10 Of The Best Places To Retire In Spain

10 Of The Best Places To Retire In Spain

Why Choose Spain for Retirement?

Spain, a country renowned for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and welcoming atmosphere, has long been a favourite among retirees from around the world. The combination of its mild climate, relatively low cost of living, and high quality of life makes it an ideal destination for those looking to enjoy their retirement years in comfort and style. From the sun-kissed beaches of the Costa del Sol to the lush greenery of the northern regions, Spain offers a diverse range of settings to suit every taste and budget.

Key Factors for Retirement Locations

When choosing a place to retire, several factors are paramount: cost of living, healthcare facilities, climate, accessibility, and the presence of an expat community. Spain scores high in all these areas, providing a range of options that can cater to the specific needs and preferences of retirees.

Costa del Sol: A Sun Seeker’s Paradise

Marbella – Glamour and Comfort

Marbella, nestled on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol, epitomises luxury and comfort. Known for its upscale resorts, exclusive golf courses, and vibrant nightlife, Marbella offers retirees a lifestyle that combines leisure with opulence. The city’s charming Old Quarter, with its narrow cobblestone streets and historic buildings, offers a glimpse into traditional Andalusian culture, while the modern part of the city provides all the amenities of a bustling metropolitan area.

Nerja – Serene Beaches and Community

Nerja, located at the eastern end of the Costa del Sol, presents a more tranquil alternative. This coastal town boasts stunning natural scenery, including the renowned Caves of Nerja and the breathtaking Balcony of Europe, a mirador offering spectacular sea views. The town’s numerous beaches, such as Burriana and Maro, are perfect for relaxing days under the sun. Nerja’s active expat community ensures a warm welcome for newcomers, and the town’s smaller size fosters a close-knit feel.

The Balearic Islands: Mediterranean Bliss

Mallorca – A Blend of Nature and Culture

Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, is a paradise for retirees who love the outdoors and cultural richness. The island features a variety of landscapes, from the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to serene coves like Cala d’Or. Palma, the capital, is a bustling city with a rich history, evident in landmarks like the Gothic Cathedral and the Almudaina Palace. The island’s numerous hiking trails, stunning beaches, and vibrant arts scene make it an ideal destination for active retirees.

Menorca – Quiet and Picturesque

Menorca, Mallorca’s quieter neighbour, is an idyllic retreat for those seeking a peaceful retirement. The island is known for its unspoiled natural beauty, with more beaches than Mallorca and Ibiza combined. Menorca’s slower pace of life, combined with its rich cultural traditions, such as the annual horse festivals, make it a unique and tranquil place to retire. The island’s commitment to environmental preservation, evident in its status as a Biosphere Reserve, adds to its appeal for nature lovers.

Costa Blanca: Affordable Living

Alicante – Vibrant and Historic

Alicante, a historic port city on the Costa Blanca, offers a perfect mix of urban convenience and seaside charm. The city’s palm-fringed esplanades, bustling markets, and array of museums and galleries provide a rich cultural life. Santa Bárbara Castle, perched atop Mount Benacantil, offers panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. For retirees, Alicante’s affordable property prices and low cost of living, combined with a mild climate and a friendly local community, make it an attractive option.

Benidorm – Lively and Expat-Friendly

Benidorm, once a small fishing village, is now one of the most popular resort towns on the Costa Blanca. Known for its towering skyscrapers, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches, such as Levante and Poniente, Benidorm is ideal for retirees who want a lively and social atmosphere. The town has a large expat community, with numerous clubs and associations catering to English-speaking residents, making it easy to transition into Spanish life.

Northern Spain: Green and Serene

Asturias – Natural Beauty and Traditions

Asturias, in the green heart of Spain, offers a stark contrast to the country’s southern coastal regions. Known for its rugged coastlines, such as the Playa del Silencio, and the stunning Picos de Europa National Park, Asturias is a haven for nature lovers. The region’s rich Celtic heritage is evident in its traditional music, festivals, and architecture. For retirees, Asturias offers a tranquil and scenic environment, combined with a lower cost of living than many other parts of Spain.

