Page 1

buying & selling your next property in spain

SPAIN A Life in

magazine • portal • webtv



South Town

Cabo de Palos

North Town

Wine Feature

La Marina, Costa Blanca

Company Profile

Hacienda Zorita

Legs and Co

issue 17 FEB 2018


Cover picture provided by Inmobiliaria:See Ad on Page 22

find your dream property at


See our ad on Page 14

#Edition17 • February 2018

Spanish recipe

How to reduce your Spanish electricity bill... easily. (Part 1)


Chicken and Garlic


Wine Feature

Volvo Ocean Race 8&9 20 & 21

Hacienda Zorita

A life on the course...

La Peraleja Golf


. . . e l fi o r p y n a p Com

34 Scuba Diving in Spain: Marine life of the Mediterranean Part 1


Welcome to the February edition of ALIS. This issue of ALIS is packed with great articles including one on the Valle de Ricote & Cieza as well as Forna in Spain. Whilst the Spanish Recipe explains how to make the great Spanish favourite Chicken and Garlic and this months golf feature is on La Peraleja Golf. The wine feature this month focuses on the five star, wine and spa hotel, The Hacienda Zorita. It also tells you how you can stay at this incredible hotel worth up to 600â‚Ź for free. Well worth a read and a visit. The town features this month are Cabo De Palos and La Marina. Both should be top of the hit list for would-be buyers. Enjoy


Remember – all of our articles and over 8,000 properties for sale and rent are available online at:

Xorret De


contact ALIS:

ALIS is not responsible for the accuracy or content of any articles published in the magazine or online and professional advice is recommended. ALIS does not endorse any company advert or article herein. We try to make sure the content is accurate but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracy.

TEL: 660 170 355 deposito legal: MU 1390-2016 - FEB 2018


A friend of mine was commenting on the electricity “factura” and the huge increase in cost that he has had over the last couple of years. I did ask him if he had any increase on the consumption, but he affirmed that he was using the same amount of power as previous years. It is a well-known fact that the electric energy bill has risen about 60% since 2007 for the vast majority of consumers in Spain. One of the elements that explain this rise is that the fixed concept for the contracted power within the electricity bill. This measure assured negative consequences to the pocket of the consumer and the environment. In addition to the negative impact on the personal economy, the environment also suffers. It is a kind of quasi-flat fee, where twothirds of the bill is fixed, and only one, variable. Hindrance on energy saving. This new structure of charge (or levy) greatly hinders the implementation of systems of energy saving and efficiency. With the implementation of this method of billing any saving awareness of electricity power is thus relegated. Electricity production in Spain is based mostly on the use of coal and oil, which obviously generate carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, these emissions implicate changes in the climate; the use of fuels fossils also involves the delivering of chemical substances and harmful gases for the environment and worsens people’s health. The electric bill that pays the majority of citizens has increased by about 60% since 2007. However, the average income of Spanish households has decreased from that year in an 8.5%, according to data from the Institute National Statistics (INE). The consequences are easy to deduce: it has become very difficult to assume the cost of electricity, to the extent that around 1.4 million homes have suffered power cuts for non-payment of the electricity in Spain in 2012, more than double in the year 2006. One of the factors explaining this rise on the electricity bill even if it is used the same power is the way in that it is billed now: the weight of fixed concepts has increased, while the variable cost has decreased. Consumers pay electric bill a fixed item, which is called “the contracted power”, and one variable, the monthly consumption. The “contracted power” is the maximum power that can be consumed at the same time.

How to reduce your Spanish electricity bill...... easily. (Part 1) On this issue, the companies point out without a bit of shame that this measure is necessary to offset the decline on consumption of energy in Spain and the costs of maintenance for the main infrastructures to bring electricity to each household. Obviously if you opt for a very high “contracted power”, many devices and electrical appliances can be operated at the same time, but obviously, the fixed cost in the electricity bill will be higher, even when all appliances are switched off. How to pay less for your electricity bill. To lower the contracted power is a decision that each consumer can take to reduce the electric bill and to also reduce a greater environmental impact. To do this properly, it is recommended to follow the following four steps: Calculate the savings that can be assumed. The average consumption of a home in Spain per year could be, according to the Institute for the diversification and the savings of energy (IDAE), are: The price of the fixed “contracted power”, which is independent of the consumption that is made by the user, has gone from 21.8 Euros per kilowatt-hour in February 2013 to 42 Euros in February 2014: an annual surcharge of 114 Euros for an average contract of 5.7 kw which is what most people have opted for. For example, in a home where it has a 100 W of lighting at the same time at night; a washing machine of 2.000W and other 1.000W for other appliances, is using a total simultaneous power of 3.100 W (3, 1kW) so therefore you could contract 3.3 kW of power. The power to be hired is the decision of the client, according to the equipment that is available at home. How is that reflected in the electricity bill expressed in €/kW/ month? For example, with a contracted power of 6.6kW almost €20 a month goes on the concept of contracted power and we know that this concept is paid even if the house is empty. The power is controlled by the ICP Interrruptor de Control de Potencia (Power Control Switch), which you will find next to the general electric box usually inside the home. This switch, also called limit switch, disconnects, automatically if the contracted power is exceeded. -FEB 2018


