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issue 6 November 2011

INSIDE:

Featured Properties on the Website Fantastic Bargains available Right Now!

Also:

View From the Web

Fiesta, Forever

Secure Online Payments

Grrrrooooomm...

The Luxury of Internet Shopping

The Spanish show us how to Party!

Getting Married in Spain can be quite different

Spain? Isn’t That Just for Pensioners? Pinar de Campoverde

Discover this Gem of a Village in the heart of Murcia


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November 2011

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November 2011

Mistletoe and Wine... Almost Welcome to the November Edition of the Spain Property Portal Magazine. Yes, it’s November, the month of almosts. It’s almost Winter, it’s almost Christmas, it’s almost the end of the year. November is the month where nothing really happens. Everyone starts thinking about presents, but no-one buys them. Everyone starts thinking about resolutions, but doesn’t start writing them down yet. Here at Spain Property Portal, we think this should be the year where you make a resolution to start looking for a new start in Spain. November is a great month to do it because you’re not doing anything else and no-one else is either. This could be the month where you organise your new start to 2012 before anyone has even picked up their laptop. So with new starts in mind, we’ve got an action packed issue for you to help you try to figure out where you’d like to start 2012 and how you’re going to do it. To get you in the Spanish Party mood, we visited the Huercal-Overa fiesta and give you an idea of what you can experience should you decide to be here next year. Flip the page and we’ve got a review of Pinar de Campoverde, a lovely village in Murcia which sounds like a dream place to live. Thanks to some friends at the Sentinella Magazine, we’ve got an article on a Wedding in Spain with a difference and delving deeper into this months mag will bring you an interesting review of living in Spain from a Norwegian couple who explain that it’s not just English people relocating here. On top of all of that, we’ve got the regular View from the Web and our Under 35 who this month turns his hand at buying Christmas online. For anyone out there who’s looking for tourist Spain without the tourists, flip to the back of the magazine for an in-depth review of Villaricos, which is a beautiful beach Town in Almeria. We’re taking Christmas off this year, so the magazine will be back in 2012. For all of our readers we would like to wish you all a fabulous Christmas and a most prosperous New Year, wherever you may be. If there’s anything, anyone, or anywhere you would like to see us feature in the magazine, please let us know. Until the next issue, keep up to date with Spain Property Portal via the links below: www.spainpropertyportal.com www.facebook.com/PropertyPortalSpain twitter.com/SPropertyPortal info@spainpropertyportal.com

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November 2011

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in La Florida 125,000€

3 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in Benissa 349,000€

3 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in Benidorm 1,365,000€

5 Beds, 3 Baths Country House in Puerto Lumbreras 260,000€

3 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Velez Rubio 126,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Antas 115,000€

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Arboleas 149,950€

4 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Taberno 79,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Town House in Zurgena 75,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Estepona 180,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Tijola 95,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Riogordo 149,995€

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November 2011

Party, Party, Party The Spanish Know How to Throw a Celebration for Just About Anything, So We Thought We’d Join In... It’s long been thought by other European countries that Spain is permanently on holiday or partying. Whilst not totally accurate it’s fair to say that Spain enjoys more national holidays and festivals than any of its European counterparts. Want to participate in the worlds largest tomato fight, and trust us, it is an experience not to missed, then head to Bunyol, Valencia in August armed with a lot of old clothes and some good running shoes. Not mad enough for you then a run with the bulls through Pamplonas narrow streets will satisfy even the most foolhardy thrill seekers. 6th of July if you are tempted and we can’t see how you wouldn’t be, then meet with the many like minded adrenalin junkies in the Casa Consistorial. Wait for the Mayors speech to end, the launch of a big rocket and get running. THEY’RE BEHIND YOU. Of course not every Fiesta/party in Spain requires you to dodge tomatoes, fireworks or angry critters with really sharp horns. Every town, no matter how small, will have at least one annual fiesta or Feria. Small ones will last for 3 days and nights and the largest for a staggering 10 nights. An avid reader of the Spain Property Portal magazine tells us of his familys recent visit to the Fiesta in Huercal Overa, Almeria. Our village fiesta, which we have attended each year since arriving in Spain 3 years ago, is hardly a large affair. It does go on for 3 nights but we live in a very small village and even with 100% attendance only 60 people will be there. A small wooden stage is built in the village centre, 10 spotlights are suspended on string and a spotty teenager doubling as a DJ get festivities going. We knew that the larger towns and cities all had far grander affairs but until this year had never been. On the 13th of October we all took the 25 min drive to Huercal Overa. This town, one of Almeria’s largest, is home to some 50,000 and is located just off of the E15 coast motorway , 10 minutes inland from the coast. The Fiesta here starts on a Thursday and officially ends on the Sunday night though nobody appears to make it to work or school on the Monday either. When I was asked to write this account I was drawn to attempting a comparison with something similar in the UK and after hours of contemplation concluded there really is nothing I can www.spainpropertyportal.com

