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best places to retire in spain

The 7 Best Places To Retire In Spain

Who doesn’t want to retire in a country with great Mediterranean weather, delicious food (and wine), and best of all, a low cost of living! Sounds good? Then maybe, you should consider retiring in Spain. Who are we kidding, if you’re reading this then it’s probably already on your mind! We’ve rounded up some of the best places to retire in Spain, so don’t go anywhere! 

Spain is a top choice amongst retirees, for everything mentioned above, and for its great healthcare system. In your golden years, you don’t want to have to worry about falling ill and not having access to decent medical care. Spain offers a comfortable lifestyle with the security of good healthcare… it’s a no-brainer really! 

So, where exactly should you retire? We’ve done the research and are coming to you in just a moment with the BEST places to retire in Spain! 

Alicante

alicante city
Photo by Envato Elements

You will find Alicante tucked away on the Costa Blanca coastline in southeastern Spain. This beautiful city may be smaller than Madrid and Barcelona, but hey, you’re retired so maybe you want some peace and quiet! With incredible beaches, mountain views, and a whole load of history, it’s no wonder it’s a top destination for city breaks. 

The climate is pretty dry year-round, with hot and muggy summers, and cool and windy winters! August is the hottest month of the year, with an average temperature of 79.6°F, and January is the coldest month of the year with averages of 53.3°F. 

According to Numbeo.com, the estimated cost of living in Alicante is around 575 EUR (636 USD) a month for a single person not including housing. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 604 EUR (670 USD) a month, and the price per square meter for buying a city center apartment is 2,435 EUR (2,695 USD) per square meter. 

Boring (but essential stuff aside), what makes Alicante one of the best places in Spain to retire? Well, for starters the beaches are amazing. Year after year they get international recognition for being seriously beautiful as well as accessible. The city even offers a free accessible beach service and bathing/swimming assistance in the summer for people with reduced mobility.   

Alicante has some lovely parks and gardens too (the warm weather means it’s palm trees galore!). You’ll just love strolling along Paseo de la Explanada on your quiet mornings, admiring the tricolor marble path and rows of palm trees (what did we say!?). If you’re an early riser, head on over to Paseo de Gomis to watch the sunrise over the ocean. It’s blissful.

Barcelona

barcelona
Photo credit: Daniel Corneschi/Unsplash

Just about everyone has heard of Barcelona, but, just in case you haven’t, let us tell you why it’s one of the best places in Spain to retire! Barcelona is a city that is full of life and energy, it’s an eclectic city that attracts people from all walks of life, retirees included. You’ll find wonderful beaches, great for working on that tan, taking a leisurely stroll, or going for a pleasant dip, and culture-wise, it’s a gem. The city is home to all sorts of breathtaking monuments and historical buildings, from Casa Batllo to La Sagrada Familia, you won’t be short of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore! 

Something important to consider when you’re weighing the pros and cons of living somewhere is the food. Yes, Barcelona has amazing Spanish food (as does the rest of Spain to be honest…) but the perks of living in such an international city is access to all the other cuisines. French, Italian, British, Thai, Japanese… whatever you fancy there’s a restaurant in Barcelona that serves it! Moreover, your local supermarket is way more likely to store your favorite condiment from back home or your guilty pleasure chocolate bar in their world food’s sections. 

Barcelona has a pleasant climate, with relatively rainy winters, and hot sunny summers. August is the hottest month with temperatures averaging 77.3°F and January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 49.6°F. It’s not the warmest place in Spain to retire, but it doesn’t snow and it doesn’t get below freezing!

The estimated cost of living in Barcelona is 700 EUR (775 USD) a month, with rent in a city center one-bedroom apartment coming in at an average of 935 EUR (1035 USD) a month. If you were looking to buy a property in the city center, it would cost you approximately 4,750 EUR (5,260 USD) on average per square meter. 

Granada

granada castle
Photo credit: Dimitry B/Unsplash

Granada is a wonderful city in southern Spain that sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The city is rather iconic (alongside Seville) for its fantastic Moorish architecture. Time and time again, people are drawn to this alluring city, and we think there are plenty of reasons why it is one of the best places in Spain to retire!

