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. Steven Lupson
    May 17, 2015 @ 9:40 am

    Hello my name is Steven Lupson and myself and wife are coming out to Lanzarote on the 12th of June until the 19th. Our intention is to move to the Canaries. We would love to meet up with someone to pick there brains so to speak. Beers on us. So if you could spare an hour to have a chat that would be fantastic.

    Thanks Steve

  2. Elle Draper
    May 17, 2015 @ 9:53 am

    Hi Steve. What part of Lanzarote are you looking at? Or are you open to any? We have contacts in most of the island and can put you in touch with someone helpful. E x

  3. Steven Lupson
    May 20, 2015 @ 8:55 pm

    Hello Elle, we are going to based in Playa Blanca. We will have a car and intend seeing as much as possible. So any contacts would be fantastic. thank you so much!!

  4. Elle Draper
    May 21, 2015 @ 12:18 am

    We shall pop our feelers out and send some people your way. You may also wish to join our Facebook group too – here’s the link:

    Good luck with everything! E x

  5. Ann Wilde
    May 21, 2015 @ 1:20 pm

    Hi, my husband and I will be moving to Playa Blanca in 5wks. Too late to meet you, but you are welcome to keep in touch and see how we’re finding things. We are in our early 60’s and will be retiring. Also check out the “need to know Lanzarote ” group on Facebook. People are very pleased to offer help and advice. We have found out lots of useful information.

  6. Kevin Stevens
    May 21, 2015 @ 6:51 pm

    We are in the same boat, we are looking to move to Lanzarote/Matagorda, in October so would definitely like to be kept informed on as many issues as possible.

    Kind Regards


  7. Ann Wilde
    May 22, 2015 @ 7:28 pm

    Seems like Lanzarote is the place to be! Hope you all get to move out and come round for a barbecue at
    our house.

  8. Steven Lupson
    May 29, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

    Really looking forward to here how u get on.

  9. Cheryl Phillips/Graham Taylor
    October 24, 2015 @ 7:03 pm

    Hi myself & my partner Graham are looking to move out to Puerto del Carmen next April permanently we will be in a position to buy a place out right & semi retire for 3 years I would like to know what the health care is out there & if we would need permanent health insurance? I have angina, asthma & arthritis & my partner asthma so we need to know what form of health care we could receive. I’m 56 & my partner is 58 we would love to join an ex pat circle & meet like minded people we both love socialsing we are very excited & nervous so any advice would be more than welcomed thanks Cheryl/Graham from England

  10. Elle Draper
    October 24, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

    Hello Cheryl and Graham.
    For healthcare, you will either need to pay into the Social Security system in Spain… or get private health insurance. The former will be more applicable if you were working so you’d probably be better to get some quotes for private healthcare instead.
    Don’t worry about socialising – there will be loads going on. The expat community is a healthy one in Puerto del Carmen, and across the island.
    Good luck with the move!
    Elle x

  11. Cheryl Phillips/Graham Taylor
    October 24, 2015 @ 8:01 pm

    Thank you Ellex

  12. Cheryl Phillips/Graham Taylor
    November 1, 2015 @ 9:05 am

    Hi we are coming out to Puerto del Carmen on 9th November for a week & would love to meet up with someone who could give us advise as to banking. Which private healthcare etc & were we start putting things in place do we need visa to live there? Thanks Cheryl/Graham England

  13. Elle Draper
    November 1, 2015 @ 10:03 am

    Hi Cheryl and Graham.

    For banking – go to Banco Sabadell which is the bright blue bank at the southern end of Avenida de Las Playas close to the Fariones hotel. They speak good English in there and will be able to help you with whatever you need. We’ve been banking with that company for almost a decade. Their charges can be a little more than others, but we feel it is money well spent for the service we receive from them. They do online banking too of course. Take your passports with you to open an account.

    For private healthcare – nobody can advise you who to choose because your personal circumstances will dictate which company is best for you to use.

    You don’t need a visa to live in Lanzarote if you are both EU citizens. Well, not this side of the referendum anyway.

    Good luck!

    Elle xx

  14. Clair Farr
    November 7, 2015 @ 3:47 pm

    Myself, my husband and 2 sons 13 and 18 are looking at moving to Lanzarote when the youngest finishes his GCSEs We wont be in a position to buy anywhere to live as we are hoping to have enough money together to buy a small bar.
    My 18yr old will be a fully qualified welder, apprentice trained and 21 by then.
    Are there jobs for that kind of work there?
    Where would be the best places to look for property to rent?
    I have a dog and 2 parrots, would I be able to bring them with me?

    Any help or info would be very gratefully received

    We are coming over on the 19th Nov (3rd time in 13 months) And we are hoping to have a better look around.

  15. Elle Draper
    November 7, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

    Hello Clair.

    Your 18 year old will be more likely to find work with you in your bar than his qualifications… but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. He will need to be fluent in Spanish to work for the Spanish metalwork businesses there. There are a couple of British metalwork companies though – a Google search will bring those up for you.

    “Best places to look for property to rent” – it depends which geographical area you want. You’ll struggle to get something in Playa Blanca at the moment though – it’s extremely popular and prices have risen hugely.

