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A review of Removals from the UK to the EU – now we are Brexit + 5 months

Removals from the UK to the EU - Brexit + 5 months - A review

Read this blog post for a review of removals from the UK to and from the EU now we are at Brexit + 5 months. 

Horror stories from January

Back in January, just 15 days after Brexit, I reported our experiences and understanding of life in the removals business now that the UK is an independent country. It is now 5 months further on, so I thought it would be good to review things. This is to see if my thinking was right, and to update you on how things are going under the new rules. Our original article from January is here ‘Brexit horror stories & the future of removals to or from the EU’.

Indalo Storage - The home of the Indalo PodDuring the last 5 months since Brexit the Indalo Group (Transport, Removals, and Storage) has changed beyond all recognition. We were prepared for some changes, as we planned for Brexit for over a year. However, we are surprised by the pace of change. What has plesantly surprised us most, though, has been the increased demand for our services.

Review

In January, we adjusted our pricing and procedures, and reviewed our legal standings. Our pricing now reflects the added costs of administration and customs procedures.

BorderAtDoverWe adjusted our timescales to allow more time for customs checks and border procedures. We have also found that we cannot now guarantee delivery dates. This is purely because there are now parts of the removal process that are totally out of our control.

Now we are at Brexit + 5 months we are still reviewing the business. This is to ensure that we are fully legal, efficient and compliant with every aspect of serving clients who want to move internationally. Removals from the UK to the EU now demand an expert service, and we have reviewed all parts of our processes, to meet the challenge. 

Complete re-set for Removals UK to EU

Broadly speaking the European removals industry has now gone through a re-set. 

Several decades ago, before the UK joined the Common Market, removals from the UK to Europe needed the services of a specialist removals company. That company would assess the size, value, weight, and nature of the removal. Then they would Indalo Transport DAF Truckgive a quotation and plan how the removal would be carried out. The plan would include things such as packing, export and import restrictions, and of course customs procedures. When we joined the EU this ended, making removals as easy as moving within the UK.

This is no longer the case, and the need for specialist removers for European relocation is back with a vengeance. This re-set back to ‘pre EU’ procedures has been the main factor in our increased demand.

 

Specialist removers – the new normal for UK to the EU

The need for a specialist removals company is now vital for a successful move to or from Spain, France or Ireland. This is especially true for Spain,  where bureaucracy is a hobby for civil servants, and a way of life for many. We help clients by dealing completely with the new Spanish paperwork requirements. We also take care of the Inland Revenue in the UK andd in Spain. This is all provided as a free service. This is solely to make things as easy as possible for our clients.

Man and van – ‘a geddon’

At the beginning of the year we thought that smaller operators would struggle in the post-brexit world of removals. Sadly, we are correct. The cost of legal compliance and the extra admin is proving too much for many. The number of man and van future in jeopardyUK registered vans on the roads of Spain has reduced. Those that have survived have bought new vehicles to be able to continue. Even then, these admirable survivors are struggling to find customs agents, as it is far better to have the regular work from a specialist removal company. We are pleased that we have helped several smaller operators continue their businesses by using our trade services.

Of course, there are always those willing to take a chance. 5 months in and we are still hearing of people struggling to get their belongings across borders.

One Horror Story from March 2021

Here’s one recent horror story. A family have their worldly belongings stranded in a storage company’s warehouse in the UK. The man with a van simply cannot complete the job. The removal was collected in Northern England in December and put into storage in Kent. No paperwork was completed. The family moved to Spain and were promised their furniture would follow soon after. A fee of £4,000 (cash of course) was paid for the job. Well, the removal didn’t happen. The complete removal now needs to be itemised and assessed for duties and tax. The client is also now being charged £300 a week for storage. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything to help this client as they are in dispute with the existing mover.

The new Europe for all of us

As we move into the spring the public are really beginning to take notice of the changes brought about by Brexit. Many expats in Spain have had extra charges on their on-line shopping from the UK. Parcels are held waiting for duty Bordernewhavenpayments to be made. In most cases, because of this, people have simply changed their shopping habits. A less welcome change is that Facebook has seen a surge in fully fledged ‘customs advisors’, who appear to know more than us regarding the new documents and processes required. These are probably the same people who are already expert COVID 19 virologists!!

 

New type of Client

We have noticed that many clients now take the time to look beyond the price of a removal. Most want the best service available for their budget. And they also need assurance that the remover can take care of everything competently, legally, and in a timely manner. In this respect we are delighted to say that we work extremely hard at giving the best possible service and making things as easy and stress-free as possible, for a fair price. Our tips for choosing your removal company can be found here

Best placed to help you since brexit

As we mentioned earlier, we spent over a year planning for Brexit. This review of Removals from the UK to the EU – now we are Brexit + 5 months, shows that our approach has worked. Our service has always been of the highest standard that we could achieve, and has always included many things as standard.

We have now expanded on these ‘Indalo standards’, and we are delighted to highlight the following.

Free storage in Spain for 3 months

Indalo Storage PodsWe realise that there needs to be a degree of flexibility with international removals. Therefore, we have increased our offer of a month’s free storage, to give you up to 3 months’ free storage – at our huge storage facility in Palomares – if you should need it. This is a link to a video tour of the warehouse

 

 

Free packing materials

Indalo Transport BoxesFor every international removal we now offer free packing materials. We supply you with the best quality boxes and other materials necessary, based on our survey of the move. These materials are the same as we would use if we were to provide a full packing service for your removal.  Watch the video above to see the ‘self-pack store’ or visit the w whichebsite here.

Professional packing service

Chair Export WrappedDuring the last year we have packed and wrapped for many people who have been unable to travel due to the pandemic. Our staff are highly trained and will pack your belongings as if they were their own. Because we are completely legal within Spain, Ireland and the UK, we have been able to cross borders, making collections and deliveries for those who have been stranded due to COVID. We can add a packing service to all our removals should it be required, at a cost which is dependent on the work involved.

Customs service

This review of Removals from the UK to the EU – now we are Brexit + 5 months, has highlighted that we are very well placed for customs clearance. We have a network of customs agents able to clear our consignments quickly and without fuss. Our reputation for getting things right first time has helped us improve these relationships, which benefits you. We have dedicated staff in CustomsIrunSpain and the UK that will obtain the necessary authority for your removal to cross borders.  We make all applications to get you relief from paying VAT, where applicable. Our one-off customs fee covers all necessary customs requirements, regardless of the size of your removal. It includes inventories, packing lists, export declaration fee, import declaration fee, and transit document fees.

Indalo standard protection

We have a very basic ‘Indalo Standard’ level of protection, that is probably higher than the best available from some competing companies. Sofas travel in specially designed quilted sofa covers. Mattresses are put in heavy duty plastic bags. Televisions have purpose designed covers. All pictures and mirrors are packed in export grade bubble blanket and may be given extra cardboard protection if we think it’s necessary. Bicycles are also bagged to stop any grease or oil damaging your furniture. All removals are loaded on to specialised removal ‘vans’ using high quality removal blankets and quilted removal pads. All this protection is standard at no extra cost. Examples of the indalo standard picture wrapping can be seen here.

Move Assured membership

Indalo Transport are accredited and verified members of Move Assured in the UK, the trade body best suited to the needs of professional independent movers. We are able to call upon a wealth of experienced, trusted and vetted trade contacts to help us whenever needed. This gives us the power of a national organisation, but with the service levels only found in a dedicated family business.

Trading Standards approved

We are now one of only a handful of international removal companies that are UK Trading Standards Approved. This reinforces our commitment to the very highest service standards. It means you can be assured of a hassle-free removal, and can have total confidence that Indalo Transport will deliver everything that we promise.

 

The future

This review of Removals from the UK to the EU – now we are Brexit + 5 months is almost complete. From shaky beginnings in January this year, we are confident that the new procedures we now have will become second nature sooner rather than later. The partnerships we have made this year will hopefully last for years and enable us to continue to thrive. We are one of a very select group of companies that are able to flourish in this new world order. Helping people realise their dreams of a new life in a different country is a privilege that Indalo Transport has always been proud of. That we will do it for many more years to come is an excitng prospect.

 

Indalo Transport continues to operate regular trips between the UK, Ireland, France and Spain with storage hubs in Gosport (UK), Dublin (Ireland), and Almeria (Spain). Our service and processes include all dealings with HMRC and other regulatory authorities in all countries, on behalf of our clients

Indalo Transport and Indalo Storage: The only names you need for a stress free European removal.

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How to use a roundabout in Spain

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Expat Tips and Hints

Moving to Mojacar … an Expat Guide

All you need to know about moving to Europe with your Pets

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Brexit horror stories & the future of removals to or from the EU

Brexit Horror Stories and the future of your removal to or from the EU

Read this blogpost to find out how household removals between the UK and any country in the European Union will work in the future. And also how Brexit horrors are happening as we all get used to the new rules. If you’re looking for a removal to or from the EU, I am pleased to tell you that Indalo Transport in the UK and Indalo Storage in Spain will take care of everything for you. This prevents you from having to deal with any of the problems mentioned in this article.

UPDATE : The return of the Specialist Remover – A review of Removals from the UK to the EU – now we are Brexit + 5 months

EU-GB-SplitIt has finally happened. The UK left the European Union on December 31st, and began 2021 as an independent sovereign state. This has finally given the UK control over its own borders, after 47 years as a member of what began as the EC. Following years of negotiation on an exit deal, it seemed like we would never reach agreement. However, a deal was struck on 24th December, with seven days to go until we would have crashed out of the EU. This free trade agreement will allow goods and services to move freely and to keep tariffs and import duties at zero for most things. However, as a country now outside of the largest trading bloc in the world, there will of course be extra charges to pay when trading in the future.

Just a few weeks into the new rules and we have already heard some horror stories, and a few things that are just plain bizarre.

Horror Stories

We have been told of vehicles prevented from crossing into Europe because they don’t have the necessary paperwork in place, and vehicles impounded for days while the correct clearance is obtained. We have heard how export duty has been applied to Amazon deliveries, and how some major courier and parcel firms have suspended deliveries into the EU. The BBC even reported the incredible story of how Dutch customs have confiscated truckers packed lunches of ham and cheese sandwiches. All because the trade deal prevents the export of dairy products from the UK!

Dutch Customs Confiscate Truck Driver packed Lunches

It has been interesting to discover where removals sit in this brave new world of customs clearance, T1, T2 and SSD forms and much more documentation for transporters. What does the future hold for removals to and from the EU now?

As a removal is technically classed as second hand personal goods, you may think there wouldn’t be a problem moving your own furniture and possessions to your new home in the EU. Read on to find out why that is not the case.

The technical bit!!

When moving to a new country anywhere in the world, you are moving your residence, and therefore your furniture and possessions are changing residency with you. But you are effectively exporting and importing goods, because the UK is now independent and what is called a ‘third country’. To take goods out of a country, you need to export them. To bring them into another country, you must import them. This is the essence of customs clearance. The process entails the value of your goods being assessed, and then they would be subjected to duty and VAT upon entry to the new country. Or tax and duty reliefs could be applied that allow your goods to travel tariff and vat free.  Simple!

Export Process Flowchart

This is the Export Process in a flowchart

So we have gone from completely free movement to full export and import controls, overnight. In short, with anything concerning the EU, there is now a whole new layer of complex bureaucracy to comply with. The start of the new year has seen businesses adapting to a new regime of administration, border checks, customs inspections and regulation. A seemingly endless amount of paperwork.

Indalo Transport have been actively preparing for this since the beginning of 2020 and I’m happy to say that we have everything in place to ensure our customers enjoy a hassle-free removal.

So what has changed?

The easy way to look at things is to realise that the EU border no longer starts at British shores. As the UK is no longer part of the EU, we now enter Europe from the outside. This means we must do certain things before being allowed in.

No longer can anybody just load a van with furniture and head off across the channel.  Now, customs clearance will be required for the load, even if it is all your own stuff.  From now all removals to and from the EU will require in-depth inventories and packing lists. Each client will have to provide proof of identity,  residency and destination, and also provide monetary values. Each removal firm has to be registered with HMRC as an economic operator with an EORI number. They also need to register with the relevant European authorities, or use outside agencies to act on their behalf for the client.

The consequences of things not being done correctly are enormous. Without customs clearance the removal will not even leave the country of export. Trying to enter the EU with undeclared, or wrongly declared goods, will result in delays, fines, and goods being stranded.  If the transporter doesn’t have the correct licensing, insurance, and documentation, the vehicle will be impounded.

Import Process Flowchart

And the Import Process Flowchart – just as complex

It is also worth noting that UK citizens and goods will inevitably be subjected to more intense attention than before. The UK Department for Transport informed all hauliers by email on 13th January that “French Customs have a zero-tolerance policy to HGV drivers without the correct import and export documentation for the goods they are carrying”

What if I moved my own goods?

The short answer is that the same rules apply. If someone loaded their own van with their own furniture, they would still be subject to the same rules. Gauardia Civil Road BlockYou cannot transport any goods into the into or out of the EU without customs clearance. UK registered commercial vehicles are quickly becoming the biggest target for EU traffic and customs authorities. Fines for incorrect documentation and  failure to adhere to weight restrictions will be very easy to enforce – UK vehicles are easy to spot and, even if they do get past the ports, will be easy prey for the Guardia Civil.

Will I be taxed on the value of my furniture?

Possibly. If you are moving as a permanent resident (Transfer of Residency process) then you won’t have to pay vat on the value of your goods in the country you are moving to. However, this is dependent on customs clearance being obtained and the relevant tax reliefs being applied for. If used furniture is being shipped to a holiday home where you don’t have residency, then vat may be payable on the declared value of those goods.

Indalo Transport will apply for customs clearance for all our clients and ensure that the correct reliefs are applied, as part of our normal procedures.

What about sending new stuff to Spain?

cane_table_chairs

An end to cheap furniture from the UK?

We have had a service delivering new items from the UK to Spain since we started in 2013. The ability to save money by buying online in the UK has been very attractive to many clients, even with the cost of transport to Spain added on. I am sorry to say that this has now significantly changed and will be nowhere near as popular in future.

Earlier we touched on the fact that many parcel/courier companies have suspended services between the UK and EU for now. This is because many are unsure of the new processes and charges required, and have been unprepared for the sheer amount of work involved.

To put it in perspective, quite simply every individual client delivery, from a small parcel right up to a big American Style Fridge Freezer or a garden furniture set, will now need customs clearance. And everything being imported into Spain will be subject to Spanish vat at 21%, based on the cost of the item. The result of this is that deliveries of anything new from outside the EU – that’s us in the UK now too – will become more expensive.

A possible loophole?

If you are already a resident of Spain then you may be able to buy things in the UK without vat being added. This because supplies to outside of the UK are not subject to UK vat. However this will very much depend on the supplier. If successful then you will only be charged on the vat when the items get to Spain. Don’t forget though, that there will still be the cost of the customs clearance process.Euros - Indalo Transport

Indalo Transport will continue to offer our ‘UK shopping from Spain’ service for the next few months to test whether it is viable to continue with. But I feel it is very much the end of an era.

Moving Forward

I think that the changes being experienced now will have a profound effect on future removals into Europe.

mojacar_beach_AlmeriaSpain is still a fabulous place to live, that’s why we’re here, and I think these changes are trivial in comparison to the benefits offered by a life in the sun. A bit more red tape,  and a move that will cost a bit more than last year shouldn’t be a deterrent to anybody looking to move home. 

I believe the biggest changes will be within the removals industry itself. It is clear already that customers will choose their removals firm very carefully to ensure that they comply with tax, customs, and legal requirements on both sides of the channel.Indalo Transport DAF Truck Removal firms will need to demonstrate competence dealing with tax authorities and border agencies in order to continue operating.

Most UK companies that might have done a few European removals every year will probably not bother to do any EU removals in the future, because of the extra work involved. They will instead pass the work on to EU specialists who will be able to easily undertake the work.

Man and Van

man and van future in jeopardyI must admit that I find it difficult to see a place in the market for the traditional ‘man and van’ who transports belongings for a bit of cash. Also, the amount of smaller moves to Europe may well decrease anyway because of the more stringent rules for residency in a lot of countries. 

If this happens, the industry as a whole will have a much more professional image, as smaller operators will not be able to survive in European removals in their present form. Man and van may well be restricted to operating at local levels only, and forced to comply with local laws. 

It will certainly be an interesting year for those of us in the industry.

Indalo Transport continues to operate regular trips between the UK, Ireland, France and Spain with storage hubs in Gosport (UK), Dublin (Ireland), and Almeria (Spain). Our service and processes include all dealings with HMRC and other regulatory authorities in all countries, on behalf of our clients

Indalo Transport and Indalo Storage: The only names you need for a stress free European removal.

Read our May 2021 UPDATE : The return of the Specialist Remover – A review of Removals from the UK to the EU – now we are Brexit + 5 months

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How to use a roundabout in Spain

7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

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Don’t let your Removal get impounded

Spain’s State of Alarm isn’t alarming for Indalo Transport.

This week the Spanish press have been reporting on the impact of latest State of Alarm and the threats to Spain’s economy and future prosperity. This latest decree allows the various Autonomous Communities to impose their own restrictions on an already weary public.

Confusion reigns as curfews come into force in different parts of Spain, with some having different times. Some bar owners can no longer offer the attraction of live music to encourage customers, others can but only if they are serving food.  It is all very confusing but we will have plenty of time to get used to it as the state of alarm is set to be in place until May 9th 2021.

As well as the curfew, the decree has restricted mobility between regions – movement between autonomous regions will be prohibited except for justifiable reasons. This will be subject to regional decisions; there can be complete, or partial closure of regional borders.

The newest restrictions in Andalucia, announced just last week, restrict everyone to their own municipality, unless they are travelling for work or another justifiable reason.

During the months of lockdown earlier this year Indalo Transport were able to continue to serve their customers because they are fully legal and able to cross national and international borders. They have all the correct documentation, certification, and accreditations necessary. This will obviously help for anyone wanting to move in what could become an exceedingly long winter for many.

Also two weeks ago was an announcement that would normally be worthy of bigger headlines. This was an announcement by the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) that they were launching a new special surveillance campaign targetting the “man with a van”.

We took a bit of criticism earlier in the year when we blogged that in our opinion the biggest fines imposed on workers would be incurred after the lockdown. This was when travel in Spain was exceedingly difficult and the penalties being imposed for breaking those restrictions were harsh to say the least.  We still hold the same opinion, and it seems that a lot of other people are beginning to realise that the social costs of COVID are going to be clawed back by way of taxes and by increasing penalties against illegal workers.

The DGT, and agents of the Civil Guard Traffic Group (Trafico) announced that from 26th October, they will intensify their efforts and focus on vans by establishing checkpoints on conventional roads near to industrial estates, shopping centres, places of loading and unloading, border crossings, and accident hot spots. Trafico agents will be looking to check the documentation of both the vehicle and the driver, and the contents of the load.

The simple fact is that if the vehicle, driver, or load is anything other than completely legal, then the full force of the law will be applied. In Spain this means that the vehicle and its cargo are immediately impounded. The focus then centres on the driver and who the driver is working for. The penalties for hiring an unregistered (illegal) worker are huge fines for both the illegal worker and employer.

Probably the most upsetting thing a customer can hear would be the news that the vehicle carrying their precious belonging has been impounded. It’s easy to say that it can be avoided by making sure that you only use fully legal transporters and removal companies. But it really is that easy.

The friend of a friend who has a van, and will do you a favour in return for a handful of cash, might not be doing you a favour at all. And it may cost you much more in the long run.

Indalo Storage now open

We are in the middle of an unprecedented time in the history of the world – what has been called the first global pandemic. Whole populations throughout the world have had restrictions placed on their movements. Economies have been shrinking at record rates. Business are struggling and jobs are disappearing fast. 

Indalo Transport have certainly chosen a challenging time to launch the next phase of it’s development in Southern Spain, the Indalo Storage Warehouse.

About the same size as an aircraft hanger, the new facility will enable the highly regarded Removals Company to offer a range of products and services, to the local community, to expats looking to re locate to or from Spain and to the European Removals trade.

Whilst most of Europe was under lockdown Mick Cox, founder of Indalo Transport, didn’t sit still and wait for things to return to a new normal. He set about establishing a business that he had identified as being much needed in southern Spain, and the Mojacar area in particular. That business is a storage facility for the local population of this beautiful area of Almeria province, and also a hub for removal companies travelling between Spain and other parts of Europe. 

The first stage was to secure a warehouse, and he found a huge one entirely by chance, through an offhand comment while sourcing a new vehicle for the existing business. Situated a stones throw from the lovely Mediterranean Sea at Palomares, the Indalo Storage Warehouse is the home of the Indalo Pod. This is a simple and effective method of storing household furniture for members of the public and trade alike. The warehouse also acts as the new and improved base for Indalo Transport, a high quality pan-European removal service established in 2013, and which has grown steadily over the past few years helping hundreds of people move their precious lifelong possessions across Europe. 

According to Mick, the lockdown helped him to establish the new business. The enforced break of a few weeks gave him time to develop, and properly plan, the idea that had been on the backburner for the past few years. It meant he could also plan the best way to deal with the ending of the transition period and the fulfilment of Brexit on December 31st this year. All the planning is already bearing fruit, as, even before the official opening, the business has expanded far quicker than he first thought. There is more furniture in storage than ever before and trade assistance has seen Indalo Transport helping UK removal companies store and deliver removals right across southern Spain.

“We want to be the first choice for people looking for storage facilities locally and the only option for people looking to move their goods between Spain, France, Ireland and the UK. We also look forward to welcoming more international removal companies to our fabulous facility and helping them with our trade services”

“In these troubled times, I have also decided to offer all local Spanish businesses a large discount on storage, to help them to weather this storm that has devastated so much business throughout Spain”.

“Our team is committed to providing outstanding service at all times. We already have a reputation for the highest quality and service – doing the best job we possibly can is a core value that has made us stand out from many others in our industry; it’s that ethos that I am committed to bringing to storage and to removal trade assistance”.

So what else could Mick possibly offer through Indalo Storage?

“Oh, we also have a shop. Our Self-Pack Store sells everything you could possibly need to pack and store any household item. We sell only the best quality packing materials; they must be the best because they are the materials that we use ourselves to take care of our removal clients’ lifelong belongings”.

More info at the Indalo Storage Website

Huge New Warehouse now open

At a time when most businesses are shrinking due to a worldwide crisis, Mick Cox, founder of the UK-based company Indalo Transport, has opened a 17,000sqft / 1,600sqm Warehouse in the town of Palomares in Almeria province. Also formed is a new Spanish limited company to control the warehouse and the Spanish Storage business, and to ensure that trading can continue when the UK fully leaves the European Union on the 31st of December. Recognised for outstanding quality and service in the Removals industry, UK Trading Standards approved INDALO TRANSPORT will bring the same levels of excellence to INDALO STORAGE. The Indalo Storage Warehouse is due to officially open on 5th November 2020. As well as offering storage facilities and packing materials to expats and Spaniards in the local community, it will also be a hub for removal companies throughout Europe, offering them a storage base in Almeria and trade assistance throughout southern Spain.

“This new warehouse marks the start of the next phase of development of the Indalo Transport brand, and will enable us to offer a hugely increased range of services, both to expats and to the International Removals trade as well. It will also mean that fully leaving the European Union will not affect our ability to continue offering our high quality Removal services between Spain, France, Ireland and the UK.” – Mick Cox, founder of Indalo Transport and Indalo Storage

INDALO STORAGE will be offering the following services:-

  • Household and business storage
  • Self-Pack Store – A retail store offering high quality packing and protection products
  • Trade assistance and storage to removal specialists from all over Europe
  • Vehicle storage – Cars, Motorcyles, Caravans, Motorhomes
  • Continuance and upgrading of the recognised Indalo Transport removals service
  • A bespoke professional packing service.

Indalo Storage Website – www.indalostorage.com

Spain’s biggest fines will happen after lockdown ends

Lockdown in Spain - Indalo Transport is Legal

Spain’s draconian lockdown seems to be heading towards a slow conclusion, and with fines for breaking the lockdown laws ranging from €601 up to €10,400 the public are about to breathe a huge sigh of relief.

During the first month of lockdown from March 15th more than half a million penalties were issued by Government forces across Spain. Over 5,000 people were also arrested. 

But the biggest fines of all are soon to come into place when movements are no longer restricted and the ‘new normal’ begins.

A New Normal

The new normal is likely to see the end of Spain’s traditional cash (or black) economy. This will entail an anticipated crackdown on the legions of unregistered workers who fill bars and restaurants, work on building sites, maintain pools and gardens, cut hair and paint nails, and transport various goods in an army of white vans.

It is well known that Spanish employment laws are strict. Tax, social security payments, creating a company and becoming ‘legal’ all have very high costs in Spain compared with the UK. There is no doubt that these are the reasons why many seek to work under the radar and participate in the black economy. 

COVID-19

But with billions spent fighting the Covid-19 crisis, the government will need to claw this back somehow, and there will be few people who can begrudge the authorities attempting to claw back funds by enforcing what is legal.

Fortunately, this is not a concern for any of the team connected with Indalo Transport and Indalo Storage. All of our workers are correctly registered and fully legal. They are fully able to look after your treasured possessions whilst working within the laws of both Spain and the UK. In fact, we welcome the fact that there will now be a more level playing field, as we have always found it difficult to compete on price with illegal ‘man & vans’ who don’t care about having proper insurances or being legally permitted to work.

