healthcareinspain.eu/

There are some services which are always free of charge. These include emergency treatment, pregnancy, child birth and postnatal treatment.
If you do not meet any of the requirements demanded by Spanish authorities, you may be able to join the Convenio Especial. A health insurance which provides access to healthcare for a payment of 60€/month.

If you are considering moving to Spain, you might also want to read…

There is no better time than now to buy your home on the coast

There is no better time than now to buy your home on the coast

If you have ever considered buying a 2 nd home in a relaxing place blessed with over 300 days of sunshine a year and a pleasant climate.  If you want to live close to sea and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A getaway where you can enjoy the simple pleasures of life and do whatever pleases you the most: enjoy the outdoors and beautiful landscapes away from the asphalt jungle.

Sometimes, we may need a jump-start to make the decision and make our dream come true. Well, the time for that has come. If you have always wanted to own a house on the Mediterranean coast, now is the perfect time. Both, the strength of the pound sterling against the euro reaching record highs and the upward trend in prices make it the perfect time to buy your home in Spain before the prices continue rising.

According to Tinsa’s report on property on the coast 2018, the price of the properties on the Spanish coast is rising, although they are still below pre-crisis levels. There is a widespread feeling of economic rebound and growth in the main towns and cities on Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and Balearic Islands. Most notably Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa and Pilar de la Horadada on Costa Blanca and Marbella, Nerja and Estepona on Costa del Sol.

35 out of thE 140 coastal towns contained in the report show price increases in the first quarter of 2018

The large number of foreclosures left by the economic recession resulted in property prices dropping significantly and a freeze on the building of new property developments.

But this is now changing.  The beauty of the area and the moderate prices have boosted the demand, especially on the part of foreign buyers.  New developments are being built to meet the foreign client requirements who looks for newly-built luxury units in an excellent location.

Sonneil offers a reliable, transparent and efficient advisory service as well as over 3,000 properties.

What about you? Do not think it twice and take advantage of this opportunity!

5 reasons for living on a golf course on Costa Blanca

5 reasons for living on a golf course on Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca has turned into one of the favourite destinations for golf enthusiasts. In fact, there are more and more people from all over the world, especially Britons and Germans, who decide to buy a property on one of the many golf resorts to be found on Costa Blanca. Living on a golf resort on Costa Blanca has a great number of advantages.

Here is a list of 5 compelling reasons for living on a Golf Resort:

 Costa blanca, live in a Golf course

  1. Costa Blanca offers an unrivalled climate and enjoys over 300 days of sunlight per year. So whenever you come down, you can practise your favourite sport without worrying about the rain.
  2. Golf courses are located in a beautiful setting with lots of greenery and boast views of the sea, mountain or beautiful natural spots. On top of that, you can benefit from a golf course-sized garden!
  3. Golf resorts are equipped with amenities available all year round, such as the Club House, small shops and supermarkets, all to be found within the complex.
  4. Most golf courses are located less than 15 minutes from the nearest beach and 30 minutes from the airport.
  5. They are safe areas. A bustling atmosphere during daytime and quiet one at night.

In addition to all this, Costa Blanca is served by air and land transport services making it a well-connected destination. Both Elche-Alicante airport with regular direct flights from the main European cities, and its good rail and road connections with Spanish capital cities make it easier for you to organize your trip. So you can come down to Spain whenever you feel like and enjoy your home.
The province of Alicante is currently home to 17 golf courses. These excellent-quality golf courses offer different circuits to suit all levels. Enjoy the amazing landscapes while playing golf amidst nature. If you want to find out more about the Golf Courses Alicante offers, please, visit Asociación de Campos de Golf Costa Blanca website where you will find the technical specifications of each golf course and relevant information on different events, competitions, clubs and so on.

Surely, you are already convinced but you will be entirely convinced once you have seen the golf properties Sonneil offers not only on Costa Blanca but also along the whole Spanish coast. Take a peek at these beautiful properties perfect for golf enthusiasts:
Click here to see more ↓

As you already know, Alicante, besides an appealing golf offer, boasts a large variety of cuisine, leisure and cultural activities, as well as immaculate beaches such as La Zenia, Calpe or El Cabo de las Huertas which have already been mentioned on our blog.

Real Estate Glossary: Kitchen layouts

Real Estate Glossary: Kitchen layouts

Open-plan, separate, kitchenette, single-wall… When reading some building specifications and brochures we may find some terms referring to different kinds of kitchen which do not sound familiar to us. Moreover, kitchen layouts may differ, especially in newly-built developments, depending on the predominant trends and the target customer. For instance, a separate kitchen is often our first choice for our usual main residence, whereas we prefer an open-plan kitchen in our 2nd home, which is understandable since when we are on holiday we do not feel like cooking.  Instead, we opt for a larger living are or a good-sized terrace to enjoy the unrivalled Mediterranean sunlight 🙂

There are basically two main layouts: separate and open-plan. Let us examine this in greater detail…


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