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THE MARBELLA PROPERTY EXPERTS

Property for sale in Marbella

Ring in the New Year – in Málaga

Will you be ringing in the New Year in the UK? Perhaps you plan to avoid the crowds and stay at home with Jules and Co, and watch New Year fireworks from around the globe. What about if you find yourself in Spain? We have already looked at Christmas in Spain and all it entails, but what about the New Year? If you are lucky enough to own a property in Marbella, you might take the short journey to the centre of Málaga. Celebrate in style with our guide to ringing in the New Year – in Málaga.

Spanish traditions for New Year

So, forget Auld Lang Syne. New Year in Spain means three things. Assemble family and friends in the closest Plaza and go for it. There will be Cava, cold and bubbly, and there will be grapes, the idea is a gulp and a chew for each chime of the twelve o’clock bell, sending the old year away. Be mindful of how you dress, red knickers are de riguer at New Year in Spain. They will hopefully bring you good luck for the rest of the year, at home or abroad.

Where to go

Let’s celebrate the arrival of 2018 in one of the main squares of Malaga, there will be crowds to celebrate the arrival of the New Want to meet up with friends? Then choose a central location. if you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends and family you can arrange to meet up in one of the following locations, in the city centre, or one of the outlying locations:

Malaga: Plaza de la Constitucion and Calle Larios
Torremolinos: Auditorio Municipal Principe de Asturias
Benalmadena: Plaza de la Mezquita
Fuengirola: Plaza de España
Marbella: Plaza de Los Naranjos

How to get there

Be sensible this New Year’s Eve, and leave the car at home. You will have a glass or twenty of Cava, and let’s face it, you know parking will be a complete nightmare. So, bus it, take a taxi – ordered in advance – or take the train. Malaga’s celebrations will carry on so late into the night, that you will be bound to be there for breakfast anyway, so prepare for a long night ahead. It’s all good fun! Join in with the party, and here’s wishing you all the best for the year ahead, from Fab Property Spain!

A Spanish Christmas Meal

In Spain, Christmas is taken seriously, and is a little like groundhog day, with the festivities wrapping up on the 6th January, which is Three King’s Day or Reyes. The eve of Reyes is when Spanish kids keep their parole and good behaviour until they get their mitts on their gifts. Food, of course, is a big topic, and with extended families from far and wide descending on Granny, she will have the larder well stocked for the annual Spanish Christmas meal.

When is the main Spanish Christmas meal?

Fish is a hugely popular ingredient at Christmas time in Spain, and the courses appear to actually be endless. So, if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a Spanish home this year, then come prepared and practically half-starved, as you will be expected to devour everything in sight. Whereas we are used to eating our traditional Christmas lunch on the 25th – in Spain, the main meal is tonight, on Christmas Eve, or La Noche Buena – the Good Night. Let’s eat!

A welcome invite

A couple of years back we were lucky enough to be invited to a neighbour’s house for the Noche Buena feast with her extended family, and we didn’t eat for days after, it certainly was filling, to say the least. Buying a property in Spain, especially a traditional or quieter area,  allows you to get to know your neighbours, who quickly become friends, and before you know it you’re considered part of the familia.  A typical Noche Buena meal starts and ends late, usually just in time for midnight mass, and will normally consist of the following:

Let’s begin…

Starting with a table crammed with charcuterie, or cold meats, cheeses, pate, and other finger foods. Once this has been cleared by the diners, the real food makes an appearance.

Soup kicks things off, usually a light broth in preparation for things to come. Perhaps a creamy seasonal soup like squash. This is followed by platters of large grilled prawns, cooked simply on the plancha, or grill, a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Bread accompanies all courses. Then comes the rest of the shellfish, usually something a bit special such as lobster, dressed crab, or the very expensive red prawns from Denia – which are totally worth the cost once tasted.

Room for more

Then it’s time for the meat course. If it’s a joint, then it will be stuffed and rolled with dried fruits  – a kickback to the Moorish past of Spain. We had pig’s trotters too, cooked in broth. A whole duck or roasted suckling pig – cochinillo asado – is usual, although without the plethora of vegetables more normal for our northern European tastes.

Dessert is yet to appear, and that might be some variation on a milk pudding or a cold rice pudding. Then coffee, with Turrón (only try and eat it if you possess your own teeth) and the colourfully wrapped polverones – or, as I like to think of them, dust…Almond cookies and mantecados will be placed on large plates for everyone to help themselves.

