Tag Archives: valencia

Spanish Sundays – An invitation

Spanish Sundays is a popular weekly post looking at aspects of living in Spain and this week the invitation is open to anybody living in Spain to make submissions. In an effort to broaden the article to cover more of the peninsula anybody is invited to contribute.

Spanish Sundays posts are from 400-800 words and can include up to four images. If you want to share your experience of living in Spain send you article to:
submissions@ukteacherinspain.com
If you wish you can also send a short biography and a photo of yourself to be included with the article.

For now then, a look back over some of our recent Spanish Sundays articles.

Spanish Sundays – Fallas
Fallas is the regional fiesta for the Valencian autonomous region of Spain. With events running from the start of March until the 19th March it is allegedly the second biggest fiesta in the world after the Rio carnival.

Spanish Sundays – Fuengirola and Malaga
Fuengirola is on the Costa del Sol and is located in Andalucia. The sunrise over the sea is spectacular and a feature of this area of the Spanish coastline.

Spanish Sundays – A photo tour of Alzira
Alzira is located around 40km to the South of Valencia and 20km from the coast. Enjoying the coastal climate of the Mediterranean it doesn’t have the high and low temperature fluctuations of central Spain.

Spanish Sundays – Denia
Denia is a coastal town in the north of Costa Blanca. About midway between Benidorm and Valencia, Denia has a large marina and regular ferry services to Mallorca and Ibiza.


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Spanish Sundays – Fallas

Spanish Sundays is my regular weekly post that steps out of teaching and provides a window into Spain. This week, Fallas.

Fallas is the regional fiesta for the Valencian autonomous region of Spain. With events running from the start of March until the 19th March it is allegedly the second biggest fiesta in the world after the Rio carnival.

Fallas is about colour, ultimately about fire and consistently about noise. The noise of Fallas is something that cannot be described. From early morning fireworks to wake the city the noise never stops. Perhaps the most spectacular noise of them all is the mascleta. The video below is of the mascleta in Alzira at 2pm on Sunday March 15th, 2015.

No video can possibly do justice to the noise of a mascleta. (If you need to hop straight into the action fast forward to 4.30 and see the ground shaking finale.) An explosion of fireworks set off at 2pm each day the mascleta shakes the ground and the force of the explosions blows back on the crowd as the smoke fills the sky and blocks out the sun.

Smoke from a mascleta in Alzira, 2015

The smoke from a mascleta blocking the sun

But Fallas is more than just noise. In the final week before March 19th towns fill with the most intricate and brightly coloured models.

Fallas model in Alzira 2015

Fallas, Alzira 2015

Standing several stories high these models dominate the streets of every town. They reflect a full year of work in design and construction and sometimes have a satirical message. They exist just for a moment and then on the evening of March 19th, an evening known as the ‘crema’, they are burnt in an elaborate firework spectacle that last through the night with the final models disappearing in flames in the early hours of the morning.

You can see pictures of Fallas and watch videos but nothing on screen will do justice to the largest fiesta in Spain.

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Spanish Sundays – A photo tour of Alzira

Alzira is located around 40km to the South of Valencia and 20km from the coast. Enjoying the coastal climate of the Mediterranean it doesn’t have the high and low temperature fluctuations of central Spain.

For this week’s Spanish Sunday blog post I am taking a photo tour of the town of Alzira.

Church dominating the skyline of Alzira

Mare de Déu del Lluch

The first sight on approaching Alzira is the church that looks down on the town from a hillside to the south. Mare de Déu del Lluch has views to Valencia in the north and across the Ribera Alta countryside towards Xativa to the south.

Rio Júcar, river in Alzira

The Rio Júcar flowing on the inland side of Alzira

Alzira is built on the banks of the Rio Júcar. With fertile orange groves all around the town and stretching towards the coast, the marsh lands growing rice for paella, much of the industry around Alzira is based on farming.

A steam train preserved on the northern edge of Alzira

Preserved steam train in Alzira

Alzira is on the main train line connecting Alicante and Valencia. Services into Valencia are frequent and well priced. During the day the service runs on the hour and delivers passengers to the centre of Valencia for around 7€.

Arabic walls from the time Alzira was a moorish settlement

Ancient Arabic walls

The inland edge of the town still retains the ancient Arabic walls. Remembering a time before James I liberated the town from the Arabs, these walls are just one of many Arabic influences in the design and architecture of the town.