    Yes you can bring your dog and parrots. Speak to your vet who will help with the relevant paperwork and injections. Best to get advice on that sooner rather than later in case of any complications.

    Good luck!

    E x

  16. Jayne Davis
    November 22, 2015 @ 11:42 pm

    I am coming to Lanzarote on December 10th for 10 days to hopefully find my forever home,I intend to move from England in January 2016 is anyone willing to meet me I’ve so many questions ? Where does everyone meet to socialise? Thanks Jayne

  17. Elle Draper
    November 22, 2015 @ 11:58 pm

    Hi Jayne. Don’t worry – you’ll be beating new friends off with a stick. What areas are you looking at?

    Elle x

  18. Catherine
    November 27, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

    Hi everyone

    Myself and family are looking into moving to the island next year and would greatly appreciate any info and help

  19. Elle Draper
    November 27, 2015 @ 3:43 pm

    Hello Catherine. It is very difficult to offer advice on a vague basis because people’s circumstances differ so much. Have a think about the specific things you’d like to know and then pop back to us and we will help as much as we can.
    Elle x

  20. Mark
    December 14, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

    Hi me, my partner and daughter are looking to move over in early February 2016 and are after a long term rental in guatiza area could any body help

  21. Elle Draper
    December 14, 2015 @ 2:32 pm

    If any agents are reading this and can help – please email and we shall pass the details on to Mark.

  22. stephen
    January 3, 2016 @ 11:49 am

    Our son (19) very well mannered would love to work and live in Lanzarote ….. we all just love the place big time ….

  23. Sharon Huggins
    January 3, 2016 @ 11:25 pm


    Looking to find out about british schooling costs, we have a 3 and 5 yr old, tried contacting Queens School in Playa Blanca but not heard back as yet.

    Just need an idea of what sending them to a British school will cost.

    My parents live in Playa Blanca and we are looking at coming.

    Are you able yo help?


  24. Elle Draper
    January 4, 2016 @ 1:15 pm

    Hi Sharon. We don’t have access to the pricing I’m afraid. We recommend you keep trying to get hold of the schools. By phone may be better than email – bearing in mind that they might not be back to full time until after next weekend because of the Three Kings festival.

  25. Marcus Croft
    January 4, 2016 @ 3:55 pm


    My wife and I have been looking at various Spanish locations with a view to a permanent move and following our recent holiday have fallen for Lanzarote! We love the island, its residence and, of course, the weather. we’d be looking to buy a small property outright. I work as a manager of an electrical company in the UK and although I’d be willing to turn my hand to anything I’d like to continue within the electrical industry on the island if possible. I know good ‘Spanish’ is essential but do you have any information on what else is required to do this, or maybe a contact who could give us more advise?

  26. Elle Draper
    January 4, 2016 @ 4:05 pm

    Hi there. Pleased that you realise that excellent Spanish is essential. The Spanish regulations are different though for sure. A little less strict if anything although I couldn’t possibly advise on technical differences.
    Have a chat to these guys who may be able to help:
    Good luck with the move – good sparkies always seem to be needed in Lanzarote. I can only think of one who has consistently been excellent (he’s Playa Blanca based, although he covers the whole island).
    Elle x

  27. Angela Leoni
    January 13, 2016 @ 3:58 pm


    Me my partner and my son who will be 11 this year in july really want to move to the canaries, more likely to be lanzarote, i have been searching for schools i did come across one the british one not far from the airport, i have emailed for info on fees, anyone know more on this at all ???

    Also me and my partner are both skilled i am a fully qualified beautician to level 4 which is aesthetic work, my partner does websites, logo design any design you want really, print services and more, he does work for a john beckley who is quite well known at sands beach resort and of tenerife magazine, we know that our jobs would more than likely change, thats where my bar/waitress skills of many years may help, this is fine with us the main thing is to make the move and not have to come back due to any accommodation or job problems, how are jobs to come by out there and accomodation?? longterm so not to have to return to the uk again :))

    if anyone can reply many thanks as all information really helps


  28. Angela Leoni
    January 13, 2016 @ 4:01 pm

    Sorry that renting not buying, and we are out there 1 march this year so will check out a few things as well.

  29. Elle Draper
    January 13, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

    Keep chasing the British School. They’re only just gone back after Christmas and the Three Kings so they may be playing catch-up.

    A million and one beauticians and web designers on the island. We still have lots of our own web design clients in Lanzarote but you can’t have those I’m afraid ;)

    Jobs are tough to come by because unemployment is worse in the Canaries than the UK. You are unlikely to earn as much as where you currently are – but this is balanced out by cost of living and quality of life.

    Good luck with the move – Lanzarote is a gorgeous place to live. We simply wanted something different and a larger potential client base (which we now have) hence leaving three years ago.

    E x

  30. Nuno
    January 15, 2016 @ 1:18 pm

    Hello, im currently leaving in Ireland but pretend to move to Lanzarote in the next 2 years, i woose looking online about removals to Lanzararote and they are very expensive, do you know any good websites? Thanks

  31. Elle Draper
    January 15, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

    We only recommend CK Haulage for moving to/from Lanzarote. – speak to Karen there.