Undeclared Work

This paragraph is taken from a recent paper published by the Department of Labour Law and Social Security Law Faculty and sums up the Spanish view on illegal workers here in Spain.

“Undeclared work is fraud that has serious consequences for society as a whole, where those who comply with the established rules suffer the effects twice over: 

firstly, because those who are working off the books do not contribute as they should to the sustainability of public finances, and in particular to the public social protection system, thus forcing those who declare their work to shoulder this financial burden; and 

secondly, because those in regular employment receive fewer services than they would if everyone contributed their share to public spending”.

As we have seen with the fines under lockdown, the Spanish authorities are not afraid to impose large penalties when laws are broken. When employment laws are broken, there are even larger fines to pay, and also back taxes have to be repaid with interest, and the same thing happens with social security payments, too.

A civil penalty from €2,000 up to €200,000 per illegal worker can be imposed by the Central Office of Labour.

Payment in Cash?

Mates rates, working for a drink, and payment in cash is always tempting when you need a job done. But it is a sobering thought if you consider that It is also illegal for you to contract the services of those who wish to work illegally under the radar.

The Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family can impose fines of €5,000 for employing illegal workers.

Let me just repeat that – this means you, as a member of the public, can be fined €5,000 by the Spanish State if you employ someone who isn’t allowed to work in Spain.

During lockdown those able to work have been required to carry documentary evidence of their legal working status – called Autonomo. 

These papers have been demanded at numerous roadblocks and checkpoints. Just so you are under no illusion of the scope of the fines at the moment, the full list is reproduced below.

Lockdown fines

Huge Fines during Lockdown

 As things change,  with movements only being allowed within municipalities and then within provinces, these checks are likely to become more common. Who would argue against them becoming a regular occurence in the ‘new normal’, to help protect us until a vaccine is produced?

So, if you are considering a local removal within Spain or thinking about a trans European move between Spain and the UK you should always consider the legal status of your mover.

It’s in your best interests to ensure they are legally allowed to work for you.

Giving a mate a drink, or going for a cash price, might not cut it in the future.

For a personal quotation from a fully legal Spanish and English removal company click here

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The 7 Top Countries for UK Expats to move to in 2020

There can be several reasons British citizens choose to pack up their life in the UK and emigrate abroad. Whether it’s to improve the quality of their family’s life, reduce the cost of living, relocate for work or simply for a change of scenery, migrating overseas is a popular choice amongst the UK population. According to the Office for National Statistics, around 397,000 people emigrated from the UK in 2019 alone – that’s over 1,000 people a day!

So, what are the countries that are seeing the highest level of migration from UK expats and why?

Australia

Indalo Transport Australia

Top of our list is the land down under – notorious for its endless summers. UK expats moving to Australia are drawn to the warmer climate, friendly Aussie culture and the pleasant work-life-balance.

Moving to Australia: UK expat trends

In 2017, Australia topped the charts as the most popular relocation destination for Brits, with over 1.3m UK migrants. Over the past three years we’ve seen a steady number of families and partners moving to live the winter sun dream, thanks to the highly rated education system, salary attraction and as it’s a retirement hotspot.

Best places for expats in Australia

There are so many great destinations for UK expats in Australia. If you’re emigrating with your family, Canberra is a good choice thanks to its small-town feel and affordable property. Perth is renowned for its UK expat community due to its warmer climate and scenic views. Career orientated individuals tend to opt for Sydney or Melbourne because of the job opportunities available.

Spain

Indalo Transport Spain

Spain has always been a prime location for UK migration; home to beautiful beaches and first class healthcare. The property buying procedure is not as expensive and is less hassle than in the UK. The cost-effective way of living comes without the culture shock – plus, as an added bonus afternoon naps or ‘siestas’ are the norm.

 Moving to Spain: UK expat trends

Property purchases by Brits have risen by 13% since 2016, with 7,613 purchases in the first six months of 2018. We’ve seen a slight fall in UK expats moving to Spain between 2016 and 2017 due to the impact of the Brexit referendum, but numbers have been on the rise since 2018.

Best places to live in Spain

We’ve found that most Brits tend to move to Alicante (Costa Blanca) or Malaga (Costa del Sol) – both regions are renowned for their stunning scenery, noticeably warmer climate and English speaking locals.

Canada

Indalo Transport Canada

Canada was ranked 3rd on the Expat Explorer Survey, scoring high for its education, level of disposable income, economic stability, welcoming communities and quality of life. Between 6,000 – 9,000 UK expats move to Canada each year, making it one of the most popular destinations for migration.

 Moving to Canada: UK expat trends

There’s been a spike in UK residents moving to Canada since the 2016 referendum, with over 620,000 migrants moving there in 2017. Now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced their plans to move to Canada, we can only predict that this destination will continue to rise in popularity.

Best places for expats in Canada

Canada has many hotspots for UK expats, depending on the reason for emigrating. Vancouver is a popular option for rural and scenic views. Toronto has a diverse and international community with great career prospects, whereas Montreal has a fantastic work-life balance and affordable property markets.

New Zealand

Indalo Transport New Zealand

Despite New Zealand being the adventure capital of the world, UK expats are drawn to the more relaxed way of the Kiwi life, ranking the 5th best place on Expat Explorer Survey for expats to move to. Did you know that there are so many great job opportunities in New Zealand? Trades are high in demand and are often paid better than the UK too.

Moving to New Zealand: UK expat trends

Net migration by Brits reached over 6,000 in 2017, almost double the figures of 2015. We’ve seen a yo-yo effect of people moving to New Zealand since then, with the number of new migrants each month decreasing in May-July each year, with the peak time for emigrating being around January.

 Best places for expats in New Zealand

Auckland is a popular city for expats; a vibrant city that’s great for families thanks to its safety, stability and diverse culture along with a world class education system. Other popular destinations include Queenstown, Napier and Rotorua.

France

Indalo Transport France

France has one of the largest British-born populations. Pros of immigrating to France include the divine wining and dining, the excellent education system that offers after-school support, and the proven property markets. There’s a healthy work-life balance – the working week is only 35 hours, leisurely lunch breaks are a must, and there’s an average of 5 weeks paid holiday.

Moving to France: UK expat trends

In 2017, there was an estimated 190,000 Brits living in France. Over the past three years we’ve seen a huge increase in people moving there from the UK, desperate to relocate ahead of the Brexit deadline. Britons still represent the largest portion of overseas buyers in the French property market, accounting for 26% of international sales in 2018.

Best places to live in France

We’ve found that the high in demand places are Paris and the South of France. Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world, with famous building structures and scenic locations, coupled with accessible transport links. The South of France boasts 300 days of sun a year, offering a change of lifestyle and increased quality of life. If you’re looking for a location out of the ordinary, some of the best places for UK expats to live France are Lyon for more cost-effective living and stunning scenery; Montpellier, for its thriving expat community and job opportunities; Bordeaux, for a laid back and relaxed lifestyle; or Pau, thanks to its outdoor vibe and accessibility to activities such as hiking and skiing.

USA

Indalo Transport USA

Emigrating to the USA to live the American dream is something that appeals to many UK expats. Home to one of the world’s biggest economies, the USA has one of the largest career markets for professionals looking to progress. By moving to America, UK expats seek to increase their living standard.

Moving to America: UK expat trends

Around 1.3million UK expats live in the USA and Canada, with around 24% of these expats being retired. However, despite America being overly popular with UK expats seeking a better quality of life, we’ve found that it isn’t uncommon for expats to move back before retirement due to healthcare expenses and taxes.

Best places to live in America

Denver is popular for business-minded people. If you’re looking for affordable property, quality of life and tropical weather, Kissimmee in Florida is a worth researching. Of course, we can’t forget New York; the vibrant city that never sleeps, renowned for its stock market and career prospects. San Francisco is also popular thanks to its financial stability, low unemployment rate and high average salary (of around $74,841).

Dubai

Indalo Transport Dubai

As well as the year-long sunshine, one of the most attractive elements of emigrating to UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Dubai is that all earnings are tax free (make sure your check tax residency to maximise this). Living and working in cities like Dubai is a great way to fast track your career with the vast amount of professional opportunities available. The vibrant business economies are always after English-speaking employees to work in their companies.

Moving to UAE: UK expat trends

There are between 100,000-200,000 UK expats living in UAE. 41% of Brits move there to improve their quality of life. Over the past year or so we’ve been seeing a slight decline in people wanting to move to UAE, mainly because of Brexit uncertainty. In the next year or so, we expect to see a rapid rise of expats looking to move to Dubai and UAE now Brexit is coming to a head.

How to prepare your finances when moving abroad

When emigrating from the UK, you’ll need to transfer your funds into a bank account in the country you’re relocating to. However, this can cost you considerably more than you originally anticipated.  Using a high street bank to send your savings abroad to fund your emigration can cost anything from hundreds to thousands of pounds in additional fees.

Foreign exchange providers, such as RationalFX, offer a cost-effective, secure and simple solution to help UK expats to reduce costs and make their money go further. RationalFX offer competitive exchange rates, no hidden fees or charges and a personalised service to ensure expats get the most out of their hard-earned money.

To get in contact with a currency specialist at RationalFX, visit their website here 

Wherever you choose to move, make sure you contact Indalo Transport to take care of the very important task of moving your treasured belongings to your chosen new country. With regular trips to and from Europe, and removal trade contacts on every continent, we can help you make your expat dream a reality. Visit our Quote Page now


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Sometimes a ‘Facebook man & van’ just isn’t good enough – a true story

sometimes a man and van isn't good enough

A cautionary tale!

Expats, and Brits in particular, are very resourceful when it comes to making a living.  Here in Spain we see many businesses spring up with regularity, all looking to carve their own niche in a crowded market.

The basic rule seems to be that if there is something you need or want, you should always be able to find someone who can provide it.

You can wake up anywhere along the Spanish Costas, let the cleaner in, go off for a full English, or have a decent coffee, and join in a yoga class, before dropping your car in for a service.

Then you can hire a bike to ride to your Spanish language class, have another coffee, before heading off to the aqua-aerobic session in a cooling swimming pool by the beach. After an hour or so at the beach you can lunch on tapas, chill out at the Mindfulness and Well-being retreat, learn how to paint landscapes, have afternoon tea, then maybe a haircut or make-over, and finish the day off by taking the bike back and picking up the car.

You can then go home to check on the gardener and the job the pool man did cleaning your pool. You can then marvel at the works done by your team of builders and decorators, before getting ready to go out again for a meal, take in a band, or join in a quiz. All after your dance class of course. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

A great place to live

Happily, British entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and is everywhere to be seen along the Costas. From gardeners, painters, builders, cleaners, mechanics, nail technicians, dressmakers, artists, singers, to on-line marketeers and cosmetics distributers. All these vie for your attention with Man and Van services, Language Tutors, Interpreters, Dance Instructors, Yoga Gurus, Fitness Coaches, Well-being and Mindfulness Centres, and of course every building trade going.

Everything is available by recommendation or a click/like on social media, and everyone is in competition for your “shares” and “likes”.  It’s great, all you need is just a click away.  It’s a true reflection of the modern connected society we are all now living in.

Being entrepreneurial is all well and good, and very commendable. But sometimes it does come at a cost. I have huge admiration for those that have become established and operate their businesses in accordance with the correct laws and regulations in the new country they have chosen to call home.

However, it seems that not everyone can do what they say. Sometimes not everyone is as honest, or legal, as you may think.  Recently I’ve had a couple of instances that illustrate just how costly it could be for you, as an unwitting victim. The first story is about someone who didn’t really seem to care who did a job for her – whilst in the other story the lady took a bit more time and got a completely different result.

Please Help

The first instance started very late one Friday night. I noticed, via facebook, the plight of a lady in South West England who had been waiting all day for a ‘man with a van’ to collect her furniture and belongings and transport them to Spain. He didn’t turn up, then he didn’t answer the phone, respond to emails, or even reply to repeated appeals on social media. What he did was simply pocket the £700 cash given to him several weeks before and then disappear. What he did was despicable. I therefore sent a message to this lady saying I would do what I could to help.

The following morning, I spoke to her on the phone. She said that she was flying to Spain the next day and therefore whatever I could arrange would have to be done quickly.

Liking a challenge, I got on the phone and managed to find a solution at very short notice. By using our network of legal and accredited removal companies belonging to the Move Assured trade body, I arranged for her treasured belongings to be collected that same afternoon. This was one day later than the original planned date, and then they’d be placed into storage for a few days, before being collected and delivered to her door in Spain some 10 days later. Pretty good going at such short notice, I thought. A collaboration of 3 removal firms, working together for the clients benefit, for very little reward but all for the common good.

When I rang the lady back to explain what I had arranged, I was rather surprised to be told that she had managed to arrange a new, different man with a van who “would collect everything next week and take it Spain when he is down that way later in the summer”.  She had already paid him £700 – in cash this time as he was local to her in the UK.  So she was now £1,400 down, with no guarantee of when her delivery would occur.

I was, to put it mildly, shocked at her actions.

As she had sorted herself out she then thanked me for my interest, but obviously didn’t want to proceed with my solution. This even though we would have collected that same day and therefore while she was still in the house, and before she left the Country. It seems you just can’t help people no matter what you do!

I sincerely hope that she gets her furniture. I suspect that she too will be hoping, and praying, during the next few months because after a bit of investigation I discovered that the man with a van to whom she had so gratefully given her cash to was actually a gardener, with a big van, who was obviously going to take the van on holiday!

A proper job

The second instance concerned an elderly lady in Scotland. She was unable to travel and accepted an offer for the sale of her property here in Spain. She needed someone to pack all her belongings and move them to Scotland. Fortunately for her someone knew of a man with an empty van on his way back from Spain. He could do it, no problem, for £900.00 – cash. He gave this price without seeing what was to be done and could only offer himself and his van.

I arranged with the local estate agent, who was handling her sale, for me to look at the property and survey what needed to be moved, which is normal practice for us for every removal apart from the most basic small moves. After a 2-hour drive and a good look around I could see that indeed It was a full load for a large Luton type van. This would be no problem for ‘White Vanman’ if it only had to be chucked in the empty space he had (but he’d also certainly be overweight with everything that I had listed, but we won’t open that can of worms today)

However, it all needed to be wrapped and packed as well, as the lady had not been in Spain for over a year and couldn’t leave Scotland. All in all there were 72 large boxes that needed packing. Plus, the pictures and artwork needed special handling and export wrapping, the office furniture had to be dismantled, and there were also several very expensive pieces of crystal glassware. I noted every item, took photographs of the delicate items I had earmarked for specialised packing and headed back to my desk to prepare a quote.

Once the quote was prepared and sent by email, I phoned the client. She took a while to answer and jokingly I suggested that was because she had to pick herself up from the floor.  This was funny but understandable, because our quote was considerably higher than the ‘man and van’ price. However, she was pleased and grateful that I had identified the solutions to moving her precious lifelong possessions. Unlike the man with a van who had no clue as to how to properly look after, pack or wrap anything.

Needless to say, she recognised the difference between ‘cash van man’ and our proper removal service, and agreed for us to undertake the removal.

I am happy to say that, within 2 weeks of her acceptance, I made the 2 hour drive again. However this time it was in a fully equipped removal van, with another trained removal man as company, as this job clearly required a two man service. We carried various sized boxes, specially designed picture packs, wrapping paper, export grade bubble blanket, quilted furniture covers and high-quality removal blankets, and a specially designed wooden crate.

 

So, one lady in Scotland spent just over two weeks looking forward to the safe delivery of her items, knowing exactly when they would be delivered and feeling reassured that they would arrive in perfect condition.

Another lady who wa now in Spain spent months ‘hoping’ to take delivery of her items at some point, not knowing how they will be delivered, or if they will be delivered at all.

Moral of the story?

Just because someone gives you a price quickly, or is cheaper, doesn’t mean they can do what they claim.

Please please check the credentials of anyone who you are looking to do any work for you.

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Full List of Other Moving To … Expat Guides

Easter in Spain – Fantastic festivities in the Sun, 

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7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

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Unloading the Stress

A true story of how one couple fared on their UK to Spain removal in 2019

Indalo Transport Unloading the Stress

Read on to see how good Indalo Transport is at unloading the stress of European removals.

Life can be very stressful at times. A recent study showed that moving home is the 5th most stressful thing in life.

What are the top six most stressful things in life?

  1. The death of a loved one.
  2. Divorce.
  3. Loss of a job.
  4. Getting married.
  5. Moving to a new home.
  6. Chronic illness or injury.

When you consider that moving to a new home ranks so highly in the league of life’s stresses, it is no surprise that there is additional hassle in moving that home to an entirely new country.

Most reputable removers will do all they can to alleviate the pain and anxiety associated with a move. That’s certainly the case at Indalo Transport, where we try very hard to make the move as easy as possible for you.

Indalo Transport Research
Initial research is easy these days

I know from personal experience the stress involved, as I moved to Spain 6 years ago. I was grateful that informative websites were available to help when I was planning the move – whatever did people do before the internet?

It did get me thinking about the affect this stress, and indeed our actions, have on our customers.

Indalo Transport Valle del Este

So I thought it would be a good idea to call one of our trans-European clients, and find out how they were getting on.

James and Lynda had made the decision to move to this lovely part of Spain last year. Their move was from Sandhurst in Surrey to Valle de Este in Almeria, Spain.

I wanted to find out if there was anything we could have done differently.

The Visit

Indalo Transport Valle pool

After arranging a convenient day, I visited them on a beautiful sunny February morning. I sat with them on a shady terrace, overlooking the pool, in a comfortable 23C. It was clear to see that they were happy they’d made the move. But were they happy with how the move went? What, if anything, had we done to make things less stressful?

So, this is their story…

Having accepted an offer on their lovely property in Sandhurst James and Lynda issued their solicitors with instructions, so they had the financial and legal side of things well under control.

Next, they had to sort out the task of physically moving their belongings to another country. The move was becoming a reality, so I asked James where did they start and how did they find the right removal company?

James – “Quite simply I did what anybody would do, I googled it and Indalo Transport appeared amongst others on the page. Knowing that the “Indalo” was a symbol of the area we were moving to I kept it in mind. But actually, my first call was to a well-known large British removal company, who arranged to send somebody to our home.”

One of the most important things when planning a move is to get a proper survey done. It’s almost impossible to give a firm price without actually seeing the items to be moved. It may take a day or two to get that price in writing, but it does ensure that everything is accounted for and the removal company sends the correct size removal vehicle.

A survey will also give the customer a chance get a bit of background on the firm, and to find out what other services a removal company can offer to help, things like packing and storage.

James – “The price they eventually quoted was pretty good, but they couldn’t offer us the full package we needed because we wanted storage in Spain for lots of our belongings, to be delivered at a later date.”

A one stop shop

“I also felt I wanted a more personal service. I wanted a one stop shop, someone to do everything and one point of contact who knew us and what we wanted. That was very, very, important to us. I wanted to be able to pick up a phone, or send an email, to one person. This would be someone who could tell me exactly what I needed to do, what was going to happen, and when it was going to happen.”

Indalo Transport Facebook
Indalo Transport on Facebook

“It was actually Lynda who then reminded me about Indalo Transport because she had seen comments on Facebook, so I went back to google.”

The internet should be the first point of call for anybody looking to make the move to Spain. There are many websites that can give you valuable information and help you avoid the many pitfalls.

All reputable removal companies will have a website that shows accreditations. These are things like membership of a trade association and maybe even trading standards approval (Indalo Transport is one of very few trans-European removal companies to be fully approved by UK Trading Standards).

Careful who you trust on social media

However, social media advertising can be quite misleading, as you really can’t be sure of what you’re getting, often with disastrous consequences – read this horror story. At Indalo Transport we do use facebook in our marketing but mainly to show people to our website. This is where there are guides, hints and tips on all aspects of trans-European moving, and help on how to become an Expat.

Indalo Transport Website
Loads of help when planning a move

James – “I was impressed, very impressed, with the website and so I made the initial enquiry. I was even more impressed that the person coming to our home to survey our belongings was the proprietor of the company, Mick Cox. That was the personal service I was looking for and after browsing through the Indalo Transport website again I felt as if I knew Mick before he had even arrived! I really can’t stress how important that was to us, we wanted a relationship with the guys moving our stuff.”

“Mick was a pleasure to deal with, very knowledgeable and very professional, he even insisted on packing our more delicate items himself, which was a huge relief to both of us because I knew that Lynda wouldn’t trust me to do it. The price was pretty much the same, within a few pounds, so Indalo Transport were given the job. If I’m honest the price really wouldn’t have mattered that much because we felt we were in safe hands, and you can’t put a price on that peace of mind. But the price was competitive, and we felt that was a good reflection on Mick and his business.”

Obviously buying and selling homes can be a difficult process, with buyers and sellers, estate agents, surveyors, bankers and solicitors, all involved in a complex chain of transactions. And in this case James and Lynda had further complications with planning issues This is because their buyers were selling a listed building. In fact James and Lynda had to delay the move a few times because of this.

James – “I was glad that we had found the personal service because we really needed it. Mick was so patient with us, we had to rearrange the move three times due to problems with the sale in the UK. Nothing was a problem for Mick, each time he was happy to accommodate us and so quick to answer any questions. He was so patient, I wouldn’t have blamed him at all if he had told us get lost! But nothing was too much trouble for him.”

And it’s go, go, go, go…

Six months after initial contact, and with all the legals finally in place, James & Lynda were finally ready to move. We organised delivery of the necessary packing materials to start the job and they began transferring their life into wrapping paper and cardboard boxes.

James – “Mick arrived the day before he was due to load, and thankfully took charge of the packing process with his knowledge and expertise. We had already packed the easy bits like bedding and clothes, but were pleased we took advantage of the packing service. All our goods were inventoried and all the delicate items we both worried about were safely wrapped and packed.”

The next day everything was packed and loaded into the removal vehicles while James and Lynda attended to the last details with their solicitors. James and Lynda then waved goodbye to their belongings, and Mick set off for the sunny delights of Southern Spain.

Indalo Transport Loading Boxes

A week later, just before Christmas, I helped unload the road-train into our storage warehouse. 23 large boxes had been marked for immediate delivery to James and Lynda at their beautiful home on Valle del Este.

Uh oh, we forgot the hairbrush!

James – “It was great that everything was coming together exactly as planned. It was even better to know that Lynda’s favourite hair brush was arriving because I’d been dragged to every shop and chemist in the area looking for a replacement!”

After contacting us about ‘the wayward hairbrush’ earlier, luckily for James it was found in a bedside table drawer as we were unloading into our store, so it was retrieved and placed into a clearly marked box. For James’ sake I made sure that it was the first box off the van…

With everything they needed for now, and their remaining belongings safely in storage, that should have been job complete.

The Golf Connection

Indalo Transport Valle del Este Golf

James – “Oh no it wasn’t. My golf clubs were packed in your store, I hadn’t listed them for delivery. What’s the point of living near a golf course if I can’t play golf? Sheepishly I sent an email asking if was possible to collect my clubs at some point in the next few weeks.”

“Mick delivered them the following day in the morning. That’s what I mean when I talk about the personal touch.”

As I mentioned earlier James and Lynda are settled and clearly enjoying life in Spain. James is also now enjoying his golf and Lynda’s hair is looking fantastic…

So, the verdict?

I’ve really enjoyed my time sat in their company enjoying fabulous coffee amidst fantastic scenery. Before I leave, I ask James and Lynda the vital question. Could we have done anything differently, is there room for improvement?

James – “Nothing. No question. The service was great, the chemistry between you and your customers is outstanding and it worked very well for us. You guys were on time, every time, and did everything you said you would. You delivered so much more than our furniture.”

I didn’t need to ask anything else.

Thanks for coffee Lynda. I look forward to delivering your goods from store whenever you are ready.

written by Paul Burt in 2020

If you need a quote for a forthcoming move to or from Europe, fill in our form here.


If you’ve enjoyed this article, you may enjoy

Your Essential – Free – Moving Checklist

How to avoid these 7 packing mistakes, for the best removal

10 Top Tips for buying a Property in Spain

Moving to Spain … an Expat Guide,

Full List of Other Moving To … Expat Guides

Easter in Spain – Fantastic festivities in the Sun,

How to use a roundabout in Spain

7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

Essential Tips for moving to Spain with your Children

Expat Tips and Hints

Moving to Mojacar … an Expat Guide

All you need to know about moving to Europe with your Pets

How to Save Money & Do Finance, for Expats in Spain

If you lived in Spain, what would YOU miss about the UK?

If you lived in Spain, what would you miss? - Indalo Transport

Have you ever thought about what you would miss in the UK, if you lived in Spain. Read on to find out what are some common answers.

I was sat enjoying a small beer and some delicious tapas in a beautiful part of Almeria over the Christmas period. The company was great, with a mixture of ex-pats who had made the move to Spain and their guests made up of family and friends from the UK. As we sat overlooking the beach, practically at the water’s edge, the conversation inevitably turned to the comparisons between the UK and Spain. The question was posed – what do we miss about the UK? I couldn’t answer it, so I turned it around and asked what did they miss about the UK. The answers were pretty predictable, but interesting nonetheless.

Family and friends

I think that family and friends would always be the first thing anyone would miss. And the group we were sat with are proof of my answer. Family always comes first. Time spent here with family and friends offers far more in the way of quality time than you would ever get over a Sunday dinner. With the endless ways of communication through facetime, whatsapp, skype and the like it’s very easy to keep in touch with family.