If we look at the cost of living, Granada is relatively cheap, with the estimated monthly bills coming in at 577 EUR (639 USD) a month for a single person, not including rent. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center would set you back around 519 EUR (575 USD) a month, and the cost per square meter of a city center apartment is 2,750 EUR (3,044 USD). If you’re still a little worried about cost, might we convince you with the free tapas? Yes, you read that right, in Granada, it’s customary for you to get a free plate of tapas with every glass of beer or wine! WIN.

If we look at the weather, it is absolutely GLORIOUS. The winters are moderately cold (yes please), and the summers are hot and sunny! However, its location in southern Spain, as well as its proximity to the Sierra Nevada mountains, means that the daily temperature has quite a big range! July is the hottest month in the city, with an average temperature of 78.5°F, with highs of 93°F! January is by far the coolest month, and you’ll be facing temperatures of 45.8°F on average. Not too shabby, eh?

The only drawback to Granada is that it isn’t a beach location, but the incredible beauty of the surrounding mountains, and the charm of the sprawling hillside neighbourhoods more than make up for it! Having said that however, the beaches of the southern coast are only a few hours drive away, as well as the snowy mountains of the Sierra Nevada. Sunbathing AND skiing on the same day?? Sign us up! Some of the top draws in Granada are the Alhambra, Europe’s best example of Moorish architecture, watching Granadian flamenco in Sacromonte, and exploring Albaicin, the old Arabic Quarter. 

Malaga

Malaga cityscape
Photo by Envato Elements

Oh Malaga, we are absolutely in love with this coastal city, not only for its wonderful beaches, but for its rich history, laid-back beach resort meets cosmopolitan vibe, AND the fantastic weather (the nightlife is pretty good too if you’re still up for partying well into your golden years!). 

There’s no denying that Malaga is the gem of the Costa del Sol, and the urban beaches in the city, as well as the quieter beaches further out, make it a dream place to retire! If you’re a fan of arts and culture, then you’ll enjoy spending your free time visiting the wonderful museums and exploring the art district, Soho. What’s more, Malaga was the birthplace of the legendary Pablo Picasso, and the Picasso Museum has some of the finest examples of his work. 

The climate in Malaga is lovely and mild, with relatively rainy winters but hot, sunny summers! In August, daily average temperatures are around 79.7°F, and in wintertime, the coldest daily average temperatures hit around 54.°F. If that wasn’t enough already, it barely rains in the summer, so you’ll never find yourself scrambling for cover in the middle of a sunbathing session! 

We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that retiring in Malaga could be a little pricey, it is a top tourist destination after all (for good reason). However, it is actually very reasonable! The estimated costs for a single person are 585 EUR (647 USD) without rent, with rent setting you back around 688 EUR (761 USD) a month for a one-bedroom city center apartment. If you’re in the market to buy (this is where it does get a little expensive), it will cost you approximately 3,485 EUR (3,858 USD) a square meter. 

Mallorca

mallorca cove
Photo credit: Alessa Ciraulo/Unsplash

Probably one of the best (and most popular) places to retire in Spain is Mallorca. The island is booming due to its idyllic white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters combo, plus its amazing blend of city life and breathtaking nature! 

If you plan on spending your retirement surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes then Mallorca is the ONE. There’s the UNESCO world heritage site the Serra de Tramuntana in the northwest, a rugged mountain with ancient stone terracing, quaint villages, and an abundance of hiking trails. In the north, you’ll find Albufera Natural Park, and on the coast, you’ll find Mondrago Natural Park, a haven for beach lovers. 

Mallorca’s climate is just what you’d expect of a Mediterranean island! The winters are mild, the summers are hot and sunny, and just in case you’re a little put off by the heat, there’s a nice sea breeze to cool things down a little. In August, the island’s hottest month, you can expect average temperatures to hover around 78.1°F, whereas, during the colder months (January and February), temperatures are around 49.9°F. 