    These things are only pricey because of the extra ferry crossings and toll roads along the way. The cheaper ones can often be more hassle than they are worth – as we experienced ourselves. CK Haulage are fully insured and extremely professional.

  32. Rebecca Gray
    February 23, 2016 @ 6:46 pm

    My husband and I already own an apartment in Lanzarote. We will hopefully be moving permanently sometime next year. We already have a bank account and NIE number. How easy is the process to become a resident?

    We will also be driving our car over to enable us to bring some bits & pieces from the UK. Do you have any information with regards to keeping our UK registered car in Lanzarote?



  33. Elle Draper
    February 24, 2016 @ 7:33 pm

    Hi Becky. It’s simple to become resident. If you speak Spanish, make an appointment at the police station in Arrecife and they’ll take care of everything. If you don’t, then pay someone like Guy Buske from “A to Z Paperwork Lanzarote” who will take care of everything. Worth every centimo.

    With regard to your car, we can’t offer any specifics. However – unless you are completely devoted to it – you may find the costs of matriculation and the hassles invloved far outweigh the benefits.

    Good luck with the move – we spent a very happy six years there.

    Elle x

  34. Miguel Montenegro
    March 6, 2016 @ 10:26 am

    Hi Elle.

    I was wondering if you would please give me some guidance. Just been in Lanzarote Puerto del Carmen for 2 weeks and fell in love with all of it. From people to landscape, and from the weather to laid back way of life. I wanted to drop everything here in uk and just move there. Lol

    I approached a few estate agencies and banks about buying something small 1 bed apartment but the mortgage situation is complicated me not being a canarian resident and not having job there or bank account.

    Anyway, career wise I work as a clinical psychologist in neuropsychology but that sector is not well developed there. Unless I missed out something.

    Basically, what is the best way to find a small flat there no need for pool and that, and how would I go about to find job in my sector.

    Many thanks


  35. Elle Draper
    March 7, 2016 @ 10:34 pm

    Hi Miguel. Are you the same chappie who sent me an email too? So sorry I haven’t replied yet… it’s been crazy here and we have family arriving this week too. I will come back to you though – I promise. E x

  36. julia
    March 21, 2016 @ 7:41 pm

    i have recently moved to playa blanca
    and finding social company difficult to find
    im 60years and looking for male company
    for coffee date etc
    suggestions please

  37. Paul
    March 22, 2016 @ 10:00 pm

    Hi Elle,I am considering moving out to LNZRTE,i am a drummer with 30yrs experience.I had a jam one nite in Charlies Bar,and was surprised to see that there was a lot of live bands playing,especially in porto del carmen,with,and using a proper live drummers too!!.I had a great time there and found the International Bar very friendly too.I will be over there end of April..Paul.

  38. Elle Draper
    March 23, 2016 @ 12:03 pm

    Hi Julia.

    Give the following Facebook group a try. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all the safety stuff.

    Good luck! xx

  39. Elle Draper
    March 23, 2016 @ 12:03 pm

    Good luck with the move Paul – you really are “upping sticks”.

    E x

  40. Alexandra
    March 28, 2016 @ 10:24 pm

    Hi Elle!

    I am a 28years old professional nanny in London (bilingual French English). I absolutely love Lanzarote and am considering moving there this September. Are you aware of nanny job (aupair too) opportunities in the island? or websites maybe?
    Would also consider buying a second hand car.

    Many thanks!!

  41. Elle Draper
    March 30, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

    Hi Alex. I don’t think there are any dedicated Nanny/Au Pair websites for Lanzarote… but globally there may be (Google will help).
    Do join any of the many Lanzarote groups on Facebook though.
    Good luck with the move – it’s a lovely island!
    Elle x

  42. Catherine
    March 31, 2016 @ 7:18 pm

    Hi there

    Myself my husband and daughter are preparing to re locate to the island by the end of the year. Does anyone have valuable advice for us please

  43. Elle Draper
    March 31, 2016 @ 10:22 pm

    Hi Catherine. Are you the lady I’ve been speaking to via our page on Facebook?

    We wish you well and hope that others get in touch.

    Elle x

  44. cath
    April 5, 2016 @ 12:52 pm

    hi , my name is cath and my husband and i hope to try out living in puerto del carmen for one year , with this in mind we would like to rent a place in puerto del carmen. not too far from beech has to be new town area. many thanks, cath.

  45. Agnieszka
    April 10, 2016 @ 10:40 pm

    Hi Elle,
    Myslef, my fiancé and two small kids (1 and 2,5 years old) are plannimg to move to lanzarote. We are going in September for a week and I was thinking to look around for a job offers and house to rent. I was reading finding a place fo live it’s quite difficult now. We both have experience in catering industry. I was wondering what’s the life in there. And if you can tell how much money is it good to have for the beginning. Any advice would be highly appreciated.
    Kind regards

  46. Elle Draper
    April 12, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

    HI Agnieszka.

    Yes it’s quite difficult to get a long term rental in Playa Blanca at the moment, but I don’t know about other areas.