The NHS

A great British institution – I’ll never knock it or those that work in it. But Spain also has a great health system and is considered a world leader in many forms of medicine. Getting access to the medical system in Spain is pretty straight forward. If you can’t, then there is a comprehensive private system. Medication is a fraction of the cost in comparison to the UK.

The Language

Life can be challenging at times without being fluent in the native tongue, but it can also be fun. You are never too old to learn. The local authorities offer free spanish classes and when I get really stuck there is always google translate, or my helpful Spanish neighbours.

Food

When you cross the border into Spain you don’t suddenly forget how to cook! All the usual ingredients can be found in the local supermarkets, they are just labelled differently. Spanish food is fantastic and the fruits and salads are much tastier than anything you get in the UK. It all comes from Spain anyway! And let’s not forget that the Mediterranean diet is considered to be the healthiest in the world.

The BBC

Seriously! You can still get your Eastenders and other British shows on various internet and satellite systems. I always manage to catch-up on Match of The Day by Monday morning and my wife still enjoys Eastenders and Strictly.

History/Heritage

I’m proud to be British and I’m equally proud to be Bristolian, although with my accent the language barrier can be a problem even in the UK. Heritage is an important part of education and in my opinion should be taught more in school. In Spain the history and heritage is all around you and is proudly celebrated by numerous fiestas. If you want history and heritage then Spain is the place to explore.

Takeaway restaurants

The Spanish enjoy burgers and a decent curry as well you know, and they can do anything with chicken, pork, and seafood. But why take it away when you can simply eat outside? More to the point what about the Mediterranean diet. If takeaway is your particular thing then you can still find it here. Indeed most bars and restaurants will pack a meal up for you if you really want to sit at home. In front of the BBC.

Weather

What’s to miss! The weather is simply fantastic in Spain and the changing of the seasons is just as impressive as the UK, it’s just not as cold and wet. You really have to remember that these questions were being asked on New Years day… on a beach, in the sunshine.

Newspapers

When I was younger I used to enjoy taking the paper to the pub on a Sunday and poring over the football reports with a pint. But that stopped when the BBC launched the BBC News/Sports App! Newspapers are available in Spain, just harder to find.

Political stability

Hmmm…

The Royal Family

Well I’ll be astonished if the Queen ever sends me a birthday card! Being British, and proud of it, I suppose I must be a royalist in some way. However I can’t say that I actually miss the Royal Family. I suppose they are a bit like turkey. Not really relevant apart from on Christmas Day.

Here’s the interesting thing…

When I asked “what would put you off moving to Spain” the only answer was the cost and hassle of actually doing it. The hassles of moving are numerous, and if you don’t want the hassle you shouldn’t even be thinking about it. But the cost of moving? When asked how much they thought it would cost to move to Spain, most of them over-estimated the true cost of moving their possessions to Spain saying they thought it would be around £10,000!!

Removal cost

When we moved to Spain 4 years ago we bought a van and drove down ourselves with all our belongings in the back. The cost of the van (and it’s depreciation here), insurance, fuel and overnight stops (x3) probably worked out to a little less than what our tapas guests had guessed at. However, since working at Indalo Transport I’ve learned the easy way to do things. At Indalo Transport the average cost of moving an entire 2 bedroom house would be under £3,000 – and they take care of all the hassle for you

Written by Paul Burt

If you’ve enjoyed this article, you may enjoy

Your Essential – Free – Moving Checklist

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Moving to Spain … an Expat Guide,

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How do I choose my removal company?

How do I choose my Removal Company?

Considering how many times you may move in your life, it’s no real surprise that you’re not an expert at choosing a removal company. So you may very well say ‘how do I choose a removal company?’

When you’re planning to undertake a major move abroad, it’s even more important that you make the right choice. You can do this by using services you can rely on and completely trust. Not choosing the correct removal company could cost you thousands of pounds and loads of heartache.

To help you in this I have a simple two step process I’d like to share with you. This will ensure that you don’t have any problems. And reading this, you’re already ahead of the game, as you obviously want to do things right from the very beginning. Read on for a full explanation of what you should pay attention to, and you can relax in the knowledge that everything should go smoothly.

Relax - Indalo TransportStep 1 – Membership

Professional removers who want to ensure they give the best service will join trade groups or organisations.  This is to show you that they are answerable, trustworthy and have been vetted to reach minimum standards of service and support.

Probably the best organisation that your removal company could be linked to is the Trading Standards ‘buy with Confidence’ scheme in the UK. This is a government run scheme that helps you, as a consumer, find reputable and responsible companies that are the best of the best in their own field of expertise. The criteria for joining the scheme is very strict, with vetting, checks and then an audit visit by a qualified trading standards officer. Only if the company passes all these checks are they allowed to join the scheme and then use the Trading Standards ‘tick’ on their advertising.

Indalo Transport

Step 2 – Insurance

A little mentioned component of a professional Removal Companies’ service is their comprehensive insurance cover. This protects both you and them if things happen to go wrong. So, when asking ‘how do I choose a removal company? this is a vital thing to check. This insurance, taken out with specialist brokers dealing in the Removal Industry, is called Goods In Transit (GIT) insurance. It is specifically to cover your belongings whilst they are in the possession of the removal company. It offers the same sort of cover as you would find in your home contents insurance policy. All professional removal companies will have GIT insurance, and will have no problem providing proof of this insurance for you to check.

Indalo Transport

There is also another insurance that is also important to consider when you are choosing a remover – public liability insurance. It covers a business against injury or property damage to the public in the course of their business activities.

However, not all removal companies are created equal – some have GIT and public liability insurance, and some do not. Goods in Transit Insurance can be quite expensive, especially if European moves are to be covered, so you will find that it is one of the first things to be ignored by removal companies that don’t have their customers’ best interests at heart.

Indalo Transport is Legal

What price peace of mind? – that is the real question here. Your removals company is going to be in charge of all of your belongings and precious memories, gathered over your whole lifetime. So therefore you need it all to be in the hands of people you can completely trust.

Relax - Indalo Transport Cares!

Relax, we love your possessions too!

We make the grade

A  professional, fully insured removals service, Indalo Transport Ltd has all the following:-

  • Limited company status – Company Reg number 13164249
  • Accredited member of trade group ‘Move Assured
  • Member of Trading Standards ’Buy with Confidence
  • Goods in Transit Insurance to £60,000 per vehicle
  • Goods in Storage Insurance in Spain up to £250,000, UK to £50,000
  • Public Liability Insurance to 2 million pounds
  • Professionally trained packers and loaders
  • UK Heavy Goods Vehicle Registered Operator

So why not get in touch now for a free, no obligation quote


If you’ve enjoyed this article, you may enjoy

Your Essential – Free – Moving Checklist

How to avoid these 7 packing mistakes, for the best removal

10 Top Tips for buying a Property in Spain

Moving to Spain … an Expat Guide,

Full List of Other Moving To … Expat Guides

Easter in Spain – Fantastic festivities in the Sun,

How to use a roundabout in Spain

7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

Essential Tips for moving to Spain with your Children

Expat Tips and Hints

Moving to Mojacar … an Expat Guide

All you need to know about moving to Europe with your Pets

How to Save Money & Do Finance, for Expats in Spain

How to avoid these 7 packing mistakes, for the best removal

Considering the number of times that you move in your life, it’s no real surprise that you may not be an expert at packing. With the stress of a house move, you’d be forgiven for not knowing all the ins and outs of how to, say, safely pack a crystal vase in a box so it doesn’t get damaged during your move.

Removals is an area that has tips and tricks just like any other field, so read on to find out how you can avoid the most common problems and mistakes when you next come to pack away your life and move to pastures new.

Although there a lot more tips and tricks in our trade, we have only included 7 of the most common things we see regularly – if you just do these, everything should arrive at your new home in tip top condition.

1. The wrong type of box

Did you know there is a right and wrong box that you can use for your removal?

No, didn’t think you did. Most people go for the cheapest box,  which is less money for a reason. It is because it is made of single wall cardboard, and therefore has no strength. While this might be fine when you want to put your items into a self-store, it is not good if your removal has to travel halfway across Europe.

Just to give you a heads up, we always stack boxes one on top of the other – up to 6 or more high – so it is always best to use boxes made of double wall cardboard, that have enough strength to keep their shape while they are being moved and stacked.  With these proper removal strength boxes, you can be sure that the box itself, and it’s important contents, will be as good when you receive them in your new house, as when you packed them back in your old home.

triple wall cardboard

The only cardboard to use for your removal

The type of box you’re looking for is triple wall with two layers of corrugations, sandwiched between 3 layers of straight card.  There is a picture of the cardboard below, to help you identify it when you go to buy your boxes, whether online or at a local removers or self-store.

By the way, if you are buying boxes in Spain, and are anywhere near Mojacar in Almeria, we sell a full range of the highest quality packaging materials, including triple wall boxes, from our storage facility. Just go here to see our price list.

2. Seal the bottom of your boxes with lots of tape.

boxbott - Indalo Transport

An airtight seal gives the best strength

I’ve seen this many many times, where the box has not been sealed at the bottom sufficiently strongly. In the worst case, when you lift the box, the bottom of the box opens and the contents drop onto the floor – obviously not a good result if you have valuables or china inside.

The way to get around this problem is to completely seal along all of the open edges of the bottom of the box to make it airtight, putting 2 lines where the 2 leaves join in the middle, and then for good measure put a line of tape across at right angles as well.

3. The right way to pack glass and china

It is amazing how many people don’t know how to correctly pack fragile glass and china. Not surpirsing though, considering that it is not really obvious until you really think about it.

To help you remember, you need to look for and try and work out where the strength is with glasses and plates.

With glasses it is always vertically, the way it sits on a table. So therefore that is the way it should be packed. Either upside down or right way up doesn’t really matter,  however we always pack glasses upside down, so the second layer of china or glass, in the box, has a firmer base to sit on.

With plates and dishes the most strength is when they sitting on their sides – and not when they’re sitting flat as they would be on a table – so, therefore, you should always pack plates upright.

Always remember to use lots of scrunched up wrapping paper to provide a cushion on the bottom of the box, and also add more between each set of items, and between the sides of the box and the contents. And, of course, use some to provide a cushion on the top too before you seal the box. No piece of glass or china should ever be directly touching the cardboard of the box, there should always be some sort of cushion.

While we are talking about packing china and fragile items that might get broken, it’s worth mentioning that if you do your own packing you’re not insured for the contents of the boxes you pack. Whilst this is probably written in their terms and conditions, most removal companies don’t tell you this when you ask them for a quote.

When you think about it, being insured only if your boxes are professionally packed is common sense and perfectly understandable, so use all of these tips to make sure you do things right first time to pack things correctly, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

4. Overloading

Putting too much heavy stuff in a box is an easy thing to do, and when this happens the box can bulge and lose it’s shape and therefore lose all strength. The way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to just put heavy things in the bottom half of the box, and then fill up the top half with lighter items.

A good test is to see if you can lift the box yourself easily – if you can the weight is about right. If you try and lift it and you can’t even move it off the floor then you might have a little bit of a problem. Whilst your remover will still collect the box, they may have to use 2 men to lift it,  and too many very heavy boxes may lead to an extra charge for your removal.

Another thing to think about is that if you have lots of heavy boxes stacked up, the bottom one may crumple with all the weight above it, damaging the contents of the box.

5. Underfilling

boxoverunder

A good example of over filling a box making it bulge and lose shape, and then underfilling the top so it crushes when anything is put on top

Just like overloading, underfilling a box can be just as bad. This is because a box that is not completely full will crush when it has other boxes put on top of it. If you don’t have enough things to fill a box up, use a smaller box, or cut the box down to make it smaller. All boxes should be filled to the very top, so that when you push on the top on the middle it doesn’t go down too far, and can support a good amount of pressure. The next tip will help with this as well.

 

6. Not sealing the top of the box – make it airtight!

When you finally come to seal your box up,  do you just put a single line of tape across the top, to just seal the two sides where they meet? This is not good enough to provide the best strength to the box.

The best way to seal it is to put a line of tape along every open edge – this will make the box airtight (if you’ve done the same thing on the bottom, as in point 2 above) which increases strength and gives the contents maximum protection.

7. Not labelling as you go.

boxlabel - Indalo Transport

These panels are on all our boxes, to help us make your move easier. Make sure you label it!

The final mistake happens when people are too busy filling boxes, that they forget to mark it once sealed down. Without labelling each box, you won’t know where that box should go in the new property. This is very simple fix – just making sure you have a black marker pen and either write what is in the box, or alternatively what room the box should be put in, on the top.

We recommend writing what room the box belongs in, as this will help your removers make life as easy as they can for you.

So there you have it, 7 common mistakes you may make when packing for a removal, some probably even without even realising it. Hope you like the tips and find them useful.

As a bonus, the only other packing advice we can offer is something that is seen all the time and it’s the most difficult thing for you to fix. I think virtually everyone who moves is guilty of this – it is taking things you’re never going to use.

As you’re paying good money to get things moved there’s not much point in moving things that will stay in a box for another two years without ever being touched again – so I would say make sure you take a serious look at every single thing you want to take before you decide to pack it and take it with you.

And if all this seems like too much hassle, Indalo Transport would be very happy to professionally pack all of your belongings as part of our removal service, to make your move as easy as it can be. We’ll even unpack in your new home, and take away all of the boxes and packaging materials. Just click here to contact us or get a quote here.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, you may enjoy

Your Essential – Free – Moving Checklist

10 Top Tips for buying a Property in Spain

Moving to Spain … an Expat Guide,

Full List of Other Moving To … Expat Guides

Easter in Spain – Fantastic festivities in the Sun,

How to use a roundabout in Spain

7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

Essential Tips for moving to Spain with your Children

Expat Tips and Hints

Moving to Mojacar … an Expat Guide

All you need to know about moving to Europe with your Pets

How to Save Money & Do Finance, for Expats in Spain

 

 

How to Save Money & Do Finance, for Expats in Spain in 2021

Finance blogpost - Indalo Transport

The Complete Expats Guide to Finance in Spain – save money and learn the tricks that the bankers don’t want you know!

Use this guide to find out how to save money and do finance in Spain in 2021, if you are thinking about becoming an expat, or are living in Spain.

Sterling. The Great British Pound. Whatever you want to call it, it’s quite a magical thing, really. It’s often quite hard to come by, it seems to get frittered away all too easily, and most people wish that they could always have more of it.

But what if you were thinking of becoming an expat?

What if you wanted to settle down in Spain?

How do you move money across to pay for that fabulous new property?

For day to day expenses, do you use an International account, Spanish account or an online account?

How do you open a Spanish bank account?

How do you go about transitioning yourself from using the Sterling you grew up with to the Euro you’ve only ever spent whilst on holiday?

Should you keep your British bank account open?

Can you get by quite easily with just using your UK-based debit card?

And is it really necessary to constantly work out how much the shopping would have come to in Pounds?

These and other questions are very important to ask, as all too often expats don’t consider the best way to move their money abroad, so save money and do finance for expats in Spain in 2021 by reading this guide.

Saving Money

Because maintaining your finances is so crucial, this in-depth post covers all about finances in Spain, including info on international bank accounts, how to open a Spanish bank account, and how to save money using professional money exchange services, and the revolutionary new money exchange apps now available on smartphones.

euronotescoins - Indalo Transport

Your new friends, not a bit like Sterling

So read on to learn how to save money and do finance when you are an expat in Spain, and how to beat the bankers at their own game!

Important : Whilst we have lived in Spain many years and may use some of the services outlined in this article, we are not, and never have been, financial advisors. You must always get independant financial advice from trained experts, and discuss your personal situation with a professional, before entering into any contract involving your money.

Keep Your UK Bank Account Open

First things first, it’s always worth keeping your existing bank account open back in the UK. Obviously, this makes sense if you intend to keep assets back home (like property) or if you’ll be receiving regular payments into that account (from a pension, or from a tenant), but it also makes sense even if you won’t be keeping any links with the old country.

Keeping your UK bank account open means that if and when you ever return to Britain, you have an account already in place, and for trips back to see family you can access Sterling without needing to exchange any currency. This is a good way to save money and do finance when you are an expat in Spain in 2021

It’s also worth mentioning that any expat who has closed their bank account in Britain and who has lived outside the UK for more than a year will find it very difficult to open an account if they come back.

It’s always a good idea to keep a bank account open for as long as you can anyway because it makes a positive impact on your credit rating and it helps build trust with the bank itself.

Before you leave for your new home, make sure you inform them of your new address abroad, for any important correspondence.  Then set up internet banking, stop the paper statements, and use your internet to access the account easily in Spain.

Good To Know – Using Your UK-based Debit/Credit Card Abroad Incurs Fees

cards - Indalo Transport

Beware excessive fees when abroad

If you’re still going to be receiving income into your UK bank account, then it is possible for you to continue using your British debit or credit card whilst in Spain.

This can be quite handy because all you have to do is head to the nearest Cash Machine to get access to Euros. But remember, every time you use your UK-based debit or credit card you will be charged a fee. To see how much your bank will charge you, check out WeSwap’s list of card charges.

A Good Idea Before You Leave Is To Open An International Bank Account

As an expat settling in Spain, you will quickly realise how difficult it is to manage your money from a single currency bank account which is based about 2,000km away from you, back in Britain. So the best thing to do, before you leave, is to open an international bank account, either with your current bank, or a new one if it has great introductory offers for you to benefit from.

An international bank account will enable you to access your money in whichever currency you need it in. These Euro accounts are provided by offshore divisions of UK high street banks. They typically come with the usual perks associated with a normal, British-based current account. They’re also great because they allow you to withdraw Euros at local cash machines, so avoiding the high currency conversion charges when using Sterling cards.

Eurobank - Indalo Transport

A Euro Account is always a good idea

With these accounts though, it’s important to remember that you will likely have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to keep the account and its benefits open.

It’s worth noting that some international bank accounts are free if you keep a minimum amount of Sterling or Euros in the account.

If you are accepted, you will have the peace of mind which comes from being a customer of an established British bank. This usually comes with access to 24/7 online and telephone banking with English-speaking customer service).

The two main banks for Euro International Current Accounts, and which allow you to apply online, are Lloyds Bank and Barclays.

A European Online Bank Account in Euros – Why Not Try Number 26

number26 - Indalo Transport

Their slogan is “Run your entire financial life from your phone” – now that’s a bold statement! Click on the picture to go to the website (opens a new tab)

Number 26 is a German-based online bank available in Spain, and is a good way to help you save money.

You can only apply for this bank account once you’ve got a permanent address in Spain. You can apply from your smart phone or tablet and the process is incredibly quick and easy.

After you’ve applied online, be prepared for a video call with an agent who will confirm your identity. You’ll need your passport to hand, proof of address and a smartphone with a decent camera.

The identification process is like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. You have a video call with a representative who instructs you to hold up your documents and then they take control of your phone, use it to capture a photo (as proof), which then gets uploaded to the computer they’re using.

After doing this and answering a few questions, your Number 26 MasterCard will be on its way. Unlike other international bank accounts, Number 26 offers fee-free banking and because you’ve got a European bank account, complete with IBAN, you can withdraw Euros from any Cash Machine, free of charge. Perfect!

How To Open a Spanish Bank Account

Once you’ve decided to become an expat in Spain, it’s a good idea to open a local bank account. As well as paying for regular services like water and electricity (through direct debits or ‘domiciados’), you’ll find that some companies will only deal with you if you have a bank account in Spain.  The Banks in Spain are no different to any other country, and must abide by Spanish and European financial regulations.

It takes a couple of weeks to get your bank account sorted and for you to receive your bank card(s). The main difference between the Spanish banks and British ones is that they’re only open in the morning, usually 8.30am – 2pm.

siesta - Indalo Transport

The Spanish love their siestas

Step One – Book an Appointment and Check Whether You’ll Need To Bring a “Certificado De No residente”

There are many banks in Spain, the main ones are:

Banco de Sabadell

Banco Popular

Santander

BBVA

La Caixa

Cajamar

Once you have chosen which bank you’re going to visit, it’s important to remember that you’re going to need a good understanding of Spanish to be able to talk to the advisor. However alot of the Spanish banks have staff members who speak English.

If you don’t know much Spanish, see if there is someone who does who can go with you. If you don’t, you may miss out on some really good deals.

Unless you are already a Spanish resident, you will have to open a Spanish bank account as a non-resident. Make sure the first question you ask when making an appointment at your chosen bank is ¿Tengo que presentar un certificado de no residente?” which means, “Do I have to present a non-resident letter?” If they say no, that will save you loads of hassle.

(This certifciate is basically a letter from the local Police Station which states that they have seen your passport, that it’s valid and that you’re not currently a resident. However, because the Spanish system is a little flawed, the responsibilities of the local police vary, seemingly at random. So don’t be surprised if you’re told to go to another station to get your letter. Oh and it’ll take 10 to 12 days to receive, too. So best avoided altogether if you can.)

Step Two – Attend Your Appointment and Bring ID With You

When it’s time to go to the bank, make sure that you take the following items with you, as sometimes Spanish banks require different documents:

  • Photographic proof of identity (passport or National Identity Card from the country of origin for each of the applicants)
  • Proof of occupation or status (employment contract/payslip, letter from accountant/lawyer, pension or disability payment confirmation, student card). This is an extra requirement introduced in 2007 by the Bank of Spain as a measure to combat money-laundering
  • Residents also need to produce their Foreigner Identification Number ‘Residencia’ certificate (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros or NIE)
  • Confirmation of address (utility bill, driving licence or council tax bill; proof of address must have been issued within the last 3 months)

Step Three – Choose Your Account

There are two basic types of account:

  • Checking account aka Current account
  • Passbook aka Savings account

It’s important to remember that Spanish banks love their fees. To open an account you must make a small deposit and you should be aware that there may be commissions for deposits, withdrawals and a maintenance fee.

Some banks will also require you to maintain a minimum balance, usually of at least 500 Euros, at all times.

Most Spanish banks charge an annual or quarterly fee for administration of a current account (cuenta corriente) and is typically 15–30 Euros. There are often additional charges for credit (tarjeta de crédito) and debit cards (tarjeta de débito) too.

 

Money Exchange Specialists

Euros - Indalo Transport

Professionals who exchange money day in day out

If you’re looking to make a large, one-off payment, as most will do to buy an apartment or villa, it may be worth considering using a trusted Money Exchange specialist.  These professionals do finance as their job, and they will save you money by giving you fantastic exchange rates which are better than the banks.

Through our links with Move Assured, the professional trade association, Indalo Transport has partnered with RationalFX, to help you save money when moving your funds abroad. As well as being the UK’s largest specialist foreign currency provider, they’ve been around for over 35 years and now exchange £22bn for 2.4m customers per year.

RationalFX can help you to send money to Spain at much better rates than normal banks. If moving to or from Spain, they will help make sure it’s as pain-free as possible. If you want to find out more about the money exchange specialists that we trust, click here

New apps to save money

revolut - Indalo Transport

Good slogan – love it!

If you’re already an expat and looking for ways to really save money on your exchanges, the new apps from Transferwise or Revolut are fast & incredibly easy to use. Their bank-beating rates and low fees mean that you’ll be saving money every time you make a transfer,. It’s all done online rather than through a bank. There is an in depth review of Transferwise here that you may find very useful

Revolut goes even further, as you can order a mastercard from within the app, and all the security and verification checks are also carried out using the camera on your smartphone – all you have to do is follow the instructions. Truly amazing!

Understandably, some people may find using an online financial service a tad risky. So, to help you save money and do finance for expats in Spain in 2021, we’ve put together a mini-guide on how to help tell whether the website you’re about to use is legitimate or not:-

1.Check the domain name

Every online store should have an SSL, a Secure Sockets Layer. This means that any information sent between you and the site becomes encrypted so hackers can’t intercept any of the data. Just look for the little padlock, and you’ll know the site is safe, secure and does what it says. Indalo Transport and Indalo Storage are both fully secure websites.

safe site - Indalo Transport

Make sure the little green padlock is there

2. Look for spelling and grammar mistakes

Many sleek and professional looking websites can be created in one day. This is why so many bogus websites have sprung up, seemingly overnight. If English isn’t your first language the content you write never reads well to those whose native language it is. Also, if a site has been rushed there may be spelling and grammar mistakes.

3. Check the site for a privacy statement, blog, and in-depth information about the company and their products.

This information is usually found in the website’s footer or “About Page”, “Contact Us” page, or could come under “Terms and Conditions”. Reputable sites will tell you how they protect your personal information and secure your Credit or Debit card data – and whether they sell information about their customers to other companies. This is a disclosure statement and you should consider whether you feel comfortable with a site’s policy before using their services.

4. Check the images and the logos.

Are they low quality and hazy? If they are then the images may have been lifted from somewhere else.  It is true that to keep http requests to a minimum and to increase site performance, online services shouldn’t be filled with huge, slow loading, HD-quality images. However, there are ways around this without having to impair the quality of the photographs.

5. Check to see if the money exchange site has an established date and contact details.

All legitimate companies will provide contact details and, in particular, a phone number and e-mail address. They will often urge you to get in touch if you have any questions or queries. The calls will always be answered, never diverted, and your e-mails will never get bounced back. So you can test this if you wish, first.

6. Check for genuine customer reviews.

Great online money exchanges which are trustworthy and deliver great service aren’t afraid to display reviews, or at least, like Money Corp, a FeeFo Customer Service Rating (theirs is 97 per cent, by the way!) Alternatively, type in the company name in a search engine and see if other customers have reviewed them.

Forget Your Own Currency Conversions

converting - Indalo Transport

Resist the urge to continuously compare prices with ‘back home’!

