Immersing Yourself In Everything Spanish

Spain has been high on the UK tourist list for many years. Sun, sea and Sangria have long been the theme. If you are thinking about making a life for yourself and your family in Spain there will be plenty of reminders of home.


With Ryanair getting to Spain is faster than ever (and cheap) – source

The tourist invasion

When we ‘invaded’ Spain as tourists in the 1960s and 70s we took many of our familiar favourites with us. This is why you can find fish and chip shops, Chinese and Indian restaurants and English pubs over there. Typically then although we loved the sun, the temperatures and the cheap vino, we craved our ‘British’ food.

Ex-pat communities

Next it became a favourite retirement place. Consequently many communities of ex-pats grew up in popular resorts who got by with only a smattering of Spanish. The Brits who settled opened the English pubs and fish and chip shops so that others like them could enjoy the comforts of home … in the sun.

Making a life in Spain

For those wishing to work in Spain and make a life there now, immersion in the lifestyle and culture is recommended. Learning the language so that you aren’t restricted in either the jobs you can do or the company you keep is a great starting point.

Get a taste of Spain

Trying the Spanish cuisine is next in line so that you get a real ‘taste’ for the Spanish lifestyle. Some of the favourites which are good to start with include Tapas which is a selection of small dishes such as olives, cheese, shrimps, squid and chorizo. Others include Paella: most commonly a rice dish with chicken and seafood; Spanish omelette, Patatas Bravos – yes potatoes – or Gazpacho a chilled tomato soup.

Now that Spanish food is more readily available in restaurants and supermarkets over here this shouldn’t be difficult to accept.

Moving to Spain

As both the UK and Spain are part of the EU you are free to travel and work in Spain without requiring a work permit as long as you are a British citizen or a citizen of another EU country. You can stay for up to three months as a tourist. If you stay longer you must register and you will be given a certificate of residence. You must also show evidence that you can support yourself and evidence of healthcare insurance.

Keeping in touch with family and friends in the UK is easy. There are plenty of mobile networks that allow instant access but a cheaper and easy option is Skype where you can not only speak but see one another on your laptop or iPad screen.

There are many online sites that help you understand all the things you need to do or need to know to set up home in Spain. Check one of these out before you go to see what you need to do.

But at least there are now online sites to help your search for jobs in Spain and many which allow you to upload your CV so that it is available for prospective employers to read. The Internet has certainly helped to make it easier for people to be mobile.

By Harry Price

Harry Price  is a free-lance writer who enjoys hiking, camping and playing poker with his mates. He has 3 wonderful dogs who run his life.

What To Expect On Your Camino De Santiago Walking Tour

You have made the decision to embark on one of the most famous pilgrimages in the world, you’ve booked your Camino de Santiago walking tour, you’ve read up on all the advice past pilgrims have to give about packing, and you’ve started training so your feet won’t be unpleasantly surprised when they’re suddenly walking miles and miles for days on end. However, do you actually know what to expect from the journey once you begin? Even the most seasoned of hikers have found that setting out on an expedition like this is nearly incomparable to anything else they’ve ever experienced, so having a little extra insight may be helpful as you get ready to start your travels.

Walking the Trail

Though there are many routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela, the one you will walk will already be designated by whichever Camino de Santiago walking tour you have chosen to be a part of. The hike is recommended for all ages, but pilgrims should be aware that there is some varying terrain as you walk through farmland, mountains, forests and coastal regions (all depending which path you’re on). Some travelers worry about the chance of getting lost along the way, but the Camino is clearly marked throughout the entire 500 miles with yellow arrows, scallop shell tiles and signs. Pilgrims also need not be concerned about staying with their tour group at all times or keeping the same pace. Guides are well aware that many use the Camino as a destination for self-reflection, meditation and peace and quiet and won’t pressure anyone to hurry up, slow down or participate in conversation.

Camino de Santiago route marker on the Cantabrian coast


Since it is such a well-traveled trail, accommodations are plenty along Camino de Santiago. There’s a good chance that your walking tour will have all of your lodging set up for you already, usually making arrangements in bed and breakfasts or some of the more luxurious hotels that dot the path. If you were to make the pilgrimage on your own and decide to select more economical boarding, albergues are the most popular and cheapest alternative, where you will be placed in a dorm like setting with shared rooms and bathrooms. Hostels and posadas are also an option.