Wine Focus...

Hacienda Zorita Hacienda Zorita 5* Wine Hotel & Spa treasures a long cultural and historical background. It dates back to 1185 in the form of a set of documents about one of the quarrels between the former monks on ownership rights. Back then the Hacienda belonged to Dña Inés de Limoges, close-friend to Dña Constanza (D. Fernando IV’s fiancee), which motivated King Alfonso XI (her son) to spend summer time here with her.

BACKGROUND 1487 marks the paramount moment for the Hacienda to treasure as this was when Christopher Columbus himself stayed here during a long and proliferous season to hold the Conferences of Valcuevo. This turning point celebrates his success in convincing Prior Fray Diego de Deza -the Queen’s personal confessor- to gather the funds and permission needed to start his journey to the Indians thus revealing a whole new world as he came down in history: America was waiting to be discovered. Later on, the Desamortización of Mendizábal -a movement of mandatory confiscation of religious properties- in the XIXth century led Hacienda Zorita to be ruled by civil hands after having witnessed centuries of glory. After long periods of belonging to literally no one. The Haciendas Company finally started the engine in its quest to endow this emblematic place with its ancient history by bringing back the old tradition of wine estates and farms.

The Hacienda Zorita is part of one of the largest wine companies in the world. It produces gold standard award-winning wines year on year. The group boasts three wine hotels and four wine labels under the umbrella of “Marqués de la Concordia”. They also produce some of Spain’s Jamon Serrano and cheeses.

Little by little, with extra care and effort, beauty soaked this now unparalleled hotel with over 700 hundred years of timeline written on its stones: Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa ​came to life. Its gorgeous gardens, its impressive wine-cellar, the old chapel, its unique rooms... they are all pieces full of hidden details and mysticism where past, present and future clash and become one.

-Rioja and cava -Duero Valley -Rioja -Rioja Alta

This is the gateway to the Tierra del Pan y del Vino, the land of bread and wine. Vines have been growing here since 1366. This is also Spain’s first small luxury wine hotel Arguably one of the most beautiful patches of the world, the Duero valley is crossed by Europe’s longest “wine river”: the Duero. Sitting on the riverbank, a few minutes away from the monumental Plaza Mayor. The lively city is undisputedly the Valley’s city of Culture: a UNESCO World Heritage site populated with some 35,000 students and an endless number of monumental palaces, cathedrals, churches, museums, restaurants and what not. It also houses Europe’s 3rd oldest University, only comparable to Oxford and Bologna.

The main labels are:

Included in their portfolio is also the Berberana wine brand. This wine is available in most supermarkets in Spain and England from as little as 2 Euros. For several years, the Hacienda Zorita has been offering free holidays via the “One cork one Point“ scheme. Basically, each bottle of Berberana wine has a special code found inside the foil. From as little as 50 foils you can stay at the 5* Hacienda Zorita hotel for free. The stay includes some meals and a free wine tasting experience. Simply visit: or Please remember its the foils, not the cork, for this amazing offer.


. . . e s r u o c e h t n o e f A li

La Peraleja Golf Located in the heart of one of the best Mediterranean resorts in the south-east of Spain

Club de Golf La Peraleja is located in the heart of one of the best Mediterranean resorts in the south-east of Spain, where there are fantastic weather conditions for playing golf. This Golf Course has been designed by Severiano Ballesteros, one of the greatest professional golfers ever. Peraleja Golf course has 18 holes, is a total distance of 6250 meters and is a par 72. It is a gently undulating course with strategically placed bunkers and lakes, designed to challenge the players throughout the whole round, making the game a unique and enjoyable experience.

