Relocation to Spain – Article 3

Relocation to Spain – Article 3


NIE’s, Empadronamiento and what it all means to you…

If you have investigated buying a property in Spain, you would almost certainly come across these two strange words but what do they mean?

What is a NIE number?
NIE stands for ‘Número de Identificación de Extranjero’. Translated means ‘Identification number for foreigners’.

It is the identification number used in Spain for non-residents. It is similar to the National Insurance number in England, the NIE allows you to pay taxes in Spain and it is used to track your activities in Spain.

You cannot purchase a property in Spain without an NIE number. All foreign citizens require a NIE before they can sign the purchase agreement. It is not only property purchase’s that require you to have a NIE, you will also require it for obtaining a
Spanish mortgage, buying or registering a car, setting up a business in Spain, applying for a credit card/loan, applying for a Spanish driving license etc.

So what does it look like?
It is a sheet of A4 paper that has your details, address and NIE number and an official stamp. Rather disappointing for all the work you have to do to get it! Look after it and make lots of copies.

How do I get it?
1. Apply for NIE number in person in Spain (local police station).
2. Apply for an NIE number in person via a Spanish Consulate.
3. Authorise a 3rd party to apply on your behalf, (Power of Attorney).

Empadronamiento, what is it?
Officially known as Padron Municipal, it is a record of local residents. This record is held at the local town hall (Ayuntamiento) and is basically the equivalent to the UK’s electoral role.

Why is important that I get this?
If you are going to buy a property or even rent one you should register, as your local municipality receives funds for every person living in the local area. In turn this pays for local services and infrastructure such as policing, cleaning, local health care etc.
If you have children it is imperative you register, as preference will be given to registered children.
All in all if you want to improve the area in which you live, get ‘empadronado’ and become an official member of your community.

How do I get it?
Once again, go to your local town hall to register. You will need your passport; NIE and if you are a homeowner, a copy of your ‘escritura’ (title deed) or your rental contract, should you be renting.
You are entitled to a certificate but you should ask for it, these can be done individually or one to cover all of your family. The certificate is useful should you need to prove to any official authority that you are empadronado.

Here’s wishing you a successful move to Spain!

The Rain in Spain …

The Rain in Spain …

Yes, you know the old saying, ‘The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain’. iframe>

Now I think it’s true to say that the majority of folk living outside of Spain, want to move here for the sunny weather. I’m writing this now in the middle of December and the difference in temperature today from living in the South of Spain to the North of Spain is 10º.

Yep, today’s high is 11º for Cadiz and 1º in Valladolid and I reckon in general the same can be said for summer, when it’s 40º here it will be around 30º or less in the north!

Okay, lets get back to the rain.

Of course it doesn’t rain down here in the South of Spain, it’s always sunny 🙂

Well, I am not trying to sell you a property or anything like that and you come here to get the truth right?

This year (2010) was the wettest winter I have known since I’ve been living in Spain. It rained almost constantly for nearly 3 months. Yes, it was an exception to the rule but you need to be prepared for these things and especially when buying a property. A lot of the older properties as well as some of the newer ones just aren’t built for the rain, they have flat roof terraces where the rain water rushes down pipes that run through the pillars of the house. No guttering, although it is becoming a slight fashion item of late.


The houses in this area were under a meter of water

So, as you can work out for yourself, although there are nearly always 300 days of sunshine per year in some parts of Spain but the ‘Rain in Spain doesn’t lay mainly on the plain’.


1. Tornavacas, Caceres. Surprisingly the wettest town in Spain, situated as it is in the region of Extremadura, which is known for its long hot summers and long, mild winters.  Tornavacas is located near the mountain range of Sierra de Gredos, a regional park just 2 hours east from Madrid.

Tornavacas itself is 920 metres above sea level and, based on records taken from over the past 5 years, the rainiest month in Tornavacas is January, with an average of 816.7 mm of rain, followed by March which gets an average of 610.1 mm.  In contrast, August in Tonics gets just 1.7 mm of rain.