The cost of living in Mallorca is (unsurprisingly) a little on the steeper side compared to other Spanish destinations. A single person can expect to spend on average 674 EUR (717 USD) a month without rent and to splash out 836 EUR (925 USD) a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Palma. If you’re looking to buy a central apartment, costs are steep, coming in at roughly 4,000 EUR (4,428 USD) per square meter, but looking outside of Palma’s center will save you a lot of money! 

Marbella

marbella beach
Photo credit: Drew Dizzy Graham/Unsplash

Marbella is an absolute classic when it comes to holidaying in Spain. This resort town is one of the most popular places on the Andalusian coast, and with great weather, friendly people, and amazing natural landscapes, we can totally see why!

It is one of the best places to retire in Spain because it offers pretty much everything you could be looking for when it comes to spending your golden years in a foreign country. Say the word Marbella, and most people think “beaches”, and, with around 30 kilometers of stunning coastline to choose from, we aren’t surprised! For urban beaches with all the facilities, head over to Playa de La Venus. Or, if you want somewhere a little wild, Artola is beautiful. 

There are some fabulous beach clubs around too! You could find yourself getting a Balinese massage, enjoying the beach club food, or sitting by the ocean side bar (sounds like a good retirement to us!). If you’re all about history, don’t worry as there’s plenty of incredible history and culture in Marbella too. Some top sights in the old town are the Castillo (a stunning Arabian castle), Plaza de Los Naranjos, and the Spanish Contemporary Engraving Museum.

Don’t even get us started on the weather either. With roughly 320 days of sunny skies, you’ll be working up a nice tan and enjoying some much welcome vitamin D! It is the hottest in August, with average temperatures of 78.8°F, and the coldest is January with average temperatures of 54.5°F. This whole area is relatively windy, with cold winds in the winter, and a pleasant afternoon sea breeze in the summer. 

The cost of living in Marbella is reasonable for what you’d expect of a popular resort town. A single person will spend an estimated 677 EUR (750 USD) a month without rent. Rent in a central one-bedroom apartment is around 708 EUR (784 USD) a month, or to buy a central property, you’ll be paying roughly 4,000 EUR (4,428 USD) a square meter. 

Orange Blossom Coast

Orange Blossom Coast
Photo credit: Kookay/Pixabay

The Orange Blossom Coast, also known as the Costa Azahar, is probably one of Spain’s best-kept secrets! If you’re looking to retire somewhere peaceful and idyllic, then this is probably one of the best places in Spain. It’s got mountains, beautiful towns and villages, beaches, a nice climate, and orange groves, upon orange groves, upon orange groves.  

This place is perfect for a spot of beach-hopping, with miles upon miles of incredible, sandy beaches to discover! Each beach has a different charm, for family fun, head to Playa Norte in Peniscola, or for some YOU time, Playa del Pebret in the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Irta, is a great place for relaxation and quiet. The food on the Orange Blossom Coast is amazing too, with Vinaros holding the reputation for the best langoustines in the entire country! There’s plenty of natural landscapes around the area so if you want to take a hike along a mountain range or birdwatch in a delta, you’ll find what you’re looking for. 

Like the rest of Spain, the Orange Blossom Coast has a Mediterranean climate! The winters are mild and relatively rainy, whereas the summers are hot and sunny. During its hottest months (July and August) daytime temperatures reach 79.7°F on average, and during its coldest month, February, temperatures are 51.8°F.  

The cost of living in the Orange Blossom Coast is unexpectedly pricey, with a single person spending around 700 EUR (775 USD) a month, not including rent. Since there are many towns to live in on the Orange Blossom Coast, we’re going to look at the rent and property prices in Castellon de la Plana (the capital of Costa Azahar). A one-bedroom central apartment will set you back around 474 EUR (524 USD) a month, whereas purchasing a central apartment will cost you roughly 1,800 EUR (1,993 USD) a square meter! This isn’t too bad, but rent/property prices in the smaller, more picturesque towns could be higher!