Year Built 2007 Designer/sSeveriano Ballesteros ManagerJOAQUIN MEDINA SERRANO PresidentJOAQUIN MEDINA SERRANO GreenkeeperANTONIO GONZALEZ ARAGON Golf Professional JOSE CARLOS PALAZON GOMEZ Layout difficulty4(1 easy to 5 hard) Approx. tee interval12 min. Buggy recommendedNot necessary Buggy allowed in fairwayYes Maximum HandicapsGents: 36 Ladies: 36 Green Fee, normal price 55â‚Ź. To book, Tel: 968 60 75 75 -FEB 2018


  - -


n i a p S n i a r

The main consequence of the climatic differences in Spain are the two very distinct types of vegetation: the warm Spain and the wet Spain. The climatic diversity that prevails in Spain marks a clear difference between two very distinct types of vegetation. On one hand, in the Cantabrian area, there is the luxurious vegetation with abundant deciduous forests where the most characteristic species is the common oak, followed by lime trees, chestnut trees, elm trees, ash trees, maple trees and hazelnut trees. This area also has plains covered in dense Atlantic thicket, formed by heather, ferns and gorse. Beech also grows in medium mountains and there are fir trees in the cooler areas of the Pyrenees and the Penibetic system. The second largest area of vegetation in Spain has been shaped by a dry, summer climate and presents two groups of vegetation: on the one hand, the vegetation of the plateau and the Iberian depression and on the other, the vegetation of Mediterranean Spain. It is characterised by uncultivated land and few forests in which the dominant species is the evergreen oak, invaded by the introduction of the pine at various different stages. Also, in the plateau, we can find evergreen oak and cork oak forests and in drier areas such as the Ebro valley, Extremadura and La Mancha, there are abundant thickets, dotting the landscape with small bushes, each one very different to the next. The Gall Oak, Aleppo Pine and the Stone Pine are other types of trees which are found in abundance in the dry parts of Spain. The steppe is a common feature in the west of Andalusia and Levante.

South Town...

Cabo de Palos

Cabo de Palos

Cabo de Palos is the most southerly place on the Mar Menor. It is a large village with a quaint marina which has moorings for about 100 small boats, and some excellent restaurants which are renowned for serving a great selection of fresh fish. The rocky coastline is ideal for exploring, and a walk out to the lighthouse is a must! There is also a sandy beach, which joins into the beaches of the La Manga Strip to enjoy.

The Sunday morning market is a busy one with over 100 stalls selling fruit, vegetables, clothes, shoes, bags and homewares as well as several cafes which serve both breakfasts and lunches. Cape Palos (Spanish: Cabo de Palos) is a cape in the Spanish municipality of Cartagena, in the region of Murcia. It is part of a small range of volcanic mounts that form a small peninsula. The Mediterranean islands of Grosa and the group known as the Hormigas Islands are part of this range, as well as the islands in the Mar Menor (“Little Sea”). The name “Palos” is derived from the Latin word palus, meaning lagoon, a reference to the Mar Menor.

Ideas of places to twin Cabo de Palos with day or night •

Spend a Sunday morning at the lively street market beside the marina in Cabo Palos, enjoy a leisurely lunch at any of the well renowned fish restaurants and then walk along the cliffs to the lighthouse.

Spend the day relaxing on the rural beaches of the Calblanque Regional Park and then head to Cabo de Palos for a late leisurely lunch.

According to Pliny the Elder and Rufus Festus Avienus, there was once a temple dedicated to Baal Hammon on the promontory of the cape, which later became associated with the cult of Saturn. During the reign of Philip II of Spain, a watchtower was built on the promontory as a defense measure against the Barbary Pirates. A battle off the cape took place on June 19, 1815, between US naval forces and the Barbary Pirates. During the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of Cape Palos took place near the cape in 1938. It’s lighthouse began operating on January 31, 1865. The cape is part of a marine reserve, the Reserva Marina de Cabo de Palos e Islas Hormigas. Places of interest & ideas of things to do in Cabo de Palos • Marina: suitable for small boats only, great selection of fish restaurants. •

Rocky Coastline: excellent for exploring.

Lighthouse: on rocky cliffs, good for walking around.

Beach: small and sandy.