Bars, restaurants and grocery stores are not hard to find, and your Camino de Santiago tour guide will have plenty of suggestions on local cuisines. Each region will have its own specialties and are more than ready to share that with pilgrims as they pass through town. If staying at an albergue, you will also have the opportunity to cook your own meals if you wish.


Fellow Pilgrims

One of the most exciting expectations you should have is about all the different people you’ll meet during your journey. As you progress down the trail, you may just find that you’re really getting the most from your excursion from simply taking some time to open up to your fellow pilgrims and learn about other cultures, history and walks of life.


While there are several challenges pilgrims can face on their trek, preparing for them in advance gives you a good chance of avoiding many of them. Blisters, tendonitis, dehydration, sunburn and heatstroke are the most common ailments that people have to deal with. Make sure to break in new hiking boots before you go, stretch, strengthen and condition your muscles every morning and night, don’t forgo the sunscreen and pace yourself as needed.

Each pilgrimage and experience will be different, so you can’t always be prepared for every little thing, however, this information should provide you with a good idea of what to expect as you begin your Camino de Santiago walking tour so that you may enjoy it to the fullest.

Featured images:

By Tiffany Olson

Tiffany Olson absolutely loves all things travel related. She worked at a hostel for many years in San Diego and it was there that she found her passion for traveling. Walking the Camino de Santiago is next on her list of adventures to try. When she’s not writing you’ll usually find her in the company of friends, reading, or cooking.

Learn Spanish in Valencia, a language student guide.

Fine weather, nice beaches, night life, culture,art and entertainment. Everything you can desire you will find it in Valencia. Every year thousands of students come to visit the area and learn Spanish in the third biggest town of the country. Enjoy the Fallas, paella and horchata. An unforgettable experience while learning a new language in a town that has suffered a recent mutation from a small town into a modern and multicultural city.


Pretty Valencia – The Miguelete tower – image source

 What to see in Valencia

The town was founded by the Romans but the main monuments are related to its Medieval period, deeply linked to the Moors domination. As many other European towns, Valencia can boast of having a beautiful old cathedral. Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles can be found on the monument. Climb up to the Miguelete Tower and enjoy the sight of the city. Also in Gothic style you can visit la Lonja, a civil building in the Market Square where merchants used to meet to make business. Torres de Serranos is also another monument dating back to the Middle Age, with an original pentagonal shape.

But if you prefer to visit something more modern, your choice is the City of Science and Arts. Sophisticated buildings in novel materials for museums, auditoriums, aquarium and planetarium. It is nowadays one of the icons of Valencia


Beach and nightlife

Nightlife in Valencia is one of its better attractions. Many people from the region and even from far away towns drive to enjoy its restaurants and clubs. Barrio del Carmen is one of the most popular neighbourhoods  but do not miss Blasco Ibáñez nor Plaza Cánovas. During the summer, fun is concentrated in America’s Cup area and the seashore.

During the day, after long nights of fiesta, enjoy the sunshine in the beach. Arenas and Malvarrosa are the main ones in the urban area. Fine white sand and lots of facilities are attractive to visitors. Pinedo and Saler beaches, at only eight kilometres from the town are worth a visit as they are located in the Natural Park La Albufera.


The right place to learn Spanish

As one of the most important cities in Spain, Valencia is a good place to study Spanish. It is the preferred language by locals though Valencian is also an official language. Learning Spanish can be combined with other activities such as paella cooking in the countryside or camping in the surrounding villages like Gandía. Spending some time to study the language in Valencia means also having the possibility of understanding the culture of the country and learning new customs. At Valencia all the advantages of a middle size town can be found. And as it is full of students, the possibilities of meeting new and exciting people multiply.

Valencia offers monuments and history in the old town, nightlife at the seashore and art and entertainment in the modern neighbourhoods  Learning Spanish become an unforgettable experience with other international students.

The Language classes organises Spanish language courses in Valencia. We would be very happy to organise our study abroad programme in Spain. Our company can put together a complete package with accommodating, Spanish language lessons and pick up from the airports.