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November 2011

compare it to. It is an event attended by many many thousands on each of the nights yet there is no big police or security presence. A closer look at the attendees reveals virtually all our families and further more every generation from Nan and Grandad down to tiny grand children are all out together. It may seem strange, that at something with a core built around drinking, dancing and merriment that the very young to very old should all be there together and often from late in the evening until 5 or 6 am the following morning. OK strange and unfamiliar but IT WORKS: The location of town where the fiesta is held covers more than 20 football pitches of flat land, so a vast area. You park outside and walk in or for those less able there are a number of motor trains travelling all around the town ferrying party goers back and forth. We opted for this method of arrival and on it’s own what a great experience as the singing didn’t stop during the 15 minute journey. We were dropped off at one of the many entrances to party central and then enjoyed a leisurely stroll down makeshift streets lined on either side by 100’s of market stalls. This took far longer than it should of done as kept loosing the wife and kids as they stopped to try on hats, jewellery, glasses etc. At the end of this street you come into a huge square the perimeter of which is surrounded by 50 or so makeshift bars and bodegas. These, apart from the occasional stool, are all standing room only and a hive of activity. We partook of some beautiful, sweet sherry. It was served up in tiny shot glasses with a biscuit. So nice we had another two. Each of these bars has its own huge hot plate, normally run with military precision, by the owner’s wife and from this copious amounts of mouth watering bar snacks are served up. A short amount of time spent in Spain and you’ll realise you rarely see a very drunk Spaniard. Happy, yes. Falling over drunk, no. Why? Because, they eat these small snacks along with every drink. Good plan so we tucked into some Morcilla (the Spanish version of black pudding which is spicy yet sweet) and sizzling Pinchos ( chunks of spiced pork served on metal skewers). Delicious, and both great for soaking up the booze. Just up from these bars is another huge square off of which are huge dining tents each holding between 500-1000 people, Here as opposed to standing you can take a table and an army of waiters will deliver drinks and trays of delicious food. BBQ chicken with peppers, Calamari, Spatch cock chicken with herbs are just a few of the favourites along with huge portions of Churros ( Spanish donuts which are served info@spainpropertyportal.com

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November 2011

in long strips coated with sugar and often dipped in hot chocolate sauce). These impromptu street canteens are where, for many, the night really starts but please don´t turn up at the usual UK teatime between 5-and 8 as you´ll be faced with an empty tent. FIESTAS and especially the food start at approx 10pm. So you’ve been fed and watered now what? Well for starters there is the huge fairground. The kids loved this. The wife hated it and me well in my element. A quick spin on the waltzers and the kid in me makes a very rare appearance. After the pirates boat, something called the cage which hurtles you into orbit and brings you down to earth equally as fast. We are left suitably shaken, nauseous yet deliriously happy. One more fairground ride though had been beckoning and not ones to pass up the opportunity we climbed aboard a big circular disc with 50 or so other lambs to the slaughter to experience the most scary yet hysterical ride of our lives to date. You can keep your namby pamby roller coasters Pepsi Max or the Black Hole really weren´t a patch on this basic bit of kit. The music starts and all you have to do is dance whilst trying to remain standing. If you didn´t know your fellow players at the start, having spent almost the entirety of the ride lying on top or under them in a tangled mess of limbs, you are intimate acquaintances by the time you climb shakily off. The disc/platform you have to dance on spins, vibrates, shakes in all directions rendering simply standing let alone dancing impossible. I don’t think it would get past the health and safety mob back in the UK. Oh well their loss. It may have been better to partake of food at this stage of the evening but hindsight always was a wonderful thing. Soon forget this as after a deafening bang we are treated to 20 mins of genuinely spectacular fireworks (a nightly event). Kids away-parents can play and we sure do. There are some 15 big marquee come dance tents within fiesta central. Each of these comfortably holds 2,000 plus people and each has a different style of music, live band or DJ. If the cha cha cha or tango´s your thing then there´s a tent for you. Me and the Mrs have neither mastered these nor yet reached the age where we wish to so instead found a tent hosted by the local radio station in conjunction with a Vodka company. Great music, free flowing drink and great company. Think we also ventured to a couple more tents as I vaguely recall dancing to Oasis and getting very excited as I knew all the words.. Whilst we were enjoying one of the best nights out in a long time doing exactly what we wanted to do we missed out on the beauty pageant, talent contests and numerous other events taking place. During the day time, although we couldn´t summon the energy to attend, there are food shows, horsey things and motor racing of some sort. Kids gathered, mum happy we leave at 5.30 am leaving many thousands behind partying. ENTRANCE FEE for 7 hours of sheer pleasure? NIL. www.spainpropertyportal.com