Market: large Sunday morning. -FEB 2018


Xorret De Cati After leaving Castalla it was quite a simple ride to Ibi where we followed the road to Xixona then Sant Vicente del Raspeig where we picked up the road to Agost and then headed back to Novelda. This was a brilliant day out and a great route which took us Sunday 19 th November 15 of us all met at the shop 5 hours and covered 140k with just over 2000m of at 8 am and loaded ourselves and our bikes onto climbing, some fantastic scenery and was thoroughly and into various cars and vans and headed for enjoyed by all. This route has been part of La Vuelta Novelda. We arrived at 8.45am and proceeded to (Tour de Spain) many times and this year a few of the nearest bar for coffee and a tostada before unthe domestics were forced to walk up due to the loading the bikes and getting our kit ready. It was a nature of the beast, well worth a visit but not for the very cold morning with quite a sharp wind. Once we faint-hearted. The Route is number 40 in our second were watered and fed we prepared our bikes and left volume of bike routes and maps. Novelda picking up the road to Monovar. At Monovar we picked up the CV83 to Elda and Petrar, navigating through Petrar was a nightmare but we made it and cycled across the Madrid motorway and headed for Castalla, we were now on a single track road with passing places and it wasn’t long before we came to our first climb followed by a very steep incline which forded a river which was only about 8� deep, however the stones were very slippy and covered in slime, one of the guys miscalculated and fell off into the water and another one of the guys landed on top of him, so that was both of them soaking wet on a really cold day (not a good start). After passing through the river it was a sharp lefthand turn straight into a 24% ramp, most of the guys were in the wrong gear and struggled to keep their wheels turning so a few of them had to get off and walk up pushing their bikes. At the top we sorted ourselves out and proceeded on the route, most of the guys were climbing Xorret de Cati for the first time and found it pretty tough going, however, we were rewarded by a fantastic downhill for about 8kms all the way into Castalla where we stopped for a well-deserved coffee in the town square.

LEG 3: Cape town to Melbourne A third place finish into Melbourne on Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race has Vestas 11th Hour Racing on equal points for second place on the overall leaderboard. Leg 3 was a difficult challenge for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, a 6,500 nautical mile test of the crews and the boats that took the sailors down to the Roaring Forties, the Southern Ocean, where storm force winds battered the fleet for most of the leg. Just after crossing the finishing line, Mark Towill, team director and co-skipper acknowledged the scale of the achievement: “It was a tough leg. We’re happy to be on the podium again. It’s great to be in on Christmas and I know we’re all looking forward to getting ashore. It was a difficult leg, hard on the bodies, but everyone has held up well.” The Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew finished behind Dongfeng Race Team but

ahead of Team Brunel. At one point, with about 36 hours to go, the race tracker showed nothing to choose between Vestas and Dongfeng in terms of distance to finish, but in reality, the tactical situation favoured the Chinese/French boat. For Team Brunel, this is a second consecutive mid-fleet finish. Skipper Bouwe Bekking knows it keeps his team in touch with leaders, but time is running out to make a charge for the podium on the overall leaderboard. As on Leg 2, the winner this leg was the Spanish MAPFRE team, followed by Dongfeng Race Team in second place. Interestingly, Team Brunel did post the best 24-hour run so far on this leg, at 538.1 nautical miles, for an average speed of 22.4 knots.

LEG 4: Melbourne to Hong Kong Overall Volvo Ocean Race leader MAPFRE was at the head of the fleet off the starting line as the boats raced up Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay immediately after the start for Leg 4 to Hong Kong. But it was a very close run affair, and four hours after the start, as the fleet battled a heavy sea state to clear the narrow entrance to the Bay, it was Vestas 11th Hour Racing leading the charge, with the Spanish boat close behind in second place and Team Brunel a tight third. Leg 4 is a 5,600 nautical mile race up the east coast of Australia, into the Coral Sea and up north to Hong Kong, marking the first time the Volvo Ocean Race has visited the historic port. Shortly after the leg start, the wind increased from 10 to near 20 knots with MAPFRE leading Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Team Brunel,

Turn the Tide on Plastic and Dongfeng Race Team out towards the right hand side. Meanwhile, team AkzoNobel and SHK/Scallywag split hard from the others towards the left. Early indications showed a slight advantage to MAPFRE with skipper Xabi Fernández initially in a favourable position after tacking back towards the turning mark near Mornington. But Scallywag, perhaps benefitting from the local knowledge of Australian skipper David Witt and new crew member Grant Wharington, and Vestas 11th Hour Racing had soon joined the battle for the lead. The Scallywags fell back at the turning mark however, leaving Vestas 11 Hour Racing, MAPFRE and Team Brunel neck and neck at the front. Dongfeng, recovering well after completing a penalty turn on the start line, were in fourth place.