2.  Renteria, Navarra. Situated near Arano, about 10km south east of San Sebastian in the top north eastern corner of Spain, near the border with France.  Again, the rainiest month is January, with 610.4 mm of rain.

3.  Cabeza de Manzaneda, Ourense. Situated in the north western corner of Spain, in the region of Galicia, this town has had an average of 601.1 mm of rain in January, its wettest month, for the past 5 years.  This town is located approx 50km west of the main town of Ourense and is situated at 1,500 m above sea level.

4.  Blanes, Girona. A well-known seaside town in Catalunya, located just a few kilometres southwest of the popular resorts of Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar, Blanes has had an average of 582.4mm of rain in March over the past 5 years.  Even the month of August shows an average of 25.6mm of rain over the past 5 years.

5.  San Sebastian, Asturias. Situated on the northern coast of Spain, San Sebastian is the capital city of Gipuzkoa province, in the Spanish Basque Country.  An average rainfall of 525.5 mm was recorded over the past 5 years in the month of January, with 46mm in July and 31mm in August.

6.  Baza, Granada. This historic town in Andalucia has recorded an average of 520mm rainfall over 5 years during the month of November, with 147.5mm in July and 196mm in August, compared to 120mm in February.

7.  Noai (Monte Iroite), A Coruna. Situated in the north western tip of Spain, in the region of Galicia, this town shows an average of 501 mm of rain in the month of November, with 81mm in July and 47.1 in August.  January, March and October are also wet months recording 307.4mm, 355.2mm and 374mm respectively.

8.  Girona, Girona. The capital of Girona province in the Costa Brava region of Northern Catalunya, situated 100 metres above sea level, Girona recorded an average of 490mm rainfall in the month of March.

9.  Arantzazu, Vizcaya. Situated just 15km south east of the main industrial town of Bilbao in the Spanish Basque country, this town recorded an average of 472 mm of rain in March, 74 mm in July and 48 mm in August.

10.  Burguillos, Toledo. Located just south of the town of Toledo (well known for its production of steel) in the centre of Spain, approximately 75km south west of Madrid.  January is the wettest month, showing an average of 469.1mm of rain.

11.  Alcala del Rio, Seville. Located just 15 km north of Seville capital city in Andalucia, Alcala del Rio has had an average of 464.5mm of rain recorded in December, yet just 2.6mm in June, 2.7mm in July and 0 rainfall in August.

12.  Polentinos, Palencia. This tiny town is situated in the Castile y Leon region in northern Spain and recorded a population of just 78 inhabitants in 2004!  An average of 446.7mm of rain was recorded in October, yet 0mm in July and 69.1 in August.  Polentinos is situated at 1245m above sea level in one of the least known, but best conserved mountain ranges in Spain.  The area is classified as national park and known as “Parque Natural Fuentes Carrionas y Fuente Cobre”  southeast of the better-known Picos de Europa and in the middle of the square formed by Leon and Burgos to the south and Santander and Gijon to the north.

13. San Pelaio de Lens, A Coruna. Situated approx 12km north west of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia and 200m above sea level.  An average of 422mm of rain recorded in March, 33.2mm in June, 58.6mm in July and 36mm in August.

14. Escorca, Son Torrella, Mallorca (Islas Baleares). Located in the north western part of the popular island of Mallorca, this town recorded an average of 420 mm of rain in November, 69.5mm in August, though lower (19.2mm) in June and 18.8mm in July .

15.  Torroella de Montgri, Girona. Located on the Costa Brava, just inland from the well-known resort of L’Estartit, famous for the Medes Islands, a protected marine reserve and popular diving resort.  Average 411.7 mm of rain recorded in October, 87.8 in August 93.9 in July.

16.  Mairena del Alcor, Seville. Just west of the capital of Andalucia, Seville, this town has had an average of 405.3 mm of rain in November over the past five years, though no rain was recorded during the summer months and just 4.9mm in April.

