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Get ready for the back to school rush

The long school holidays are finally coming to an end and now the race is on to get the uniform, books, rucksacks, lunch boxes and everything ready to go. International schools, primary and secondary schools in Spain all differ in terms of when they go back. International schools vary a little, Sotogrande International School for example start on 2nd September with Swans not starting until 9th. The Spanish state primary schools start on 9th September and the secondary schools on 16th September.

If you’re looking for affordable uniforms, many supermarkets such as Alcampo in La Cañada have started selling them, with a wide range of books and pens on offer too. There are also websites such as Marbella Family Fun where you can search for second hand uniforms for specific private schools on the school uniform forum.

There’s also advice from Specsavers that before the start of the new school term that you take your child to have an eye test to make sure that everything is as it should be, as experts believe that as many as one in four learning difficulties could be vision related! There are two Specsavers on the Costa del Sol, in Marbella and Fuengirola, where they speak English and offer eye tests for free.

If you’re concerned about speaking Spanish with the teachers, there are lots of good resources out there for you, we found this extensive list of school and learning related vocabulary which should give you a bit more confidence on the first day and in our experience, they are patient with the foreign parents and many speak some English.

At this time of year we see a big shift away from the holiday rental rush to people looking for a comfortable family home to rent before they take the plunge and buy. We have a great selection of Costa del Sol long term rental properties available, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Getting to Know Nueva Andalucia

Nueva Andalucia is a really popular area for expats looking for a well connected community close to everything, but with peace and quiet and excellent sports facilities. It is located just off the N340 motorway up the hill from Puerto Banus, a 10 minute drive from central Marbella.

The nightlife is good as Nueva Andalucia itself has a good selection of bars and restaurants and you’re just a short taxi ride from everything that Puerto Banus has to offer. La Sala on the roundabout at the beginning of Nueva Andalucia offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and a great party atmosphere and it has a night club for partying into the early hours.

Venturing further up the hill you will find Centro Plaza which has some laid back cafes, bars and restaurants, a supermarket, bank, hairdressers and a few shops and local businesses. I also noticed a great looking French bakery which looked tempting.

Further up still (following the signs to the golf courses) there are more shops, a big Mercadona supermarket and then a parade of bars and restaurants in what’s known as Aloha Gardens. One of the latest restaurants to open there is an Asian Fusion restaurant called Tuk Tuk which serves a great range of Japanese, Thai and Chinese inspired dishes and snacks and you can even just pop by for a few drinks and maybe some sushi. There’s also a very popular Indian restaurant in this same block called Bollywood which comes highly recommended.

Continuing further up still into golf valley and nearly at Aloha Golf course is the pretty little urbanisation of Aloha Gardens. A new restaurant, bar and café has just opened there called El Banco (as it’s in the site of the old bank) which is open all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, snacks, coffees and cakes. It serves a wide range of International food which is really interesting, original and delicious. It’s a great addition to the area for those people who live further up into Nueva Andalucia as they needed a relaxed hangout. It only opened a few weeks ago but it is already proving a real hit.

This then becomes a total golfer’s paradise with the courses of Aloha, La Quinta, Los Naranjos, Los Arqueros and Magna Marbella – all within easy reach. Take a look at all the Nueva Andalucia golf courses on My Destination Marbella to check out all the details. All these courses so close together gives the area a peace and tranquillity with beautiful views, but within easy reach of everything you need – this combination makes it very popular for long term rentals.

We have this highly affordable, modern one bedroom apartment to rent in Nueva Andalucia from just 600€ per month. The living space is excellent, with a large lounge diner and a spacious terrace, fully equipped open plan kitchen, plus a large bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The development is really well looked after with a shared garden and pool and parking.