Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He's travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.


  1. Sara
    March 22, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

    Just so you know, the photo is from Altea – a small town a bit up the coast!

  2. nikki
    October 16, 2015 @ 1:46 pm

    Hi there, I’ve been living as an expat in Alicante since January and absolutely love it. I live at the north end of the city towards playa de San Juan, about 15 minutes from the city centre and think it has a good balance of everything. On my doorstep are a plethora of shops, bars and restaurants that stay open all year round, so many we still haven’t even scratched the surface yet! Nothing beats heading out in the afternoon sunshine for a cana and tapas for 1.50 Euros and people watching. Its great to practice my spanish and sample some different types of tapas u dont get in the uk (cheese with rose petal jam and dates wrapped in bacon being two of my favs). And spanish people are so friendly and welcoming if you make an effort. If I fancy something more upbeat I head on the tram into the city centre and go to ‘mushroom street’ and castanos for a mojito and maybe a dance in a disco bar. Or try improve my Spanish at a language exchange group. Then I can head back to avenida Costa blanca and try some salsa at Texaco pub, or maybe rock music at the Harley bar. It has so much to offer I can’t wait to explore more…

  3. Matthew Hirtes
    October 16, 2015 @ 3:33 pm

    Glad to hear you’re settling in, Nikki. Sounds like you’re having a great time. Thanks for taking time out to comment.

  4. Kendall
    October 22, 2015 @ 7:13 pm

    how difficult would it be for an American to live in Alicante? Is it relatively simple to become a Spanish citizen? Is there an article or blog that details the process? I appreciate the information.

  5. Elle Draper
    October 22, 2015 @ 8:51 pm

    Hello Kendall. It is fairly straightforward, as long as you don’t mind jumping through a few paperwork hoops. We recommend that American relocators speak to Cat Gaa, a good friend of Spain Buddy’s owners. You can reach her via her website at

    Good luck!

  6. Daren
    April 26, 2016 @ 10:58 am

    Hi Nikki, are you still in San Juan? I’ve just moved out here and it would be great to chat with another brit and learn from your experiences.

  7. Anne
    August 8, 2016 @ 12:41 am

    Is this a good place to retire. I am 59 and my husband is 61. We are thinking of selling our home and living somewhere beautiful and affordable. Would appreciate any help in starting our research.

  8. Elle Draper
    August 8, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    Hello Anne. You certainly wouldn’t be the first retirees to move to the area. Any area is good to retire to – but it all depends on personal taste.
    Good luck!
    E x

  9. Marléne
    September 15, 2016 @ 6:45 pm

    Hi Daren and Nikki I would love to talk to you about possible areas to live between Alicante and San Juan

  10. H&B Spain
    January 12, 2017 @ 9:29 pm

    Plus if your moving to Spain you can get most of the ammenieties like your vits and supplements.

    Holland and Barrett have just launched their new website online in Spain. Delivery within 72 hours to Alicante.

  11. Connie Lassiter
    February 17, 2017 @ 5:07 am

    My daughter and I are looking to relocate to Spain from United States. We will be in the area the entire month of May and would love to meet up with any ex pats and chat a bit about the process.


  12. Aimee
    March 25, 2017 @ 12:13 pm

    Hi I am looking into the possibility of moving to the Med coast of Spain (Alicante is high on the list) for a year or so–in about 4-5 years. Just starting the learning and “finding contacts” phase. Am open to conversation and learning

  13. Margie
    August 9, 2017 @ 11:04 am

    I’m thinking of moving to the med too, my husband and I are in our late forties and we have a ten year old child.. Any information regarding work, life ect would really be appreciated.. feels like a needle in the haystack situation. Many thanks.

  14. Pete
    December 2, 2017 @ 9:36 pm

    I am looking to move and live here but am finding it difficult to find low cost long term furnished properties for a single person also I am trying to find out how I can get a residency here as I am a British citizen. Once living here is it easy to find work and carry on self employed online. Hope I can get advice as I am finding it difficult to find the answers I want. Thanks

  15. Elle Draper
    December 4, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

    Hi Pete. I canb’t help with accommodation I’m afraid – I’d just recommend speaking to as many agents as possible.

    Residencia is siomple enough – although the rules have tightened now… so you’ll need to be able to prove how you can pay for healthcare… which can be done via a healthy bank balance, proof of income or proof of payment to a private healthcare company. There are people who can help you with this for a fee. We paid the fee to someone when we first moved over and it’s worth every centimo for the peace of mind. I don’t know who does it in Alicante… but if you are on Facebook… any local Alicante Groups will be able to recommend someone. Whoever you choose should be able to help you get set up to pay tax on your earnings and get you registered into the Spanish healthcare system (which will avoid you having to pay for private healthcare – although it’s not cheap. It can be €280 per month regardless of earnings).

    For finding work – it’s as easy as anywhere else. All depends how proactive you are at marketing yourself.

    Does that help?

    Good luck!

    Elle xx

  16. Jason Giordanella
    January 7, 2018 @ 3:34 pm

    Hi, I am looking to locate myself to Alicante Sept 2018. My girlfriend is south american and is completing her masters in Alicante university. I am visiting the city in March to get an idea of best areas to live in for us and to enjoy the city for a few days and I would also like to check out a few areas in the city and on the outskirts of the city which have good transport connections to the university and are also nice places and good value to live in. Can anyone recommend some areas inside the city and on the outskirts that would be maybe within 30 mins transport to the university and are quite nice areas and any suggestions of living outside the city. Any advice and insights are greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *