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Southern Spanish Lifestyle

Myriam Alcazaba web southern spanish lifestyle

When tourists arrive on the Costa del Sol for their summer or mid-winter holidays, they soon discover that some of their compatriots are so enamored with the place that they stayed behind when their group went home or that they made elaborate plans to retire here. go when the time is right. Immediately visitors begin to wonder, “what is life like for foreigners settling on the Costa del Sol?” The answer is that they enjoy every minute of it and wouldn’t think of going home or going elsewhere after experiencing the lifestyle.

Any initial hiccups are quickly remedied by the charm of the locals, the Andalusians. Newcomers will find plenty of neighbors, Spanish or foreign, who speak their language and help them settle in. While foreign residents learning to speak Spanish inevitably get more out of their coastal life as they can interact with more people and participate in a wider range of activities. Thousands live on the coast with only a small knowledge of the Spanish language, while many town halls have set up special offices with staff who speak their language to help them.
While language is usually the first question people ask, the second is generally the food. Those foreign residents looking for items from their home country, which was unheard of in Spain years ago, will be surprised to find that almost everything (at least from EU countries) is available here – even if it sometimes takes a bit of searching. And then there is all that wonderfully healthy Mediterranean food, fish, vegetables and fruit.

And what about the lifestyle? What do foreign residents do with their time when they are not working? This is where the Costa del Sol really comes into its own, as it caters to absolutely every type of lifestyle and taste.

First of all, it creates a very pleasant working atmosphere for those who work, because the Andalusians, always full of vitality and witty, are extremely sympathetic colleagues. Foreign residents who have children find that they can choose between sending them to a Spanish school or a school where the system and language are the same as at home.

And for those who don’t work, the majority of foreign residents are people who have taken early retirement. Those who want a quiet life live in a rural environment in the stunningly beautiful hinterland or one of the glittering white villages. Those who prefer a more intense social life and an urban atmosphere often stay right on the coast itself. Many are very active retirees who devote their time to sport – golf and sailing are particularly well catered for, with a high density of golf courses and beautifully scenic marinas.

Spain produces 44% of the world’s olives and olive oil is central to Spanish cuisine. Markets are part of the way of life and cooking with fresh ingredients bought in the market is common. Supermarkets are common, but the open market remains an important part of life in Spain.

There are considerable regional variations in Spanish food and many famous dishes, including paella, gazpacho, tortilla or Spanish omelette, gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic), pisto (Spanish ratatouille), cured meats including jamon thinly sliced ​​from salted pork trotters, spicy chorizo ​​and milder salchicon.

The day in Spain is structured differently than in most other western countries and the later lunch and very late evening meal is facilitated by a series of light meals. Many Spaniards have a light early breakfast and a second breakfast mid-morning. Lunch is eaten at home or in a cafe between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eating out is common and in the evenings you may have some early sandwiches in a salones de té or pastelerías or tapas and a beer in a bar and then sit down to eat until midnight.

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