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Orihuela 97,995€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in La Florida 115,000€

4 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in Macisvenda 234,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Mijas Costa 139,999€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Mijas 185,000€

3 Beds, 3 Baths Country House in El Faro 565,000€

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November 2011

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in San Juan de los Terreros 75,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Huerta Nueva 89,950€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Palomares 72,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Olula del Rio 279,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Albox 189,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Oria 120,000€

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November 2011

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Mijas Golf 140,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in Tolox 99,000€

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4 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Calahonda 399,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Benalmadena Costa 129,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Calahonda 140,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Viñuela 150,000€

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November 2011

The Perfect Home in Spain Always Striving to Show you the Real Spain, We Visited the Murcia Village of Pinar de Campoverde Just 15 minutes from Murcia San Javier airport, an hour south of Alicante airport and a ten minute drive from some of the region’s best Blue Flag beaches is the lovely village of Pinar de Campoverde. Considered by many to be one of the Costa Blanca’s hidden gems. The village is divided into two areas; old Campoverde and new Campoverde and both parts boast a fantastic array of local facilities including a great selection of bars, restaurants, supermarkets, newsagents, banks, chemists, doctor’s surgery, a hair salon and even a vets. The traditional centre of the village however, is located on the popular two kilometre long Avenida del Pino which runs from the main Pilar de la Horadada to Orihuela road right up to the municipal sports centre at the Río Seco. It is here that you will find most of the local amenities and during the evening, it is a fantastic place to visit as many people will sit outside one of the many bars and enjoy the warm Spanish evenings. One of the reasons that Pinar de Campoverde is so popular is due to its real community spirit where there is a perfect balance between holidaymakers and permanent residents. The village is busy all year round and unlike many of the more renowned nearby tourist areas, it is not a summer only destination but successfully maintains its appeal 12 months of the year. Originally located next to a pine forest, hence the name Pinar de Campoverde (Pinar means ‘pine woodland’ and Campoverde means ‘green fields’), the village is now home to a variety of nationalities, however still with a very strong Spanish influence.

