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What will attract me to Spain in winter?


Charlieme

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Never been at all (aged 80)

 

Its one hell of a way in distance and time

 

I'm not great with hot weather

 

I assume it can be very crowded!

 

The recent discussion a new site looks no size at all !

 

I assume life can be like a row of UK terraced housing

 

I dont dislike people. I just come from a very small UK village

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Thanks so far. I still cycle and occasionaly race, and am always working on making or repairing something.

 

I'm tempted but cannot get my head round the fact that there must be hundreds who go just to say they've been (again). I'm not a party animal neither one who 'goes with the flow' I prefer to do my own thing but still join in.

 

Some years ago on a visit to Niagra Falls I made the comment that "Hmm its just like the postcards".

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Trust me....it AIN'T crowded!!!!

 

Geographically Spain is BIG. It is bigger than France, and yet has a population of only approx 44 million people. Compare that to the 60 million who live in the tiny island of Britain.

 

Of that population, the majority live in the 4 or 5 biggest cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia etc), or on the thin coastal strips along the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol.

 

You only have to travel maybe 5 miles inland from these coastal strips to get to the real, relatively unspoilt, Spain.

 

It really is a beautiful country, with wonderful historical buildings, fantastic food and wines, very friendly natives, and some truly awesome natural scenery.

 

And (relative to Britain) it's a cheap place to travel, eat, and stay in.

 

And the weather is generally fantastic!!

(Mid-Spain does get stupidly hot in July and August, and surprisingly cold in the winter, but the East and South of Spain have a truly mediteranean climate).

 

And healthcare is a LOT better than in Britain.

 

And there's much less stress.

 

And (despite folklore to the contrary) the crime rate here are MILES lower than in Britain.

 

And families are still valued. And parental discipline is still effective. And kids are polite, and venerate their grandparents.

And there are no teen-gangs.

And people get drumk and dance instead of getting drunk and fighting.

 

And tax rates are MILES lower.

(eg. We pay approx £102 per year in IBI tax - which is the equivalent of local rates, or Community Charge....and for that we get our bins emptied 6 nights a week, the streets swept every day, free library, free internet cafe, 2 free 4-days long fiesta parties each year, loads of genuinely helpful local Police, Fire Service, parks planted and weeded and watered, great local schools, which kids here begin to go to at age 4, etc etc etc)

 

But apart from that, it's a crap country - can't imagine why I left Britain 5 years ago to live here in Spain. :-D

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The problem for me with Spain at least the south and the motorway services from North to South is the mess. Why do they have to dump stuff everywhere, driving down, if you stop at a French service station on the whole clean tidy a pleasent place to walk the dog. Stop on one in Spain away from the car park its a total mess.

 

This also applies to the South coast once out of the accommodation complex try walking, fiflth everywhere , they might collect the bins six days aweek but I think they must empty them on the spot.

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Charlie&me - 2007-09-10 12:45 AM

 

Thanks so far. I still cycle and occasionaly race, and am always working on making or repairing something.

 

I'm tempted but cannot get my head round the fact that there must be hundreds who go just to say they've been (again). I'm not a party animal neither one who 'goes with the flow' I prefer to do my own thing but still join in.

 

Some years ago on a visit to Niagra Falls I made the comment that "Hmm its just like the postcards".

 

:-D Hi Charlie&me. Sandy and I cycle all the time when in SPAIN. You don't have to be in the busy area all the time. Our RV is parked on a camp site at the moment. You don't have to mix if you don't want. There are plenty of OLDER cyclists who come to SPAIN just so they can spend the winter cycling around with other like-minded people.

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Guest starspirit

Winter in Spain is often not that hot and can indeed be quite cold and windy.

 

One thing, however, that it is not is persistently precipitating, and that alone is enough to attract lots of Northern Europeans.

 

Spain may not be a crowded country but Southern and Mediterranean Spain can be, and lots of sites do indeed resemble rows of terraced caravans.

 

The only way to find out is to go and look and once there you will find plenty of people of all nationalities who will tell you of their experiences and point you towards sites that maybe will be attractive to you.

 

It's a long drive but what's the rush? Take as long as it takes to cross France if the distance concerns you as there are plenty of Aires open all year in France.

