….falls mainly in the mountains! Don’t be fooled into thinking that all Spain is wonderfully warm in winter. There are ski resorts in the south of Spain but not in the south of England. Within Europe, Spain is second only to Switzerland in the percentage of its land that is covered by mountains. Madrid is the highest capital city in Europe. The Costa Verde (Green Coast) is so-called because it has lush green countryside, so it rains - a lot. Much of Spain’s mountainous interior is pretty empty, unless you count wild boar and birds of prey.
So if you are looking for winter warmth you head for the south or south eastern coasts. If you like to wear your winter woollies you go inland or north. The mountains are beautiful and majestic; in the summer they are bathed in sunshine, in the winter often shrouded in cloud, the higher regions white with snow. We visited Granada in May, it was 25 degrees near Malaga but 15 degrees in Granada, above the city the peaks still draped in winter’s white coat. In January the Costa De La Luz on Spain’s south west coast can be battered by Atlantic winds, and the storms of the Bay of Biscay can wreak havoc with the ferry timetables into Bilbao in northern Spain.
So, my message? Choose wisely where you buy. The Costa Blanca to the Costa del Sol are popular destinations for ex-pats seeking the sun for obvious reasons. They don’t suit everyone and in places are very built-up or commercialised, but you can still find a quiet corner or buy close to one of the numerous national parks if you don’t want tourists.
But the fact is that most ex-pats seek out other ex-pats and like to be able to buy a box of Tetley tea bags and a newspaper where the clues for the crossword are in a language they understand.