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November 2011

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To the south west of the village, lies the stunning RĂ­o Seco Natural Park which is famous for its dry river bed where you can enjoy picturesque walks and view the spectacular gorge. There is also a popular polideportivo (‘recreational area’) with several tennis courts, five-a-side football pitches, municipal swimming pool and a restaurant. Every Sunday there is an excellent village market which is an ideal place to buy locally grown fruit, vegetables, flowers and souvenirs. Alternatively, it is a great place to meet friends and watch the world go by in one of the street cafes. There are several outstanding beaches stretching from El Mojon to Mil Palmeras and nearby Torre de la Horadada, which is just a ten minute drive away, has a beautiful marina and a superb beach which is ideal for all members of the family. A little to the south of the village lies the world famous Mar Menor which is best known for its five star La Manga Golf Resort and the array of watersports that take place within this large lagoon. Just ten minutes drive inland from Pinar de Campoverde is the picturesque Spanish village of Torremendo with its truly breathtaking lake. This reservoir is a protected nature reserve where the turquoise waters rival those of any Caribbean beach! There is a host of outstanding 18-hole golf courses within a 30 minute drive of the village; Real Club de Golf Campoamor, Villamartin, La Finca, Las Ramblas, Altorreal (near Murcia) as well as the legendary La Manga Golf and Country Club and a new golf course, Lo Romero, which is just five minutes away and opened in January 2008. A 30 minute drive from the village is the new Paramount Theme Park site which is expected to attract millions of tourists to the region each year. Pinar de Campoverde enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, very hot in summer and protection by surrounding mountains against the cold north winds in winter. The area averages nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees. Offering all manner of properties, apartments, townhouses, detached villas and fincas in this wonderful setting are the long established agents Spanish Reality. They have more than 15 years experience selling property here and have offices in both the UK and Pinar de Campoverde. The friendly team are all fluent in English and Spanish so you will always have some on hand who can assist you in either language. Now really is the time to buy your dream property in Spain with discounts widely available on many stunning homes. For more information or to arrange to view some of our properties visit our website at www. spanishreality.com or telephone us on +44 (0) 23 92755 123 (UK) or +34 617 648 577 (Spain).

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Arroyo Medina 115,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Ciudad Quesada 98,000€

6 Beds, 3 Baths Country House in Orihuela 130,000€

Beds,2 1Baths BathVilla Villa 3 2Beds, Tolox ininCatral 99,000€ 240,000€

Beds,21Baths Bath Apartment 32Beds, Apartment in in Benalmadena Costa Los Montesinos 129,000€ 129,999€

Beds,21Baths Bath Townhouse Country 22Beds, House in Viñuela in Torrevieja 150,000€ 79,995€

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Almanzora 125,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Oria 85,000€

5 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Albox 65,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Alhaurin de la Torre 252,000€

4 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in Alhaurin de la Torre 270,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Alhaurin de la Torre 122,500€

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Partaloa 160,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Arboleas 215,000€

3 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in Oria 125,000€

5 Beds Country House in Las Casillas de Martos 53,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Ribera Alta 96,000€

5 Beds, 3 Baths Country House in Algarinejo 295,000€

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November 2011

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Ding Dong The Bells Are Gonna Chime It was no Quiet Village Church or Dull Registry Office for this Happy Couple Tabernas, Almeria. A stark yet breathtaking desert location which has provided the backdrop for numerous spaghetti westerns and is home to one of Almeria’s most popular tourist destinations, Mini Hollywood. This full scale recreation of a wild west town with zoo and lots of theme days will be instantly recognisable as it´s been used to film many movies and commercials including a Pepsi advert featuring a certain Mr Beckham. Just a few minutes drive away is the legendary Roadhouse, www.theroadhouse.es, which is owned and run by Sandra and Jurgan with the assistance of their 4 children this haven in the desert was founded, in their own words, On a passion for the rumble of exhaust notes, an appetite for rock music and a hard core desire to chow down to great food. This is a place where you’ll always be assured of a warm, friendly welcome, much needed ice cold beer, great music and excellent grub. Sandra grew up in Tabernas and Jurgan was her neighbour. Their joint passion for bikes and rock music led to an enduring romance and a fabulous wedding. The local biking fraternity of all nationalities gathered to escort the brides pink Cadillac to a perfect spot in the desert. The bikes and Cadi parked and a long luxurious red carpet leads the bride to the porch of a large wood cabin where Jurgan was waiting and the service was held. Now happily hitched and to the roar of bike engines the happy couple were whisked back to the Roadhouse for a party to end all parties. Live music provided by local band Los Gringos kept merry guests dancing well in to the early hours. We would like to thank the guys at Sentinella Mojacar, mojacar.thesentinella.com for keeping us posted with regards this happy event and do check out their great on line edition which offers a wealth of information on local events and happening in and around Mojacar. info@spainpropertyportal.com

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Loma Cabrera 349,995€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Los Lobos 55,000€

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3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Mojacar 349,500€

4 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in Zurgena 229,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Vera 89,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Huercal-Overa 185,000€