It’s always nice to feel like you’re saving money, or are getting a good deal, but in the end, Spain is your home now and the Euro is no longer just holiday money. You don’t need to compare prices to get by, you’ve just got to look at the 8L bottle of water and say, that’s 0.79cents, nothing more, nothing less, no other currency.

We hope that you have found our suggestions and guides useful and we wish you all the best with opening the bank account of your choice, and dealing with money exchange on a day to day basis.

We hope you enjoyed reading our guide – how to save money and do finance for expats in Spain in 2021.

If you’re thinking of moving to Spain, let us quote you for a stress free and professional removal of your lifelong possessions. Super fast quote form here

Important Note – Please Read: While we may love some of the resources mentioned in this blog post, none of the information in this blog post constitutes, nor should be construed as, financial advice. You must always satisfy yourself that the products and services you use are adequate, legal and do what you want them to do. Thanks for your understanding.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, you may enjoy

Your Essential – Free – Moving Checklist

How to avoid these 7 packing mistakes, for the best removal

10 Top Tips for buying a Property in Spain

Moving to Spain … an Expat Guide,

Full List of Other Moving To … Expat Guides

Easter in Spain – Fantastic festivities in the Sun,

How to use a roundabout in Spain

7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

Essential Tips for moving to Spain with your Children

Expat Tips and Hints

Moving to Mojacar … an Expat Guide

All you need to know about moving to Europe with your Pets

How to Use a Roundabout in Spain

Roundabout

Read this article to find out how to use a roundabout in Spain. Hang on, I hear you say. I know how to use a roundabout, I use them all the time in the UK. Isn’t it the same all over Europe? Well, actually, no that’s not strictly true. Read on to find out why.

Roundabouts are a relatively recent addition to the roads in Spain. You will find that things don’t always happen on Spanish roundabouts in the same way that you would be used to from the UK.

Round the outside!

The most common comment is about cars using the outside lane to go around to the 3rd or 4th exit of a roundabout. This surprises many visitors to the country when they first see it. Whilst this is not best practice in the UK, it is, however, the correct way to do it according to the Traffic Office in Spain.

Click on the picture below to get the definitive advice on how to use a Spanish roundabout, from the Spanish Traffic Office, the DGT. Then you won’t get caught out by the different way the Spanish are taught to use them. The bottom picture links to an explanation of when and how to use the innermost lane. This is where all the confusion normally comes in for UK drivers when in Spain.

raboutmal

How to Use a Roundabout in Spain – Click to open video in a new tab

Inner lane – think overtaking

The use of the innermost lane is below. Think of it the same way as the outer or overtaking lane of a dual carriageway – that may help to understand how the Spanish view it. This is so unlike the way we use it in the UK. Click the picture below to go to the video. This explains how the DGT is thinking. It shows you when you would use the ‘overtaking’ lane on a roundabout.

Like everything else, how to use a roundabout in Spain is just a bit different to what you are used to. You just need to exercise a bit of common sense, and to keep your wits about you at all times!

Moving To Barcelona … An Expat Guide

Removal to Barcelona - Indalo Transport

Looking down onto the bustling, vibrant city of Barcelona from Parc Guell

Ah, Barcelona!*  This effervescent and intoxicating city is a world-renowned cultural hot spot, which is probably why the city’s popped up on your radar as a possible place to relocate to as a British expat.

As well as being a very popular destination for University students wanting to go study abroad on the Erasmus Programme, and with it buzzing with modern sophistication and oozing with provincial charm, it’s not for the fainthearted.

Barcelona is a city in a state of constant flux. It pushes and pulls between tradition and modernity. It’s a place where expats have to jostle for space with up to nine million tourists, and where the traditional laidback attitude and slow-paced lifestyle associated with Spain have seemingly been exiled far, far away.

That being said, moving to Barcelona can sometimes feel like falling down a Gaudi-designed rabbit hole where most people only speak Catalan: infinitesimally deep and complex, sometimes even chaotic and confusing.

But don’t let this put you off! For the adventurous expat, or ones who just can’t shake off the love for the hubbub of a bustling city, this in-depth guide will help you to navigate Barcelona, with its colourful and flamboyant modernist-style architecture sandwiched between medieval romance and Gothic treasures.

This guide aims to help you decide whether you’d like to move there or not. And if you do, don’t forget to contact us for your removal to Barcelona from the UK

* How do you pronounce it? Barthelona is how many people think it’s supposed to be pronounced. Contrary to popular belief, the Catalonians don’t actually add the lisp and they think that whoever does is foolish!

Where exactly is Barcelona?

Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, is found on the North East Coast of Spain, in the centre of the Catalonia region. Click on the picture above for a google map guide.

How can I get there?

By air, you can fly to Barcelona-El Prat Airport, which is about a 20-minute drive away from the city centre. Most airports within the UK offer affordable, direct flights to Barcelona, and you can get there in less than three hours. Check out Sky Scanner to get more information on prices, airport locations, and great deals.

By car, you can drive onto a ferry in Portsmouth or Plymouth, arrive in Bilbao or Santander, and then drive across to Barcelona, which should take you no more than six hours. Visit Brittany Ferries to book your tickets.

If you are relocating and require a removal to Barcelona from the UK, then please don’t hesitate to contact us, as we specialise in removals from the UK to Spain.

Why Choose Barcelona?

Catalonia is one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain, and its capital, Barcelona, is a major international cultural centre, as well as being the third most-visited city in Europe.

Here are our top three reasons why we think British expats love moving there.

Reason #1 – No One Ever Gets Bored in Barcelona

expat in Barcelona - Indalo Transport

Even expats love sightseeing and the traditional touristy haunts of Barcelona

Barcelona is popular as an expat and tourist destination for many reasons, but the thing which we think that everyone loves the most about the city is that it never fails to amaze and entertain anyone, time and time again.

Honestly, you won’t have the chance to get bored here and there is guaranteed to be something for all your family to enjoy! You might even pick up not one, but several new hobbies.

You can shop in stylish boutiques, visit museums, breathe in creativity whilst you sip on coffee in an art café, you can explore the city’s eclectic neighbourhoods and hunt for a bargain at one of its famous flea markets, and overall be a part of an amazing and pulsating social scene.

Other interesting things expats can see and do in Barcelona

  1. Arouse your curiosity at the Erotic Museum
  2. Just a stone’s throw from La Rambla, El Jardinet dels Gats is home to dozens of beautiful kittens who are waiting to be adopted. Most passers-by miss what’s going on behind the tall wire fence – cats curled up asleep in the sun, stretching to scratch a tree, and playing in the tunnels and boxes left out for their amusement. It’s like something straight out of a children’s story.
  3. Find an oasis of calm atop Park Guinardó. Take in spectacular views, spot the remnants of an old shanty town, and the gun turrets of the anti-aircraft base.
  4. Enjoy experimental theatre at the Sala Hiroshima. It’s established a reputation for itself as a place to experience some of the most interesting performances in town.
  5. Seek out the Romans – One of the best preserved relics of the Roman Empire (the columns of the Temple of Augustus) can be found at Carrer Paradis 3.
  6. Celebrate a special event (like an anniversary or birthday) with a Photo Shoot Tour of your new home city. Awarded a Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor.
  7. Try a variety of classes including Authentic Spanish cookery, mosaics or watercolour painting
  8. Take up sailing
  9. Learn about the universe and star gaze at the Fabra Observatory
  10. Visit the open air museum of El Poble Espanyol which has 117 full-scale replicas of different buildings from all around Spain.

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The nightlife in the city certainly packs a punch

The nightlife in the city certainly packs a punch as well. Even if clubbing isn’t your thing, Barcelona has a lot to interest expats: cocktail bars, restaurants, pubs, theatres, music halls, galleries, you name it, it’s probably got it.

If you’re looking for an adventure, Barcelona will certainly provide one, every night, for the rest of your life. You’ll definitely find more than enough to keep you going, long after the sun goes down… In fact, if you want to keep pace with the locals, you’d best be prepared to see the sun come back up again!

Where to go to spend an evening in Barcelona

 

Las Ramblas – A natural starting point for any new expat is, of course, Las Ramblas and – on either side of it – the narrow streets of the medieval Old Town.

Barcelona’s busiest boulevard by day, Las Ramblas is also heaving by night. Street performers still ply their trade and the pavements throng with locals and tourists heading out for drinks and dinner.

  • Best Restaurant: The Irati Taverna Basca is a gorgeous restaurant serving up traditional Basque cuisine. If you’re eager to try dishes from these proud people, then don’t look any further than here.
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Le Pop Cocktail Bar in the Lounge of Le Meridien Hotel (it boasts one of the best bartenders in town, who can mix you a signature Catalan Bellini).
  • Best Entertainment Venue: Watch a Flamenco Show in Tablao Cordobes, where some of the biggest names in the history of flamenco have performed.

Gothic Quarter – For the more authentic local venue, the labyrinthine alleyways and history-steeped backstreets of the Gothic Quarter await an adventurous expat. Here you’ll find scores of sassy little spots hidden away in dark corners.

  • Best Restaurant: Attic– A first floor restaurant with a full view of the busy street of the Ramblas, serves Mediterranean cuisine in a reasonably formal atmosphere. Wooden decking, white canopies and orange trees makes for a truly romantic and summer-like setting. The terrace is also framed by two historic buildings, creating a truly unique and regal backdrop for a delicious Spanish meal.
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Milk Bar
  • Best Entertainment Venue: El Bosc de Les Fades – its name means ‘fairy wood’, and this sangria-serving grotto just off the bottom end of Las Ramblas is decorated just like one. Fake trees, illusory mirrors, haunting music and simulated rainstorms are all part of the experience.

El Born – One of the most wanted areas to live in Barcelona, is for the trendily-attired expat who wants a more ‘hip’ and sophisticated slice of Barcelona’s nightlife. Here you’ll find history, culture and you can discover hidden hotspots and weird and wonderful surprises.

  • Best Restaurant: Petra – This is a typical Spanish restaurant for the locals. It is hidden on the corner of Carrer Banys Vells and is a little hard to find because there is no terrace or sign which tells you that it´s a restaurant. The menu is printed on wine bottles and they only serve fresh products. Prices are quite cheap compared to other restaurants.
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Miramelindo
  • Best Entertainment Venue: The Palau de la Música. This is one of the finest concert halls in the world and proud UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was designed by Lluís Domènech I Montaner, a contemporary of Gaudí. The hall is exquisitely decorated and has a very special skylight, which is an attraction itself.

Raval – Located on the other side of the Ramblas, Raval is a bohemian’s paradise, it’s Barcelona’s most colorful district. Street kids play cricket or football and generally run riot as beatniks stroke their beards and order another chupito or two.

  • Best Restaurant: El Rincón de Aragón – a restaurant characterized by traditional, home cooked Aragonese dishes. It has a familiar and welcoming atmosphere and a rustic, authentic and characterful interior.
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Marmalade
  • Best Entertainment Venue: La Boqueria – a huge public market that’s one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The grand iron entrance leads into what is one of Europe‘s largest and most famous food markets, selling fresh produce and for providing a seemingly never-ending supply of exotic fruit smoothies and fresh lemonade.

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25 things to do in Barcelona – US Video 10mins 40secs

L’Eixample – ‘The Addition’ is a grand, grid-patterned section of the Catalan capital which is largely residential… but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on! Trendy and vibrant, L’Eixample is a bustling area filled with young professionals, and the area around Casanova Street has been dubbed Gayxample, and you don’t need to be a genius to figure out why.

For those missing a quiet pint or for a wee dram of exquisite whiskey, The Lock Inn in L’Eixample is a great place to call your new local.

  • Best Restaurant: Paco Meralgo – Known to be one of the best tapas bars in Barcelona, it’s casually elegant and always busy. Their mix of delicious, high-quality food is accompanied by a large wine, cava, and champagne selection. Try their brie and asparagus dish, it’s phenomenal.
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Slow Barcelona – A suave club which creates some pretty innovative concoctions
  • Best Entertainment Venue: L’Auditori – A cutting edge, classical music venue

Gracia – Another area of Barcelona with an alternative vibe, it feels like a village-within-a-city. Here, you’ll find a very Catalan quarter oozing with charisma and an energetic vibe – with not too many tourists, except those who lost their way trying to find Parc Guell. A quieter part of Barcelona, with an older, free-spirited and more genteel crowd.

  • Best Restaurant: La Pubilla – A bright and cozy restaurant that’s well-known throughout Barcelona for serving up the best menu del dia, or fixed price lunch menu. Beautifully creative presentation, top-notch quality and generous portions make this place a must for a chic Barcelona lunch. Reservations a must!
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Belle Epoque – Stylish and comfortable, luxurious and relaxing.
  • Best Entertainment Venues: For a low-key jazzy vibe try Woody’s.

Poble Sec – Shh, keep it quiet, but these days the once unloved district of Poble Sec a.k.a. Dry Town is now considered to be a pretty hip barrio. Quirky, creative, relaxed and culturally diverse, this area has recently undergone something of a renewal and is quite enchanting.

  • Best Restaurant: Xemei – If you’re in the mood for a quick break from Spanish cuisine, this restaurant is the stand-out option. The simple yet exquisitely cooked Venetian haute cuisine means it’s normally full so it’s worth making a reservation.
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Maumau Underground
  • Best Entertainment Venue: El Molino – Barcelona’s most famous theatre in the area is located on the equally famous Parallel Avenue. Expect risqué yet largely tasteful cabaret and burlesque shows.

Reason #2 – Barcelona Has A Wonderful Culture

culture Barcelona - Indalo Transport

Catalan culture, quirky architecture, funky street art and beautiful textiles – just some of the things which make up Barcelona’s culture

Barcelona is a lively, unusual, artistic city with a heart that hasn’t changed for over 500 years. Catalans are extremely proud of their identity, rich culture and beautiful language, and this unique heritage blazed the trail for Spain’s 19th Century industrial revolution and artistic boom.

However, after Franco’s armies defeated the Republicans in 1939, the dictator banned the Catalan language, changed street names from Catalan to Castillian (Spanish), and censored their culture.

It was only after Franco’s death in 1975 that the Catalans restored their traditions, speech, and literature – thanks to the European Romantic movement – and reminded the world about its distinct culture.

The Catalan flair for beauty and their love for art and music is evident all over Barcelona. The city offers a feast of sculptures, galleries, concert halls, impressive architecture, art cafés, and fashion. It is the city of the young Picasso, of Miro and Tapies, of Modernista buildings by Gaudí, as well as the cutting edge structures by Gehry and Nouvel.

The atmosphere which coats Barcelona can only be described as open. Everyone is accessible, friendly, and always willing to chat. When moving from the UK to Spain, one of the biggest details to consider about what you’d like to experience from your new home should be the ambiance of the village, town or city you’re moving to, and Barcelona offers open views, open people, and an open mindset which inspires and entertains.

The Catalans generally have a reputation for being hard-working, ambitious and conservative, and their folklore has been strongly influenced by Roman Catholicism.

Their love of superior fashion and the traditional importance they give textiles is reflected in Barcelona’s drive to become a major fashion centre.

There have been many attempts to launch the city as a fashion capital, and The Brandery, an urban fashion show, is held in the city twice a year. The dress style in Barcelona is classed as formal for both men and women. Shorts are still vaguely catching on for ladies, but most of the time you will get a weird look when wearing shorts. Stick with skirts and dresses for the summer.

Very few European cities can compete with the cultural experiences on offer in Barcelona. The city celebrates its remarkable artistic legacy at every turn and British expats living there can while away hours exploring its numerous delights.

Reason #3 – Barcelona Has Beautiful Architecture

buildings Barcelona - Indalo Transport

An eclectic mix of design and architecture

Ornate medieval buildings appear alongside Gaudi’s unique modernist creations, ultra-contemporary, sleek high-rises stand shoulder to shoulder with ornate, ostentatious old churches, and traditional tapas bars intermingle with chic eateries and glamorous Michelin-starred restaurants.

Barcelona really is a mishmash of structures, and has a series of architectural works awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO.

Other important things to consider about Barcelona

Picturing yourself living in Barcelona is one thing, working out whether it’s feasible to actually live there is something entirely different.

The thought of spending long, warm summer days exploring the city’s maze of alleyways and narrow streets whilst immersing yourself in culture, treating yourself to a shopping trip, and smelling the intoxicating aromas of rice dishes and tapas as you go, is all well and good, but can you afford to do the shopping? Will you be able to cope with all that walking?

These are just some of the questions you’ve got to ask yourself, and below you’ll find all the other things you should consider before moving to Barcelona from the UK.

We’ve also thrown in a few tips and tricks on how to “Hack Barcelona” like a local.

1. Cost of Living

euros

You’ll need more than other places here in Barcelona

The cost of living in Barcelona is over six per cent higher than it is in Spain’s capital, Madrid. Therefore, you really need to have substantial savings to start your new life here. An average sized, two-bedroom apartment across the city can cost you around €1200 to rent, per month. Try Foto Casa, it’s a great website to view apartments to rent/buy and gives you a general idea of how much your new dream home might cost.

A cinema ticket will cost you about €8, a gym membership will be around €40, a bus ticket costs more than €2, and most essential grocery items cost upwards of €1.50. If you’re looking for a gastronomic delight, a three-course meal will set you back about €40 per person.

If you’re looking to buy or sell things once you’re in Spain, try downloading the Segundamano app. It’s the most popular secondhand service in Spain, like Gumtree, where people can sell and buy their used stuff.

2. Transport

Barcelona is a small, compact city of just under 40 square miles, making it smaller than London and similarly sized to Amsterdam. You can explore the city’s nooks and crannies, its 86 gardens and parks, plus its 3 miles of coast by foot, but this can be incredibly tiring.

So, here are a few suggestions of how to move around the city like a local.

bicing

Bicing – Bikes that you can rent and park up anywhere around the city

  • Bicing to move around – If you like riding a bike, renting a Bicing bike is the perfect way to move around Barcelona. Very efficient, quick and simple.
  • Bla Bla Car to go outside Barcelona for less – Bla Bla Car is a hitchhiking system that connects passengers with drivers who have spare seats in their car. It might not be for everyone as it is based on ridesharing but I assume it’s worth to put it out here for your consideration.
  • Free parking outside of the city center – Parking in Barcelona city center can easily give you a headache. We highly recommend leaving your car on a free parking away from the city center and getting to your destination by metro.
  • Download the TMBApp – The official Barcelona public transport app. After downloading it and creating an account you can configure it to work best for you. Choose underground and bus lines, the ones you use most frequently, and get the access to their timetables. You will also get notifications with alerts about “your lines”.

3. Meeting New People

Download the Meetup App or join their website. This application is well-known all over the world but its particular value is shown when you arrive in a new place. Barcelona is a vibrant city and it would be a sin to just stay at home all the time.

If you want to make friends or acquaintances to jog with, go to yoga with, play golf, drink wine, watch a movie, on Meetup you’ll find groups with similar interests. Many of them are expats just like you, so chances are you’ll find someone with common interests. It’s always worth trying at least once anyway!

Other useful information

Barcelona Tourism Board

Best Site to Find Jobs In Barcelona

Keep Up To Date With The Weather

girl Barcelona - Indalo Transport

Hopefully this will be you soon, jus chilling out, taking in the sites of beautiful, albeit chaotic Barcelona!

We really hope our handy guide has been helpful. Either you’ve learned something new about this wonderful place, or it’s helped you to make your decision and you’re thinking of moving to sunny Barcelona!

If that’s the case, please don’t hesitate to contact us now for help and advice on your removals from the UK to Barcelona, or anything else about becoming an expat in Spain. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we can point you in the right direction to get one!

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Moving to Murcia in 2021… an Expat Guide

Removals to Murcia - Indalo Transport

From breathtaking shores to beautiful countryside scenery – Murcia really does have an amazing backdrop. Click for Map Guide

Moving to Murcia in 2021 an expat guide will help you decide where to go if you want to become an expat in Spain. This post is part of our series of guides about the villages, towns, cities, provinces and regions of Spain It will provide you with lots of useful information about the breathtaking province of Murcia.

Read our blogpost explaining how things have changed with removals to Spain from the UK since brexit. Indalo Transport have everything in place. We can guide you to a perfectly stress-free move to Spain from a newly independent UK

If you’re already an expat living in Murcia, then we’ll be unveiling some truly unique experiences and sights to see. For great advice on removals to this part of  Spain from the UK, or to anywhere else on the Iberian Peninsular, contact us now for a free, no obligation quote for your removal to Spain

So… Let’s crack on with Moving to Murcia in 2021 and expat guide, and find out why this province is one of the best areas of Spain to move to as a British expat.

(All links in this article open in a new tab of your browser, so you don’t lose your place!)

Where is the Region of Murcia?

Murcia is a typically Spanish area located in southeastern Spain. Click on the picture above for a Map Guide. It’s one of the country’s most beautiful regions.

Inland, Murcia is an arid desert vista where historic towns are surrounded by orchards, olive groves, plantations and vineyards. There are also the remains of weatherbeaten, time ravaged Moorish castles.

All are set to the backdrop of imposing pine-covered mountains which stretch to the coast. Here, along the Costa Cálida there is a selection of divine white sandy beaches stretching almost 170 km. This results in Murcia’s coast having luxuriously warm, crystal clear waters and turquoise blue saltwater lagoons like Mar Menor. Absolutely heavenly.

Why moving to Murcia is a great idea

murcia benefits

A perfect place for lots of reasons

People here really do live longer, healthier lives as life here is slow-paced and stress-free. The only times most anyone stays up to party ’til dawn are the times of the local fiestas, like the Burning of the Sardine. This is a night of madness and mayhem and there’s a noisy, colourful procession of floats, guarded by torchbearers. It travels through the streets of Murcia city, throwing toys and sweets out to children and adults alike.

Expats who move to the region of Murcia can benefit from excellent private Medical care, superfast broadband and delicious Spanish gastronomy.

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Mazarron and Aguilas – incredibly enchanting places at night.

Whilst it depends on where you choose to live, most villages and small towns will be cheaper than the cities. Essential grocery shopping and meals out are about 16% less than in the Spanish capital, Madrid. Renting property is almost 50 percent cheaper.

Sunny Days

The weather in Murcia is consistently wonderful all year round thanks to its Mediterranean climate. This region boasts around 325 sunny days a year. Average temperatures get slightly above 19 C, and there is very little rain. Plan a removal to Murcia to take advaantage of this wonderful weather.

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La Manga, Lo Pagan and Cartagena, in the Murcia Region of Spain

The winters are mild and the summers are hot here. Air quality is incredibly good. So much so, that the World Health Organisation has named Murcia’s climate among the best in the world If you suffer from arthritis and asthma, it’s a great place to consider.

Popular Cities and Towns in Murcia

Murcia

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Murcia Tourist Video (4min 14sec)

Murcia is a vibrant city. It is home to a mishmash of cultures and an assortment of architectural designs. There is also a plethora of colourful traditions and lively fiestas.

It’s a place where nothing is ever hurried, period. It’s also a place where expats will never get bored. Culture and history just seem to ooze from every narrow street. There is always an interesting museum,  bridge, garden or restaurant to visit.

Some Of The Amazing Things To See And Do Around Murcia City

  • Hike to La Marenica Monestary and taste the heavenly Chocolate de La Luz
  • Experience true passion and an amazing culture at the Bullfighting Museum – rated on Trip Advisor as a real hidden gem
  • Discover the city’s delightful mini Aquarium and come face-to-face with baby sharks

Don’t miss out on the city’s remaining fiesta this year

  • The Moors and Christians Festival – 24th Jul to 31st July 2021– One of the most important fiestas in the city, this celebration is truly steeped in history and it really is a theatrical performance not to miss. Colourful groups of Moors and Christians parade through the city, playing music and re-enacting the Re-Conquest. Most of the acts take place in the Medieval Encampment in the San Esteban Garden.

Lorca

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Lorca Video (2min 45sec)

Lorca is a city which goes by many names: – The City of the Sun, The City of One Hundred Shields, The Baroque City. Each name reflects how magnificent and spectacular the city actually is.

History really does just seems to ooze from every corner of Lorca. Centuries old craft traditions like embroidery, iron forging and pottery are still practiced. Local artisan craftspeople be found at the medieval Thursday market, which still runs to this day.

Lorca will always be famous for its legacy of archaeological sites and  historic buildings. It has a rich culture & traditions, particularly it’s spectacular Easter Week celebrations. This is a wonderful place to call home. It has even been shortlisted for the European Destinations of Excellence program, in recognition for its sustainable tourism.

Things To See And Do Around Lorca City

  • Experience an atmosphere like no other as you uncover Jewish history beneath the Parador Hotel, which once was an impressive castle.
  • Immerse yourself in the surroundings of Lorca by taking a leisurely 10 km trek through the Cejo de los Enamorados
  • Find out exactly what the artisans of the city have to offer and grab a bargain at the Centro de Artesania de Lorca

Some Of The Must Visit Restaurants in Murcia

  • Casa Candido on Calle Santo Domingo – A rustic restaurant which makes delicious home cooked meals. What’s more, it’s found in a 16th Century building with its own underground caves. The meat is heavenly.
  • Taberna El Camino on Calle Santo Domingo – A cozy pub with a big heart. Traditional food is served generously inside its cool stone walls.
  • Restaurant Hiroshima, just outside the city – An elaborate restaurant located in a medieval castle. Elegant and sophisticated, the food is divine.