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag have won Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, leading the fleet into their home port of Hong Kong. It’s an historic win for skipper David Witt and his team who had to overcome significant setbacks on the leg before grabbing the lead with a bold tactical call out of the Doldrums. But late in the crossing, after falling behind the fleet again, Witt and navigator Libby Greenhalgh made the decision to cut the corner, and turn to the west earlier than the opposition who kept pressing north in search of stronger winds. Dongfeng Race Team took second place into Hong Kong. Charles Caudrelier’s team docked into the Hong Kong Race Village at Kai Tak Park Runway at 20:33 UTC on Friday evening, after 17 days 17 hours and 18 minutes of racing on Leg 4.

Hong Kong In-Port Race Team AkzoNobel took the win in the HGC In-Port Race Hong Kong on a challenging afternoon on the waters of Kowloon Bay. The wind during race time was a 6 to 10 knot Easterly, but it was very shifty and puffy, and with a tidal current running on the race course, it was a difficult day for the tacticians. Dongfeng Race Team finished in second place, with Team Brunel third. The two swapped places on the third lap of the course after a solid upwind leg by Brunel gave them the lead, but the Dongfeng crew fought back on the run to secure second place. A fourth place finish on Saturday by the series leader MAPFRE means Dongfeng vaults to the top of the table.

The Volvo Ocean Race is deeply saddened to inform that the

collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel has resulted in a fatality of a crew member of the fishing vessel. On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased. The incident occurred approximately 30 miles from the finish of Leg 4, outside of Hong Kong waters. Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23 local time on Saturday morning). The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, none of whom were injured in the collision, issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission. HKMRCC informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital. HKMRCC has since confirmed the death of the air-lifted crew member. Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing are now focused on providing immediate support to those affected by this incident. All involved organisations are co-operating with the authorities and are fully supporting the ongoing investigation.

Valle de Ricote & Cieza If there is a place where the sensitivity of the Moorish culture can still be found it is Valle the Ricote. The twisting irrigated areas, the river and a special charm make this valley a real delight for explorers and people looking for genuine experiences. If you are an enthusiast of good food, cultural visits, and outdoor sports such as hiking, rafting or climbing then you are at the right place. The Valle de Ricote -Ricote Valley- was the last Moorish redoubt in Spanish Levante. This is one of the most beautiful and undiscovered parts of the fertile irrigated plains around the River Segura. The towns of Ricote, Ojós, Abarán, Blanca, Ulea, Villanueva del Segura and Archena, surrounded by fruit and citrus orchards, transport us to an ideal world. A fertile plain that clings to its Arab heritage, as shown by the numerous remains from this period, including its irrigation systems. Ricote maintains a rich gastronomical tradition in which the local wine is the protagonist. Blanca has retained its legacy as a producer of esparto grass. In Abarán, visitors can follow a route that will lead them to four of the many waterwheels, or “ñoras” as they are known in the area, which transport water from the river to irrigate the most distant plains. From this area the landscape changes and we enter a more open area famous for its fruit orchards, particularly peach, and its contrasting landscapes, making it particularly attractive for engaging in sports such as hiking, BTT or rock climbing. Other open-air sports that can be pursued here include rafting on the River Segura or horse-riding along routes offered by various horse riding centres. Visitors can find a range of accommodation in the form of typical rural properties, imbued with the wealth of pleasures offered by the Ricote Valley. ‘Source:’

Spanish recipe

Chicken and Garlic

. . . s t n e i d e r g In

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

. . . t i k o o c o t How

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil In a large covered skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, chicken in oil until browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet. cut into pieces 1 pound potatoes, peeled and Arrange potatoes in the skillet to cover the bottom. Scatter garlic cloves cut into large chunks over potatoes. Place chicken on top of garlic and potatoes. Sprinkle 18 cloves garlic, peeled pepper, salt, and parsley over chicken. Pour sherry and port over all. 1 teaspoon freshly ground Cover, and simmer over low heat until potatoes and chicken are cooked black pepper through, approximately 45 minutes 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 1/2 cups dry sherry 1/2 cup port wine -FEB 2018


North Town...

La Marina La Marina

La Marina is located on the Costa Blanca South between Santa Pola and Guardamar del Segura. La Marina is basically split into two distinct parts, the old coastal town and beach area, and the purpose built residential development (urbanisation La Marina), a short distance inland on the other side of the main coastal road the N-332. The coastal part of the town has some fantastic sandy beaches, which even in the peak season are so big that they never get packed, and you can always find a spot away from the crowds to enjoy the sunny weather. Alicante airport is only 20 minutes drive away. We have a dedicated page on La Marina airport transfers which will help you get from the airport to your accommodation.