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November 2011

4 Beds, 2 Baths CountryHouse in Ecija 165,000€

4 Beds, 4 Baths Country House in Alora 250,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in El Saucejo 120,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Mojacar Playa 115,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Villaricos 85,000€

3 Beds, 3 Baths Country House in Bedar 475,000€

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November 2011

Feriehus i Spania

It’s Not Just the English Who are Buying Holiday Homes in Spain, We Talked to a Norwegian Couple Who Did Just That Mette and Geir Arne Selvær, a Norwegian couple started looking for a holiday property where they could enjoy long warm summers at the start of last year. They reviewed both France and Italy before deciding that better value, lower living costs , best climate and the type of property they required could be found in Spain. As they could get direct and affordable flights into Alicante and knew the beaches there were amongst the best in Spain this is where they started their search. It was by no means a smooth ride, but a read through their story will show with some perseverance and with the assistance of a local agent with great area knowledge and expertise they were able to make the most important part of their dream come true. We had always wanted a holiday home close to the Mediterranean sea, somewhere we could find long warm summers and great food that wasn´t too expensive. For many years we had looked but the cost for anything nice was always too expensive. By the start of 2010 we noticed prices for property had fallen a lot, probably as low as they were going to go. After looking in Italy and France we found that we would get a lot more value for the money in Spain. Originally we had set out to buy a Finca/farmhouse not to far from the beach and after looking at both Malaga and Alicante regions we decided that we preferred the Alicante. This for several reasons. The area we found more to our liking, without doubt Alicante offered much better value for money and we had direct flights from our hometown Stavanger in Norway. Our first trip to Spain looking for property was in April that same year. Before hand we had given our agent Pure Property group a good picture of what we were aiming for. We came across many interesting houses on our first trip so much so we signed a contract for a beautiful property In Almoradi. A couple of weeks after returning home our agent came back to us with news that the property we had wanted to buy had not satisfied our lawyer on some legal points. In their opinion it was better for us to pull out and come back to Spain to find something else. After arranging for the return of our reserve, Pure, set about locating new options and working closely with them we adjusted our target from the older more rural property to Villas in regulated areas.

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November 2011

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I got back to Spain in mid May and started to view properties. This time I went alone without the Mrs. and only for a day, travelling on the morning flight to El Altet and leaving that same evening from San Javier. It was an extremely busy day spent with Ian at Pure Property but one that was really worthwhile. We found exactly what we were looking for. A beautiful and very spacious house with lovely gardens plus a huge 10x5 swimming pool. It needed some work but its location, “la Siesta� outside Torrevieja, was perfect. All facilities are close by as our some lovely beaches and great restaurants. Pure Property who can be found via their website www.pureproperty-spain.com helped us through every stage of the process. Finding the property, assisting with legalities and being there for the completion. We couldn´t have done it without them and their professionalism, patience and area knowledge was invaluable. Since taking possession in September 2010 we have upgraded the house and garden and have lots of more things we want to develop on the property. But first and foremost we love our holiday home.

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November 2011

2 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in Villamartin 59,950€

3 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in Bigastro 125,000€

3 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in Fortuna 169,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Playa de los Cristianos 133,950€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Golf del Sur 207,950€

4 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Chirche 295,000€

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in La Siesta 125,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Playa Flamenca 135,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in La Siesta 72,000€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Beas de Granada 255,000€

4 Beds, 1 Bath Townhouse in Alcala la Real 64,000€

5 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Almedinilla 174,000€

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Loja 139,950€

6 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in Puente Genil 245,000€

4 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Priego de Cordoba 130,000€

3 Beds, 3 Baths Country House in De Albatera-Catral 229,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Benijófar 169,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Villamartin 129,000€

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Alozaina 150,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Calahonda 148,000

3 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Calahonda 195,000€

3 Bed Country House in Guardamar del Segura 160,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Villamartin 92,500€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Ciudad Quesada 184,950€