Aguilas

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Aguilas Tourist Video (4min 26sec)

Aguilas is a bustling, flamboyant port town, thanks to its glorious weather, wonderful carnival and beautiful beaches. For this reason, the town is a very popular tourist destination for both the Spanish and the British.

That being the case, Aguilas isn’t as quiet as the other places we’ve mentioned, but it still oozes charm. Famous for its rich seafaring traditions and Roman history, the town adores culture and architecture, which is evident from its funky concert hall, its abundance of interesting museums and magnificent churches.

Dotted around its spacious streets and large plazas, expats will find traces of Roman history, beautiful gardens, exotic rubber trees, white windmills and medieval structures.

Down on the golden, sandy beaches, expats can discover delicious seafood and can even give scuba diving, sailing and other marine activities a try. For anyone who doesn’t like to keep still and who enjoys experiencing different things every day, Aguilas is the perfect place to lay down their roots.

Restaurants in Aguilas you should try

  • Zoco del Mar near Castle Esplanade – There is nowhere better in Aguilas for delicious, hearty gourmet food and breathtaking views.
  • Poli in Calle Floridablanca – A delightful restaurant that serves the best seafood in town. Has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor.
  • Meson del Willy on Calle Ciclista Julian Hernandez Zaragoza – This is the ideal restaurant to experience an authentic taste of Spanish cuisine. Great value for money and an incredibly warm and friendly service.

Mazarron

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Mazarron Video (3min 41sec)

Mazarron is a historic port town, set around a glorious bay.

Surrounded by outstanding geological rock formations, breathtaking scenery and stunning beaches. This really is the place to just laze around and relax. Spacious, palm tree-lined plazas let expats meander around the town’s monuments and ancient buildings.

Not known for its nightlife, Mazarron is more famous for its Roman and Phoenician history, seafood, nudist beaches and mining.

The restaurants and handful of cocktail bars may offer English versions of their menus. For a true slice of quiet Spanish life, Mazarron is the ideal place to call home.

Some Of The Amazing Things To See And Do Around Mazarron

Just Some Of The Must-Visit Restaurants in Mazarron

  • Chez Zoe in the Paseo de Rihuete – A wonderful seafront restaurant which serves honest, bourgeois French cooking. Fantastic value for money.
  • El Palenque on Avenida del Mediterraneo – An upscale restaurant which unites the best-grilled meats from Argentina with the flavours of Italy and the Mediterranean.

La Manga del Mar Menor

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La Manga Video (1min 28sec)

La Manga del Mar Menor, is an upscale beach resort on a strip of land which separates the Mediterranean sea from Europe’s largest saltwater lake, Mar Menor.

Here expats can enjoy the finer things in life,  like golfing, playing tennis, eating delicious, healthy foods and boutique shopping. They can relax and immerse themselves in culture, whilst breathing in the pure air and benefitting from bathing in Mar Menor’s salt waters.

As a luxurious beach resort the town is clean and spacious. Every Sunday there is a bustling market, the Mercadillo de Cabo It is rather like a car boot or flea market, but on a grander scale.

On the whole, La Manga is relatively peaceful, but it does become particularly lively during the summer thanks to tourism. From June until September, the nightlife becomes even more exciting and the beautiful beaches become packed with bathers.

This really is a wonderful place to call home if you enjoy the modernity, hustle, bustle, excitement and touches of luxury that a top resort town offers.

Some Of The Amazing Things To See And Do Around La Manga del Mar Menor

  • Take the kids or grandkids to Peke Park, a quaint Spanish amusement arcade
  • Visit the lighthouse at El Faro de Cabo Palos and watch the sunset over stunning vistas

Just Some Of The Must-Visit Restaurants in La Manga del Mar Menor

  • Restaurante el Mosqui on Carrer Subida al Faro – For a unique ambience and to taste some incredible rice dishes and seafood (including delicious, fresh lobster), there is nowhere better.
  • Pizzería di Mare – on Calle Embalse de Sichar – A small, decorated in a traditional Spanish style, but which serves five-star Italian cuisine at great prices. They even do take outs!
  • El Pez Rojo – on Calle Los Palangres – A restaurant that comes highly recommended by the local Spanish people. Fantastic service, affordable prices and exquisite foods. Don’t forget to try their famous caldero.

ToDoinMurcia

There are loads of things to see and do in Murcia, including river rafting on the Rio Segura River and seeing the exquisite countryside by hot air balloon

With the region of Murcia being so beautiful, healthy and such a wonderful place to relax and unwind, it’s undoubtedly the best location for any expat wanting to get away from it all and thoroughly enjoy life in their new, Spanish casa. Ahh, true bliss!

So there you have it, Moving to Murcia in 2021 an expat guide. We hope you enjoyed it and if you’ve found this article useful,  find out more about removals from the UK to Spain in 2021, or if you’d like more advice about becoming an expat in general, contact us now for help with your removal from the UK to Murcia in Spain.

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Moving to Spain … an Expat Guide,

Full List of Other Moving To … Expat Guides

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How to use a roundabout in Spain

7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

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Expat Tips and Hints

Moving to Mojacar … an Expat Guide

All you need to know about moving to Europe with your Pets

How to Save Money & Do Finance, for Expats in Spain

8 Top Tips to help sun worshippers stay healthy

Sun Tips - Indalo Transport

Ahh, nothing beats spending time in the sun

Here are our top tips on how you can save your skin from the Spanish sun this summer, including a free online skin-type quiz, what you should avoid, and how to effectively protect your children too.

Too much of a good thing can be bad for you

As a people, we Brits absolutely adore the sun, but unfortunately, our relationship with it, living in the UK and all, is like being married to Henry DeTamble from The Time Traveller’s Wife.

It randomly pops in and out of our lives, and only stays with us for a short period of time before – poof – it disappears again. When will it be back? Who knows!

But when it does arrive, and the temperature manages to creep up above 13°C, we are completely unabashed about showing our affection for our favourite star. Men whip off their shirts and put on their shorts, and women don bikinis or cami tops and skirts, just to soak up as many rays as possible.

Understandably then, spending more and more time in the sun has become a top priority for expats and holiday-makers alike, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that Spain is the sun lover’s top European destination.

That’s because there’s nowhere sunnier in the whole of Europe and, even though as a country Spain has an extremely varied climate, in the end, it doesn’t matter whereabouts within this lovely Country you visit or decide to make your home, you’re certainly going to find somewhere warmer and sunnier to stay than in Britain!

However, even though the sun can improve your health and it can put you in a better mood, there are some downsides to spending too long unprotected from the sun’s UV rays.

You will be at risk from sunburn (which can leave you with headaches; painful, red skin, chills, and nausea), and of course, skin cancer.

To help protect and educate yourself, follow these 8 tips.

(All links in the article open in a new window, so you don’t lose your place!)

1) Find out how susceptible your skin is to sun damage

ginger - Indalo Transport

Having ivory skin, lots of freckles or ginger hair means you’re more susceptible to sun damage.

Some people are more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer than others, and that’s down to what type of skin you have.

People who have incredibly fair or ivory skin, lots of freckles, or ginger hair, are the most at risk, whereas people with very dark skin are at the lowest risk.

This is because people with a darker skin pigmentation have more natural protection against the sun.

So do you know your skin type? If you don’t, why not take this free skin type quiz?

It takes into account your genetic disposition and the way your body normally reacts to sun exposure, to tell you what your skin type is, and what precautions you’ll need to take to protect yourself from the sun in the future.

2) Avoid these sunburn boosters

skincare - Indalo Transport

Using certain skin care products increases the likelihood that you’ll get sun damage

If you can, it’s quite a good idea to avoid certain medicines, skin care products and foods when you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the sun, because there are many products which we use every day that can actually increase our sun sensitivity.

If you can, try to avoid using these prescription drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers

  • Acne or eczema treatments (anything with benzoyl peroxide or hydrocortisone in it)
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antihistamines
  • Antifungals
  • Herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort

Try to avoid using these skin care products

  • Perfumes
  • Exfoliating facial scrubs
  • Chemical peels
  • Any skin care product that says it can be used to fight the signs of aging, and that has alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids in it
  • Any skin care product that markets itself as a blemish buster, one that clears blackheads, soothes red skin and gets rid of clogged pores that has salicylic acid in it
  • Any skin care product that claims it regenerates the skin’s appearance and has glycolic acids in it
  • Any anti-wrinkle skin care product that has Retin-A in it

And try to avoid eating

  • Celery
  • Citrus Fruits (so watch out for those poolside margaritas and vodka tonics!)
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Parsnips
  • Artificial sweeteners

3) Use sunscreen

sunscreen - Indalo Transport

I’m sure we’d all use sunscreen more if it meant we got a free yacht thrown in!

Sunscreens are used to protect our skin from the harmful effects of the sun, and they also help to protect against premature aging too!

Using a sunscreen will help decrease the risk of sunburn and the risk of getting skin cancer. The active ingredients in sunscreen work either by absorbing the sun’s UV radiation, or by reflecting it.

A broad spectrum sunscreen helps to protect against sunburn and skin cancer, and the most effective sun protection factor (SPF) is SPF 50.

If a sunscreen manufacturer claims that their product is water-resistant, they can only put on the label that the lotion lasts for either 40 or 80 minutes before the effects of the sunscreen are deemed ineffectual.

Because of this, it’s really important to apply at least one ounce (that’s enough lotion to fill a shot glass) of sunscreen, and lip balm, at least 15minutes before going outdoors, and to reapply it every hour and a half.

Remember also, don’t use sunscreens if they have gone past their expiration date.

4) Get a good pair of gafas de sol (sunglasses)

sunglasses - Indalo Transport

Not the most useful place for a pair of shades

Not all sunglasses can protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays and high-energy visible (HEV) light, and darker lenses aren’t any better at protecting you from the sun either.

In actual fact, unless they’re fabricated to block UV, dark lenses can be more harmful than wearing no sunglasses at all! That’s because they cause the pupils to dilate, allowing more UV light into the eyes.

The lenses of a good pair of sunglasses should be dark enough that you can’t see your eyes when looking in a mirror. Most glasses claim that they block UV, or are UV-absorbent, but unless they can block a specific percentage of UV, (the best are 99 – 100% absorbent), then they’re not going to be much use.

Therefore, it’s always best to go to an optician for your sunglasses.

5) Seek shade

shade - Indalo Transport

No one minded heading for the shade when the promise of lounging in a hammock cropped up in conversation

Shade is a valuable means for protecting yourself against the sun’s direct UV rays, especially if you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors.

However, just because you’re in the shade, doesn’t mean to say that you’re completely safe from sun damage. Indirect UV light can still reach your skin when it bounces back from reflective surfaces like sand, water, snow, and concrete.

That’s why it’s still very important to wear sunscreen, even though you’re hiding from the sun under a hat, tree, or in a shaded structure.

Using umbrellas isn’t recommended as a place to shade under because they provide relatively little UV protection, in fact, you can still receive up to 84 per cent of the sun’s UV rays whilst hiding under a brolly.

Shady trees on the other hand, with large spreads of dense foliage, offer much better protection, especially during the middle of the day.

Hats are brilliant at protecting you from sunburn and skin cancer too, because the disease is disproportionately concentrated on the head. By wearing a wide brimmed hat and lots of suntan lotion on your ears, nose, cheeks and neck, you can really improve your chances of guarding yourself against sun damage.

It’s pretty safe to say that only being indoors can offer true shade protection. Which is why the Spanish have a siesta during the day, to get them off of the streets when the sun is at its most powerful.

6) Eat these foods!

peppers - Indalo Transport

Well this is going to make for an interesting lunch!

Even though there are some foods which you should try to avoid when you’re getting your tan on, here are some which have actually been shown to increase the skin’s ability to protect itself from UV rays.

  • Fish rich in Omega 3
  • Red and orange coloured fruits and veg
  • Herbs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Brassicas, like broccoli, kale, spinach and cauliflower
  • Green tea

What are these foods sun blocking secrets? Antioxidants. They travel throughout your body, protecting your healthy cells from nasty free radicals, the molecules from the sun which contribute to sun damage.

7) Teach your children the ABCs about the sun

 

children - Indalo Transprt

They really should be wearing hats!

Because children spend a lot of time outdoors, they get most of their lifetime sun exposure in their first 18 years, so teaching them the ABCs about how they can protect themselves from the sun is very important for a healthy and happy childhood.

 

  1. = Away          Advise your children to stay out of the sun as much as possible during the middle of the day (between 10am and 4pm) and if they do go outside, they should play in the shade
  2. = Block          Teach your children how to apply sun block correctly, and tell them the importance of re-applying it every hour and a half
  3. = Cover Up   Explain to your children that even though they’re unfashionable, hats are very important at protecting them from the sun, and so are long sleeved t-shirts and trousers. Even children as young as one year old should wear sunglasses with UV protection.

 

8) Keep checking your skin

sunburn - Indalo Transport

If this isn’t a case for wearing socks with sandals, we don’t know what is!

Whenever you’ve enjoyed spending time in the sun, it’s important to keep checking your skin regularly, so that you can see if you’ve sustained any sun damage.

You’ll know if you’ve got sunburn because it is very noticeable (the affected parts of your skin become red, sore, warm, and occasionally itchy) and it happens in a very short space of time after being exposed to the sun.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for skin cancer, and it’s very difficult to tell whether you may have contracted it. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any changes on your skin,  and make sure you inspect your skin regularly – and that of your partner and your children – to catch any changes early so they can be dealt with.

As a general rule, you should visit your doctor if you notice any new moles or growths, changes in your existing moles, or you have get cuts, scratches, or bruises which change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal.

For more information about the early warning signs of skin cancer, visit these pages, The Early Warning Signs of Melanoma and The Ugly Duckling Sign.

 

So there you have it, eight tips on how to enjoy the Spanish sun safely.

love Sun - Indalo Transport

We Love the Sun!

And even though the notoriously scary ‘C-word’ was used, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t overly worry about the sun, and certainly don’t let yourself become a solar-phobe. The sun is there for us to enjoy, and some exposure to it is beneficial to your health.

Spending time in the sun’s warm glow helps our minds and bodies in many ways. Some of the most important are listed below

  • It increases the levels of Vitamin D in our bodies, and high levels of Vitamin D help to boost our immune system, lower cholesterol, they help the kidneys do their job of removing waste from our bodies better, they strengthen our bones, and they help reduce anxiety.
  • It boosts our metabolism
  • It reduces stress
  • It fights Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • The sun also helps alleviate the pain caused by diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, and for those who don’t suffer from them, soaking up the sun’s rays can help prevent the risk of getting them in the first place.
  • Amazingly, studies have also shown that the Vitamin D we get from sunbathing actually aids in reducing the risk of some cancers!

Michael Holick, M.D. of the Vitamin D Research Lab at Boston University Medical Center, sums it up perfectly. “The current message that all unprotected sun exposure is bad for you is too extreme:  The original message was that people should limit their sun exposure, not that they should avoid the sun entirely… Some unprotected exposure to the sun is important for health”.

So what are you waiting for?! Get out there and get your tan on!

Photo Credits

Ivory Skin woman with Ginger hair

Sunburnt Feet

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Everything About Moving to Europe with your Pets in 2021

moving to Europe with your Pets

We all love our Pets – so this guide will tell you everything about moving to Europe with your Pets

Did you know that in 2019, a whopping 45% of households in the UK registered as having pets. That’s an amazing 12 million families across the whole of Great Britain, All who love sharing their homes and spending their time with many a furry, feathery or scaly friend.

If you’re currently planning on moving to the EU, you’ll want to know how your pets can also make the move with you.

Fortuitously, we’ve prepared this handy guide which tells you all you’ll ever need to know about moving to Europe with your pets.

(All links in this article open in a new tab of your browser, so you don’t lose your place!)

Moving with Dogs, Cats and Ferrets

Dogcatferret - Indalo Transport

The first thing to do when preparing your dogs, cats and/or ferrets for moving to Europe, is to research the country you’re moving to. This is to find out first whether your animal is even allowed to enter. Basically to make sure your pet isn’t on any banned breeds lists.

Unfortunately, many countries still consider a handful of dog breeds to be dangerous, and some countries do not like certain cats to enter either. There are also some countries that think that foreign ferrets are nasty little blighters who, if able to escape, will go and bully and torment the local wildlife.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information in regard to what is and isn’t allowed admission to any particular country,  contact the Embassies and Consulates of the country/region you’re moving to.

Banned Breeds

Unfortunately, if you do own a pet that is banned in the place you’re going to call home, or if you just cannot fulfil any of the special requirements and obligations for owning a certain type of breed, then you’ll have to consider who should look after your pet instead.

However, this is highly unlikely, and your pert will probably be fine to move to Europe with you. So, the next thing to do is to book an appointment at the vets for your dog, cat and/or ferret, as you need to ask for a rabies vaccination.

Some veterinarians will provide just one, others recommend a course of two injections. Please remember that animals cannot receive a rabies vaccine before 3 months old.  Also, you cannot leave the UK for another EU country, until 21 days after the primary vaccination. The day after the vaccination has been done is counted as Day One.

Animal Health Certificate

Whilst you’re at the vets, you should also ask them to prepare an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Which will mean having your dog, cat and/or ferret microchipped – if not chipped already. The AHC must be produced no more than 10 days before you plan to travel. The only other requirement is for the animal to be wormed, depending on the country you are going to. This will need to be detailed on the animal health certificate.

Moving to Europe with Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs and Rodents

RabHamRodent - Indalo Transport

These lovely little critters don’t have to undergo rabies vaccinations or BE microchipped like dogs, cats and ferrets. However, countries in Europe do have their own rules and regulations regarding these animals, so it’s always worth contacting Embassies and Consulates first. For example, Germany will only let you bring in three of these animals. Ireland requires you to give 24 hours notice of importation, while France requests that you get each animal a Certificate of Good Health. This must be in both English and French to testify that your pets carry no sign of disease.

For France, this certificate should be issued between one and five days before entering the country.

Birds

birds - Indalo Transport

Pet birds do not include farm birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese, and they also don’t include racing or homing pigeons.

Much like their fluffier counterparts, many European countries have their own special requirements when allowing pet birds onto their land. Therefore it’s worth getting in touch with a representative from your new country to ask them to provide you with the most up-to-date information available.

Many European countries will require your birds to have a vaccination against Avian Flu, plus a Certificate of Good Health written in the local language and signed and stamped by an official vet.

Snakes, Lizards, Tortoises, Fish and Other Exotic Animals

snakesexotic - Indalo Transport

Snakes, Lizards & Tortoises

As with all the other animal friends we’ve come across, the best way to get the most accurate information is to contact your new country/region’s Embassies and Consulates.

vet - Indalo Transport

A Vet can be your new best friend

As we’ve seen, preparing pets for European travel can be a bit of a lengthy process. It may be the case that you’ll have to reconsider when you’re going to move, to accommodate all those visits to the vet and the waiting involved.

It’s also worth remembering that with all the vet appointments, you’re going to have to incur some expenses. It might be worth calling your veterinarian now to ask how much this is all going to cost you.

And speaking of expenses, I also highly recommend that you get in touch with your pet insurance company. This is to make sure that it provides full European cover, especially now we are out of the European Union. The only other option is to cancel it and then take out new pet insurance in your new country.

cat - Indalo Transport

Don’t worry little puss, you’ll soon be in your new home!

UK out of Europe

As we have now completely left the EU, for moving to Europe with your Pets there is more info on the changes from the 1st January 2021 here on the Government’s website.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to chat about a removals service from the UK to Europe, sin pets, then feel free to go here for a superfast quote about that.

Frightened Cat – Photo Credit

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Moving to Almeria … an Expat Guide

Almeria - Indalo Transport

The wonders of Almeria – A great place for any British expat to call their new home. Click for Map view in a new tab

This essential guide,  part of our series of guides about the villages, towns, cities, provinces and regions of Spain, will give you plenty of information about becoming an expat in the wonderful province of Almeria, and moving to this region of Andalucia in Spain.

If you’re window shopping because you haven’t yet decided whether you want to become an expat, or if you have, and you just can’t decide where it is that you’d like to call your new home, this may well help make up your mind.

And, if you do already live in the Province of Almeria, and are looking for some interesting and unique things to do there, you won’t be disappointed!

Our guide unveils just some of the truly one-of-a-kind experiences and sights to see in Almeria.

Where is the Province of Almeria?

Almeria is located in southern Spain, in the south-east corner of the Iberian Peninsula, on the beautiful shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Inland, where it’s sparsely populated, there’s an eclectic array of fertile fields, saltwater lakes, arid deserts, and the imposing presence of the awe-inspiring Sierra de Gádor mountain range for you to behold.

As you descend towards the coast, the landscape changes – Nature Reserves and rich fauna, along with volcanic cliffs which rise majestically from the warm ocean, revealing hidden coves with transparent sea beds, traditional fishing villages, premier beach resorts and 200 kilometres of blue flag beaches.

This really is an area which offers the expat something truly amazing; the magic of snow on the far-flung mountains, deserts, and the bountiful sea. Read all of this guide to becoming an expat here in Almeria and be enchanted.

(All links in this article open in a new tab of your browser, so you don’t lose your place!)

Popular Cities, Towns and Villages in Almeria

Plus things you can see and do there

PlaceWhy expats love it thereAmazing things to see and do
City of AlmeriaAlmeria begs to be explored. It is steeped in Moorish history and oozes charm.

It is a haven for history buffs and art enthusiasts, as well as culture connoisseurs.

Its cramped, winding streets magnify the hustle and bustle of this busy city which offers great tapas (usually free in bars, if you’re not too afraid to ask!)

————————————

1.       Explore the Museo Refugio De La Guerra Civil

2.       Take an unforgettable eco boat tour of El Cabo a Fondo

3.       Unearth ancient secrets at the Archaelogical Museum at Los Millares

Town of Roquetas de MarModernity meets history at this large beach resort in Almeria.

Filled with every modern facility an expat and their family could ever need, it also has lots of activities and natural wonders to keep even the most easily bored person occupied.

———————————–

1.       Grab yourself a bargain at the huge Thursday Street Market

2.       Take the kids for a fun day out at Castor Park

3.       Become a Toreador at the Plaza De Toros Museum

Village of MojácarMojácar is a place where an expat feels like they’ve stepped back in time.

Quintessentially Spanish with hints of Moorish history, this village offers expats a much slower pace of life.

Things here are quiet and peaceful, until the Fiestas come around, & then it’s time to party.

1.       Take a dive you’ll never forget

2.       Ride quads, trek on ponies, have a go at archery, the choice is yours at Extreme Adventure

3.       Have a relaxing game of golf at the stunning Marina Golf course

Other notable places which expats like to lay down their roots in the Province of Almeria include:

  • Nijar
  • Velez Blanco
  • San Jose
  • Vera
  • Cuevas del Almanzora
  • Sorbas
  • Bedar
  • Adra
  • Palomares
  • Los Gallardos
  • Laujar de Andarax
  • El Pinar
  • Taberno
  • Macael
  • Serón
  • Chirivel
  • Lubrin
  • Pulpi
  • Alfaix
  • Oria
  • Villaricos
  • San José
  • Olula del Rio
  • Tabernas
  • Aguadulce
  • Huercal Overa
  • Albox
  • Carboneras
  • La Alfoquia
  • Velez Rubio
  • Antas
  • Cantoria
  • Olula del Campo
  • Gador
  • Los Carasoles
  • San Juan de los Terreros
  • Las Negras
  • El Ejido

Almeria_destinations - Indalo Transport

Almeria, Roquetas de Mar and Mojácar, in the Almeria Province of Andalucia, Spain

 What’s it like for a British expat to live in Almeria?

Climate

The Province of Almeria is located in the only region of Europe which has a hot, subtropical desert climate, and annual temperatures normally get above 19°C. The warmest and driest area of Europe, there’s little rainfall, so winters are warm and dry, and summers are sizzlingly scorching with no chance of rain at all.

Almeria enjoys about 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and Almeria City is unique in Europe for not having recorded any temperatures below freezing.

The coldest temperature was 0.2°C in February 1935! The warmest temperature recorded was in the summer of 2011 with daily highs reaching an astronomical 43°C, and at night the temperatures don’t ever seem to drop below 8°C.

Ease at finding an English speaking job

It’s relatively easy for a British expat to find a job in the Province of Almeria as the county is blossoming into a popular tourist destination. But you will need to arrange a work visa now that the UK has left the European Union.

As with anywhere, cities and large towns offer the best chances for gaining employment, but if you run your own business and work from home, you can live anywhere! Most English speaking jobs here are based around the retail and hospitality sectors.

Most full time working hours are 40 per week, and due to afternoon siestas, shifts are split up so that you have a three hour break between 2.00pm and 5.00pm.

Quality of life

Almeria offers expats the chance to slow down, take stock and really enjoy the here and now.

The pace of life, on the whole, is less hectic, much more so in the smaller towns and villages, but the city of Almeria and its larger neighbours still offer the exciting nightlife and cultural experiences, even more flamboyantly so when there are fiestas.

AlmeriaToDo

There are loads of things to see and do in Almeria, including Wild West Film Sets, taking a camel ride in Mojácar and visiting the Vera Water Park

There are so many shops to explore, cafés and restaurants to dine in to get an authentic taste of Spanish gastronomy, and sports to do to keep fit and healthy that expats will never be bored. The cost of things in Almeria are affordable; essential grocery shopping, meals out, activities and renting property are nearly 50 percent cheaper than they are in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

With the fantastic Spanish Health Care system, its gloriously sunny weather, having the clearest skies in Europe and having a laid-back attitude to boot, the Province of Almeria really is a great place for an expat to call their new home.