Galicia – Unique Culture and Cuisine

Galicia, located in Spain’s northwest corner, is known for its distinct culture, heavily influenced by its Celtic roots, and its world-renowned seafood cuisine. Santiago de Compostela, the region’s capital, is famous for its historic cathedral, a pilgrimage destination on the Camino de Santiago. Galicia’s dramatic coastline, dotted with picturesque fishing villages and serene beaches, offers a peaceful and culturally rich retirement option.

Canary Islands: Eternal Spring

Tenerife – Diverse Landscapes

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is known for its diverse landscapes and pleasant climate. The island’s north is lush and green, ideal for retirees who enjoy hiking and exploring nature, while the south, with its sunny beaches and bustling resorts, is perfect for those seeking a more active lifestyle. Tenerife’s Teide National Park, home to Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide, offers stunning volcanic landscapes and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lanzarote – Volcanic Beauty

Lanzarote, characterised by its unique volcanic terrain, offers a distinct retirement experience. The island’s otherworldly landscapes, such as the Timanfaya National Park, make it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts. The influence of artist César Manrique is evident throughout the island, from the Jameos del Agua to the Mirador del Río, blending art and nature in a unique way. Lanzarote’s wine region, known for its volcanic soil, produces some exceptional wines, adding to the island’s appeal for retirees.

Catalonia: Rich History and Diverse Landscapes

Girona – Medieval Charm

Girona, a city in Catalonia, is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, such as the Girona Cathedral and the Arab Baths. The city’s Jewish Quarter, one of the best preserved in Europe, offers a glimpse into its rich history. Girona’s location, close to the Costa Brava, offers retirees the best of both worlds: a historic city with easy access to some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches.

Sitges – Cultural Hub

Sitges, located just south of Barcelona, is a vibrant coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, such as Platja de Sant Sebastià, its lively cultural scene, and its annual film festival. The town has a large and active expat community, making it an ideal retirement spot for those who seek a blend of beach living and cultural activities.


Retiring in Spain offers a diverse array of choices, each with its unique charm and lifestyle. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant energy of the Costa del Sol, the serene beauty of the Balearic Islands, or the cultural richness of Catalonia, Spain promises a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement.


What makes Spain a popular retirement destination?

Spain’s favourable climate, affordable cost of living, high-quality healthcare system, and rich cultural experiences make it a popular choice among retirees.

How affordable is retiring in Spain compared to other European countries?

Spain is considered one of the more affordable Western European countries for retirement, offering a lower cost of living without compromising on lifestyle and healthcare quality.

Can expats access healthcare services in Spain?

Yes, expats can access healthcare in Spain. Those registered as residents and contributing to the social security system can use public healthcare services, while others often opt for private health insurance.

What is the process of buying property in Spain for retirees?

Buying property in Spain involves finding a property, securing a NIE (Foreigner’s Identification Number), signing a contract, paying taxes, and registering the property. It’s advisable to consult with legal experts familiar with Spanish real estate law.

Are there language barriers for English-speaking retirees in Spain?

While Spanish is the primary language, many Spaniards speak English, especially in tourist and expat-heavy areas. Nevertheless, learning basic Spanish is recommended for a more immersive experience.

In Conclusion

When considering a move to Spain, especially for retirement, choosing the right removals company is crucial. Matthew James Removals Spain, with over three decades of experience in moving and knowledge in Spain and Europe, stands out as a reliable choice. Our family-run business ensures a personalised and attentive service.

We specialise in removals from the UK to Spain and removals from Spain to the UK, along with local removals within Spain, providing a weekly service to and from the UK, France, and Spain.

Our bilingual office staff, experienced drivers, and comprehensive service offerings, including professional packing, storage solutions, and assistance with customs procedures, make your moving process smooth and efficient.

Our commitment to customer satisfaction is reflected in our positive customer feedback, and our adherence to high professional standards, is evidenced by ISO accreditations and membership in the International Association of Movers, further reinforcing our reliability as a removals and storage company. For more detailed information and to get a personalised quote, visit Matthew James Removals Spain.

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