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www.spainpropertyportal.com


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November 2011

View From the Web Helpful Tips on the Internet

It’s Christmas time and tills all around the World will be ringing with the sound of hard earned cash being spent of millions of presents. Many of you will also be tempted to do your Christmas shopping online, which is great for everyone, the shops still sell their wares and you get to buy all of your presents without leaving the house. What you should be aware of though, is that Christmas is also a jackpot time for the dishonest people on the internet. Fake sites, keyloggers and hackers are all stretching their fingers at this time, safe in the knowledge that some people still remain blissfully ignorant of the dangers the internet can hold. There are ways you can protect yourself from the thieves though. Firstly, make sure your web browser is up to date. I know I keep telling you this, but there are good reasons as browsers like Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.6 have a couple of gaping security holes in them that can and have been exploited by internet hackers. Secondly, update your antivirus and antimalware software to the latest versions. Now you’ve done this, you’re ready to browse. Once you’ve selected your items, you can go to the payment gateway to finalise your order and make the payment. Once you are at the screen where you’re asked for your details, be they name and address or credit card details, make sure your browser has the secure, green address bar like in the image below. Without that, your connection may not be secure and someone else can share your connection and see the information you’ve entered. If you don’t see the secure information, don’t under any circumstances enter any private information, let alone a credit card number. You wouldn’t photocopy your credit card and post it to all of the criminals in your area within 100 miles, so why do it on the internet?

At this time of year, please be especially careful, try to be safe and keep all of your software up to date. If you have any questions about anything on the internet, feel free to mail me at webmaster@ spainpropertyportal.com www.spainpropertyportal.com

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November 2011

Santa Comes to Spain via DHL A View of Spain From a Resident Under 35(ish!)

The Internet is a wonderful invention. Many years ago Christmas to me was weeks and weeks of seeing, hearing and breathing Christmas Carols, White Christmas and more Santas in shops than you could wave a smelly stick at. Christmas would arrive and on Christmas Eve I would check that I’d bought all of the presents for the family and friends from my checklist I’d written when the first decorations went up in Woolworths (around about July if my memory serves). Once I’d deduced that of the 17 names on the list, I’d managed to remember to buy presents for at least 2 of them, I headed to the shops to make a mad dash for 15 presents for less than the £5 in my pocket. This has all changed since the internet went credit card mad. Now you can go on the internet and even order a pizza for delivery, let alone all of your Christmas presents from one shop. As you get older, you try to buy these presents earlier. My Mum actually starts around March now. Since moving to Spain this process has changed in two ways, firstly if you go out on Christmas Eve to buy presents, the shops are not empty and there’s not so many people all out buying anything they can lay their hands on and secondly, it’s so much harder to buy anything. Four years ago, my daughter came into the World and made Christmas a whole lot harder. What do you buy for a young girl? At one year old, it was difficult, two was hard, three was almost impossible and this year has been a dream! Why? Well, this year there are so many English websites and shops offering delivery to Spain for many of the items you’d normally need to fly to the UK for. The Boss and I simply picked up the trusty laptop once our daughter was in bed, went to Argos Spain, Littlewoods Europe or Play.com, selected everything, clicked buy and they arrived a week later. It sounds like I’m bragging, I am a little, but it was just so easy to get everything we needed without having to go anywhere. Companies like Argos and Littlewoods have seen the market for Ex-Pats and they’ve come up with the goods. Whereas before you needed to either fly to the UK to buy something or order via someone else, all you need to do now is turn on the computer and order it direct. Shopping in Spain is rubbish. They try, but the Spanish people just can’t do a mad Christmas rush like the UK, they’re too laid back like the Three Wise Men who turned up 12 days late for the birth of Jesus. Just because you live in Spain, you used to have to put up with rubbish shopping, but now you can order all the presents 3 months before without leaving your seat and, if you’re like me, you can probably do it during half-time of the Champions League. So it’s all smiles in Spainland, Christmas is coming and I can sleep soundly in the knowledge that thanks to Argos and Littlewoods, my daughters Christmas will be a happy one. All I need to do now is remember to buy the wife some perfume. info@spainpropertyportal.com

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November 2011

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Orihuela Costa 79,500€

7 Beds, 5 Baths Country House in Agres 274,999€

5 Beds, 3 Baths Country House in Sax 199,950€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Country House

3 Beds, 2 Baths Country House

5 Beds, 3 Baths Country House

in Pinar de Campoverde 135,000€

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in Pinar de Campoverde 184,000€

in Pinar de Campoverde 185,000€

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November 2011

2 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in Mazarron 115,000€

3 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in Mazarron 194,940€

4 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Fuente Alamo 158,000€

4 Beds, 3 Baths Villa in El Cucador 169,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Villa in Huercal-Overa 69,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Urcal 95,000€

