We met up with Eva and Anders in their second home in Söderköping to ask a few questions regarding what it’s like living part of the year in Spain. They are 70+ years old and own a terrace house in Mil Palmeras since 2007.

The climate means that we spend a lot more time outside than we would at home. Meeting friends, mostly swedes and other Scandinavians, under more simple conditions than at home: for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

– What is the best thing about living in Costa Blanca?

The climate, especially during Spring and Autumn. A lot of sun and a pleasant temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius. The climate means that we spend a lot more time outside than we would at home. Meeting friends, mostly Swedes and other Scandinavians, under more simple conditions than at home, for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. We also partake more frequently in club activities than at home. We, among other things, play boule and sing in Corro Nordico, the latter a Scandinavian club in Torrevieja with both sacral and profane pieces on the repertoire. We have our own car down here and often make trips. There are plenty of places to visit!


– Is it troublesome dealing with pensions, paying bills and taxes and the healthcare system?

No, we have chosen not to be residential, which is to say we don’t spend more than a total of 6 months abroad per year. The pension is paid out to our accounts and most of our bills in Sweden and Spain are paid by direct debit. We have gotten ourselves hospital cards, so-called SIP cards and receive free emergency care at the health center or hospital if needed. However, if we would be in need of aftercare that would be in Sweden. There are agreements on these things in the EU between Sweden and Spain. We have also increased our travel insurance in our home assurance. We find the nursing here as good as the one at home.


– Any advice for people looking into buying a house on the coast of Costa Blanca?

Buy a place with walking-distance to the ocean. Many who buy farther away, even with a sea-view, often regret it. Usually it is troublesome to find a place to park by the coast. It is of course more expensive to get a place closer to the coast but it doesn’t have to come with a sea-view. All swedes want a south-oriented terrace or patio but keep in mind that it gets very warm during summer. It would be best if it is possible to get both sun and shade. A sheltered location is also a good bet when it’s windy and not always as warm.

Be careful with your choice of broker and lawyer, not all of them are reliable.


– Any specific places to recommend?

Oh, that’s a tricky one, there are so many of them! North of Torrevieja there is Guademar, a small beautiful city with a pine forest and an interesting story about how it came to be. The peninsula of La Manga is famous for being visited by Swedish football teams for practicing during springtime, before it’s warm enough to practice in Sweden. In the old harbor and warship city of Cartagena, dating back to the Roman ages, there is among other things a very interesting amphitheater. North of Murcia lies Fortuna and Archena which many rheumatics visit to take a swim in the hot springs. Cuevas del Canalobre’s fantastic dripstone caves to the North-west of Alicante, where music performances are being held. There is also a lot to be seen in the larger places such as Barcelona, Benidorm, Valencia and Malaga! The real pearl lies to the South of Murcia – Sierra Espuña – a natural area offering much to experience.


– Isn’t it hard leaving children and grandchildren for such a big part of the year?

No, using Skype we can communicate as much as we like and it’s totally free. We often go home during holidays. It is cheap to fly to Alicante. The children visit us a few times a year. They also often fly here during the summer, when we like to stay at home in Sweden. This way the house is rarely empty.

Note: Eva and Anders are called something else but have chosen to be anonymous.