17.  Santa Pau, Girona. A 13th century town, situated some 65km inland of the Costa Brava, just south east of Olot in the protected national park area of the Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa, which as 30 volcanic cones.  Santa Pau is 590 m above sea level and has recorded highs of 397.8mm of rain in October, 32.5mm in August.

18.  Villasana de Mena, Burgos. Approximately 35km south west of Bilbao, this town has recorded an average 396.2 mm rain in the month of October, with June and July showing as the driest months with an average of 54.1 mm and 48.6 mm of rain respectively.

19.  Vic, Barcelona. An historic town with strong religious traditions situated 70km north of Barcelona and 515m above sea level.  Average 387.1 mm of rain recorded in January over the past 5 years.

20.  Priego de Cordoba, Cordoba. An olive-oil producing town, situated in Andalucia, around 50km south west of Jaen and 50km north west of Granada.   Average 367.2 mm of rain recorded in November.  20.7 mm in July and 41.1 mm in August.

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They didn’t tell you this on A Place in the Sun!


30193_128446407166581_100000036671556_338637_2390651_sIf you are born and grow up in a particular region of the planet, something of the vibrational matrix of that area will become a fundamental part of your being. If you then subsequently move, in later life, to a new country with a different range of vibrational frequencies you will need to make an inner adjustment to these new energies. This is why people often find it so hard to settle down in another country. It has nothing to do with coming to terms with another culture but because the energies from the Earth are not the same in different localities.


So, is this the reason so many people fail or struggle to settle down here in Spain?

May be it’s not the language barrier after all!  Coming from a different culture obviously makes the settling down period take a lot longer and I should imagine the older you are and less experienced in imersing in or travelling to different Countries, the harder this becomes.

To be honest, my own particular story sheds a different light on the subject. My wife was born and raised in a small village in Valladolid, N.W. Spain. She moved to London when she was 20 and lived there for 10 years. After that we moved to Andalucia and she still struggles to get used to the people and the way of life here! Myself, on the other hand adapted much quicker to the way people and things work here. That doesn’t mean I like everything that goes on but as I told her nobody is going to change for us and we don’t have to change but we do have to respect and live by the way things are done here.

So,  whether it’s the vibrational matrix of the area you come from or go to, be prepared to adapt and recognise things don’t always happen here the same as where you are from. If you find yourself having lived in Spain for a while and are still using the phrase, ‘things don’t happen like that from where I come from’. You still haven’t settled here in Spain!


'Watching the sun go down after another day on the beach'

'Watching the sun go down after another day on the beach'



Location, location, location but not without Preparation, preparation, preparation….

Yes, the location, location, location theory has been well documented and is of course a very important part of the moving process but even more important when leaving your home Country for a move abroad, that you can not afford to overlook is the preparation and planning of your proposed move.

Every single person, couple or family has unique motives, desires, reasons and circumstances in their idea of moving to a foreign land. Obviously,I want to focus on Spain because this is where we have lived for the past seven years and where we help people who would like to move to this particular part of Andalucia.

The fundamental reason for starting our relocation business in the province of Cadiz is to help people like us who come up against so many brick walls and difficulties when first entering and living in a foreign Country.

The idea of this article is not to scare you but to warn you that if you haven’t done your homework before selling up lock stock and barrel you will be in for a rough ride; only the toughest survive and the strain it can put on a relationships is tough, even harder if you have a family in tow.

It really is hard to fathom how many people still decide they are going to move and live in Spain but do not have any idea where they want to live, what they will do for work, etc…Even those that do and come with the idea of setting up some kind of business seem to forget that in nearly all cases they will have to deal with the Spanish; whether it be to order goods, take deliveries or deal with general services …you will need a grasp of the Spanish Language.

Now, I can hear all voices shouting down at me “NOT IN THE COSTA DEL SOL YOU DON´T, MATE”!!!!!
But the Costa del Sol is saturated with British run bars, shops, hostels, B&B´s, etc.. I have heard of people running bars, working long hours and only breaking even due to the high competition and cut throat price wars. The established and successful have probably been there 20 years or more.

