News and information from Spain
International Edition - October 2022
Welcome to the October 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 to buy a house in Spain?

Once you’ve spotted your ideal property it’s only natural to want to get things moving as quickly as possible. Most people can’t wait to take possession of the keys and finally step over the threshold into the property they’ve been dreaming of. In this article we take a realistic look at how long the process can take and how to cut down the length of time by being well-prepared:
IBI – the Spanish council tax
IBI – what is it for?

Perhaps you have just paid or are about to pay your Spanish council tax. IBI is collected by your local town hall and helps to maintain the infrastructure that we take for granted. Roads, lights, hedgerows – they all need maintenance and your annual IBI payment goes towards their upkeep. Read more about it in our article:

IBI – the Spanish council tax
There’s more to ham than meets the eye

If you’ve spent any significant amount of time in Spain you’ve got to be aware of the pivotal role that the traditional Spanish ham holds. Even the slicing of ‘jamón’ is an art in itself. From the raising of the pigs to purchase at the counter – there is a wealth of tradition that makes for a fascinating read:

Living in Villajoyosa Spain: The Definitive Guide
Settling in Villajoyosa

A beach front lined by multi-coloured houses is one of the defining features of this town south of Benidorm. But there is much more than quirkiness to this 6th century Spanish gem. To begin with, it’s famous for its chocolate, gothic architecture and number of pleasant routes for walking and hiking. Not forgetting that it’s a coastal town - so boasts three of its own beautiful beaches. David Ruiz shares information about it and how much it might cost to live there:

Living in Villajoyosa Spain: The Definitive Guide
The Caminito del Rey
The Caminito del Rey

The Caminito del Rey is in Ardales in Malaga. It used to be classed as one of the, if not the most dangerous hikes in Spain. Before it was closed for repair, several climbers were killed whilst walking, as the old path had become dangerous and needed repairing. Since it’s been restored, however, it has become a bucket list adventure for many people and its new, safe structure means that most walkers and hikers should feel confident and able to give it a go.

This is the official website with information about how to obtain tickets and the rules about accessing it:

You can also find a number of tour guides and organised trips to the caminito if you prefer to hand over your visit to the experts and be guided.

The Olive Press has recently publicised the new visitor’s centre that has opened there with parking spaces and a viewpoint:
Sitges 55th film festival
Sitges 55th film festival

Fantasy and horror are the focus of this annual film festival held in Catalonia. This year saw the 55th event and with it the meeting, celebrating and hosting of an extensive number of famous names from film and an impressive catalogue of new names too. The Guardian outlines some highlights from the festival and gives you a heads up on what to look out for as films are released:

Alternatively, you can go to the site itself: for more information and updates.

On the theme of fantasy and horror, with a focus this time on its heroines, El País celebrates ten ‘female fighters’ who took lead place in their respective horror movies:

The latest of the films referred to, and also featuring at Sitges is ‘Piggy’ which is actually set in Extremadura.

If you want to find out more about ‘Piggy’ – the Guardian provides its own take on what they describe as a ‘socially conscious Spanish slasher’.
Stag party ordered to pay RENFE €7,676 in compensation for delaying AVE train
Renfe get their own back

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a noisy stag or hen party? Flights to Alicante airport can sometimes be taken over by groups of revellers who turn off their ‘empathy button’ once they board. Well, you might be interested to hear that when this happened to Renfe they decided to take matters into their own hands and now, the party goers are having to make recompense in the cold light of day:
Getting your Spanish driving licence in Spain
Getting your Spanish driving licence in Spain

We’ve been asked by a newsletter reader to explore the issues involved in getting a Spanish driving licence. We know that this is a topic of great importance for many of you, particularly those who are most recently arrived in Spain and those considering living here. Currently there is no agreement in place between the UK and Spain when it comes to changing your licence without the need to take a test. However, negotiations continue.

Updates on the current situation are shared on Brits in Spain Facebook page. Their latest update on driving licence negotiations was published on October 21st:

BritsInSpain Facebook Page

Age in Spain provide a summary of the current situation with no agreement in place between the UK and Spain:

Changing your driving licence for a Spanish one - Guide

This is a general article that outlines the rules for different countries both inside and outside of the EU and EEA:

Getting a Spanish driving license

If you do decide that taking a Spanish driving test is the only way forward for you, this article gives you some idea of what it will cost:

For general information relating to driving in Spain we recommend the N332 website which covers many frequently asked questions 

They’re Facebook page is also an interesting source of information: 

They are currently holding presentations around the area that might be of interest.
Day trips by car
Day trips by car

It’s another request from a reader – ‘What’s an interesting day trip by car from around the Alicante and Torrevieja area?’ We’ve found some useful sites and guides that provide ideas but we’re sure that lots of you out there can come up with some other places to visit. Please let us know!

This is ‘10 Best Day trips From Alicante’ on the TravelTomTom site. It gives a brief description of some well-known and less well-known destinations:
Below are some more links supplying ideas. Of course, some towns and villages are repeated but each one has some new suggestions to offer too:

We would always suggest Eurotourguide for its calendar which indicates what’s going on around the area and might be worth visiting. After all, there might be times too when you’d like to take a more relaxed trip somewhere, hop on a coach and let someone else do the driving:
Halloween in Spain
Halloween in Spain

Anyone who has lived in Spain for some time now will recognize the gradual growth of Halloween fever. Over the years the shops have become a festival of gory costumes on the lead up to the end of October. The opportunity to dress up rarely leaves the Spanish people sat in their seats:
Could this be the hottest October in Spanish history?
Really? October?
The temperatures this year do seem to have taken a little longer to fall. As we move into November it’s not gone unnoticed that the beaches are still busy and the shorts are still on. Whether you consider this is cause for worry or celebration, the fact remains that during this October we have enjoyed many pleasant days of autumn sun:
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

Thank you!
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