La Marina is a small town in an area of protected pine forests and it comes alive during the summer months when people fill the town to enjoy the small but busy beach tourist resort. Clearly, La Marina is a great location for a beach holiday, if that is all you want from a holiday then you won’t need to go anywhere else, as everything you need for a great family holiday in the sun is right here in La Marina. Enjoy a traditional Spanish experience by visiting the street markets which are held every Thursday and Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm. Here you will find stalls selling local produce including fruits, vegetables, leather goods such as handbags, shoes, belts, and purses. To the south of La Marina are urbanisation Bella Vista and urbanisation Las Pesqueras, then comes Guardamar del Segura, a much larger coastal town with great beaches. To the north of La Marina is Santa Pola with its miles of sandy beaches and a large town centre. Also just north of La Marina are lots of salt lakes such as Salinas del Brac del Port which create a very healthy atmosphere for people suffering from health problems such as allergies or arthritis. La Marina Urbanisation La Marina is a popular place where many people live all year round especially in the growing La Marina urbanisation which is slightly inland off the coast (and separate from the actual town of La Marina) and just off the N-322. It has plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants so you have plenty of facilities on your doorstep that you can easily walk to. There are four supermarkets including SuperValue (the tourist office is opposite here). There is also a newsagent, optician, bank, Cornish Pride and an ice-cream parlour. A good option is to rent a villa with pool. This means that for most days you can simply laze by the pool, cook on the barbeque and make the most of the superb weather conditions that are enjoyed here throughout the year. With a car, you will be able to get out and about and visit the numerous coastal resorts, as well as attractions like the Rio Safari park between Santa Pola and Elche. You can also get to local golf courses, of which there are plenty in the area. Don’t forget a trip into the city of Alicante where the best shopping area can be found. Likewise for culture, maybe a visit to the Santa Barbara Castle is also ideal. La Marina is surrounded by some charming little towns and villages such as Daya Vieja, Daya Nueva, Almoradi, Algorfa, Rojales, Formentera del Segura, San Fulgencio and Catral. All have been developed to a degree. If you are looking to buy property, there are plenty of villas and apartments for sale. La Marina/La Escuera Golf La Escuera is strategically located if it’s golf that you would like to play. Fifteen minutes away from La Escuera you will find the La Finca Golf Course with a new hotel and clubhouse where the Spanish Open is played. Twenty-five minutes away you will find the La Marquesa Golf Course and Villamartin which has an abundance of olive trees and bunkers making it a challenging course for all levels of ability. Las Ramblas golf is a short course, very attractive with high trees, ravines and fairways make for a great golfing experience. Campoamor golf is spread over two valleys and has stunning views and a clubhouse to finish the day. To play at Campoamor you need to have a thirty-six handicap or less and you need to book a week in advance to be able to play. You can hire clubs and electric buggies at the course on the day. All courses have eighteen holes and putting greens and driving ranges. Restaurants and cafes are also located at the courses to refresh yourself after your round.


The Avalon team explain how diǀerent the complex funeral system is here in Spain to both non-residents and those that live here all year round. This aǀects everybody so we are committed to helping all UK, Irish and European citizens make informed choices. • We also check all types of insurance to ensure each person is covered for everything they need to be. • We oǀer a tailor made funeral plan to suit every client which is fixed at today’s cost.

Avalon Team Avalon has onjces throughout Spain

671 935 072

All our members are covered in Spain and the UK. You will automatically be covered immediately regardless of health issues or age.

Sierra Espuña This area has an overstory which is thought to be the biggest in the region and one of its most emblematic natural settings: Sierra Espuña Regional Park. A scene of fights between Moors and Christians, pottery area par excellence, active tourism sanctuary. Sierra Espuña is one of the greenest and thickest areas in the southeast of Spain and a real temptation for nature enthusiasts. Sierra Espuña contains Murcia’s largest extensions of forest, as well as being one of its most emblematic areas of outstanding natural beauty. Its modern verdure is due in large part to reforestation campaigns carried out towards the end of the 19th Century by Murcian philanthropist Ricardo Codorníu, known by the nickname the Tree Apostle.