For those who read this that are thinking of moving to Spain, I would like to give you a few practical tips to help you try and succeed, especially when it comes to preparation.


• Give yourself as much time as practically possible before your planned move
• Read books about moving to Spain and investigate on the internet
• Outline all your reasons for moving to Spain, write them down and then try to find out where abouts in Spain fits all your needs and desires.
• Try and narrow down 3 or 4 areas that tick the YES box for most of your requirements.
• If you can, and this might be difficult and expensive if you have a family, take a trip of about a week or so to discover if your choices come up to scratch in reality. Go out of the holiday season (Oct/Nov)
• If you are going to be buying property, make sure you do your sums correctly and get professional, independent, financial advice
• Think about how you are going to support yourself, financially
• Start up taking Spanish lessons
• Before you rush into buying you might want to think about renting for a while.

These are just a number of things you can do to help avoid the pitfalls, insecurity and language barriers when moving to Spain. It is possible to come up against some real trouble with bureaucracy, ignorance and conflicting information as well as lack of knowledge on specific matters, within some local authorities and government departments when moving to Spain.

With all of that said; once you come to terms with how things work in Spain, learn not to expect things to happen as you are used to and join in the relaxed mañana way of life I do not think you will regret it!

The quality of life that you can have in Spain for you and your family can be truly fantastic. The outdoor life in Andalucia is great for children and adults alike, living under clear blue skies, eating fantastic food and drinking outside, where children are welcome in bars, the fiestas and the siestas, whether you enjoy mountains or beach or even both, I can honestly say for me the Costa de la Luz and the province of Cadiz is definitely, Location, location, location.

As for the Preparation, well, I know from experience no matter how much and how well you prepare there is always going to be something happen that you just cannot predict but the more time you put into the preparation of moving to Spain, the easier your life will become when integrating into the Spanish culture and way of life.

My move to Spain / Who is it for ?







Welcome to Spain / Bienvenido a España

Welcome to Spain / Bienvenido a España

MY MOVE TO SPAIN – Who it’s for






If you are thinking this blog is all about my personal embarkment of relocating to Spain, you are wrong!
Not 100% wrong because in certain posts I will be mentioning tit-bits, advice, tips, where I went wrong, where I could have done better and where I got things right in my move to Spain.

What My Move To Spain is really about is creating a vehicle to help anyone who is thinking about or wants to make a permanent move to Spain.
I know there has never been more information available about this subject, than there is today but what I find to be the trend is that people are giving their own personal accounts of moving to a paticular part of Spain. I am not saying there is anything wrong in that and in many ways it is a great help to learn from other peoples experiences but only in a general sense.

What do I mean by that?
Let me explain, I moved to Spain seven years ago and live in Jerez de la Frontera, which is near Cadiz in Southern Spain.
For anyone wanting to move to my area, I could be of great help but I could offer very little advice for someone looking to move to Valencia, Madrid or Santander for example!

So my aim is to bring two sets of people together, those who are foriegners (sorry, don’t like the word expats!) and have made the move and live in different parts of Spain and those who are either thinking, planning or ready to move to Spain.

I know there are many good forums on the net about Spain who have many knowledgable and expirienced people actively passing on that knowledge to those keen on taking the plunge. But unless you are frequently participating yourself it is often very hard to find the exact information you want. Also, in my experience the threads tend to get dilated with endless chatter between the regulars.
In the next few months I will be trying to get people who have moved to different parts of Spain to collaborate with quality information on the particular area where they live and their experiences (good & bad) of living there.
I shall try to do this by breaking Spain down into Provinces or Comunidades (autonomous communities).

The comments pages are there for you to ask questions for information and help and we will try our best to answer them.

So you see MY MOVE TO SPAIN is about everyone’s move to Spain!
For those who have, those who want to, those who are going to and yes, even my move to Spain 🙂