    As for money – you’ll need a few thousand to get settled and to tide you over until you find work. Plus the authorities will ask you to prove you can support yourself and your family if you apply for residencia. I don’t know how much that is I’m afraid as it can vary.

    Good luck with the move – your kids are the perfect age and will grow up speaking better Spanish than we do!

  47. Denise
    April 18, 2016 @ 12:23 am

    Hi- we are on our 11 holiday here in Lanzarote and are giving very serious thought to moving out here when husband retires in a couple of years. we will have income etc from pensions and house to sell just a little over whelmed as to where to start with the whole process – we do have an NEI number from timeshare purchase . any advice would be gratefully received.

  48. Elle Draper
    April 18, 2016 @ 9:36 am

    Hi Denise.

    First place to start is to decide where on the island you want to live. Then whether you want to rent or buy.

    I’m guessing retirement mans you won’t need to work? Then just get your Spanish lessons underway and start packing.

    Good luck!

  49. Denise
    April 18, 2016 @ 6:08 pm

    Hi Elle- seems that not a lot to stand in our way then. we are looking to buy in Playa Blanca but may need to small top up mortgage. will start the Spanish lessons and look into everything from villas to pets etc and hopefully take the plunge when time is right . thanks Denise

  50. Elle Draper
    April 18, 2016 @ 9:12 pm

    Honestly – if work isn’t an issue – then the lingo and packing your stuff will be the toughest parts. Be prepared to spend out quite a bit during your first six months… but once settled in you’ll be fine.
    Playa Blanca is a wonderful place to live and wer spent six very happy years there.
    Good luck! x

  51. David Taylor
    April 21, 2016 @ 10:56 pm

    Hi Elle quick work question i’m fully qualified golf green keeper 15 years experience, do you know if the courses on the island need full time / temporary summer staff. Looking to move in a few years but trying to plan well in advance. Many thanks.

  52. Elle Draper
    April 22, 2016 @ 10:05 am

    Hi David. I wouldn’t know – but do try approaching them and see what they say. You never know.
    Write to them in Spanish though, obviously. You would probably be expected to interview in Spanish too but if you explain to them that you’re a few years off… and see if it is ever a possibility, then you have time to learn the language anyway.
    Good luck!
    Elle x

  53. Mary
    April 29, 2016 @ 9:17 am

    Hi, we are hoping to buy second home in Yazia ans I was wondering if any painting or book clubs there its just for social time as my hisband is.only starting to wind down work so il be on my own part of time there ladies groups ect

  54. Elle Draper
    April 29, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

    Hi Mary. There are certainly a good number of artistic people in Lanzarote so you sholdn’t struggle to find likeminded souls.
    Not sure about clubs – but feel free to go ask in this Facebook Group (I moderate and run it so will keep an eye out for your “Join Group” request.
    E x

  55. Mary
    April 29, 2016 @ 3:18 pm

    Thank you elle will do that

  56. Mary
    May 1, 2016 @ 11:24 pm

    Hi Elle
    If anyone in Yaiza or near could meet up for coffee or lunch sometime would be great, expat social ect .we should own our house by end May, but I will have to spend time on my own so would be wonderfull to meet ladies like me, not good on speaking Spanish but trying hard

  57. Elle Draper
    May 2, 2016 @ 10:03 am

    Hi Mary. We would if we were still there. Good luck with everything!
    E x

  58. sarah walker
    May 16, 2016 @ 12:14 am

    my partner and i are wanting to come over next year to live. we want to rent first then see about buying later on. could anyone give me a rough idea how much money we will need to set up there. we are coming in september to have a gd look round the island and get some ideas on where to settle. i love costa teguise so we hoping to be near there but im sure other areas are amazing xx

  59. Elle Draper
    May 17, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

    I’m afraid we can’t give any figures at the moment. Not until after the EU referendum results – as this may or may not have a dramatic bearing on costs. E x

  60. Joanne O'Rourke
    May 19, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

    Hi Elle,
    Myself, my husband & our 9 year old daughter have just booked 4 nights for 8th December. Our plan is to move in 3 years when our daughter is finished primary school here in Ireland. Can you suggest people to meet up with to go through pro’s and con’s of the move, ideas etc on renting/buying/schools. Going to get as much research done on this trip as is possible. Will be learning spanish in time for the move also. Love the island so much & just can’t wait for another 30 years to retirement!
    Thanks a million :)

  61. Alan Gandy
    May 19, 2016 @ 2:31 pm

    It may not even be possible at all after the vote!