If you’ve found this article useful and you’d like to find out more about moving to Almeria from the UK, or if you’d like to book your Removal to Almeria, click here for a superfast quote.

For advice about becoming an expat in general, see the list of other helpful articles below, or contact us now for help or more info.

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Moving to the Costas … An Expat Guide

costas - Indalo Transport

Which Costa should I move to? It’s a Spanish dilemma!

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words “Spanish Costa” I can’t help but conjure up rich imagery of impressive mountains, sleepy inland idylls, bright warm sunshine and sparkling oceans.

I find my senses become overwhelmed by a tapestry of vibrant colours, & I can hear the hustle and bustle of happy tourists enjoying a much needed holiday.

My skin tingles as I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, as I shield my eyes away from the glare of pristine white buildings and my mouth starts to water as I smell the delightful aromas of the various gastronomic delights that fill the air all along the coast.

And that’s why the Spanish Costas are so special, even just thinking about them fills you with delight. For this reason, many a British Expat chooses a Costa to call their new home, and hundreds leave for the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca or the Costa Brava every day.

But did you know that there are 13 other Costas around Spain? Each promises exactly what I described earlier, but they each have their own unique appeal, so if you’re thinking about becoming an expat and want to live by the coast, you’ve got to ask yourself which Costa is the hottest Costa for me?

Let’s find out!  (This post is part of our series of guides about the villages, towns, cities, provinces and regions of Spain)

Below I’ve listed every Costa within Spain, along with extensive info on each one, and what attractions there are in nearby places This will give you a real feel for the place and help you decide if it is somewhere you’d like to spend time in. If there’s a particular Costa you’d like to find out about, they are arranged alphabetically, so you can scroll straight to the one you want.

I hope it goes without saying that if you want help with a forthcoming move to one of the wonderful Costas of Spain, we can help, as we’ve been doing just that for many years – get your free quote here

This is a big article, so make a coffee, find a comfy chair and settle down to enjoy finding out about the wonders that await you on the Costas of Spain – Oh and by the way, all clickable links and pictures open in a new tab, so you won’t lose your place in this article!

Costa de Almeria

almeria - Indalo Transport

Mojacar, Costa Almeria

Location:                                 South East – Andalucia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Almeria City, Mojácar, Roquetas de Mar, Vera

Nearest Airport:                       Almeria (5 miles)

This Costa makes up the coastline of the Almeria Province in the picturesque Andalucia Region of Spain. It boasts eight beautiful beaches which offer an expat exciting sandy coves and rocky headlands to explore, or a place to lap up the glorious sun on soft golden sands. This Costa offers an expat a relaxed pace of life, and a place steeped in history, surrounded by National Parks and peaceful villages.

The beach at Roquetas de Mar is the best place for young families or those seeking work to call their home. This bustling coastal town provides the facilities of a city, but at a much slower pace.

The beachside villages of Mojácar and Playa de las Negras offer quaint surroundings, stunning architecture, and isolated beaches. Vera Playa isn’t for the fainthearted and isn’t a place to show to your Grandma as it’s also got a nudist beach!

Living on the Costa de Almeria is affordable, as rental prices are 54 percent cheaper than in Madrid and it’s 62 percent cheaper to buy property here.

English speaking jobs along the Costa de Almeria are easy to obtain, particularly in the hospitality industry, and you don’t need to be fluent in Spanish to get by.

There is always plenty to see and do and local cultures to experience throughout the Costa de Almeria. Expats who settle here can:

  • Explore gold mines in Rodalquilar
  • Trek across the Cabo de Gata-Nijar National Park and discover its wonders
  • Enjoy free jazz and flamenco concerts on the beaches of Mojácar during the summer
  • Play golf
  • Touch a stingray at the Roquetas de Mar aquarium
  • Try scuba diving or get drenched playing water sports
  • Take a peek inside the Alhambra, just a couple of hours inland

Costa Azahar

azahar - Indalo Transport

Calpe, in Alicante

Location:                                 East – Valencian Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Benicássim, Alicante, and Valencia

Nearest Airport:                       Valencia (55 miles)

This Costa makes up the coastline North of the beautiful Valencian Region of Spain.

Nicknamed the Orange Blossom Coast, white sandy beaches are interspersed with breathtaking coves, unspoilt rolling countrysides dotted with lemon and orange groves, and quiet Moorish towns and villages.

On the whole, this area of Spain is ideal for the expat who loves the outdoors and who enjoys soaking up history and culture. The lifestyle here is typically Spanish, so the pace of life is slower, but people know how to celebrate the arts, music and know how to keep important traditions and festivals alive.

The attractive seaside town of Benicássim mixes modernity with  Middle Eastern history and is home to the annual FIB International Music Festival.

Living along the Costa Azahar is reasonable, on the whole, as prices are 38 percent cheaper than in Madrid. Cheese and meat are more expensive here than in the Costa de Almeria. Renting property here is 38 percent cheaper than in Madrid, and purchasing property is 55 percent cheaper.

English speaking jobs are hard to come by here so a high level of Spanish is recommended, even in Valencia, and most English speaking jobs that are advertised are for English teachers.

However, if you went South towards Alicante the job search gets a lot easier. There are many English speaking jobs there, including admin, sales, restaurant or bar work and areas in the service industry, like hairdressers.

You’ll never be short of something amazing to experience where ever you make your home along the Costa Azahar. Expats who settle here can:

  • Ward off pirates at the 16th Century Tower of the King in Oropesa
  • Get soaked at a Water Park in Benicássim
  • Take a boat trip along the stunning subterranean waterways of Joseph’s Caverns at La Vall d’Uixó
  • Take a boat trip to the horseshoe-shaped Columbretes Islands and scuba dive in the warm waters and revel in the breathtaking scenery

Costa Blanca

blanca - Indalo Transport

Benidorm, Costa Blanca

Location:                                 South East – Valencian Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Benidorm and Alicante

Nearest Airports:                     Alicante  (approx.36 miles)

Like the Costa Azahar, this Costa also makes up part of the beautiful Valencian Region of Spain.

Costa Blanca translates as the White Coast, and pristine white beaches are set off against sapphire blue oceans, striking hills and mountains covered in pine trees, and fields upon fields of almond trees and olive groves.

This is one of Europe’s most visited areas and the World Health Organization has named it as having the world’s best climate, so as you can imagine, it’s a very popular tourist destination. Because of this, the Costa Blanca is ideal for young professionals and families.

This coastline has an enticing blend of lively social scenes, legendary nightlife, luxurious resorts and traditional fishing villages for active expats to discover and explore.

Choosing the Costa Blanca as your new home means that you pay, on average 18 percent less for things than you would in Madrid. Property is much cheaper to rent or buy, most apartments here are about 43 percent more affordable than in the Spanish Capital.

English speaking jobs are relatively easy to come by here and you do not need to be fluent in Spanish.

As well as the facilities and lifestyle which a bustling tourist destination brings, there are unique experiences to be had along the Costa Blanca. Expats who live here can:

  • Become closer to nature by exploring the Serra Gelada Nature Park – its mountain can be climbed in 2 hours
  • Feel an adrenaline rush at the Terra Mitica Theme Park
  • Marvel at the unspoilt beauty of the Algar Waterfalls
  • Discover the delights of the Palm Groves of Elche
  • Unearth the secrets of Denia Castle and Archaeological Museum

Costa Brava

brava - Indalo Transport

Cadaqués, Costa Brava

Location:                                 North East – Catalonia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Lloret de Mar and Girona

Nearest Airports:                     Girona  (19 miles)

The Costa Brava makes up the romantic, picture-postcard coastline of the cultural Catalonia Region. Its backdrop is made up of beautiful mountainous hinterlands, lush green valleys, gorges and natural springs, and the towns and villages ooze traditional charm with cobbled streets.

A very popular tourist destination and a haven for artists, as each little town or resort offers something truly unique.

For young professionals, there’s Lloret de Mar, one of the Mediterranean’s most popular resorts and the liveliest of spots on this coastline.

For the family, there’s Tossa de Mar, a historic town built around a magnificent ancient castle which boasts a bustling, attractive resort.

For the retired expat, there’s the medieval town of Pals, situated on top of a hill, this historical and charming place is filled with craft shops, traditional restaurants, and bars.

On the whole, the Costa Brava is just 15 percent cheaper than living in Madrid. Renting or buying property here is pretty much the same situation as the Costa Blanca, apartments are 43 percent cheaper than in Madrid.

English speaking jobs are easiest to find in the tourist resorts of Lloret de Mar, Tossa del Mar, Sitges, and Salou and a high level of Spanish would be recommended if you chose any of the other towns and villages around the coast as your home.

An expat will never get bored around the Costa Blanca, Brits moving here will be able to:

  • Feel at one with the past at the mini Pompeii Greco-Roman Ruins at Empuries
  • Have a look around Salvidor Dali‘s wacky house – there’s even a seven foot tall stuffed bear at the entrance
  • Explore the magical terraced gardens near Palafrugell and indulge in the intoxicating scents of oleander and yellow sage
  • Take an uplifting walk and marvel in the breathtaking views of Camino de Ronda

Costa Calida

calida - Indalo Transport

Port of Mazzarón, Costa Calida

Location:                                 South East – Murcia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               San Pedro del Pinatar and Cartagena

Nearest Airports:                     Murcia-San Javier  (21 miles)

This Costa is sandwiched between the Costa Blanca to the North, and the Costa de Almeria to the South and makes up the coastline of the Murcia Region of Spain. Its fine, sandy beaches are surrounded by dunes and virgin pine forests and the area is flat with quiet roads.

This Costa is an absolutely wonderful place for families and retirees to call home as all of the towns and villages here are family friendly and they offer a relaxed, laid-back way of life.

Promenades are popular, as is good food and celebrating tradition.

The beach at Mar Menor is shallow, so warms quickly, and slopes gently into the ocean, which makes it the perfect beach for young children and anyone who prefers not to be buffeted by a wave.

For those looking for somewhere a bit livelier, the port at Mazarrón near San Pedro del Pinatar offers an array of activities to participate in, and an upbeat social scene.

Living on the Costa Calida is very affordable, expats can expect prices to be about 25 percent cheaper than in Madrid. Fruit seems to cost more, however, meat and other essential shopping items are less than €1.

Apartments can be rented for nearly half the cost of properties in Spain’s Capital, but they’re slightly more expensive to buy.

It is quite hard to find English speaking jobs along the coast, many expats tend to commute to the city of Murcia as it ranks as one of the top 10 cities in Spain for working and trading.

Employment satisfaction is much higher in Murcia than any other region and expats can find work in property, journalism, driving and the service industry. A good level of Spanish is required, much more so in the coastal towns.

The Costa Calida is a truly exciting place to live, and expats who move here can prepare to:

  • Play golf at the stunning and world famous La Manga Golf Resort
  • Get pampered with a mud bath in Lo Pagan
  • Pack a picnic and take a scenic drive to see the Cabo Tinoso Cartagena Guns, abandoned buildings and underground tunnels
  • Take a scenic train journey from Los Nietos to Cartagena
  • Discover the thousands of festivals the Murcia Region has to offer

Costa Cantabria

cantabria - Indalo Transport

San Vincente de la Barquera, Costa Cantabria

Location:                                 North – Cantabria Region

Nearby towns/cities:               San Vicente de la Barquera and Santander

Nearest Airports:                     Santander  (4 miles)

This Costa is found in the North of Spain, in the stunning verdant green region of Cantabria.

The golden white sands of the beaches along the coast sit on the edge of rolling fields, rugged crags, and towns and villages which transport expats back in time.

The whole area is charming and romantic, anywhere along the coast offers an extraordinary quality of life and access to nature. For those wanting to experience a rich Spanish lifestyle in tranquillity, the picturesque historical towns of Cóbreces and Mogro are ideal, whereas the bustling city of Santander offers luxury, lively social scenes and an amazing nightlife.

Choosing to settle along the Costa Cantabria means that expats can benefit from the best bits of living in the Capital but at 15 percent less. Essential food shopping all costs less, even the meat is reasonably priced here, but cheese can be expensive.

Both renting and buying property around the coast works out at about 40 percent cheaper than in Madrid. As most of the towns on the Costa Cantabria are quiet, most expats commute to Santander for work. Being a well-established industrial centre, this city has plenty of English speaking jobs.

This area isn’t just breathtakingly beautiful, it’s also got so much to see and do, and there are plenty of opportunities to discover authentic Spanish experiences:

  • Discover the cave paintings of Altamira or Cualventi and bond with ancient ancestors
  • Expect the Spanish Inquisition at the Museum of Inquisition in Santillana
  • Learn about traditional Spanish fashion at the Regional Museum of Costume and Textile Art in Cabezon de la Sal
  • Become a Bronze Age settler in Cantabrian Town in Cabezon de la Sal
  • Meet the inhabitants of the Santillana del Mar Zoo

Costa Dorada

dorada - Indalo Transport

Castillo Tamarit, Tarragona, Costa Dorada

Location:                                 East – Catalonia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Salou and Barcelona

Nearest Airports:                     Barcelona  (45 miles)

This Costa is found on the East coast of Spain, in the historic region of Catalonia, where history and tradition seep into every day life.

The golden sands of this Costa’s blue flag beaches are set in front of cultivated fields and rugged mountains.

A popular tourist destination, this area sees over 3.5 million visitors per year, and it’s a favourite location for expats to move to. Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city, has all the daily hustle and bustle any socialite wants from a new hometown, and it’s a wonderful place for art lovers, cultural connoisseurs and history buffs to call home.

For those wanting to live somewhere quieter, Torredembarra is a cultural town which is excellent for shopping, or Calafell, an ideal for golfers and families.

Expats will find that living in this area can be quite expensive in comparison to other Costas. On average things cost six percent more here than in Madrid. House prices are one to two percent more costly.

This area also requires expats to have a very high level of Catalan, not Spanish, so English speaking jobs are very difficult to find.

Despite this, if an expat chooses to call the Costa Dorada their home, they can get excited by the thought of:

Costa Garraf

garraf - Indalo Transport

Sitges, Costa Garraf

Location:                                 East – Catalonia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Sitges and Barcelona

Nearest Airports:                     Barcelona  (18 miles)

This short stretch of coast lies just to the South of Barcelona, and North of the Costa Dorada.

Four seaside towns make up this area and all are overlooked by impressive mountains. Sitges is the most popular expat destination and it’s easy to see why, it offers everyone a tremendous mix of luxury, modernity, tradition, openness, inclusivity, art, and culture. Its beaches are soft and golden, the sea is turquoise and it has its own micro-climate.

On the whole, the Costa Garraf is 28 percent cheaper than living in Madrid, however, beef is expensive. Renting properties in the Costa Garraf works out to be 40 percent cheaper than in the country’s Capital.

Like the surrounding areas in Catalonia, English speaking jobs are hard to come by, and expats need to have high levels of Catalan rather than Spanish.

Regardless of the potential language issue, the Costa Garraf has plenty to lure expats to its seaside towns:

  • Take a horseback riding tour of the beautiful, rolling countryside of Vilanova i la Geltrú
  • Enjoy a variety of water sports including jet skiing and scuba diving
  • Take a segway tour of Sitges
  • Indulge in a VIP wine tour of Penedés

Costa de la Luz

Luz - Indalo Transport

Cádiz, Costa de la Luz

Location:                                 South West – Andalucia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Tarifa and Cádiz

Nearest Airports:                     Jerez  (27 miles)

This Costa makes up the Western part of the Andalucia coastline and faces out towards the Atlantic.

Costa de la Luz translates as Coast of Light, and its unspoiled golden beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters always glitter in the sun. The area is well known for its outstanding natural beauty, and most of the coast are protected as nature reserves.

Dotted in the rich landscape are swamps, moving dunes, sweeping beaches, pine woods, small fishing villages and pleasant low rise resorts, popular with Spanish tourists.

The seaside city of Cádiz is an ideal location for any expat as it offers modern facilities with a rich history and quirky ambience.

For the adventure seeking expat, Conil de la Frontera is a surfers paradise, and for the hipsters, Tarifa, which is the windsurfing capital of Europe, oozes with charm and a laid-back atmosphere.

Living in the Costa de la Luz is incredibly affordable, on average living costs are 21 percent lower than in Madrid, and most every day essential items cost less than €1, however, fruit does cost more.

Properties can be rented and bought at nearly half the price of those in the Capital, Madrid.

English speaking jobs seem easy to come by in this Costa, particularly in Cádiz where expats can find work as English teachers, administrators and service managers. A high level of Spanish isn’t necessary to live here, but it’s always nice, in any job in Spain.

As well as being a stunning place with jaw-dropping scenery, the Costa de la Luz also seduces expats with its experiences:

  • Walk the full length of Bolona Beach in Tarifa, find a clutch of rock pools, chip off soap-sized bars of mud from the cliffs, bash them into a paste and get coated in the mud. Lie in the sun until the minerals have dried, wash it all off in the sea and feel peachy-soft skin
  • Go on a dolphin safari in Tarifa
  • Explore the oasis that is Park Genoves in Cádiz
  • Pop over to Africa on a catamaran from Tarifa
  • See a traditional Andalusian Horse Dance in action in Jerez de la Frontera

Costa Maresme

Maresme - Indalo Transport

Calella, Costa Maresme

Location:                                 North East – Catalonia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Calella and Mataró

Nearest Airports:                     Barcelona (30 miles)

This Costa is found south of the Costa Brava and runs for just 31 miles. Its golden beaches are set off by the dark green rolling hills and dark rugged treelined cliffs that hug the coast.

For young professionals and families, Mataró is a thriving industrial, commercial and tourist town, ideal for setting down roots in a bustling place that is proud of its history.

Calella is the perfect new home for expats who love the arts, culture, staying healthy and looking after their wellbeing. This does seem to come with a price though. Like the Costa Dorada, Costa Maresme is more expensive than Madrid in terms of essential grocery shopping. However, properties work out cheaper to rent or buy here by about 39 percent.

Like its Catalonian neighbours, language is a barrier along this Costa, unless expats have high levels of Catalan, therefore it can be awkward trying to get an English speaking job here.

Even though this may be a potential issue, Costa Maresme has much to offer the intrepid expat:

Costa de Morte

morte - Indalo Transport

A Coruña, Costa de Morte

Location:                                 North West – Galacia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               A Coruna

Nearest Airports:                     A Coruna (7 miles)

This Costa is found in the North West corner of Spain, in the Galicia region. With a name that translates to Coast of Death, the Costa de Morte is often overlooked by expats and tourists alike.

Sometimes experiencing wild and windy weather, its quaint fishing villages huddled against forested mountain slopes, what the Costa De Morte lacks in climate and infrastructure, it still boasts beautiful coves and isolated beaches.

For expats looking for a completely different taste of Spanish life, A Coruña is a lively city filled with awe-inspiring architecture and history. Affordability is good along the Costa De Morte, living here is 21 percent cheaper than it would be in the Spanish Capital. Properties are on average 40 percent cheaper to buy or rent.

A Coruna is the richest city in Galicia, and there are demands for blue and white collar jobs in finance, communication, sales and manufacturing. Spanish levels do not need to be high here which makes an expat life a lot.

They can also look forward to:

  • Peeking around Picasso’s House
  • Exploring the Castle of San Anton
  • Learning about the human body in the quirky, hands-on, visually satisfying Domus museum
  • Getting a much deserved pamper in the relaxation temple of the Casa del Agua Termaria Spa

Costa del Sol

Sol - Indalo Transport

Nerja, Costa del Sol

Location:                                 South – Andalucia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Marbella and Malaga

Nearest Airports:                     Malaga (31 miles)

Arguably the most well known Spanish Costa, the Costa del Sol is found in Southern Spain.

Despite being associated with mass development, negative press and a soulless image, the Costa del Sol still has picturesque areas to discover that are peaceful and beautiful. The whole area sits at the bottom of rolling green foothills and the soft, white sands twinkle with the sparkling oceans under the warm sun.

The Costa del Sol has something for everyone, Puerto Banus is extravagant and luxurious, Marbella is a small, traditional, brightly coloured Spanish town dappled with history and Fuengirola combines medieval markets with modernity and art.

The Costa Del Sol is not as expensive as expats might think, it’s 22 percent cheaper to live here than in Madrid. Like the other Costas, properties are 42 percent cheaper to rent or buy. Because of the well-established expat community, very little Spanish is required to live here and jobs are very easy to come by, particularly in sales.

For expats wanting to move here, the delights of this Costa are endless. Some of the experiences that can be had include:

  • Seeing the beautiful Roman Puente Neuvo bridge in Ronda
  • Exploring the scenic El Torcal Nature Park in Antequera
  • Listening to Celia Morales play the Tradtional Flamenco Guitar in Ronda
  • Spelunking in the caves of Nerja
  • Meeting amazing creatures at the Bioparc in Fuengirola

Costa Tropical

tropical - Indalo Transport

Salobrena, Costa Tropical

Location:                                 South – Andalucia Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Almunécar and Motril

Nearest Airports:                     Malaga (63 miles)

This Costa, also known as Costa Granada, after its province, it found in the Andalucia region of Spain.

Set against the heart-stopping backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the dark blue sea contrasts against pristine white beaches.

For expats wanting to seek out a traditional Spanish home in a peaceful place, Salobrena is ideal. This quiet town is small, bedecked in classical whitewashed houses, and crowned with an imposing Moorish castle.

For those wanting to experience a livelier pace of life, the city of Motril offers a vibrant nightlife, golf courses, shopping centres and a growing commercial economy.

This is one of the cheapest Costas to settle in, as expats can rent or buy property at 50 percent less than it would cost them in the Capital.

English speaking jobs aren’t easy to come by in the Costa Tropical, and most work comes from the tourism industry or retail. Many expats living here who are fluent in Spanish choose to commute to the city of Granada where there are more job opportunities and where there is a growing community of expats from all over the world.

Whilst the Costa Tropical is quieter than its famous neighbour, the Costa del Sol, there’s still plenty for an expat to see and do:

  • Ski down the exhilarating slopes of the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort
  • Feel incredibly big at the Bonsai Garden Museum in Almunecar
  • Go Whale watching in La Herradura
  • Get a sweet taste of history at the Palma Sugar Refinery in Motril
  • Take an ATV, off-road tour and see the countryside of Almunecar

Costa de Valencia

valencia - Indalo Transport

Sagunto, Costa de Valencia

Location:                                 East – Valencian  Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Sagunto and Valencia

Nearest Airports:                     Valencia (56 miles)

This Costa is almost one continuous beach stretching from Sagunto to Oliva and is found on the East coast of Spain.

Just like Costa Azahar, this area has stunning backdrops of orange, lemon and olive groves, and the countryside is dotted with marshes, wetlands and rice plantations.

For young professionals and families, the city of Valencia is a great place to start a new life. It’s a historic city with impressive architecture and a rich, vibrant culture, and festivals play a prominent role in keeping traditions alive.

For those searching for calmer climes and who want to feel like they’ve been transported back in time, the peaceful town of Sagunto is ideal. The ancient town has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest.

Living costs are similar to the Costa Azahar, overall, they’re 38 percent cheaper than they would be in Madrid. Properties can be rented or bought for less than half the price that they would do in the Spanish Capital. English speaking jobs are difficult to come by, unless expats are qualified as Au Pairs or English teachers. For this reason, a good level of Spanish is required to have an easy life.

Expats who move to the Costa de Valencia can expect to enjoy:

Costa Vasca

vasca - Indalo Transport

Bizkaia, Costa Vasca

Location:                                 North – Basque Country

Nearby towns/cities:               Bilbao, San Sebastian

Nearest Airports:                     Bilbao (8 miles)

This Costa is found in the North of Spain and is part of the Basque Country. The enchanting white beaches are surrounded by rolling hills, natural parks, the Pyrenees mountains and the twinkling of the Guernica river lazily making it’s way to the sea.

Bilbao is the perfect city for a young professional or family to call home. It is a vibrant, bustling, cultural city, and is the financial and industrial epi-centre of the Basque Country.

For those on the quest to find somewhere more exciting and traditional, the tiny village of Mundaka is the place to call home. It is the surfing capital of Europe where the locals are warm, friendly and passionate.

Expats will find that living along the Costa Vasca is 10 percent more expensive than life in Madrid. Renting an apartment is three percent cheaper than in Madrid, but buying property costs nearly 40 percent more.

Most expats who live in the Costa Vasca work in Bilbao, as it is heavily industrialized so offers a much stronger chance of getting a job than the other surrounding towns or villages. Spanish levels need to strong, but it’s not necessary to be fluent.

Expats who call the Costa Vasca their new home can discover its wonders:

  • Admire the beautiful Miramar Palace and grounds in Donostia
  • Take in an exciting show at the Arriaga Antzokia Theatre in Bilbao
  • Hike the Acantilados de Azhorri to see breathtaking views
  • Take a Crusoe Treasure Boat Trip and taste delicious wines in Plentzia

Costa Verde

verde - Indalo Transport

Gijón, Costa Verde

Location:                                    North – Asturias Region

Nearby towns/cities:               Candás and Gijón

Nearest Airports:                     Asturias (26 miles)

This Costa is also found in Northern Spain, within the Asturias Region. Green meadows practically meet the glorious sandy beaches and the sands are overlooked by spectacular cliffs.

For expats looking to enjoy traditional Spanish laid back life in the beautiful landscapes of the Green Coast, Candás is perfect. A little town nestled on the cliffs of the Bay of Biscay, Candás offers expats charm and tranquillity.