 

But if you don't fancy it don't do it - there is after all no right or wrong and we all have different needs and likes.

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You could ask Why?

 

You could ask Why Not?

 

It doesn’t matter what age you are, what hobbies you have or anything like that.

 

I love traveling, I love meeting people, I like relaxing, exploring, trying new foods…. I love watching people do odd things (only odd because it’s not necessarily done here in the UK), the differences and quirks are fantastic.

 

Wear a smile on your face and have an open mind and you will experience some wonderful things.

 

Or, you could just stay in and watch Corrie’ !!

 

Good luck whichever you decide

 

 

‘Mi perro del fuego’ … (my dog is on fire !! ) (handy Spanish..Lesson 1) !!

 

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If you've lost the will to try somewhere you haven't been before, then I'm sorry for you!

 

Spain has some of the most beautiful old towns in Europe - but you have to get to the middle, inside the 70s to 00s development that has buried the middle.

 

As starters, you MUST visit Burgos, Leon, Santiago de Compostela, Trujillo (my personal favourite), Toledo, Carceres, Salamanca, Avila, Madrid, Merida, Sevilla and, of course, Granada, which has the most beautiful building anywhere in the world - and yes, I've been to the second most beautiful, the Taj Mahal.

 

Mel E

====

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Well Bill, why wouldn't you go?

It's a big world and a short life. When you die, all you are is what you've done.

Spain is a splendid place, it is far more relaxed and welcoming of motorcaravaners than good old Blighty. I take my 'van there as often as I can.

I ride my bike on quiet roads and watch vultures and bee-eaters with the sun on my back. I respect the sense of family and social cohesion, and I love to swim in the warm lakes.

It has a feeling of 'each to their own' and I never feel judged there, you are able to interact or otherwise as much as you like; no-one seems to judge you.

It isn't without its problems, but what in life is?

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You must also go to Mojacar. It is a nice resort on the south east coast. Much of the development has missed it, so far and it is very motorhome friendly.

 

I can only echo the statements above about the country and people. Learn a few basic spanish words from a cd on your way down and you will be amazed how friendly they will be. A good idea anyway as away from the coast and cities English isn't spoken everywhere.

 

Just go mate, one day you'll be too old to get about!!

 

 

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GO! GO! GO! Can't wait till hubby retires and then we will be off at every opportunity. Spain for the winter? Bliss! France for Spring/Autumn ditto. just back from Burgundy. terrific, great wine, food. you can always come back home if you don't like it. Has anyone stored a caravan abroad? (I know it's motorhome matters, but worth a try)
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only you know if your up for the task charlie. ive recently lost my grandad aged 77. he was sprightly enough for his age but to be honest the thought of him driving through such places like madrid or malaga in a motorhome would have frightened the life out of me let alone him. i dont mean to put you off and i hope you go for it but please take advice from people who know you better before setting off
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About the only thing that will attract you to Spain in the winter is the warmer weather. Apart from that, and its rather crowded historical attractions, the rest is a mess, including the majority of its campsites. Spain has not earned the nickname of 'The Building Site' for nothing. Do not expect Caravan Club standards should you go.

 

Having said that we go down most years, using both the van and apartments (when conditions are dire) and every year we say 'never again'. However, when the cold starts to bite in the UK ...............

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It does amuse me that many who come to Spain during the winter/Xmas only then to complain about the costa’s, weather, crowding etc…..but often return time and again [i wish they wouldn’t, come back that is].

 

If walking on an empty beach, blue sky, warm/mild on Xmas morning does not appeal then yes, stay away. Much better getting lashed, thrashed and soaked at Sceg or somewhere in the UK! Then there is an un-tacky Xmas and the sceptical of the Three Kings after the New Year as well as dozens of other festivals and fiestas.

 

Eating outdoors most days may be a bit of a bind, especially having sometimes to wear that old fleece by late afternoon.

 

Yes, the campsites are busy. So what. You know that, having read it here that many times. But they can be fun. If the social life is not for you again stay away. 20 mins inland from say Malaga there are a couple a great campsites, Rural and quite. No, the locals do not bite or rob……unlike the UK! Who knows. You may even be brave enough and “Wilderness Camp” somewhere for the night…..