  62. Elle Draper
    May 19, 2016 @ 2:45 pm

    Hi Joanne. I won’t recommend individuals because people get on with different people so you may bond with different faces. But do join any of the Lanzarote Groups on Facebook – a Facebook search will bring up a few. You’ll find that friends will appear soon enough. I run a Playa Blanca group if that’s an area you’re considering.
    Good luck with the move and well done for learning Spanish before you go. I learned a little… but not enough really. E x

  63. paul prendergast
    May 22, 2016 @ 12:50 am

    Hi there every one my name is Paul and I’m a painter for 28 years I’ve been self employed for about 18 years Im from Ireland and my wife and i war thinking about moving to lanzarote dose any one know if there is much work there for painters my intention is go self employed again but just taught I would get your taughs on the idea thanks paul

  64. Elle Draper
    May 22, 2016 @ 1:02 am

    Hello Paul. Two points for you.
    1. There are as many painters as sunbeds in Lanzarote
    2. Your 28 years experience in the industry and 18 years experience as a sole trader put you above 99% of all of them.
    Go for it – bring your experience and show them all how it’s done. But make sure you market yourself properly too – word of mouth is the best way of course… but you’ll need to open a few doors first to get those all important recommendations. Maybe make sure someone proofreads any of your publicity too ;)
    Good luck!
    Elle x

  65. Pauline
    May 31, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

    Hi everyone – I want to relocate to Lanzatote next year hopefully – I am retired but I need a list to work from as I haven’t got a clue where to start ie do I need to find somewhere to live first or do I need to sort my pension first, do I need to get a NI number first? ????

  66. Dean Spencer
    June 5, 2016 @ 1:15 am

    I have my own removals company in uk we do removals all over europe but i’m looking to move to a canary island in the near future and set up on one of the islands specializing moving british people. Do you think this is doable as there seems not much information on removals. Do you have any ideas as to where to start making enquiries regarding british people on the islands. Is it easy enough to start a company on these islands etc.


  67. Elle Draper
    June 5, 2016 @ 1:58 pm

    There are a number of well established companies on the larger islands. It’s not cheap to do though – because of the duty and insurance. But bthen you’ll know that because you will have been through the paperwork trails at your end.

    Starting a company is easy enough – if you hire an Asesoria (a bit like an accountant) to help you through the paperwork.

    Of course this may change depending on the results of the upcoming referendum.

    Good luck!

  68. Sharon Murphy
    June 10, 2016 @ 2:16 pm

    Hi Elle,

    Me and my boyfriend are thinking about moving to lanzarote- Puerto del carmen in September of this year. Just wondering would if be easy to find an admin job over and my boyfriend has years expeirence of driving trucks. What is the cost of living over . We wouldn’t be looking for a job straight away but after a month or so. can you recommend Any websites jobs in Peurto del Carmen

  69. Jan White
    June 16, 2016 @ 7:13 pm

    Hi Elle, we are selling up and moving to Lanzarote as soon as we can, have started doing prep work and looking on line for villas, but would like to know best estate agents on the island, we are not too fussed about where we live there as long as not the tourist hot spots

  70. Elle Draper
    June 20, 2016 @ 11:24 am

    Hi Jan. It’s difficult to recommend particular agents, because opinions are so subjective. I know one or two that I wouldn’t spit on – but it would be unprofessional of me to name them in here ;) x

  71. Danny
    June 21, 2016 @ 7:31 pm

    Hi Elle
    Me and my partner and our 6 year old daughter are moving to pdc in Sept and we are looking to rent long term in pdc I’ve been going over to lanz for over 15 years 3 or 4 times year
    I love the island I’m 50 now going on 27 and feel it’s time to live my dream and commit to lanz full time I’ve stayed over for months at a time in the past but this year I found it difficult to get any 2 bed apartments in pdc we have booked a hotel for one month so I hope we can find somewhere on that time
    We are lucky that we own a property outright in England and will be receiving a good rental income from that while we live in lanz so we only need a small part time job to keep us busy or set up a small business
    I’m concerned about the eu ref do you think it will stop us from living in lanz this year if it goes vote out ?? Does anyone have any views on this or does nobody really no ?
    Kind regards
    If anyone has a 2 bed apartment in pdc for long term rent close to beach old town if poss with a shared pool please let me no asap

  72. Elle Draper
    June 22, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

    Hi Danny!

    Unfortuntaley we can’t comment on any possible Referendum effects. But I guess we’ll know in a couple of days. Either things will carry on fairly normally… or we’ll be having a period of change. Will be interesting for sure.

    Yes it’s difficult to rent in PdC at the moment (Playa Blanca is the same) – 2 and 3 bedroom places are like gold dust.

    Hold onto your plans, and let’s see what happens over the next day or two xxx

  73. glenn
    June 23, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

    Hi looking at moving to lanzarote in a few months with my wife and renting for first 6 months. We will be in a position to buy villa outright. Could you tell me when buying property is there anything i need to he careful about regarding scams? Also im a massive fishing fan and looking at buying a fishing boat, would you say the sea is rough most of the year or would you saying having a boat would be ok. Appreciate any advice you can give

  74. Elle Draper
    June 23, 2016 @ 8:32 pm

    You shouldn’t be scammed. Just make sure you get a lawyer to act on your behalf. Don’t buy anything on a beach. If buying on a complex, get an independent opinion too and remember that not all areas can be residential because of tourist licenses, and vice versa. Your estate agent will be able to advise you – but use your own lawyer – not theirs.

    As regards fishing, there are choppy areas as with anywhere. But if you’re an experienced boat owner you’ll be fine. Just make sure you get insurance and any appropriate fishing livcenses.