For the young professional or family, the city of Gijón is a thriving community that considers culture important and the city oozes with historic architecture and tradition.

Living along the Costa Verde is affordable, prices for things are 21 percent lower than in Madrid. Most properties to rent and buy are 39 percent cheaper than in the capital. English speaking jobs are hard to find, and a good level of Spanish would be key to living a good life here and will help families absorb the culture better.

Any expat calling Costa Verde home has these things to look forward to:

  • Exploring the exquisite Botanical Gardens in Gijón
  • Marvelling at the largest building in Spain, the Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura in Gijón
  • Learning about the maritime history of Asturias in Luanco
  • Being inspired by the splendid views of Lake Covadonga in Congas de Onis
  • Entering the awesome caves of Cuevona that lead you directly to a wonderful restaurant in La Solana

So there you have it, an exhaustive and complete list of all the popular Costas that you can find around Spain. Did one jump out at you as a great place to live or are you still deciding between a couple of destinations? Whichever the answer, we’d love to know!

Get in touch today and we can offer you advice and guidance on how to move to your chosen Costa, help you decide between your choices if you can’t quite choose, and we can also offer guidance on becoming an expat and provide a free quote for your removal from the UK to the Spanish Costas.

Photo Credits

Port of Mazarron – Costa Calida

San Vincente de la Barquera – Costa Cantabria

Castillo Tamarit, Tarragona, Costa Dorada

Sitges – Costa Garraf

Salobrena – Costa Tropical

Bizkaia, Costa Vasca

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Your Free Moving Checklist 2021

Checklist - Indalo Transport

Don’t get bogged down with your expat adventure! Indalo Transport are here to help, whether it is to or from Spain, UK, Ireland or France

Moving, it’s often deemed quite stressful. And moving abroad? Phewee, that’s a whole new ballgame. So use this free moving checklist 2021 to help make things easier.

Many websites like to make light of “epic fails” when a move’s gone badly. However, it’s sometimes tragic to read stories which tug on your heart strings because nice people have got themselves into bother.

But we here at Indalo Transport are providing a practical solution!

As experts in the removals industry and a team made up of expats, we know a LOT about moving. This is not just from helping others relocate, but from personal experience too. People wanting to become expats don’t want horror stories about moves that have gone wrong. What they need at a time like this is, drum roll, please …  a Checklist!

Now it may not come across as a glamorous solution, but this humble list will work wonders for your move, just like Bob Geldof at a Live Aid concert.

This essential and free moving checklist 2021 will help you to plan the last three months before you move. It will help you to do all the important jobs, when moving, in the right order.

(All links in this article open in a new tab of your browser, so you don’t lose your place!)

Indalo Transport’s Indispensable Free Moving Checklist 2021

MovingChecklist2021
Our handy and free checklist covers every possible angle of making your move the dream it can be.

Click on the checklist picture above to

  • open it in a new window as a  printable pdf file, and
  • save to your computer to print out whenever you want.

After you’ve used our free checklist and the last box is ticked, we hope you’ll feel relieved. And also happy and excited about boarding the plane, or driving onto the ferry, to start your new life abroad.

Below you’ll find that we’ve gone into more detail about some things which we consider important when planning a move.

Obviously, we believe that the most important things to get right is choosing the right removal company. We are a bit biased for obvious reasons! Read on for other important things to consider.

There are two certainties in life …

And yes, tax is one of them! It’s very important that you notify the tax authorities, i.e. HMRC, that you’re planning to relocate abroad. If you don’t contact them, you may have to pay additional taxes which, as an expat, you’d be exempt from otherwise.

So don’t waste money, use the government’s handy online service, or alternatively pick up a P85 form from your local Post Office and complete the required information. Don’t miss out on your tax relief!

Driving in a European Country

carkit - Indalo Transport

Don’t leave home without these things.

If you’re planning to hop on a ferry and drive to meet your belongings at your new home, it’s always worth finding out what the local driving laws are for each country you drive through. Most European countries require you to have the following items in your car at all times:

  •   GB Sticker on the bumper/back of your car (now needed even if car’s number plate has the GB flag on it)
  •   2 Safety Warning Triangles
  •   High Visibility Jacket (must be kept in the car, not the boot)
  •   2 Breathalyzer Kits – for France only
  •   First Aid Kit
  •   Headlamp Adjusters (some newer models of car can be adjusted so their headlamps don’t shine in the faces of European drivers, others you can buy special headlamp stickers which reflect the light away)

For more information, the AA has come up with a very handy, country by country guide.

There is also an useful Indalo Transport blogpost detailing the legal requirements for Spain

So there you have it, a handy checklist which you can print off and keep in your moving binder, and some very useful information on driving abroad, how to get a health card which you’re entitled to claim for free, and some info on dealing with finances as an expat.

If you have any other questions about moving, or if you’d like to get a quote for your removals to Spain from the UK, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

Moving to Marbella … an Expat Guide

marbella - Indalo Transport

The beautiful mountains overlooking the lively coastal town of Marbella – Click for Map Guide

Read this article – Moving to Marbella… an expat guide – to find out more about moving to this lovely spot in Spain, on the Costa del Sol.

This is part of our series of guides about the villages, towns, cities, provinces and regions of Spain.  It will reveal a copious amount of information on Marbella. Also we’ll let you in on a few hidden gems of the town, which you should definitely go and visit.

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Where is Marbella?

Marbella is located in the province of Malaga, in the Andalucia region of Spain, along the world-famous Costa Del Sol.

Click on the Photo above to open up a google map guide to pinpoint Marbella.

How can I get there?

By air, there is the option to go to Malaga Airport, or Gibraltar International Airport, both less than an hour away from Marbella.

Most airports within the UK offer affordable, direct flights to Malaga, and you can get there in less than three hours.

By car, you can drive onto a ferry in Portsmouth or Plymouth and arrive in Bilbao. From there it’s a 10 hour drive to Marbella.

If you are relocating to Spain and require a removal to Marbella from the UK, then please don’t hesitate to contact us, as we specialise in removals from the UK to Spain.

Why choose Marbella?

marbvid

Marbella Video – (3mins 50secs)

If you’re looking to experience pristine white beaches, vivid culture and opulence, Marbella is the place for you.

It’s a truly irresistible town, permeated by Roman and Moorish history and with a rich array of cultures.

Opposites attract here, as the six different districts are a rich melting pot of ethnologies, where Spanish heritage, tradition, and folklore mix with luxurious living which gives an alluring buen estar.

In Marbella, you can experience sumptuous delights from prestigious boutiques, and enjoy haute cuisine in Michelin star restaurants. For example, Dani Garcia’s Calima where elegant and complex foods are served up in a secluded, subtropical garden.

The Eastern sector of Marbella stretches from Rio Real to Puerto de Cabopino. This area is less urbanized and has pristine white beaches, an enchanting marina, and a number of traditional Spanish bars and cafés.

Marbella Old Town has a unique, rustic and colourful charm, its ambience is truly special. This is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in the distinctive Andalusian character.

Luxury

old marbella - Indalo Transport

Beautiful, colourful, inspirational – all words to describe the charming district of Old Town

From Ricardo Soriano to the entrance of Puerto Banús, you’ll discover The Golden Mile. You’ll find that luxury abounds here, with many upscale boutiques, and exorbitant nightclubs, like the well known Olivia Valere.

Famous families and European aristocracy built their summer homes here, and it’s not hard to see why.

The Saudi Arabian Royal Family have even built a palace here, an exact replica of the White House.

It’s even rumoured that Salvador Dali would eat out all along the Golden Mile. Eating and drinking with his friends, when it came to paying, Dali would sketch a beautiful drawing on the back of his cheque. He knew full well that the owners of these restaurants would never cash them in!

The Nueva Andalucia district is known as Valle del Golf and is a haven for the golfing enthusiast.

The sector of San Pedro de Alcantara has a small town charm. However, it’s one of the areas of Marbella which has seen the greatest growth and changes in the past six decades.

Guadalmina, the final area of Marbella, is another haven for golfers and is dotted with amazing Roman architecture.

History

Marbella has been shaped by centuries of rich history, and countless cultures have left their mark all across this marvellous municipality.

Muslims, Romans, Christians, and modernity, have all played their part in making Marbella the place it is today. Marbella began to transform itself on 1960 into one of the top five-star tourist destinations in the whole of Europe.

Architecture

Marbella showcases an incredible mix of architecture. It has a combination of Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic and Moorish styles.

In the colourful Old Town quarter, the whitewashed houses sparkle in the sun. This highlights the charming Plaza de los Naranjos, This Orange Square has three historic buildings around it, the Town Hall, the Church of St. Mary and the Governor’s House.

Intrepid expats can also discover the authentic and beautiful Roman bridge, the Marbella Puente, near the elegant Roberto Hotel. There’s also the awe-inspiring architecture of the Las Bóvedas Roman baths to discover. There are the old castle walls and also a 16th-century church, Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación. Don’t miss the Alcazaba or the ruins of a Moorish castle.  the Bull Ring, or the Mezquita del Rey Abdul Aziz Saud Mosque.

Culture and Lifestyle

architecture

Plaza de los Naranjos, Marbella Puente, Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion and Alcazaba,

No-one is deemed ‘a foreigner’ in Marbella, for expats and locals alike, as it’s one of the most cosmopolitan and cultured places in Europe.

There are many wonderful art and history museums to visit, such as the Museo Del Grabado, the engraving museum.

There’s the absolutely stunning Avenue del Mar to walk down, which has many wonderful Dali Statues. There are cinemas to attend and moving musical concerts to hear. Nature can be enjoyed at the Paseo del Alameda, an elegant 18th-century park.

Festivals

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San Pedro de Alcantara Fesitavl Video – (9mins 16secs)

In May expats can witness the exciting Cruz de Juanar, and in June celebrate the Patron Saint, San Bernabé. In July, the dramatic and vibrant tradition of the Virgen del Carmen procession takes place. In October, you can enjoy the San Pedro de Alcántara festival, renowned for its colour and folklore.

Cost of Living and Quality of Life

The cost of living in the province of Malaga is 13.6 percent lower than it is in Spain’s capital, Madrid, so your money will stretch a lot further in Marbella.

Well, it’s not strictly true, as that actually depends where you live! A three bedroom apartment in the most sought-after places of Marbella, along the Golden Mile can cost you around €1500 per month.

In the more quieter areas of Marbella though, like the Eastern sector, or Old Town, you can get a lovely one or two-bed apartment for less than €500 per month.

If you’re looking for a gastronomic delight, a three-course meal will set you back about €30 per person. But again, this is dependant on where you decide to eat. You can easily have a restaurant bill of over €200 in the most expensive parts of Marbella. But if you’re just grabbing a lunchtime bite to eat, check out The Menu of the Day at cafes dotted around The Old Town You’re bound to get something tasty for less than €5.

Public Transport

Local buses operate in Marbella on a route from La Cañada Shopping Center, to El Ángel, via the Hipercor in Puerto Banús. A monthly card is also available for unlimited travel on the Servicio de Transporte Urbano de Marbella buses.

The Weather

Marbella experiences hot summers and it’s possible to sunbathe almost every day from June until September with little or no rain. Daily highs can reach 35 C, and nights can go to 15 degrees.

Things to see, and things to do

In Marbella you can bathe on pristine white beaches, play golf, go sailing, shop ’til you drop. If you’re an adventurous person who loves nature, you should definitely take a Monte Aventura Andalucia Ecotour through the Andalucian countryside. This tour has been given the Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor.

There’s also the Lagoland Mountain Lake Center, a brilliant place to spend the day pushing yourself to the limit.

Or you could see how the other half live and go spotting supercars down near the marina.

Food and Drink

The traditional food of Marbella is Andalucian. You’ll find traditonal dishes here like Salmorejo (tomato soup usually served with a boiled egg and ham), and Pringa (a slow-cooked stew)

Being a coastal town, fish and seafood is essential. However, at every corner of Marbella you’ll find some amazing restaurants to eat at. There are even traditional Spanish tapas at El Estrecho, which opened back in 1954. For a recent list of the greatest restaurants in Marbella today, check out The Culture Trip’s restaurant reviews.

Other useful information

For more information, please contact the Marbella Tourist Board.

T: +34 952 768 760

E: turismo@marbella.es

We really hope our handy guide Moving to Marbella an expat guide has been helpful. Either you’ve learned something new about this wonderful place, or it’s helped you make your decision and you’re thinking of moving there. If that’s the case, please don’t hesitate to contact us now. For a quote go here removals from the UK to Marbella

Photo Credits

Main Title Photo – Chris Goldberg

Marbella Old Town –  Nick Kenrick

Plaza de los Naranjos, – Photosylvia

Marbella Puente – Falk Lademann

Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion – SantlMB.Photos


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Irresistible! – How could you not absolutely love Spanish food?

food - Indalo Transport

All this and more can await your taste buds in Spain

There are many reasons why you’ll love Spain as an expat. There’s the gloriously warm, sunny weather, life, in general, seems to run at a much slower pace than in the UK, and the country’s natural beauty is the most varied and awe-inspiring in the whole of Europe, maybe even the whole world!

But one gem of its crown, and one that a lot of people overlook, is its food. With so many culinary traditions, a variety of local gastronomic delicacies, and an abundance of talented chefs, it’s no surprise that Spain is a haven for foodies – the place is a food and drink paradise!

Because each region boasts its own exclusive flavours and specialities, you could say that Spanish food is as diverse and as spectacular as the landscape itself. Where ever you go in Spain, you’re rarely far from a hearty meal, and the beauty of an authentic Spanish dish lies in the use of fresh ingredients and simple cooking techniques.

The Mediterranean diet might not be the most elegant, but its colour and fusion of incredible tastes make it one of the best in the world.

If you’ve only just decided to become an expat, or if you’ve found your new home but don’t know much about the region you’re moving to, we’ve compiled a list of the types of foods you’d expect to find in each region.

So, as well as getting excited about the usual Spanish things, like the amazing festivals, glorious weather, numerous and wondrous things to do, and interesting things to see, you can now get super excited about the splendid food too.

As you read through the rest of this post, please be careful not to drool on your computer!

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Galacia Region – A haven if you love shellfish and seafood 

Galicia Food - Indalo Transport

Octopus served with charred onions and crispy potatoes, Gambas al Ajillo, Chicken casserole, Caldo Gallego, and Goats cheese salad

Gastronomy is one of Galacia’s main attractions, and the importance of food is celebrated in more than 300 food festivals throughout the year. Local produce, especially that of the sea, are cooked in simple, traditional ways.

Because Galacia’s stunning coastline stretches for over 800 miles, it is a region that lives from the sea, therefore seafood makes up a high proportion of ingredients.

This diet, known as the Atlantic diet, makes for excellent, nutritional meals, and has excellent health-related qualities. In fact, Galacians are among the most long-lived peoples of Spain, with much lower rates of cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

One of the advantages of this type of diet lies in the variety of fish on offer, as fish are filled with Omega 3 acids, high-quality proteins, vitamins and minerals, to help keep you fit and healthy. Combined with simple culinary techniques, the Galacians enjoy some of the healthiest foods around.

But don’t worry, it’s not all fish, fish, fish! The Galacians’ favourite meat is veal, and they also enjoy capons (free range chickens), and kid (sorry to say that this is a baby goat).

The Galacians also grow a wide range of vegetables, including the potato, grelos (a type of cabbage), corn, nuts, mushrooms, beets and beans.

Typical meals that you’ll find here include octopus, Gambas al Ajillo (prawns in garlic), chicken casserole, Caldo Gallego (Galacian soup), and goats cheese.

Asturias Region – The place to go if you love rich cheese and dry cider

Asturias Food - Indalo Transport

Asturias cider, Fabada Asturiana, Valdeon blue cheese

 Asturian cuisine can be defined as ‘slow cooked over a low heat’, so imagine stews, soups and bisques. Asturians don’t use many spices or other condiments in their dishes, as they prefer the natural flavours of their ingredients.

The most famous delicacy of the region they call “Green Spain”, is cheese, and the area produces at least 30 different types, including a three-milk cheese made from cow, sheep and goats milk. Because Asturias is a coastal area, much like Galacia, seafood is also very popular too – in particular the local trout and wild salmon.

Alcohol is used a lot in much of Asturias cooking, and they especially like cider. Like its variety of cheeses, Asturias boasts being able to grow over 30 varieties of apple, and their cider is every bit as tasty as ones served in Normandy.

A typical dish is a platter of local ham, sausage, cheese, and bread, accompanied by a large cider. Another popular main course is hake or salmon in cider, the famous Fabada Asturiana bean stew, or huge slabs of Valdeon blue cheese.

Cantabria Region – A retreat when you’re in need of home cooked, comfort foods

Cantabria Food - Indalo Transport

Rabasare, Cocido Montanes, Cocido Lebaniego, and Sobao

The Cantabrians absolutely adore food, and it’s food as far removed from nouvelle cuisine as you could possibly imagine.

Hearty dishes, traditionally made, are what you’ll find in Cantabria. Dishes are rich, mouthwatering and made from comfort food that’s hearty and warming. Another way to raise your body temperature is in the form of a herbal tea the Cantabrians serve with Orujo liqueur.

Because the region has access to such bountiful rural and maritime ingredients, seafood, meat and cheeses make up the main part of the Cantabrian diet, so think high-quality game, such as deer and wild boar, anchovies, lobster, and squid.

The most favourite of traditional dishes are Cocido Montanes (a stew made from pork, beans and collared greens), Cocido Lebaniego (made from chickpeas, potatoes, cabbage and pork or beef) and Sobao (a butter sponge cake made with lemon zest and rum).

Basque Country – A foodie’s paradise for Michelin Star food

Basque Food - Indalo Transport

Sauteed Elvers, Marmitako, Piperade, and Gateau Basque

The Basques aren’t just passionate about politics and sport, they’re also zealous about food.

In the seventies, a group of young Basque chefs, inspired by French cuisine, created New Basque Cuisine, a range of truly exquisite dishes that have become famous worldwide, and are synonymous with quality.

In fact, there are nearly 40 Michelin-starred restaurants in the Basque region, and there are ever increasing numbers of popular Gastronomic Societies to join, so you can experience and learn,  first-hand, about authentic local culinary traditions.

No wonder then that the Basque region is known as the culinary capital of Spain, and the city of San Sebastián has more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else on Earth.

Seafood is a staple, as the Bay of Biscay and the mountain streams supply ample amounts of fresh ingredients, including oysters, eels, and salmon. Meat is also popular, particularly wood pigeon.

Popular dishes include Elvers (young eels), Marmitako (a fish stew), Gooseneck barnacles, Tapas, Pinchos (little snacks), Piperade (made with ham, eggs, onions, green peppers and sauteed tomatoes), and Gateau Basque.

La Rioja Region – For the vegetarian and wine connoisseur’s delectation

La Rioja Food - Indalo Transport

Patatas a la Riojana, Esparragos Blancos with Salmon, Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

The food in La Rioja is based on the Riojans’ agricultural heritage. Delicious fruits that are full of flavour and heavenly vegetables grow in abundance here.

In particular, the people of La Rioja enjoy using fresh red bell peppers, fava beans, artichokes, asparagus, chard, and lettuce in their dishes. Peaches and pears are enjoyed too, and you’ll find that grapes are turned into beautiful, full-bodied red wines, and sloe berries are turned into Patxaran, a tasty form of sloe gin.

But don’t fret if you’re not a vegetarian and you prefer your meats to greens! The Muslim presence in La Rioja has left its mark, so the Riojans have a great taste for lamb, in particular, Lechal (suckling lamb), or Chuletas Riojana (grilled lamb chops over vine cuttings).

Favourite dishes include Piquillo Peppers stuffed with lamb, dipped in batter and fried, Esparragos Blancos (white asparagus), and Patatas a la Riojana, (potatoes roasted in smoky paprika and served with chorizo).

Navarre Region – A spectacular destination for adventerous foodies who love choice

Navarre Food - Indalo Transport

Trucha a la Navarre, Cogollos de Tudela, Esofado de Toro, Menestra de Verduras

The geography of the Navarre region is so diverse that its local gastronomy has become incredibly varied too.

Dishes are always created from fresh, local produce, and food is celebrated throughout the year at gastronomic events; a multitude of themed days which pay homage to traditional dishes of the regions, and conferences and workshops which teach people all about authentic Navarre cuisine.

The people of Navarre enjoy rich dairy products, spectacular game and lamb dishes, and tasty organic vegetables. They also take pleasure in sipping on the region’s beautiful rosé wines.

Navarre’s most imaginative and exclusive creations can be found in its capital, Pamplona, and popular dishes include Menestra de Verduras (sauteed vegetables), Trucha a la Navarre (a mild fish stuffed with him and fried in breadcrumbs), Estofado de Toro (bull stew served with potatoes), Chistorra (fried sausage served with a fried egg and potatoes), and Cogollos de Tudela (a salad served with salmon).

Castile-Leon Region – Ideal for meat lovers, and anyone with a sweet tooth

Castile y Leon Food - Indalo Transport

Sopa de Ajo, Tostón Asado, Hornazo, Yemas de Santa Teresa

Enjoying food in this region has almost reached a cult-like status, as food in Castile-Leon is perpetually raved about, and visitors can witness countless food conferences or age-old rituals of home butchering, matanza.

Culinary delights are incredibly important in this region, and chefs always prepare their dishes with the utmost of care. Castile-Leon is nicknamed Land of the Roasts, and the people there adore game, including hare and rabbit, lamb, partridge, pork and trout. They also have a huge sweet tooth – there’s always room for dessert in Castile-Leon.

Typical dishes include Sopa de Ajo (garlic soup), Tostón Asado (suckling pig), Hornazo (a meat pie), Olla Podrida (a stew made from pork and beans), Yemas de Santa Teresa (pastries), and Bizcochos de San Lorenzo (sponge cakes).

Catalonia Region – The only place to be if you’re a carnivore

Catalonia Food - Indalo Transport

Fideuá, Canelons d’ánec, Fricandó and Bacallá amb Samfaina

There is so much more to this region’s food than paellas and chorizo. In fact, it has a reputation for producing some of Spain’s finest cuisine, created by incredibly passionate chefs.

The foods they produce are gastronomically distinct from anywhere else in the country, and like many other regions, all the ingredients are harvested from a diverse geographical landscape.

There’s seafood, meat, poultry, game, fruit and vegetables to enjoy, and a good way to try a cornucopia of delectable delicacies is to order a mar i muntanya, a local surf ‘n’ turf, though it literally translates to Sea and Mountain!

If you want to eat like a local in Catalonia, you should try Fideuá (much like seafood paella, but made with noodles instead of rice), Escalivada (smoky grilled vegetables), Canelons d’ánec (duck cannelloni), Faves a la Catalana (fava bean, blood pudding and sausage stew), Fricandó (veal cooked in a rich sauce made with mushrooms), and Bacallá amb Samfaina (the Catalan version of ratatouille made with salted cod).

Aragon Region – The ideal place if you’ve got a sweet tooth and you adore wholesome cooking

Aragon Food - Indalo Transport

Huevos Rotos con Jamón, Migas, Almojábanas, Churros, and Frutas de Aragon

Aragon is sometimes referred to as a region of Spain where the cooking is plain, but what you really get is honest, wholesome, hearty food, which is filling, warming, and has been inspired by French cuisine.

As it’s a region that borders France, game is very popular, as is ham, snails and mushrooms. The food is quite classical, and dishes are based on popular stews. The people of Aragon don’t just wolf down on meat though, they have a sweet tooth too, and the area is famous for its candied fruits, Frutas de Aragon.

If you’re looking for rich, hearty food with an air of France about it, you should definitely try Migas (breadcrumbs accompanied with, well, anything you want!), Huevos Rotos con Jamón (broken eggs with cured ham), Ternasco Asada (roast lamb – a protected regional variety), Churros (like donuts), and Almojábanas (ring-shaped pastries).

Valencian Community – For those who enjoy rice dishes, and like frequenting bakeries

Valencia Food - Indalo Transport

Horchata de Chufa, All i Pebre, Paella Valenciana, Arnadí, and Bunyols

Valencia is extremely proud of its gastronomic delights, and its claim to fame is paella. With access to La Huerta, the most fertile greenbelt in all of Spain, as well as the ocean, it’s no wonder that Valencia is king of making incredibly tasty and diverse rice dishes from land and sea, because there is an abundance of fresh and flavourful ingredients to harvest.

What you might not know is Valencia is a land of tasty sweet treats and bakery products too. You’ll find toasted breads, Valencian donuts, and coconut cakes, just to name a few. Another claim to fame that Valencia has are its traditional soft drinks, such as Horchata de Chufa, tiger nut milk, and organic orange juice mixed with Cava.

Local dishes well worth a try are All i Pebre (a stew made from garlic and eels), Paella Valenciana (typically made with rabbit), Olleta (pork stew), Arrós a Banda (rice and fish), Arnadí (golden cakes decorated with almonds or sugar), Mona de Pascua (a round tart), and Bunyols (fritters).

Murcia Region – Ideal for foodies seeking authentic Mediterranean cooking

Murcia Food - Indalo Transport

Ensalada Rusa, Arroz Meloso, Pulpo a la Murciana, and Paparajote

The region of Murcia serves up delicious and traditional Spanish foods, which have a taste and character all of their own.

Murcia is often referred to as Europe’s Vegetable Garden, and so, as you can imagine, vegetables and rice are the staple ingredient in any dish. Therefore it’s a wonderful place for vegetarians to visit.