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30

November 2011

2 Beds, 2 Baths Country House in Orba 99,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Denia 174,900€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Orba 189,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Vera 68,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Duplex in Palomares 139,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Vera 125,000€

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31

November 2011

3 Beds, 3 Baths Apartment in La Quinta 295,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Estepona 289,306€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Marbella 250,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Townhouse in Javea 210,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Moraira 249,000€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Javea 230,000€

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November 2011

A Snapshot of Life... Villaricos Style If you Want the Beach Lifestyle Without the Tourists, Why Not Take a Look at Villaricos Villaricos, a little known jewel. The small beachside town with a lovely fishing harbour and marina. After many years living in Spain it’s wonderful to know you can still stumble across locations which are stunningly beautiful yet have ducked under the main tourist radar. Villaricos is one such location. Sandwiched between two beautiful, but small, beaches on the Almeria coast this very pretty town seems to have stood still whilst other close by coastal towns have got bigger, more developed and geared toward attracting the foreign buyer. The name Villaricos translates as rich village a name derived from it’s past tradition with precious metals that were mined here. A wealthy trading port in Phoenician times, the discovery of silver and gold in abundance attracted many different peoples over the centuries. Hannibal used Villaricos as the base to mount his legendary Elephant campaign against Rome using the rich supply of silver to finance his armies. Remnants of these ancient mines can still be seen today and a Necropolis (Phoenician burial site) was recently discovered and is available to visit. Villaricos is supported now by it’s thriving fishing trade and the visitors who pass through to avail themselves of it’s many delights. Each morning a number of small boats leave the towns harbour returning at sunset with the days catch. From the harbour side local restaurateurs and cafe owners await the boats return so that later in the evening their establishments can serve up the freshest seafood the Med has to offer. In the main restaurants and cafes here believe that the freshness of the food should speak for itself. Meat and fish will either be grilled or cooked over an open fire, seasoned with salt and pepper, sloshed with lemon juice and straight on to the plate. Accompanied by a huge salad, an equally large glass of wine and you have the perfect meal that won’t cause the wallet any undue strain.

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November 2011

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As well as the picturesque harbour another of the town’s focal points is its marina. This sits alongside the harbour and there are some excellent paved walks which run from the beach of one side of town via the harbour/marina and on to the beach on the other side of town. Off of this walk way are a couple of superb seafront bars which follow the old Spanish tradition of giving free tapas with each drink. It gets better the more you drink the better the tapas it comes and a few beers on you’ll be getting grilled sardines or sizzling pork kebabs. During the second world war a large gun emplacement was located just off shore and serviced by an elevated rail way. When the war was over the railway was purposely collapsed into the sea. The tower which housed the gun still remains and the submerged rail track attracted coral and great marine life. This now attracts a large number of Scuba divers and there is a well established dive school within the town. A Large number of us have pulls towards Spain and for all that come it never disappoints. Many like the nature of the Sierra Nevadas or the bustling nightlife and entertainment of Benidorm. Equally there are many who like to travel the country looking for undiscovered jewels. Come to Villaricos enjoy a few days and you’ll wish you’d booked a fortnight. For couples and families alike Villaricos offers the perfect base for living or holidaying in Spain. A peaceful tranquil haven. The larger towns of San Juan de los Terreros and Aguilas are just 5 mins drive in one direction and Vera or Mojacar 10 minutes in the other. In all of these you’ll find lots of shops, great nightlife and all manner of outdoor sports. Horse riding, golf, wind surfing and a lot more.

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November 2011

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Arboleas 215,000€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Apartment in Mojacar 140,000€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Mojacar 149,500€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Torreblanca del Sur 92,950€

2 Beds, 2 Baths Apartment in Guaro (Coin) 120,500€

2 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Alora 170,000€

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35

November 2011

6 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Oria 160,000€

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3 Beds, 1 Bath Country House in Caniles 73,950€

3 Beds, 2 Baths Villa in Arboleas 122,000€

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Spain Property Portal Magazine November 2011