 

And why oh why do you all come down to Spain and visit the building sites and crowded attractions…and then moan? I will not bother wasting time listing many of the places you could visit in Andalucia, like the Alhambra, Albaicin, Cordoba, Cadiz, Seville etc. Great lakes, 21 national parks, endless walks/cycle paths. Snow Sky, swim etc.

 

Having drawn your hard earned cash after waiting several days at the back of a panic line you will find it goes about twice as far in Spain. The cost of Xmas in Spain is negligible, unless of course you are a Brit and are on a mission! You could even get you Brit-Fix in Gibraltar or do a day trip to Tangier [and moan about that]…….

 

Yes, you guessed it……I live down here and love it. One regret I never left the UK for Spain 20 years ago.

 

.

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As I said, we visit due to the better weather in the main, and it is that I have tried to convey to Bill without wearing the rose tinted glasses.

 

I am well aware of the pro's and con's of the country having also lived there for some eleven years. However, I still say that ones overriding memory of Spain is of widespread mess, which is why we left it to others and now only visit to renew friendships, including Spanish friends I should add, and enjoy the better weather.

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Hi Ron

 

You are of course quite right; it’s not all life through the “Rose Specs”…….But on balance…..Mmmmm…………and I am talking about breaks/holidays. Living here does not suit all.

 

But like I say, why use the crowded sites. I visited one inland just today and it has everything except the crowds and noise. But rural. No cranes and concrete inland [well, not that many] just white Moorish villages and a lifestyle that just drifts along. No Full English, just great meals at roadside Venta’s.

 

For example. I have been working a Mhome route for a few weeks [we run Spanish and Moroccan Mhome tours and Mhome Hire] and in part it took the newly improved road from Coin-Ronda, then onward to El Chorro-Antequera etc…..Stunning! Loads of safe “wilderness” locations and a couple of formal sites on route. We even had a “Night Howling” at a wolf park…..About as far removed from the “Costa” as you can get.

 

I think if you wish to visit a country then visit the country, not what you are served up in the tourist areas. It’s a bit like visiting the UK and staying a Blackpool…..[sorry Blackpool].

 

For ideas of what real Spain has to offer check out “Walking in Andalucia” by Gut Hunter-Watts for stunning locations.

 

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Ray - If Bill had said that he wanted to go into the wilderness, or away from the coast, I would have to agree with you one hundred percent being a country lover myself. Plus the fact that you can still get two beers for the price of one on the coast! However, at eighty years old and the first time there I doubt if this is his intention. I could be wrong of course, it would be interesting to know.

 

I only hope that I am not putting Bill off going as every journey is an adventure isn't it? Even if his destination is on the coast it might well suit him and he will certainly get brown all over.

 

Incidentally, thanks for the info regarding the Coin-Ronda road improvements, it should be good alternative to the San Pedro route.

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Hi, we spend our winters in Spain, especially bringing in the New Year, and we find it wonderfull, and as for the sites your allocated site is generally twice the size you get in UK, and nearly always hedged off, we have a trailer and car with Motorhome, and there's always plenty space. We prefer to go in our winter months when things are peacefull and warm in this very friendly country B-)
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:-D Hi all go for it if you donot you will not no!.you can always get the boat down to Spain and go from there to the costa- lots of sites on the way alots to see and only about 5-600 miles try looking at the caravan and camping-club and there carefree winter book tryed last year in Albufeira Portugal then up to the costa very good .This year down to Spain hope Nov.Regards john
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Wow, some good answers, all sorts which I expected too. Just testing the waters !

 

Don't feel sorry for me Mel I'm aiming to reach 120, nothing bothers me. I cycled most of the South Ocean Road in Australia with two Aussies for my 70th, and have had 5 M/H tours of the USA

 

I'm not easily persuaded by advertising but there's lots of you spend time in Spain and the thought of it kinda grows on me. Recently I was told that the Portugese don't celebrate Christmas so maybe that would suit me better but its not so warm I guess.

 

There are just so many things to do, we've had 16 seperate sessions away so far this year in the UK. Tonight we're at home for one night then away tomorrow again.

 

I can assure you all that one of the biggest hazards is that, when one has a totaly free existence to do anything at anytime, "where to" then becomes the difficulty.

 

What's in Portugal then?

 

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