The districts bordering the area are Río Mula (Mula and Pliego) and Sierra Espuña (Alhama de Murcia, Totana, and Aledo). Mula and Pliego nestle between the Espuña and Ricote ranges and are places steeped in local tradition and culture, which, along with the area’s scenery make them an ideal stopping place on inland routes in the region. Alhama de Murcia, Totana, and Aledo are all within easy reach of these wooded uplands, which naturally form part of the identity of the towns themselves. The district is also known for its pottery manufacturing, and Totana is Spain’s second most important area for pottery production. The district of Aledo has kept alive the tradition under the gaze of its Moorish watchtower and has dominated the valley since the days when it bore witness to skirmishes between Christians and Moors. The Regional Park of Sierra Espuña and its surroundings has become the first protected natural space of the Region of Murcia, supported by the European Charter of Sustainable Tourism, CETS. ‘Source:’ - AUG 2017 31 - FEB 2018


Scuba diving in Spain:

Marine life of the Mediterranean Part 1 The med is a diverse and abundant sea which has suffered overfishing in the past, but thanks to several marine parks and protected areas Such as Islas hormigas in Cabo de Palos, Isla Grosa of La Manga, Cartagena´s Las Palomas island and Cabo Tiùoso along the coast of Murcia, we have a huge abundance of marine life you will encounter on scuba diving excursions. Here are a few of the most common marine creatures.

Grouper, Epinephelus marginatus is a very large,

oval-bodied and large-headed fish with a wide mouth which has a protruding lower jaw.The head and upper body are coloured dark reddish brown or greyish. The base colour is marked by a vertical series of irregular pale greenish yellow or silvery grey or whitish blotching which is normally rather conspicuous on the body and head.There are eleven spines and 13-16 soft rays in the dorsal fin. This species can grow up to 150 cm in standard length and can weigh up to 50kg. Groupers like to feed on octopus and many different smaller fish and are one of the top predators on the reefs along the coast, they live in a depth of 5m up to 50m deep.


Eagle Ray Eagle rays, a group of cartilaginous fishes in

the family Myliobatidae and are descendants of sharks consisting mostly of a large species living in the open ocean rather than on the sea bottom. rays can grow extremely large, up to 1.8 m (6 ft) including the tail. The tail looks like a whip and may be as long as the body. It is armed with a sting. Eagle rays live close to the coast in depths up to 30 m. They feed on the bottom sucking up molluscs and crustaceans, crushing their shells with their flattened teeth.

Barracuda are long and silvery coloured

predatory fish mostly living mostly in a shoal in the med. The most common ones are the yellowtail barracuda, has an elongated body can get up to 1 m in length and have dark blue stripes through the top to mid section of the fish. The large head is slightly flattened towards the rear and bears a large eye, pointed snout and long jaws, with a prognathic lower jaw.In the front of the upper jaw, there are several fang-like teeth. They are usually shoaled in open waters close to offshore reefs where other smaller fish congregate on which they feed.

Moray eel or Muraenidae are long, slender

and have yellow specks along its sides. Most species lack pectoral and pelvic fins, adding to their serpentine appearance, Their head is long with a thin nose and some fang-like teeth. Their eyes are rather small; morays rely on their highly developed sense of smell, lying in wait to ambush prey. They can reach lengths of up to 2 m and live close to the coast in rocky areas where they can wait in ambush other small fish. Moray eels have been seen hunting alongside groupers! The invitation to hunt is initiated by head-shaking. The rationale for this joining of forces is the ability of the morays to enter narrow crevices and flush prey from niches not accessible to groupers. This is the only known instance of interspecies cooperative hunting among fish

The ocean sunfish or (Mola mola) is the

heaviest known bony fish in the world, but ones that frequent the med are much smaller in size, roughly 20 kg max size and are a round shaped fish that look similar to the moon and why the Spanish call them pez luna (moonfish).Sunfish live on a diet consisting mainly of jellyfish, but because this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts to develop and maintain their great bulk. They tend to be spotted along our coast in may to September where you can see them sunning themselves on the surface and the reason we call them sunfish. Barracuda

Sunfish Moray eel



Do you miss retail therapy now you have moved to Spain? Fed up with buying lingerie, swimwear and clothing on line only to find it doesn’t quite fit properly and you have to pay to return It? Don’t despite, the answer is closer than you think. Based in the costa calida since 2003, Legs & co is an established retail outlet that stocks all uk sized lingerie swimwear and clothing as well as accesories and hosiery. They have a vast selection of UK branded items to suit all tastes and available at competitive prices. There are over 2000 bras available at Legs & Co across a range of sizes and styles. They cannot be beaten on quality or price in the area. They also provide a free bra fit service with their professional, friendly staff. So why shop online and risk purchasing the wrong size when you can try before you buy in the Legs & Co store. Why not pay them a visit next time you are in the area. There is something for everyone at Legs & Co. You can find them in Puerto de Mazarron above mercadona, next door to Yorkshire Linen. Open 10am to 3pm monday to friday and 10am to 2pm on saturday. For further information call Donna on 660 792 513. Happy shopping