Finally…

Then it’s time to take out the decent whiskey, rum, and gin. Chocolates, and chocolate covered fruit, and enquiries from Granny as to whether you would like more of anything, are you still hungry?  Groaning, try and make your way off your chair whilst politely refusing, and roll home with as much dignity as you can possibly muster.

 

 

 

 

Three Wishes for the Perfect Property

As it’s coming up to that time of year when it’s also time for gift giving, what are you really hoping for, what are your top three wishes? It’s lovely to give, but sometimes it’s just as nice to treat ourselves too. How about the best gift of all, a wonderful second home for holidays, or perhaps even a move to sunny Spain? Treat yourself and the whole family by choosing a superb property in Spain, with our help. A gift that everyone will be happy with! It’s better than socks…Make three wishes for your ideal home in Spain. What would they be?

1. Wish for the best location

Where will you choose from? The Costa del Sol remains consistently popular for many reasons, but namely, you’re after sunshine and great value. If you have a family in tow, you might like to look at property in Marbella, where all the action is. Retired? Consider property in Estepona, where it’s a little quieter than downtown Marbella, or maybe for those looking for a more traditionally Spanish location. Benahavis is your spot if you’re a foodie, love a round of golf, and a life in the hills – yet a stone’s throw from Marbella.

2. Wish for a property by the sea

Proximity to the Mediterranean is a must, and you’ll get that with most of our properties, But what about great beaches? Perhaps a respected urbanisation is for you, or a property with the best sea views? You might want to be as close to the beach as possible, frontline apartment or even right on the beach. Decide if you’re a pebble or fine sand person, as this might swing your decision faster than you can swing that golf club.

3. Wish for a luxurious home

We cater for all budgets, and if you’re on a tight one then we can find that economical property for you, perhaps as a second income to rent out as a holiday home? However, if your budget is top end, then we also have the properties for you to view today. You’ll want a prestigious address, perhaps in Nueva Andalucía or Puerto Banús. It’s up to you. A large and sprawling modern villa with all mod cons might be the perfect answer to your property dilemma, or maybe a swish penthouse with all the security and appointed with luxury fittings. We have a selection of exactly what you want to see – just make your wishlist and we will do the rest!

Guess what? We have a little fairy dust here at FAB Property Spain. We can help make all of your wishes come true. Contact us today!

Useful words for a very Spanish Christmas

The festive season is almost upon us, it’s that sparkling time of year again. You may have found yourself underneath some of the heavy snowfall in many parts of Britain this week. All of these freezing temperatures and darker evenings have is reaching for the holiday sites in search of some sunshine and relaxation over the Christmas and New Year period. A second home in the south of Spain will guarantee you a regular place to holiday in – your very own place in the sun. Choose from property for a Spanish Christmas and more, in many of the most desirable areas, including the prime locations of:

Marbella – property for sale

Benahavis – property for sale

Nueva Andalucia – property for sale

Estepona – property for sale

A little more conversation…

So, there’s no excuse not to visit Spain during the Christmas period. You receive sunshine, a warm welcome and a complete break from the tinsel and turkey of home. All you need to complete your festive feeling is a little conversation with the locals. We have put together a few handy Christmas words, especially for use during this season of goodwill! Christmas celebrations are an important part of Spanish culture and society, so join in and see how different it is to celebrating back at home.

Feliz Navidad Of course, the most important phrase, meaning Happy Christmas, be prepared to say this a hundred times over from the bartender, the shopkeeper to the man on the street.

Felices Fiestas  – In general, meaning Happy Holidays.

Próspero Año Nuevo  – Happy New Year, or literally Prosperous New Year.

Día de Reyes  – Three King’s Day on the 6th January, the real Christmas to many, and the twelfth day of Christmas. Everything goes straight back to normal the next morning.

Noche de Reyes – The excitable night before, the Night of the Three Kings, and the one all the Spanish children eagerly wait for, as it’s when they receive their gifts. Traditionally, the Three Kings will roll up and dish out the gifts from their Mule and cart, or, their sports car if you happen to be in Marbella!

Luces navideñas  – The twinkling Christmas lights. Go and see the ones in Málaga, they are amazing this year.

Comida del día de Navidad  – That’s your special Christmas day food, you might want to ask at local restaurants what theirs is going to be. There may not be gravy, but there will be stupendous seafood, and rolled, stuffed meats – just delicious.

Rosca/Roscón de Reyes – A Christmas cake for the 6th of January, but not as you know it. It’s a circular affair, spongy, and covered in coloured jellies and sweets. Inside, there’s a ‘gold’ ring.

