News and information from Spain
International Edition - January 2024
Welcome to the January issue of 'The Word on the Street'. This is your monthly news and information from Spain provided by Ábaco Advisers. We hope to keep you in touch with the news, events and just a little bit of gossip.
How long does it take to buy a house in Spain?
How long does it take to buy a house in Spain?

Are you thinking of buying a property in Spain? This article provides some idea of how long you can expect the process to take, including the impediments that can make the process slower and how to avoid them:

The Spanish Notary: What it is, role and fees
What do you know about the Spanish Notary?

The Spanish Notary is a very important person when it comes to officiating over legal transactions and verifying their authenticity. In this article, David Ruiz explains who they are, what they do and how they can help you:

The Ultimate Guide on Spanish Notary

This article from our website explains more about the role and fees:

The Spanish Notary: What it is, role and fees

In this article we present our Notary, Tatiana, and explain a little more about how she qualified to be one and what her job entails now:

Meet our notary

One of the most important roles for the Notary is the authorising of a Power of Attorney which enables a trusted individual to carry out legal procedures on your behalf. In this article we explain how to choose a power of attorney and how you can make one, even if you’re not in Spain:

Power of Attorney and Validation of Spanish legal documents
Pine processionary caterpillar in Spain: Dangers and advice
Pine processionary caterpillars

Pine trees are common in Spain and we enjoy their shade in the summer. However, they also attract the processionary caterpillar and these are not as welcome as their hosts. These pests are a particular threat if you are a dog owner as their hairs can cause a reaction in a curious pet that can be particularly detrimental to their health. As we move towards spring the caterpillars are on the move too. To find out more and what you should do if you encounter them, read our article:

ÁbacoClub Magazine
Look out for your ÁbacoClub magazine

Where does the time go? It won’t be long before our biannual ÁbacoClub magazine, ‘Life’s a beach’, is ready to read. Published in March we are currently preparing more articles and suggestions for making the most of your time in Spain. If you would like to read some previous issues whilst you’re waiting, you can access them here:

Living in Guardamar Spain: The Definitive Guide
Welcome to Guardamar

If you haven’t been to Guardamar then it really is a place to put on your list to visit. With fabulous beaches, including sand dunes and a pine forest, it could count as one of the most unspoilt spots in the region, particularly off season. Traditional beach front houses and a promenade that boasts lots of restaurants and bars, it’s definitely a place to spend a few hours at least.

The Reina Sofia Park is well known for having its own selection of wildlife and lots of play equipment for children. You can marvel at the amazing peacocks and their vibrant colours or watch out for terrapins in its lakes. David Ruiz provides more details and information about what it costs to live here and how you might go about it:

Living in Guardamar Spain: The Definitive Guide
New Year price changes in Spain: What's gone up and come down?
Feeling the price pinch?

I think we’ve all been taken by surprise when it comes to the growing cost of food on our supermarket shelves. This is a comprehensive article that covers the ups and downs of a number of commodities and utilities in Spain in 2024. Find out about what to expect when it comes to electricity, tax on food, gas bottles, telecommunications, public transport and different benefits, pensions and taxes:

New Year price changes in Spain: What's gone up and come down?
Spanish Traffic Police Crack Down On Improper Use Of Indicators
Use your indicator or else!

It’s one of the many jokes that circulates round. Indicator use on Spanish roads is not always as it should be. Confusion about exiting roundabouts is even worse when drivers don’t indicate where they are going. How many times have you waited for a car to pass only to discover it’s turning off anyway? Very frustrating.

Now, according to Murcia Today, traffic authorities are planning a crackdown on improper or absent indicator use. Quite how this will be policed isn’t clear so we might not expect a huge change in habits anytime soon:

Mazarron Awarded Best Pet Friendly Destination In Spain At The Travelguau Awards 2023
A round of applause for Mazarron

You may or may not be aware that January is the time for the FITUR tourist fair in Madrid. It’s the International Tourism Trade Fair and you can find out more about what happens here:

This year Mazarrón has been awarded a rather unusual accolade of being the Best Pet Friendly destination in Spain. So, if you’re planning to bring your pet with you on holiday, you might want to include Mazarrón in your list of places to visit:

15 Year Voting Rule Lifted For UK Expats Living In Spain
Voting rights change for UK nationals

British citizens who live in Spain will have the opportunity to register for voting in UK national elections even if they have been living in another country for more than 15 years:

15 Year Voting Rule Lifted For UK Expats Living In Spain
Living in Torrevieja: best areas, cost of living and what it's like
Idealista’s take on Torrevieja

Idealista is all about selling and renting out properties in Spain. However, it also publishes some interesting articles. One of its most recent has featured our town of Torrevieja. Here we share what they think are its advantages and best spots to settle in:

‘It’s about living on what you have’: Four shepherds seek sustainable life in Spain
Fancy getting away from it all?

Few people would want to ‘get away’ as far as these four shepherds that the Guardian tells us about. Living in an abandoned village, they work hard and manage with little but seem content with their lot:

EXPLAINED: How to apply for parental leave in Spain
Parental leave in Spain

This is a free article from The Local with information about what you are entitled to as parental leave in Spain and how to go about applying for it:

EXPLAINED: How to apply for parental leave in Spain
Aldi to open a string of new stores across Spain this year
Aldi to expand

If you are a fan of Aldi supermarkets then you might be pleased to hear that they are due to increase their number of stores by 50 across Spain, adding to their existing 435 branches:

Aldi to open a string of new stores across Spain this year
Carnival time!
Carnival time!

Or ‘carnaval’ as it’s spelt in Spanish. It’s a wonderful way of brightening up the dowdy month of February and most towns and cities have their own versions. Be prepared to watch ‘comparsas’ or dance and drama groups, as they file past in the most elaborate (and sometimes daring) costumes. With feathers, sequins and many imaginative themes represented in outfits that have taken lots of time and money to prepare.

Idealista write here about what they consider to be the ones to watch out for in 2024:

Spain's best carnivals in 2024

Here you can find information in Spanish about the different events leading up to Torrevieja’s street parades on 9th, 10th and 11th February.

How Can I Check When My Pension Will Be Paid In Spain?
Spanish pension information

If you have been working in Spain then you might be interested to read this article about your Spanish pension contributions and when you can start to draw it down:

How Can I Check When My Pension Will Be Paid In Spain?
How an act of revenge halted construction of a Roman fort on a small Spanish island
Formentera’s secret

If you ever get chance to visit the Balearic Island of Formentera, take the opportunity. The beaches and surrounding waters of this small island are amazing and if you’re brave enough to hire one of its many scooters you can create your own tour. However, the island also holds some secrets. In this article, El País in English tells us about the Roman fort that was started but never completed on this little island:

How an act of revenge halted construction of a Roman fort on a small Spanish island
What interests you?
What interests you?

We would welcome any suggestions for future themes you would like us to cover either in the newsletter or in an article on Spain Explained.

Please let us know by email at

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