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Marbella Carnival February 10th – February 28th 2012

It’s that time of year again, the days are staying lighter longer and we are all looking forward to Spain’s famous fiestas this summer!

Until then though its carnival season, and the fun kicks off this year with the fabulous Marbella Carnival taking place from the 10th February to the 28th February 2012 in four different areas of the city – Marbella Central, San Pedro de Alcantara, Nueva Andalucia and Las Chapas.

The first event commences at 4.30pm with a comedy parade from Avda. Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, followed by the Gran Fiesta de Carnaval (the big party) at Plaza de la Parroquia Virgen Madre de Nueva Andalucía. Entrance is free for this event and there will be entertainment, bouncy castles, workshops and a costume competition for children under 14. Continue reading “Marbella Carnival February 10th – February 28th 2012”

Costa del Sol Halloween Celebrations

Traditional Halloween activities in the UK usually involve dressing up with the kids, carving pumpkins to make scary lanterns, and knocking at neighbours doors for trick or treats. If you rent long term on the Costa del Sol in a secure area, these traditions are likely to stay the same, and you will see lots of little witches and ghosts running around with their goody bags. However, if you want to do something different for Halloween this year, or you do not live in a suitable area for trick or treating, there are many fun events in the area for the family to attend instead. Here is a list of some good Halloween events we found on Marbellafamilyfun.com

Continue reading “Costa del Sol Halloween Celebrations”

Feria de Malaga

If you’re renting long term in Spain, or looking to rent here, you may have picked up some of the local traditions, learnt some of the Spanish language, got used to their hours of eating and sleeping, and generally be getting used to living in the life. Fiestas is what the Spanish do well, and a good place to visit if you really want something fun and traditional is the Malaga festival – Feria de Malaga.

One of the biggest on the national calendar, which can be traced back as far as 1487, Malaga Feria still remains very Spanish with surprisingly not many overseas visitors. The festival begins with a famous local celebrity giving the official announcement from the balcony of the town hall.(This year it’s Sandro, a Malaga FC football player). This is then followed by a massive firework display, and 10 days of partying Andaluz style with plenty of alcohol consumption, and flamenco dancing in the streets. Continue reading “Feria de Malaga”

Networking and Socialising on the Costa del Sol

networkingWhen moving to Spain, it can be daunting if you have left your friends behind and you don’t know many people. Making new friends is essential to settling in, but can be hard for an adult, especially if you work from home or don’t have children. If you rent long term on the Costa del Sol, it’s nice to know what is in your local area when it comes to socialising, apart from the bars and restaurants. So how do you go about making new friends, and networking with different people with similar interests to you?

There are various networking groups for expat women dotted around the Costa del Sol which give support, friendship, and a chance to share knowledge and experiences of life in Southern Spain. The types of people who attend the networking events are usually people looking to meet friends like you, or to meet new people for business related reasons. Either way, the least you will get from these groups is a nice chat with other expats and some new contacts.

Here is a list of recommended networking groups along the Costa del Sol.

Costa Women

Costa Ladies

Sotogrande Women

Tweet up

Women in Business Spain

Another great way to meet people and make new friends is to join a charity and do some volunteer work. Even just a few hours contribution could help the charity a lot, make you feel good and introduce you to new friends. Many of the charities are predominately Spanish speaking, but usually have an English contact there as well if your Spanish isn’t up to scratch yet! Some great charities on the Costa del Sol are;

Age Concern

Red Cross

Horizonte (Volunteers always needed) Call Keith on 687417035

Lions club

AID – Animals in distress

Cudeca Cancer Hospice

Let us know of any other networking groups we have missed on the Costa del Sol by commenting below, and have fun making many new friends!

Childcare Costa del Sol

Many people choose to rent long-term on the Costa del Sol to try out the area with their families, without committing to a mortgage. It’s a great way to explore, enjoy the healthy lifestyle, and take advantage of what the area has to offer.  Settling in to your new home is a lot easier when you know the children are happy, and have plenty to do.  There are plenty of parks and entertainment that often sees the local kids out until the early hours of the morning having fun!

Moving to Southern Spain with children is great choice for bringing them up in a nice area, where they can learn to speak English and Spanish fluently, and live a more active life. If you are looking for work on the Costa del Sol, it can be a lot more stressful if you have to worry about what to do with the kids when attending interviews, and going to work. After school clubs and babysitting services are a good way to take a weight off your mind.

When it comes to relaxing, it’s also nice to know there is someone there if you and your partner, or friends want time to go out and leave the kids in good hands. Social time is important here, especially if most of your friends and family are in England. So if you’re thinking about childcare in Spain for whatever reason, it’s nice to know there are many services devoted to looking after children, and babies in the area. Most are run by experienced mums, Spanish and English-speaking, and have many years of experience being fully qualified child carers.

Here are a few recommended services for childcare on the Costa del Sol

http://www.childcaremarbella.com/about.html – Recommended by various parents along the coast. Prices are from EUR 10 per hour.

www.rosamari-babysitting.com – references from numerous 5 star hotels along the coast.

www.gpeterpan.com – Bilingual Nursery school, offers nursery, babysitting services, and after school activities.

San Juan Night Celebrations

Bonfires on the beach, great food and drink, and all night entertainment, San Juan Night is one festival not to miss. Held on the 23rd June every year until the early hours of the 24th, San Juan is a traditional festival commemorating the shortest night of the year in Spain. Originally a religious based celebration, the occasion is mainly now an excuse to have a memorable night with friends on the beach. Legend has it that strange spiritual occurrences can happen on the shortest night, and many people partake in activities believed to cleanse and purify them.

The first part of the night is about fire. Hundreds of bonfires are lit on the beaches, and fireworks display in the sky. Some people believe, if you jump over the bonfire 3 times on San Juan night, you will be cleansed and your problems burnt away. Sometimes, massive paper maché dolls are burnt along the beaches around midnight. This is supposed to bring good luck, but mostly it’s just good fun.

At Midnight, masses of people enter the water to wash their faces and feet 3 times. Apart from being good for the skin, it is believed to grant 3 wishes, purify them, and bring a happy year ahead. If anything, just the atmosphere and sight of thousands of people on the beach doing this is something to be experienced.

After a night of entertainment, music, fireworks and general celebrations, everyone will watch the beautiful sun rise from the beach on the 24th, which rounds off a magical evening.

If you are heading to the beaches to celebrate San Juan Night this year, its a good idea to bring a jacket or jumper for the early hours, and maybe a towel if you feel daring enough to get in the sea from some cleansing! Spain holds many fiestas throughout the year, which is a great opportunity to get to know the local culture if you are renting long term in Spain. Look out for news on all the Spanish Fiestas on this blog.

Costa del Sol – What’s on guide

Local things to do on the Costa del Sol

There’s plenty to do on the Costa del Sol, and if you’re living or working in the area it’s nice to feel part of the community and join in with the locals. If you’re currently looking for a new home then visit our website for the latest Costa del Sol long term rentals. Take a look at a snippet of what’s on within the Costa del Sol to see if anything takes your fancy:

Art exhibitions:

Benalmadena

Estampaciones: The Benalmadena exhibition centre is currently exhibiting the works on great artists such as Picasso, Miró, Kandinsky, Warhol, Munch, Bacon and Henry Moore. A selection of Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn pop art prints will also be on show. The exhibition will be open until April 24th, opening hours are from 10:00 -14:00 and 17:00 -19:30, and on Sundays 11:00 – 13:30 Admission is free. Continue reading “Costa del Sol – What’s on guide”