Mantecado – This is a bone dry, powdered sweet treat that my neighbour assures me is best dunked in wine. Personally, I find ideal for flinging at the cat as he removes the baubles from the tree.

Use these phrases and sound like a local – the best way to join in with the Espíritu navideño – Christmas spirit of course!

Exploring the Sierra Bermeja, Estepona

Winter in the south of Spain is ideal for more strenuous activities such as walking or hiking. Minus the intense heat of the summer months, low season walking is more comfortable, and the daytime sunshine is pleasant. Winter is also the ideal season to obtain those clear and far-reaching views, so photographers will also be happy. Close to Estepona lies the mountain range of the Sierra Bermeja, an excellent spot for exploring the region.

A mountain frame

Covering just over 1200 hectares, the Sierra Bermeja forms a frame to the Mediterranean coast of this part of the Costa del Sol, and has at its highest point a peak of 1450 metres. The mountain range is situated across the municipalities of Casares, Estepona and Genalguacil. A new home in popular Estepona means that outdoor activities such as walking or hiking are on your doorstep. It’s not all about the beach!

Flora and Fauna of the Sierra de Bermeja

There are many reasons to take to the mountains of the Sierra de Bermeja, including a good hike in the fresh air, general exercise, and also because of the trees. One part of the scenic route is also fragranced and is called the Paseo de Pinospos. This is due to the covering of Pine Spruce Pines, indigenous to this area, Abies Pinsapo Boiss. Bird watchers with a keen eye may be lucky enough to see Booted Eagles, Vultures, or Sparrowhawks. It’s also the home of the Egyptian Mongoose and the ubiquitous Mountain Goat, although they’re pretty shy. Warmer months still mean hiking boots rather that open-toed sandals, as you’re quite likely to cross paths with slithering neighbours, such as a Salamander or the Iberian Worm Lizard.

Take the easy route

There are marked paths and tracks all the way to the top, and even an old tarmac road if you’re lazy or just want to drive up to make the most of the views from the summit. It takes less than an hour to drive to the top. If you would like to see more of the immediate area, then drive up from Estepona, following the signs marked Los Reales. Drive home via Gaucin and see a little of the local area, perhaps with a menu del dia lunch thrown in for good measure. Such are pleasant days in Andalusia made of!

If you would like to view property in the Estepona area, or anywhere along the Costa del Sol, then contact us and we will be happy to advise you if necessary, and of course show you around.

Escape to Marbella before Christmas

Have you had enough of Christmas at home? Wet days and grey skies as you trudge around the shops are just the preludes. Christmas itself has become so commercialised, and you know it’ll be days on end of relatives, the central heating on high, and endless repeats on TV. Keeping the peace – and goodwill – with all men is far easier with a quick flight and a short break to Spain. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, in Marbella.

 

A good investment, in any season

Thinking of a second home, or an addition to your property portfolio for just such escapes? Then you’ll fare no better with a browse of properties in the Marbella area. Snap up not only a desirable address but a slice of a better life under the Andalusian sunshine – a bolt hole for just such holidays as Christmas, which is fast approaching. Rent it out during the summer months as a source fo second income, and enjoy off-season breaks with the whole family, or as your own private escape. Property in Spain is an investment, after all, and a safer bet for your cash than a bank account.

Pack layers, pack lightly

Landing at Málaga next month might mean you will have packed a few warmer layers than the bikini of high season, but it’s still mild and pleasant during the daytime. T-shirt weather then for days, and extra layers for nighttime, as the evenings turn a bit chilly once the sun has dipped over the Mediterranean. Spain has experienced a distinct lack of rainfall this year, so it’s unlikely you will require your umbrella.

Feeling festive

The Christmas lights have been switched on in Málaga, so leave the comfort of your Marbella home and explore the city centre for an evening. The light display is truly spectacular, it seems to get better every year. There’s an old-fashioned Christmas feel about Malaga, and you can enjoy the nightlife and stroll through the pedestrianised streets munching on some warm chestnuts from one of the street vendors, or explore some of the popular night venues before heading home again.

Eating out

December is a great time to try out the many places to eat in Marbella, minus the hordes of the high season. There’s a new kid on the block too, Funky Tapas Gastro bar is about to have its grand re-opening, find it on Calle Las Violetas, Nueva Andalucia, Marbella. That’s on Friday, 1st December, from 21:00, and everyone who comes is invited to free glass of bubbly on the door. They are planning an evening of canapés, live entertainment and much more, and it promises to be a fun evening for all.