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The Spanish Fly - Travels in Spain

The Spanish Fly is a nom de plume of Paul Whitelock who first visited Spain at the age of 20. Now more than 50 years later, he has been to most parts of the country, including nine of the 12 islands. He has owned property in Andalucia since 2001 and has lived in the region for the last 15 years. This blog is a Travelogue about some of the places he has visited.

Ronda, Happiest Town in Spain
Thursday, March 28, 2024 @ 8:24 AM

Ronda, Happiest Town in Spain
Thursday, March 21, 2024

By The Spanish Fly

Here’s an article from news outlet Diario Ronda telling us that the Ciudad del Tajo is the happiest town in Spain, heading a list that includes other favourites of mine, such as Nerja (2nd), Chipiona (3rd), Tarifa (4th), Santillana del Mar (6th), San Vicente de la Barquera (7th), Ribadesella (9th) and Zahara de los Atunes (10th).


The other two on the list are Peñíscola and Sanxenxo, which I have not visited. They have been added to my bucket list for later this year.

There are other great places, such as Arcos de la Frontera, Frigiliana, Montejaque, Setenil de las Bodegas and Zahara de la Sierra, but maybe the inhabitants of these villages are not HAPPY!


Here is a translation of the main points of the Diario Ronda article:


International Day of Happiness

Diario Ronda

20 March, 2024


Today, March 20, is the International Day of Happiness, as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013.

Every year the international ranking of the happiest countries in the world is presented, in which Spain traditionally does not fare well at all.


To help Spain improve its position in the World Happiness Index, the sugar producer Azucarera has carried out a study, together with the consultancy YouGov, in which it finds out which are the happiest villages in Spain and why. More than 1,000 inhabitants voted for the 35 happiest towns in Spain, and the result was, in this order: Ronda, Nerja, Chipiona, Tarifa, Peñíscola, Santillana del Mar, San Vicente de la Barquera, Sanxenxo, Ribadesella y Zahara de los Atunes, followed by a further 25 towns.

The study concluded that, despite their differences, in all of these localities there are specific conditions that favour the well-being of their inhabitants, including an affectionate and cordial atmosphere, a slow and calm pace, a stress-free environment, enjoyment of the outdoors, and local cuisine.




A Recipe Book

Once this study had been completed, ranking 35 towns in Spain for their happiness, Azucarera gave these places a voice through their cuisine and modus vivendi. The company has combined both their life advice and their pastry recipes, key factors in being happy, in a recipe book.

The Recetario de los Pueblos mas felices de España (Plataforma Editorial) was co-written by the expert in emotional well-being Francesc Miralles, together with the residents of the chosen towns.

The recipe book is available in all bookstores, at a price of €12 (available in e-book for €5.99). It can also be purchased by accessing the website

The proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Fundacion Grandes Amigos (Great Friends Foundation), which fights against loneliness in older people.



Translation by Paul Whitelock


Note: The original Spanish version, as published by Diario Ronda, is available here: 

Ronda, Happiest Town in Spain (



20 March, Arcos de la Frontera, Chipiona, Diario Ronda, Don Pablo, Francesc Miralles, Frigiliana, Fundacion Grandes Amigos, índice Mundial de la Felicidad, Instagram, International Happiness Day, Montejaque, Nerja, Paul Whitelock, Peñíscola, Plataforma Editorial, Recetario de los Pueblos mas felices de España, Ribadesella, Ronda, Santillana del Mar, San Vicente de la Barquera, Sanxenxo, Setenil de las Bodegas, Spanish Matters, Tarifa, Zahara de la Sierra, Zahara de los Atunes

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