This week Matthew Hirtes gives us an intro in moving to Loja in Andalucia. If there are any areas you would like to to focus on – drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
Say hola to Loja, Andalucia’s flower amongst thorns
You’re at the centre of everything Andalucia in Loja. Situated, as it is, on the borders of Granada, Málaga, and Córdoba. With an equally-strong Christian and Moorish heritage, it’s like a non-culinary version of the classic Spanish dish, Moros y Cristianos.
An extreme Extremadura-style climate. Long hot summers see temperatures exceed 40 degrees whilst bleak mid-winters finds the thermometer dipping to as low as -7. One consolation is that you’re able to warm up with all the free tapas available in the town’s bars.
In and out
A 42.3km-stretch of the A-92 will transport you from Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén airport (GRX) to Loja. It’ll take you around half an hour to drive. The alternative is roughly double the distance and driving time away, Málaga-Costa del Sol airport (AGP).
Expats are conspicuous by their relative absence in Loja. So schools tend to be Spanish. And, given Loja’s left-of-centre political scene, state-run.
Shop until you drop…
Every Monday morning, 80+ stallholders pitch up to sell their wares at the Mercadillo de Loja. It’s located on the Avenida de Rafael Pérez del Álamo’s Recinto Ferial. Essentially a market perfect for picking up cheap clobber, there’s also a stall full of fluorescent candy to keep you kids sweet.
The average property price in Loja’s half the average national price. So, there are bargains to be had. Although the lower-priced properties will need the investment of both time and money to make them habitable for the 21st-century homeowner.
Apartments, €30.000+. Houses, from €45.000.
In Praise Of
“Situation is the key to understanding Loja. It defines much of the region, sitting at the meeting point of five rivers and the formation of several waterfalls. You’ll find it’s home to some of the most open, friendly and generous people in the south.” Paul Read (Speaking of Spain)
• Are you an expat in Loja? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
Image file licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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.