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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. Matthew writes for two sections of Spain Buddy: Moving to Spain and Spanish Football as well as providing Reviews


  1. Eric M.
    November 17, 2015 @ 5:29 pm

    Wondering what would be a estimate for a single person to live reasonable comfortably in Valencia? I am rethinking about retiring early. I will have a $3000 monthly pension now. I will have at least another $1600 from social security and m.ore from decent savings and other investments but do not want to tap these sources until I am older. Is $3000 really low. I’m not a big spender. My expenses would be from food, dog care, housing/utilities. Thanks!


    • Elle Draper
      November 18, 2015 @ 10:40 am

      At today’s exchange rate that equates to about €2800 per month which should enable you to live quite comfortably. Obviously if you’re planning on living in a 4 bedroom house, running a Ferrari, eating at 5 star restaurants and sipping champagne for breakfast then you’d struggle.
      Elle x


  2. jerry leo
    January 28, 2016 @ 11:55 pm

    I am in love with Spain. Dreaming of moving especially to Valencia or the Valencia region as it has the mildest climate in Europe.


  3. Steve
    July 3, 2016 @ 4:21 am

    I’m presently in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but this place is starting to lose it’s shine, so considering a european base now.. Retired with approximately $4000 AUD a month to play with. Originally, I wanted to go to France but it’s getting too pricey especially around Nimes, where I really like it… Spent some time north of Barcelona recently and thought it was okay but somewhere like Valencia might fit my bill better… I’m a keen cyclist, so the climate should be right and hopefully some decent expats to chum around with. My concern is with the Brexit thing going on, I’m a Pom, so convened about the next few years especially..


    • Elle Draper
      July 4, 2016 @ 10:02 am

      Hi Steve. Don’t let Brexit put you off. For the moment, any access into Spain as a place to live is as it was before. After the negotiations have taken place we’ll all know where we stand… but it’s highly likely that, at worst, it will go back to how it was before… and it will simply mean a lot more paperwork. Is your passport British? If not – then you’ll need to speak to your relevant Embassy to find out what paperwork and/or visas you may need.

      As far as income goes – $4000AUD should be enough for you to live comfortably.

      Happy cycling!

      Elle x


  4. Michael H
    July 6, 2016 @ 7:34 pm

    Two guys planning our “escape” from the UK after Brexit and are looking to live in Valencia. Will be visiting Valencia for 10 days from 19th July and have already got arrangements for NIE applications and bank accounts organised. Can anybody recommend a local consultant to help us deal with the Residencia application once we have organised some rented accommodation (hopeful by mid-September at the latest).


    • Elle Draper
      July 8, 2016 @ 10:07 am

      We can’t recommend anyone personally. But – our go to guy for anything and everything in Valencia is Graham Hunt. He may be able to recommend someone trustworthy for you. You can contact him via his website at

      Good luck with the move and well done for not letting the spt of a few politicians get in your way.

      Elle x


      • Michael H
        July 9, 2016 @ 2:01 pm


        Thanks for the message and will do as you suggest



  5. Andrea Deskin
    April 6, 2017 @ 3:16 am

    Hi I’m considering a move to Valencia about 30 minutes outside the city. I am from the US and in my early 50’s. Can anyone share the social life for an expat , I don’t want to be islolated as I’m very social, and I enjoying volunteering. Thanks for your help?


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