    E x

  75. Paul
    July 2, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

    Hi ,
    Would just like to say how helpful it has been to read all the information posted by you Elle and all the questions you have answered has helped me massively. Like others I to would love some advice.
    I am most likely re locating to Lanzarote for work , I say most likely as it is down to Lanzarote and main land Spain (Malaga) , I am in the aviation industry. I have been many times to Lanzarote and really love it that is why I put it down as one of my preferred locations.
    However I have a huge reservation- of all the years I have been it was me and my girlfriend and I did notice the island is fairly couple and family orientated which is fantastic , as I really don’t like the rowdy expat thing at all!!! However I am now single. I am 31 and am worried that it could be a little lonely for me. I would love to integrate into a community , have just started to learn Spanish and love it , and would really like to meet a nice Spanish girl and really make Lanzarote my home.
    I would be most grateful for your advice and thoughts , am I being ridiculous or would main land Spain be a better option for me???
    Kind Regards ,

  76. Elle Draper
    July 4, 2016 @ 9:59 am

    Hi Paul!
    Either place would work well for you – even as a singleton. However, the ratio to find yourself a lovely Spanish lady would probably be easier on the mainland, as would airport pricing and access. Lanzarote is smaller and more intimate (if that’s the right word) and so it offers more of a village feel. Go with your gut and good luck with whichever place you choose.
    E xx

  77. Sinead
    July 10, 2016 @ 1:16 am


    I hoping to be able to move to lanzarote myself and my 3 year old son obviously it will be due course, can you give any advice / information / assistance would be great. I have lived in majorca just for the season so i have a taster of what it will be like however i didn’t have my son then :-) with it just being me and my son i am wondering on healthcare, schools, work, renting (as i am not in a financial postion to buy)

    Any information / advice will be greatly appreciated .

  78. Nuno
    July 10, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

    Hi Elle, i asked few questions before, you guys moved from Lanzarote to mainland, is easier on mainland? like i said before we would like to move there. We speak spanish, but im bit scared because is small island and i wont be able to get job, i have young family. I am lorry driver and ive worked before in restaurantes but had enouph, hmmmm.

  79. Elle Draper
    July 11, 2016 @ 9:19 am

    Hello Nuno. Moving to the mkainland was better for us – but everyone is different.
    Yes Lanzarote is a small island but you already have the advantage of speaking Spanish. There isn’t much lorry driving work though.
    Good luck!
    E x

  80. Elle Draper
    July 11, 2016 @ 9:26 am

    Hi Sinead!
    Healthcare – if you are working with a contract you will automatically qualify for healthcare and your son will come under your provision. If you are not working, you will either have to pay into the system €250+ per month dependent upon age – or arrange private healthcare.
    Schools – easy. Just decide whether you want him in Spanish state school or a private English-speaking school.
    Work – find it the same way you would at home. Bear in mind though, that most companies won’t consider you untilo you’re already on the island.
    Renting – agents can help you with this. Be aware that rental properties are in short supply at the moment… so prices are a bit higher than they were a few years ago.
    Good luck!
    E x

  81. Stephanie
    October 1, 2016 @ 6:31 pm

    Hello there!
    Just wondered if you could help,
    We are thinking about relocating to costa tugise as we have just come of holiday there and we just want to pack up and go!
    What sort of things would we need to sort out?
    Where do we start?
    What would we need?
    I’ll wait on your reply!
    Kind regards

  82. Elle Draper
    October 2, 2016 @ 11:06 am

    Hello Stephanie.

    Unfortunately your questions are too vague. As much as we’d love to help you move to Costa Teguise – we have no clue who you are so can’t answer your questions with any relevance. For example – let’s look at your questions in turn:

    1: “What sort of things would we need to sort out?”
    We: You say “We” – but I don’t know if that’s you and a husband, you and kids, if kids then how old the kids are. If you’re bringing parents or other elderly dependents. Are you bringing pets?
    Housing: Are you planning to rent? To buy? A house? An apartment? A villa?
    Work: What will you be doing for work or money? Will you be setting up as self-employed? Or working for someone else? Or will you be retired?
    Healthcare: How will you provide healthcare? If you’re not working, then have you looked at private healthcare? Do you have any special medical needs?

    2: “Where do we start?”
    Again – without knowing your personal circumstances, then we can’t advise. But – you chould start here. There are a number of introductory articles at the top of the page that may help.

    3: “What would we need?”
    Again – without knowing your personal circumstances, then we can’t advise. What a retired single woman needs compared to the mother of a family of 4 children is very very different.

    Coming soon on Spain Buddy will be a detailed questionnaire that people can fill in which will enable us to give proper advise because we’ll have good information to hand. Keep an eye out for that if you’re not already moved over and settled by then.

    Good luck!

    E x

    I appreciate that you’ve just got back from your holiday and are full of enthusiasm – but you need to furnish people with much more specific information if you want their help (especially because we give it for free and in our spare time).
    Good luck!

  83. Tina
    October 22, 2016 @ 12:01 am

    Hi Elle,
    I’ve been to Lanzarote many times over the years.
    I want to move to Lanzarote but not sure where would be best to base myself.
    Age 53 single. want to buy a house (with some garden space) which is not on a complex (don’t want extra complex fees on top of the every day council fees). However, I would like to be able to integrate into the community.
    Would need internet access, maybe public transport if I decide not to purchase a car.
    I know about healthcare etc. The main issue for me is where on earth to base myself, as this will be for ever.