Legs and Co Tel: 660 792 513 Email: - FEB 2018


Music in Spain In this issue, we are going to have a look at the music of Northwest Spain, (Asturias, Galicia and Cantabria) which is home to a distinct musical tradition which extends back into the Middle Ages. The signature instrument of the region is the “Gaita” (Bagpipe). The music can sound very familiar to us Brits as it has what we would recognise as a “Celtic” feel. Especially as it is often accompanied by a “tamboril” (snare drum), “requinta” (a kind of fife) and harp, fiddle and a hurdy-gurdy, known as a “zanfona”. The music itself can range from an up-tempo style to stately marches. All that is missing is a Burns poem, a wee dram and a pair of crossed swords to dance around. However, the traditional dancing is different in that it involves intricate arch and stick dances. Galician music includes a type of chanting known as “Alalas”. There are, of course, many local festivals which feature this area’s music but probably the most important is the “Festival del Mundo Celta” held in Ortigueira in the A Coruña region at the end of July each year.

6 t r a P

Other Celtic festivals include The Interceltic Festival of Aviles in the Asturias, also in July. Also, the Interceltic Festival in Morrazo in Goaña, Galicia in August each year is worth a visit. The festivals bring international players including the Chieftains and bagpipe virtuosos such as Carlos Núñez and Susana Seivane. Also look out for other “home” musicians such as José Angel Hevia (bagpiper) and the group Llan de Cubel. It is a must if you visit the region in the festival season, to look out for the many local festivals and this region of Spain is awash with tourist information offices, mainly because of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. You can fly direct from Alicante. A three or four-day trip is highly recommended! Longer if you are fit!

Reduced to


THE WORST HOME BUYING ADVICE PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE. If you’re looking to buy a house in Spain and told all of your family and friends your exciting news, you’re bound to have at least one of them say “let me give you some advice.” After all, they’ve been there, done that or they’re “experts” in the Real Estate Market because they’ve watched countless episodes of A Place In The Sun. We all know they’re only trying to be helpful, but just because people have an opinion, doesn’t make them well informed experts. So when it comes to buying a house, that helpful advice can easily send you down the wrong path. Here are a few of the worst homebuying advice, people have heard:“WAIT, DON’T BUY YET, HOUSE PRICES ARE GOING DOWN” Why you might hear this: The housing bubble is going to burst and you’d be better off waiting for prices to go down. Why its bad advice: Unfortunately for any Real Estate Investor, no-one can predict exactly how the market is going to react to any world event. No-one can be spot on when it comes to predicting the future! So when it comes to finding that ideal home, why wait? The time isn’t someday soon…. It’s right now! What your family and friends never tell you is that prices will go up, and to buy now before you miss the boat. Live for today, you don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring!

“MAKE A CHEEKY OFFER” Why you might hear this: That’s what they do on t.v.! Why its bad advice: Making an extremely low offer can start negotiations off on the wrong foot with the seller. You want the best deal, but you don’t want to halt negotiations before they even get going. Be reasonable with your offer. Serious buyers and sellers know what homes are worth. Your Real Estate Agent will be able to guide you on making the best offer. “NEVER PAY FULL PRICE” Why you might hear this: Because only losers pay full price, right? WRONG! Why its bad advice: Full price doesn’t always mean overpriced! However if that perfect home seems a little more than the going rate, and if it has everything you’ve been looking for, then paying full price may be the only way to secure it. Everyone has an opinion on the property market, so thank your family and friends for their heartfelt input, however, you can handle it from here with a professional Real Estate Agent on your side.

“YOU DON’T NEED TO USE A REAL ESTATE AGENT” Why you might hear this: Saving money on agents’ commission when you can do a deal direct. Easy right? Wrong! Why its bad advice: In any market, the best way to save money is by using a qualified Real Estate Agent, as they’re the ones that can guide you through the complete buying process, pointing out any potential problems that could cost you big time down the road. They will know how to negotiate the best deal for you and be able to point you in the right direction long after you’ve bought. Priceless! - FEB 2018


A Life in Spain – Edition 17 February 2018  

A Life in Spain – Edition 17 February 2018

A Life in Spain – Edition 17 February 2018  

A Life in Spain – Edition 17 February 2018