Matthew’s article this week concentrates on moving to Jimena de la Frontera, Andalucia’s Al-Andaluz.
Moving to Jimena de la Frontera: charming Cádiz
Reap the best of town and country in Jimena de la Frontera. The local council are committed to preserving the traditional Andalucian architecture (think pueblo blanco) and the castle. Whilst the surrounding Parque Nacional de los Alcorncalos is a throwback to a more densely-forested Iberia with its epic cork-tree grove.
If you like “feasts for the eyes,” then Jimena de La Frontera won’t disappoint. If wandering through the steep narrow cobbled streets of whitewashed Andalucian houses isn’t enough for you, the vista from the stronghold at the top of the village is the icing on the cake. The town’s vantage point firmly cemented it in the history books with Moors, Phoenicians, Romans and Carthaginians all using it as a base due to its uninterrupted views.
What appears to at first be a sleepy village is actually a thriving hub of activity and there is always something happening in the town in which people from various nationalities come together to break bread.
This town (promoted from village status in 1879 by the then King of Spain, Alfonzo XII), is extremely friendly and will welcome anyone who is prepare to integrate.
If you want to make a complete break from your old non-Spanish life, the fact that one in nine local residents are expats is one stumbling block. Still, it’s a less artificial ratio than in the costas.
Ins and outs
North Front (GIB) airport is around a 45-minute drive, heading north along the A-405. Double that travelling time if your arrival point is one of the Aeropuertos de Jerez de la Frontera/Málaga. The Estación de Jimena sees many regular train services stop on the track between Algeciras and Granada.
The local schools are state Spanish ones. If you want a private education, the closest establishment is Sotogrande International School. It’s a 25-minute drive away.
Shop until you drop…
Gift emporioum Regalos Rosas on Calle Los Angeles doubles as a book shop, although it’s only open from 10:15am to 1:15pm Mondays to Saturdays. De la Torre, meanwhile, will help you should you be relocating light. As it’s the area’s leading furniture retailer.
Buy into history with restored whitewashed properties on the market. There are bargains to be had if you’re game for a spot of restoration. And if you’re after a bit of land with your property, consider an out-of-town cortijo.
Houses start just north of €100,000 with cortijos going all the way up to around the €4,000,000 mark. Consider this stunning farmhouse in private grounds for example.
In Praise Of
“Jimena de la Frontera’s an undiscovered gem. I’m not sure why its position close to three airports and some of the best beaches in Europe remains unnoticed. This photogenic pueblo is a history, nature and culture lovers’ dream destination, everything from classical music festivals and Roman castles to late-night Flamenco bars (with incredible views). AND its the only place for miles where vegan and veggie food can be bought.”- Andrew Harris.
- Are you an expat living in Jimena de la Frontera? 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.