  84. Elle Draper
    October 22, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

    Hi Tina!
    Lanzarote is a great choice. We spent six very happy years there.
    Did you want to integrate into the British/Irish community? Or the Canarian/Spanish?
    It will be easier to integrate with people speaking the same language as you if you choose one of the resorts (Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen or Costa Teguise). But if you don’t wish to live in a resort… then there is loads available. Arrecife would be fantastic if you’re after a more “local” integration. Public transport will be a little more limited outside of the main resorts… although Tias may be a good option for you.
    It really depends where you’ve been visiting and what you really liked from those areas. That’s not to say those areas are good for you personally to live in – but it will give a good starting point.
    Have a look here for some ideas too:
    Good luck!
    Elle x

  85. Lisa Barker
    November 16, 2016 @ 10:50 am

    Hi Elle,

    I think you have shared lots of useful information in the thread and Ive made some notes. We are a Uk couple that migrated to Malta nearly 2 yrs ago and although my husband has loved it I have never grown to love it here and long to move but not return to the Uk. Ive had a few people suggest to me Lanzarote or Cyprus so Im investigating both localities. Ive joined your group so that I can get a feel of things from the locals and expat community. Based on previous experience we moved to Malta purely through me knowing a client here and had never visited for a holiday, she sand such wonderful things and in reality when we settled in it was not what it seemed and I have really struggled. So if we up sticks and move again we will come for a break away and check things out.
    My question is do you have anymore useful links so that I can get involved in how things work over there. I am 50 I have an online business but also work part time in a local garden centre, my husband is younger and a chef and we have one dog. My husband chose Malta because they speak English here, however I am willing to refresh my spanish skills if we choose a location such as the Canaries. Can I ask how the community has been affected by the Brexit decision in the Uk, do people feel relatively secure with their residency and health care, I know it was a big thing fr expats in Spanish quarters as to how things might sway. Here in Malta there is reciprocal agreements with the Uk but the way politics is panning out and the Euro to the pound many are flocking back to the Uk. For us we feel thats not the option but feeling secure in where we settle is important. Do you have any helpful suggestions or advice for us? We are thinking of leaving by April 2017.

  86. Elle Draper
    November 16, 2016 @ 11:03 am

    Hi Lisa.
    The only thing I’d say about Lanzarote compared to Malta… is whether you were okay with living on an island. For some it can get a little claustrophobic.
    Plenty of English speakers about – so it’s not vital to speak Spanish…. but you will get so much more from your new home if you do.
    Brexit is making many feel unsure. But at the end of the day, even the decision makers don’t seem to know what’s going to happen… so don’t stress it. Just be where you want to be… and be prepared for extra paperwork later on (just in case). We too won’t be returning, and are going to apply for Spanish citizenship (you currently need to have been legally resident for more than a decade).
    Go have a holiday there (an extended one if your finances will stretch to it) and get a feel for the place.
    A useful place to meet other residents (and of course visitors) is my Playa Blanca group on Facebook. Here’s the link: But do also run a sear5ch for Lanzarote groups on Facebook – there are quite a few. “Need to Know Lanzarote” is a good one too – very busy. As with any Facebook group frequented by Brits though – don your bash hat and don’t take anything personally.
    Good luck!
    E x

  87. Glenn
    December 2, 2016 @ 9:26 pm

    Hi Elle,

    My wife and I are considering moving to Lanzarote too and would like your advice if you’d be so kind. To finance the move we would most likely sell our property here and buy two, three or even four properties in Lanzarote, one to live in and the other ones to rent out as holiday lets. The holiday lets would be our only source of income. Firstly, I’d like to know if you think this to be a viable idea on a budget of £450K. What kind of income yield might we expect on the holiday lets? Do you think we would have any problems with occupancy levels? Would we be better of doing this in stages from the UK or even renting at first? What types of property would be best for holiday lets and what kind of price would we be talking about? Should we use a letting agent or do it ourselves? How much do agents charge? I know that’s a lot of questions but we’d be most grateful if you couls shed any light on it! Thanks, Glenn & Agnieszka

  88. Elle Draper
    December 3, 2016 @ 11:38 am

    Hi Glenn – you should be able to get 2 or 3 for that money… and possibly four, although it may be a squeeze.
    Ensure that they can be let out legally for holidays BEFORE you purchase. Some agents will tell you to do it anyway. “Buyer beware” is all I can say about that.

    I couldn’t possibly guess at the income yield – it would vary dependent upon size of property and location, and how good you are at marketing… or how much you spend on advertising.

    Occupancy levels no problem currently – Lanzarote is busy!!

    Personally I would do one at a time before throwing everything you have at 4 properties. Get one right before moving on to more.

    For properties – it depends on which resort you look at. Villas best in Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise… apartments great in Puerto del Carmen – although of course all have all.