The plaza Mayor in Alzira, the centre of the town

The Plaza Mayor in Alzira

The Plaza Mayor, or main square, in Alzira is fringed with orange trees. Bars and restaurants serve a variety of food and drink and the plaza is always busy, even through the winter months.

The town hall or ayuntamientio in the old town of Alzira

Alzira ayunamiento (town hall)

The old town of Alzira is a maze of narrow cobbled streets. Amongst the bars and churches is a central square that is home to the ayuntamiento (town hall).

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5 things to know about renting in Spain

One of the primary concerns people have when relocating is understanding how property rentals work. This article gives a flavour of what to expect in Spain together with some examples of properties available in the town of Alzira in the Valencia region of Spain.

For rent sign - Se Alquila

1: Furnished or unfurnished
Property in Spain is usually let as furnished. This is a contrast to the UK where many landlords will prefer to rent unfurnished. The side not to this is that many landlords will take out any furniture that is of good quality and replace with cheaper alternatives. If the furniture is not up to standard the tenant should be prepared to complain.

2: Length of rental contracts in Spain
Rental contracts in Spain will typically be eleven months long. The length of the contract though is relatively unimportant. If the tenant is paying the rent on time and in full and has not caused any problems at the property then the tenants have rights to remain in place and expect the landlord to issue further contracts.

3: Deposit and agency fees
The landlord has the right to charge a deposit to cover for damages. This would typically be one month rent for unfurnished property but landlords may ask for up to two month’s rent as the deposit if the property is furnished. Be aware that deposits are not protected in Spain. The landlord holds the deposit. For this reason it is always worth trying to insist on a one month deposit if possible. The landlord holding the deposit is a system that really fails to work in the favour of the tenant and expect a debate when you finally leave the property. Unofficially (and this will normally be written into a contract as unacceptable) a standard practice amongst tenants in Spain is to hold back the final month’s rent when leaving so the deposit is physically on the table and can be discussed and agreed between landlord and tenant. In addition to landlord fees, if you are renting through an agent the normal practice would be for the tenant to pay the agency fee. Again, this will usually be equivalent to one month’s rent. It is acceptable to negotiate this with the landlord and with the situation as it is now with many properties vacant some landlords may agree to share this fee or the agent themselves may be prepared to offer a reduction.

4: Other monthly expenses in addition to the rental
When taking out a rental contract in Spain check the details of what is included. The property tax, a community fee if it is a property on an urbanisation, water and other utilities are all potential additional expenses. Unlike in the UK, the landlord would normally pay the property tax. You may well get the landlord to agree to include the community fee too. Utilities including water, gas, electricity and telephone would normally be the liability of the tenant.

5: Buyer beware
It is far easier to get something dealt with before you move into the property. Check the appliances, the lights and the hot water are all functioning. It is a buyers market and landlords will be keen to get tenants into properties so do be specific. If you think a piece of furniture or an appliance needs replacing then say so.

Finally, let’s take a look at three sample properties available at the time of writing in the town of Alzira.

Property 1 – 550€ per month:

Four bedrrom detached propertyThis first property is a large detached property on the edge of town. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private swimming pool.

Property 2 – 500€ per month:

4 bedroom property with community pool

The second property is a modern house on an urbanisation on the edge of the town. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and shares a community pool with other neighbouring properties.

Property 3 – 350€ per month:

4 bedroom 2 bathroom flat

The final property is an example of a flat in the town centre. It has large terraces. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms but he lack of a swimming pool or other communal spaces helps to keep the price down.

Live and work in Spain: The most accurate, practical and comprehensive guide to living in Spain
by Heleina Postings

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Spanish move has moved!

In March 2008 I entered the blogging community with the story of my family’s intended move to Spain. When the time came and we moved I felt the blog had fulfilled the intended purpose and so I stopped updating.
This new blog is the update. Four years on we are still living in La Barraca in Spain. This new blog will be the update of the relocation together with other thoughts and tales.
Stories from the classroom, from the perspective of my role as Headteacher, elements of travelogue, together with a sprinkling of stream of consciousness as it occurs.
I hope some followers from the original Spanishmove blog will make the journey to this new site and pick up on where the story left off over four and a half years ago.

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