Matthew’s article this week concentrates on moving to Baiona, a resort in the north of Spain.
Moving to Baiona: one of Spain’s favourite summer destinations is best lived in out of season
Baiona’s beauty is of the heartstopping variety. Arriving there for the first time will result in palpitations, as will returning there if you commute to work.
You might want to beat a retreat from Galicia’s Baiona (known as Bayona in Castilian) in August. For this is when the town’s population quintuples. Increasing from a sleepy backwater of 10,000 souls to a heaving resort of 50,000.
Ins and outs
The nearest biggest airport to Baiona is the Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela. Using the AP-9 and AG-57 will take you just over two hours. You’ll cut your journey down by over half an hour if you stick on the AP-9, but you’ll have to fork out for the resulting tolls. Rather closer is Vigo airport, which is a mere 25-minute drive from Baiona and offers flights to some Spanish airports as well as the likes of London, Dublin, and Bologna.
Around 30 minutes away, you’ll find O Castro International British School in San Pedro de Cela. This employs native English teachers following the UK National Curriculum. Closer to the airport is Chester College International School which also offers boarding.
Shop until you drop…
Arce Bake & Coffee Shop on Julián Valverde houses a café where you can sample their moreish cakes, cookies, and cupcakes along with a shop next door where you’re able to buy bakeware and ingredients to try and replicate these goodies at home. After all that eating, you might want to pop by Plaza Santa Liberata and Deportes Gol, purveyors of quality sportswear. Before returning to Julián Valverde and a not-so-old curiosity shop of collectables, Mercado de la Tia Ni.
There are buildings dating back to the 12th century in Baiona’s Old Town, but these tend to be churches and convents. Far more common are luxury developments such as Urbanization Portoman. You’ll find more rustic properties, built using local stone, in Baiona’s surrounding rural areas.
Baiona is priced with the discerning, moneyed property buyer in mind. And so apartments typically go for over €200,000 and rural houses usually for double that. The bigger villas can go for quarter of a million.
In Praise Of
“Baiona has a lively fishing port and harbour full of luxury yachts, golden Blue Flag beaches, and a replica of Carabela La Pinta which arrived on the 1st March 1493 with news of the discovery of the New World. Tuck into delicious fish and seafood including octopus, mussels and sea bass. Which are best washed down with excellent, local wines.” Mark Auchincloss (My Destination Galicia)
- Are you an expat living in Baiona? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
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.