    Personally I would use a letting agent who will take care of your marketing, maintenance etc etc… but obviously that eats into your profits. I’m all for outsourcing… but you may wish to do it all yourselves. Charges vary. Go for someone who has been doing it successfully for years because the newer ones (who are usually the cheapest) don’t last. The newer ones are ten a penny… and because they’re so cheap they often go bust… potentially leaving you in a hole.

    Good luck!

  89. Sarah Carter
    December 6, 2016 @ 12:33 pm

    Hi All,

    I am hoping to move to Lanzarote next March for at least 2 years, I am just waiting for our house purchase to go through. Originally I wanted to use it as a holiday rental but then decided a life change was in order so am looking to move instead. I understand that due to the freedome of movement in the EU i can go over to Lanzarote for 6 months no problem, and apply for a residency once I have sorted employment? If i apply for residency what happens to my residency in the UK/Citizenship? will that all remain the same as I would be coming back at some point? Who do you have to notify in the uk in terms of taxes etc?

  90. Elle Draper
    December 6, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

    Don’t worry – the paperwork you apply for currently will only make you “resident” – it’s not citizenship. You can only be officially “resident” in one country at a time… although you may own property in more than one.
    Taxes can be a can of worms though and you would need to get advice from a professional about that because every case is different.
    As far as returning to the UK, there shouldn’t be a problem. This may change after the UK leaves the EU because “freedom of movement” is affected… but nobody knows for sure how that will work yet. As you wouldn’t be swapping your British passport for a Spanish one (not possible until “resident” for a minimum of 10 years anyway), you’ll be able to return to the Uk without issues.
    That may all have confused you even more. Sorry.
    Short answer: You can come live in Lanzarote for two years without problems, and can return to the UK without problems. But do get specialist advice about your taxes.

  91. Dave
    January 31, 2017 @ 10:16 am


    Iam a dentist and love Lanzarote. Do you think their is still room for a good dentist ?

  92. Elle Draper
    January 31, 2017 @ 11:37 am

    I would say that the market is pretty flooded there. But you could perhaps try approaching the existing ones and see if they have a chair available? is superb!
    E x

  93. Stephen Kelly
    May 4, 2017 @ 8:21 pm

    Hi, my partner and I are looking to buy a villa on Lanzarote next year. My partner ( not married yet ) will live and work there. However I have a small business here in the UK, I intend to work here on a 2 weeks uk 1 week Lanzarote basis. Thing is will i need to pay taxes in both countries.

  94. Elle Draper
    May 9, 2017 @ 10:42 am

    We can’t give personal tax advice because there are too many variables. I’d recommend that you speak to an accountant.

  95. Brian
    January 21, 2018 @ 2:28 pm

    My wife and I are relocating to Lanzarote in May 2018. We have booked an apartment for a few weeks to allow us to find a long term let. Ian in discussions about an apartment, but only discussions at the moment, waiting on confirmation. Work wise I have a few potential options that need to be finalised but have an online business that will pay our initial monthly expenses. Obviously Im aware long term rental are not easy to find. Any advice on where to look either before on when on the island. The main things also is my wife will need to register with a doctor asap as has regular medication. Long term car hire at first. etc etc

    Any advice, help or general information would be greatly appreciated.

  96. Elle Draper
    January 23, 2018 @ 2:39 pm

    Rentals will be much easier when you’re actually on the island and have the money to make an instant decision. Do consider living in the areas outside of the main resorts too – as that will open up your options and nowhere is really far from anywhere else. Just make sure that all the agents on the island know you exist. Also – pick up a regular copy of the Gazette Live magazine (available free from many pickup points on a Thursday) and watch their classifieds section. But be quick as so many others will be doing the same.

    For the Doctor – once you are registered with Social Security you’ll automatically be entitled to State Healthcare. But in the meantime – speak to Miguel at who will look after you. It’s a private practice, but I believe he accepts Insurance patients too. Natter to him anyway – we’ve known him for many many years and adore him. His English is superb as he trained under the NHS.

    Good luck!

  97. Alan
    January 30, 2018 @ 7:28 pm

    I am a recently unemployed and over 50 and thinking of moving to Lanzarote on my own for an extended period and living as economically as possible. I am an engineer by profession however I am well experienced in house renovation and used to physical work.
    Would anyone think it could be possible to get casual construction work fixing up houses around the island in return for accommodation?
    I do not speak any Spanish.

  98. Elle Draper
    January 31, 2018 @ 2:53 pm

    Extremely unlikely to get work in return for accommodation.
    Loads of builders on the island – but the work is there though. xx

  99. Waddingham
    March 10, 2018 @ 12:47 pm

    We are looking into relocating to Playa Blanca Lanzarote what’s the process in setting a fast food outlet up on the island and how difficult would this be to achieve

  100. Mary Barron
    May 21, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

    Hi All,

    Irish lady thinking about moving to the island. I am a health care assistant, can anyone tell me if there’s employment in that area.

  101. Tomscatch
    July 16, 2018 @ 4:46 pm

    Lanzarote is the best fishing area of the Canary Islands. In contrast to the other Canary Islands, fishing in Lanzarote is characterized by its unique and peculiar marine geography, a result of the island emerging from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean by emissions of lava millions of years ago. A good idea there is to rent a boat for a fishing trip.

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