Settling in to life in Spain

Settling in to life in Spain Once you've moved to Spain your new life can begin!

Most people who move abroad say it takes about six months to feel settled in a new country - but for some it's much less.

There are lots of things you can do, and many people who can help you to speed up the settling-in process.

In the first few days in Spain, you should make a point of learning how to contact each of the emergency services, and where your town hall and nearest health centre, hospital and police station are. Introduce yourself to your neighbours – they can be useful sources of local information, and make life easier by getting a Spanish mobile as soon as possible and setting up your internet connection, so you can stay in contact with friends and family easily.

How estate agents can help

Most English-speaking estate agents in Spain will be able to help you get settled in your new home by assisting with administrative things like getting all the utilities transferred into your name. It’s likely you’ll need odd jobs done around your new home at some point too – again, your estate agent should be able to refer you to a reliable plumber, electrician, builder or whatever tradesperson you need.

Meeting People

In terms of meeting people, if you’re moving to one of the popular Spanish Costas, such as the Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol, or islands, like Tenerife or Mallorca, you should have lots of options for meeting other expats and other foreign residents. You’ll quickly discover where the best bars, restaurants and meeting points are. It's a good idea to seek out societies and groups to find people with the same interests as you, and you might even want to consider taking up a new hobby or sport to meet people!

You can also find like minded people to meet up with, and learn more about activities and events taking place by joining local Facebook groups. There are hundreds you can join and they can make a great resource and starting point for you if you're totally new to the area - you can join specific groups for parents, retirees etc. too.

Embracing the lifestyle

Reassuringly for expats, the World Health Organisation consistently ranks Spain as one of the healthiest places to live in the world, with one of the highest life expectancies. This is thanks largely to its balmy climate, healthy Mediterranean diet, stress-free lifestyle and quality healthcare. This means that you'll have lots of opportunities to keep active and fit, helping your overall well-being and helping you to get involved in the local community.

By default, you spend more time outside in Spain, and both swimming and walking, often along pretty seafront promenades, soon become daily activities (that cost nothing). The leisure facilities on offer to help you stay in shape are endless too – you’re never far from a quality golf course or water sports, and you’ll find expat clubs for all types of activities, including bowling, yoga, rambling or taking day trips to new places.