Tapas are widely available across all of Spain, and they can get quite humdrum, but not in Murcia. It serves the most delectable snack foods around, including delicious Ensalada Rusa (tuna, potatoes and crispy vegetables mixed with mayonnaise), Cazo (little goujons of Arab-spiced hake), and fried quails’ egg canapes.

Traditional dishes to tuck into are Alcachofas de la Abuela (known locally as Grandmother’s Artichokes, and the recipes are well-kept secrets), Arroz Meloso (a creamy rice dish crossed between a paella and a stew), Pulpo a la Murciana (Murcian-style octopus), Hortalizas en Tempura (vegetable tempura), and Paparajote (battered and fried lemon leaves).

Andalucia Region – The best region for foodies who love to experience a melting pot of different dishes, which are just like Grandma used to make

Andalucia Food - Indalo Transport

Salmorejo, Coquinas, Berenjenas con miel de Cana, and Tortilla Espanola

Eating well is never ever an issue in Andalucia. Thanks to excellent local products, and a heritage of varied, rich and incomparable gastronomical delights, Andalucian cooking is traditional, and disparate, and dishes have been passed down from generation to generation.

The healthy Mediterranean diet and wonderful Anadalucian wines have been influenced throughout history by the Moors, Greeks, Carthaginians and the Visigoths.

Favourites of the Andalucian people, which will undoubtedly become yours too, include Gambas Pil Pil (prawns sizzling in chili oil), Salmorejo (tomato soup usually served with a boiled egg and ham), Coquinas (little clams), Berenjenas con miel de Cana (aubergines deep fried and drizzled with molasses), Tortilla Espanola (eggs, potatoes and onions), and Pringa (a slow-cooked stew).

Extremadura Region – Perfect for people seeking traditional, and simple food, with a bit of added spice

Extremadura Food - Indalo Transport

La Caldereta, El Bacalao del Convento, Torta del Casar, and Ibérico Ham

Extremadura has a long-standing tradition of producing high-quality meats and dairy products. The meticulous care taken in feeding animals has given rise to outstanding quality pork products, in particular, the famous Ibérico ham, chorizo and Morcilla (black sausage).

This region is also known for its superb cheeses, such as Torta del Casar and Ibores. Paprika is grown widely across this region, which adds a warming touch to most dishes.

Because food here is considered so important, and as something to enjoy with friends, Extremadura is one of only three areas in Spain where you can get served tapas for free virtually everywhere. It’s a great way to sample the traditional delights of this region.

Hidden culinary gems of Extremadura include Cáceres (Ibérico pork fillet marinated in Paprika), La Caldereta (a stew made from kid, peppers, mashed liver, and garlic), Cachuela (a thick soup made from sweetbreads, liver and tripe), Las Mijas (bread soaked in water, then fried with bacon and peppers), El Bacalao del Convento (Cod served with potatoes, spinach and broth), and Escaldadillas (dough soaked in orange juice, then fried).

Madrid Region – The best place to try absolutely everything, from nueva cuisine to regional Spanish dishes

Food is taken extremely seriously in the region of Madrid, and it is strongly linked to social entertainment.

Madrid accepts all types of influences when it comes to food, and whilst it does have what it calls its own authentic dishes, they do not actually originate from this area. But don’t worry, authentic food is still plentiful, it just comes from other regions!

With one bar or restaurant for every 192 residents of Madrid, it’s no wonder that this city holds a treasure trove of possibilities for trying delicious food. Every region’s tastes are represented in restaurants here, so even though it can’t really produce traditional dishes of its own, you won’t miss out on all the authentic Spanish tastes and flavours.

Castile-La Mancha Region – A splendid sanctuary for wine and cheese lovers

Castile La Mancha Food - Indalo Transport

Manchego Cheese, Atascaburras, Carcamusa, Gachas, and Gazpacho

The cuisine of this region can be classed as hearty and traditional, dishes are prepared using elementary ingredients such as bread, meat, cheese and wine, all of which, through their fabulous flavours, will transport you back to the era of Don Quixote.

Livestock in Castile-La Mancha focuses on pigs, but wild boar, stag, and rabbit are still enjoyed, as are a variety of poultry, and ewes milk is used to make the famous Manchego Cheese.

Castile-La Mancha is home to some of the world’s largest vineyards, and they produce some of the most delectable wines in Spain.

There are plenty of tasty foods you can eat, when you’re not sipping on wine or nibbling at cheese. Some great examples of local Castile-La Mancha food include Atascaburras (a cod and potato paste), Carcamusa (pork, vegetables and tomatoes stewed together), Gachas (a broth cooked with flour made from grass peas), and Gazpacho (cold vegetable soup).

The Balearic Islands – The absolute best place to experience authentic meals once considered as being poor man’s food

Baleric Islands

Frit Mallorqui, Sofrit Pagés, Tonyina a l’eivissenca, and Ray Borrida

Dishes of the day on the Balearic Islands are often made up from what people can buy from the market that day, and local people have always known how to make the most out of what they had.

But this hasn’t stopped the gastronomy from Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera from being delectable and pleasurable. The cuisine has been shaped by the many cultures which have passed through the archipelago over the years.

Most of the dishes are based on seafood – two types you can enjoy, which you can’t get anywhere else, are the Mallorquin shrimp, and the Menorquin lobster.

Almond blossoms, native to the Balearic Islands, are an essential ingredient in traditional cooking, and so is mayonnaise – after all, it was invented there!

Must try dishes across the islands include Frit Mallorqui (pig liver fried with vegetables, sherry and fennel), Sopes Mallorquines (a cabbage stew), Sofrit Pagés (a lamb, sausage, potato and herb casserole), Tonyina a l’eivissenca (a traditional tuna stew made with pine nuts, raisins, eggs, spices, lemon juice and white wine), and Ray Borrida (ray is layered between potatoes and fried bread, placed in a casserole dish, then a garlic, saffron and toasted almond sauce is poured over it, and then cooked).

The Canary Islands – Ideal for the adventorous foodie, a sea of flavours from simple cooking that combines traditional Spanish dishes with African and Latin-American influences

Canary Islands Food - Indalo Transport

Potaje de Berros, Sancocho Canario, Papas Arrugadas, and Beinmesabe

 

Gastronomy on the Canary Islands is phenomenal – the key to the great food is simplicity. Dishes are so simple that one of the main ingredients found in most of its dishes is gofio, roasted maize or wheat meal.

The Canary Islands are famous for their mojos, they’re two different types of sauces, and they’re used extensively throughout the islands’ cuisine. The first is mojo picon, made from pepper, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt and paprika, and the second, mojo verde is based on parsley and coriander.

The basis of the local delicacies are a variety of vegetables, fruits and fish. You’ll find that most meat, which comes in the form of stew or steaks, are imported from mainland Spain or South America. However, thanks to Gran Canaria’s amazing climate, local markets can offer an abundance of seasonal ingredients, such as chorizo, goat’s cheese, and honey.

Dishes to get your taste buds tingling include Papas Arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), Sancocho Canario (salted fish in a mojo sauce), Potaje de Berros (a hot pot of chick peas), Beinmesabe (honey mixed with almond cream, eggs and rum), and Platanos Fritos (fried bananas).

empty plate - Indalo Transport

I don’t know about you, but I can’t eat another bite!

Hopefully, our guide to Spanish food has sufficiently whet your appetite, and your computer is free from drool! If our guide has also helped you decide on which region you’d like to live in, based on the cuisine, then don’t hesitate to contact us, and we can help transport your treasured belongings from the UK to Spain, quickly and efficiently, so that you can start enjoying these tasty treats in no time flat!

 

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The 1 Click Way to a Stress Free UK Spain Removal, Guaranteed.

1Click - Indalo Transport

Moving – It’s not as stressful as we make it out to be!
So long as you choose a removal firm that are members of the Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme

Read this article to find out the 1 click way to a stress free UK to Spain removal guaranteed.

“Change is as good as a rest”, they say, and there’s no bigger change than moving house.

But when you’re in the middle of moving and you find yourself in a sea of bubble wrap, the last thing that you may agree on, is “Yep, this whole moving malarkey is definitely as good as a rest”!

Yes, moving can be stressful – in fact, it’s one of the most stressful events in modern adult life. Still, countless families do it every day.

This is because (a) they wouldn’t go through with the move if the change wasn’t worth it (and by the way, it’s always worth it) and (b), when searching for a highly recommended and trustworthy removals company they discovered that Indalo Transport is a member of the Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme.

If at this point you’re excited at being able to hire a Trading Standards approved removals firm in just one simple step, then 1-click here!

If you’d like to find out what the Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme is, then read on!

Who are Trading Standards?

Tradingstandardop

Trading Standards are an Institute of professionals who work with our local Councils in the UK. They act on behalf of all of us, as consumers and businesses.

They advise and enforce laws that govern the way we buy, sell, rent and hire goods and services. Basically, the guys and gals at Trading Standards make sure that rogue traders and scammers can’t get away with ripping people off.

Consider them the Sheriffs of the business world, these knowledgeable professionals who always keep an eye out for consumers. They make sure that you get the high-quality products and services you deserve, from credible, hard-working local companies that care about doing the best job possible.

If a customer ever has a complaint about a business, it’s the Trading Standards people they should go to for help and advice.

(All links in this article open in a new tab of your browser, so you don’t lose your place!)

What is their ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme and Where Can I Find the Website?

The Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme for Approved Businesses was created nearly two decades ago. It’s aim was, and still is, to help consumers find reputable and responsible companies in all types of trades and services.

It was designed to combat the rise in cowboy tradesmen looking to rip-off unsuspecting people. Therefore, the scheme really is a great way to guarantee reassurance and peace of mind for you as a consumer.

Any business that you find within the ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme, whether it’s a removals firm or accountants, will be the very best of the best.

The companies listed on the website are reliable, trustworthy and excellent value for money. Click here to go to the Buy with Confidence website (link opens a new page)

The 1 click way to a stress free UK to Spain removal guaranteed – It really is the sure-fire way of taking the guesswork out of finding great businesses that are dependable, and who only provide outstanding levels of customer service.

You should feel confident that any firm you find on the Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ website is the real deal.

How do Removals Firms Become a Member of the Scheme?

By being seriously vetted, and we mean seriously!

Trading Standard video

Becoming Trading Standards Approved in a nutshell – 2min 26 secs video

Any business wanting to be a part of the ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme must be prepared to be probed, appraised, scrutinized, and reviewed. They must undergo a myriad of stringent checks which include audit visits and criminal background checks about them and their team.

The series of visits are undertaken, independently, by the local County Council’s Trading Standards Service. Only when a business has passed all of these set procedures and checks can they join the Scheme.

Once a company is approved, Trading Standards continues to monitor their performance through the quality and quantity of customer feedback.

It’s a condition of the Scheme’s membership that these feedback forms are available to all customers, or the client can go directly to the website and leave a review there. It is true that honest reviews are the things which power the Scheme.

What Are the Risks of Using a Removals Firm Who Aren’t ‘Buy with Confidence’ approved?

If you choose to go with a removals company that isn’t a part of the Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme, you could be risking, well, everything.

There are countless stories of “White Van Men” who have placed online adverts promising removals. Often at incredibly affordable prices too. But once, everything is loaded into the van, they drive away, never to be seen again. Or they damage your treasured possessions.  (here’s one horror story as example)

If something does go wrong with your removal, then you can be confident that a registered company will want to put things right.  Using a company that isn’t a member of the ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme, you will have no one to back you up.

Many removals firms don’t have the correct type of insurance to cover the types of loads they carry. Therefore, if something got broken, there’s no guarantee that you’d get compensation. Trading Standards registered companies don’t have this problem.

By using a removals company who are members of the Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme, you reduce the chance of problems, and also cover yourself in the event that anything goes wrong.

Are Indalo Transport a Part of The Buy With Confidence Scheme?

Yes, we are! You can rest assured that Indalo Transport is Trading Standard’s Approved. You can Buy With Confidence through us.

We are members of this exclusive and excellent scheme. This guarantees you’ll receive excellent value for money and customer service that is professional. We’re also insured through Lloyds of London, so all your items are protected from Door to Door, across Europe, the UK and Ireland.

Does The Buy With Confidence Scheme cover Removals From UK to Spain?

Spain Flag - Indalo Transport

Indalo Transport – The only name you’ll ever need for Removals to Spain from the UK – or even for a removal to the UK from Spain!

Yes, it does, and that’s great because that’s what Indalo Transport specialises in!

We are a UK based company, with a warehouse in both Hampshire and in Southern Spain.   We help families each and every week relocate to Spain from the UK, and from Spain back to the UK.

Trading Standards approval backs up our commitment to exceptional customer service.

So there you have it, several reasons as to why you really should book a removals firm that are members of the Trading Standard’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme.

Browsing the ‘Buy With Confidence’ website will give you peace of mind and reassurance.  You’ll know that whoever you choose will provide an excellent service. They come highly recommended, and they’ll offer you the very best service with care and respect.

If you’d like a quote from a family-run, professional Trading Standard’s Approved removals firm,  then get in touch with us below.

The 1 click way to a stress-free UK to Spain removal, guaranteed, is below.

You can Buy With Confidence through Indalo Transport!

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Moving to Mojacar … an Expat Guide

Mojacar - Indalo Transport

You could be here, relaxing and admiring the beautiful village of Mojacar, Spain – Click for Map Guide

If you’re just window shopping for an area of Spain to move to, Moving to Mojacar an expat guide will provide you with information to help you make that all-important decision.

If you’re an expat already living in the beautiful area of Mojácar, this expat guide, will help you settle in to your wonderful new home.

Hopefully, if you do decide you want to move here, you’ll consider Indalo Transport to help your removal to Mojácar from the UK run smoothly and stress free. Especially now with customs clearance, since the UK left the EU.

(All links in this article open in a new tab of your browser, so you don’t lose your place!)

Where is Mojácar?

Not to be confused with Majorca, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean! Mojácar іѕ located іn thе Almeria rеgіоn of Mainland Spain, on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean.

Mоjáсаr соmрrіѕеѕ twо distinct areas, Mоjáсаr Pueblo (village) and Mоjáсаr Playa (beach), which are аррrоxіmаtеlу a kilometre араrt.

Click on the photo above for a Google Map Guide to where Mоjáсаr is.

How can I get to Mojacar?

By air, the closest airport is Almeria, which is just over an hour’s drive away.

For an affordable, direct flight, the best destination to travel from is London Gatwick, where you can get to Almeria in less than 3 hours. Check out Skyscanner for information on prices, and other airport locations, notably Murcia and Alicante.

By car, you can hop on to an overnight ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth, arrive in Bilbao or Santander in Northern Spain. Then the drive to your new home is about 10 hours.

If you are relocating and require a removal to Mojácar from the UK, then please don’t hesitate to contact us, as we specialise in removals from the UK to Spain.

Why choose Mojácar?

Mojacar Beach - Indalo Transport

Pristine, quiet beaches , mesmerizing architecture and stunning scenery. Mojácar, what a glorious place to call home.

If you’re looking for a beautiful village, steeped in history and vibrant in culture then Mojácar is the place for you. With the combination of beach and village, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds.  It is quieter than the Costa Del Sol, on the South coast of Spain.

Mоjáсаr is a mаjеѕtіс mеltіng роt оf cultures, it’s a сluѕtеr оf bright, whіtе hоuѕеѕ that sparkle like diamonds in the sun. The village clings tо thе vеrу еnd оf thе awe-inspiring Sіеrrа dе Cabrera Mountains.

Once you еntеr thе mаzе of narrow ѕtrееtѕ, еvеrу corner will сарtіvаtе you and the village’s beauty will be revealed. From the lookout square as you enter the village by road, there are the most breath-taking hоrіzоnѕ for miles around.

Mojacar Puеblо іѕ undоubtеdlу оnе оf thе most rоmаntіс and рісturеѕԛuе villages іn the whole of Spain. It was voted by the Spanish as one of the prettiest villages in Spain in 2014.

With its whitewashed hоuѕеѕ and cobbled ѕtrееtѕ, it is реrсhеd оn top of a hіll оvеrlооkіng the Mеdіtеrrаnеаn. It’ѕ easy to see whу thіѕ unѕроіlt Moorish fоrtrеѕѕ village hаѕ long bееn рорulаr with expats, tourists, аrtіѕtѕ and writers аlіkе.

History of Mojacar

The village of Mojácar, its architecture and culture, has been shaped by its history. At the beginning of the eighth century, its main inhabitants were Muslim.

No Moving to Mojacar expat guide would be complete without talking about the Indalo Man.  Interestingly, this ancient symbol and good luck charm was first found in the North of Almeria province. The symbol’s rebirth after some 4500 years coincided with the rebirth of Mojácar. It is also the logo of Indalo Transport too.

Almeria Indalo Man - Indalo Transport

Almeria’s Indalo Man Symbol

After suffering from severe droughts in the middle of the 19th century, Mojácar became a ghost village. Most of its inhabitants relocating abroad or to other areas of Spain.

By the beginning of the 20th century, modernity had swept over this sleepy seaside village. Things started to improve slowly. Hotels, complexes, restaurants, cafés and art galleries were built.

Mediterranean art, and the Indaliano movement, helped spread the charm of Mojácar and Almeria across the whole of Spain. At the end of the 1960s, the village was awarded a prize for its embellishment and improvement.

The Indalo Man is a good luck charm. Therefore, it must mean that if you book your removals from the UK to Spain with us, Indalo Transport, the Indalo Man will protect you and your cargo from evil and bad luck!

Architecture

Mojacar Architecture - Indalo Transport

White buildings, archaic architecture, splendid churches and an awesome resort

To really get to know the true Mojácar, you’ll need to discover all of its awe-inspiring architecture. It’s not all pristine white houses setting off against the brown of the earth and the azure blue of the sea and sky.

You really have to visit the fortified Rеnаіѕѕаnсе сhurсh of Sаntа Mаrіа, Mojácar’s 15th cеnturу cаѕtlе and thе remains оf ‘Puerta de lа Ciudad’ (Gаtеѕ оf thе City).

The beach area, Mоjáсаr Plауа, is just a short drive down from the village. It’s a mоdеrn day hоlіdау resort wіth 17 kіlоmеtrеѕ of bеасhеѕ, and numerous outstanding rеѕtаurаntѕ, lively bаrѕ and quaint cafés.

Thаnkfullу however, wеll оbѕеrvеd buіldіng lаwѕ hаvе prevented hіgh rіѕе, соnсrеtе developments like the Costa Del Sol. The hоtеlѕ and complexes lіnіng the ѕеаfrоnt hаvе been rеѕtrісtеd tо a mаxіmum of three ѕtоrеуѕ.

Culture and Lifestyle

Since ancient tіmеѕ, disparate реорlеѕ hаvе lіvеd in thіѕ wonderous municipality, and have helped turn Mojácar into a rich melting pot of beautiful foods, delicious drinks, fantastic festivities, and a relaxed way of life.

artist -Indalo Transport

Artists have been coming here for many years

If you’re the artistic type, it’s good to know that Mоjáсаr has always bееn a haven for artists. Many artisans, раіntеrѕ, photographers, muѕісіаns, wrіtеrѕ and craftsmen made the move to Mojacar in the 1960s and became expats.

The Mojaquera people of Mojácar are relaxed, but passionate. They enjoy mаіntаіnіng thеir ancestral trаdіtіоnѕ thrоughоut the year and by cooking simple, local delicacies and adhering to siestas, this makes Mоjáсаr and its people а very open village.

Festivals

Mojácar, ԛuіеt аnd relatively саlm most days, bесоmеѕ vеrу lively durіng its fеѕtіvаlѕ.

In all of the fiestas, you can witness Mojácar’s past, іtѕ сulturе, аnd thе аrt of іtѕ реорlе shining through. On a special note, eасh June, the spectacular ‘Mооrѕ and Chrіѕtіаnѕ’ Fіеѕtа hоnоurѕ the tоwn’ѕ Arаb ancestry, and is not to be missed.

Moors & Christians - Indalo Transport

Moors & Christians 2012 Video (15 minutes)

Cost of Living and Quality of Life

The cost of living in the region of Almeria is 21 percent lower than it is in Spain’s capital, Madrid, so your money will stretch a lot further in Mojácar.

A three bedroom apartment can cost you around €500 to rent, per month, a gym membership will be around €20, a bus ticket costs less than €2, and a pint of milk; 1kg of oranges, a loaf of bread and a lettuce will all cost you less than €1.

If you’re looking for a gastronomic delight, a three-course meal with drink will set you back about €20 per person, but if you’re just grabbing a lunch-time bite to eat, check out the local ‘Menu del Dia’, The Menu of the Day, which you will be able to get for around €12.

The ѕtаndаrd оf lіvіng for an expat here hаѕ bесоmе оnе оf thе Mediterranean’s bеѕt kерt ѕесrеtѕ, and is helped by Mojácar’s ѕресіаl mісrосlіmаtе.

Thе sunshine, thе Mediterranean sea аnd thе рrоtесtіvе mоuntаіnѕ guаrаntее both wіntеrѕ аnd ѕummеrѕ аrе mild and gentle, therefore Mojácar offers соuntlеѕѕ орроrtunіtіеѕ fоr you to keep fit, stay healthy and always be entertained.

Mojácar is certainly the perfect place for the British expat to slow down, unwind and enjoy life.

Public Transport

The local bus service is easy to spot, as the buses are bright yellow. They operate on a circular route of the village and both ends of the beach and have numerous stops. The journey from one end of Mojácar, which starts at the Puerto Marina hotel, takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the other end, at Marina La Torre, and the bus costs €1.20 for any length of journey.

What’s in Mojacar

Evеrу mоdеrn convenience can bе fоund аlоng Mojácar’s Plауа. At thе Parque Comercial shopping cеntrе, lосаtеd on thе ѕеа front at the bottom of the road from the village, уоu will find a mеdісаl сеntrе, designer ѕhорѕ, ѕuреrmаrkеts, banks, restaurants, bаrѕ, рrореrtу shops, ѕоlісіtоrѕ and thе lосаl Englіѕh speaking rаdіо ѕtаtіоn, Sресtrum FM.

Directly opposite thіѕ ѕhорріng area you wіll fіnd the Tоurіѕt Infоrmаtіоn Cеntrе.

The Weather

Mоjáсаr has a very mild climate, it’s winters are cool, and its summers don’t get too hot, like other parts of Spain, in particular, the Costa Del Sol.

July is the hottest month in Mojácar, with daily temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is January, with lows of 11 degrees, and the wettest month is nearly always November, where you’ll expect to get about 31 millimetres of rainfall.

The best month to go swimming in the sea is in August, where the waters reach about 26 degrees.

Things to see, and things to do in Mojacar

In Mоjáсаr уоu саn play as much ѕроrt as you want, all year-round, and the more adventurous expat can go hіkіng; mountain bіkіng, сусlіng and hоrѕе riding. For those who love the game, gоlf is very popular with four local golf courses.

For the water babies, there’s ѕurfіng; sailing, scuba diving and ѕwіmmіng. Speaking of swimming, Mojácar’s seventeen kіlоmеtrеѕ of pristine соаѕtlіnе mаkе this аn іdеаl рlасе to truly enjoy relaxing on beautiful bеасhеѕ and swimming in crystal clear seas. Many of Mojácar’s beaches have bееn аwаrdеd the FEE Bluе Flаg fоr quality.

Mоjáсаr’ѕ mоdеrn hotels, bоth in thе vіllаgе and оn thе beach, аrе соmрlеmеntеd bу family-run and rurаl еѕtаblіѕhmеntѕ.

Art, іn its mаnу forms hаѕ a special рrеdіlесtіоn fоr this соrnеr оf ѕоuth-еаѕtеrn Almеríа. Itѕ light, іtѕ charm, іtѕ lаndѕсаре and thе special аtmоѕрhеrе which соmеѕ frоm a multicultural society, mаkе Mоjáсаr аn ideal рlасе fоr getting creative.

Mojacar Video - Indalo Transport

Mojacar Video (3min 49sec)

Food and Drink

Thе variety аnd quality of Mоjáсаr’ѕ сuіѕіnе саn bе еnjоуеd throughout thе уеаr. Products оf thе land and sea are сооkеd simply, and trаdіtіоnаlly, and offer something to be enjoyed and savoured by even thе mоѕt dіѕсеrnіng of раlаtеѕ.

Because Mojácar has such a rich, culinary heritage, the Mojaquera people embrace authentic flavours. The “gurullos” (Spanish pasta), meatball stews, pepper soup, “migas” (a scrambled egg dish), cous-cous and paella are all part of Mojácar’s heritage. For a list of Mojácar’s restaurants and bars, click here.

food - Indalo Transport

Gurullos, pepper soup, meatball stew, paella and cous-cous – how very tasty!

Other useful information

Mojacar Official Website

We really hope that Moving to Mojacar an expat guide has been helpful, and you’ve either learned something new about this marvellous Moorish village, or it’s helped you make your decision and you’re thinking of visiting.

Contact us now for help and advice on your removal to Mojácar, or any aspect of becoming an expat in Spain – we’re here to help. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we can point you in the right direction to get one!

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Your Essential – Free – Moving Checklist

How to avoid these 7 packing mistakes, for the best removal

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Moving to Spain … an Expat Guide,

Full List of Other Moving To … Expat Guides

Easter in Spain – Fantastic festivities in the Sun,

How to use a roundabout in Spain

7 Essential items you Must Carry when driving in Spain

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Expat Tips and Hints

All you need to know about moving to Europe with your Pets

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