Mexico, no. Any thoughts/advice on considering a move to the Valencia area?

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30 Jun 2010 00:00 by channing Star rating in Pennsylvania. 8 posts Send private message

Have loved Mexico since my first visit there, but I have now ruled it out as a possible retirement country.  The escalating violence is spreading across the country and getting much worse. It makes me sad but I no longer feel safe there, so,my eyes are now solely on Spain.  I had always assumed that if I made "the move" it would be to the Costa del Sol, but as I continue to do research on the various regions throughout the country, I'm beginning to think that the Valencia area might be a better match for me. I doubt that I can afford to actually live within the city and have been looking at Bunol as well as the Gandia area.  (I would like to be within an easy distance to the city.) I would love to hear from anyone who has or is living in the Valencia area. I have never been there and am now planning a trip there in October. Many thanks, Channing


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30 Jun 2010 05:47 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9338 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

 I would always advise small towns instead of big cities for a first step into Spain.




Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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30 Jun 2010 20:43 by channing Star rating in Pennsylvania. 8 posts Send private message

Thank-you so much for replying. May I ask what you believe are the advantages?


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30 Jun 2010 21:26 by suemac Star rating in Jumilla, Murcia. 1001 posts Send private message

Hi Channing

I agree with Maria to a certain extent.  It all depends on what you are looking for and also what you are used to.  John and I wanted to live in a fairly large town inland, however because we had both been living in London for many years we thought it wise to be within easy reach of a city.  In our case, we are about one hour away from Murcia by bus (about the same time that it took us to reach central London by tube!)  Where we live we have four large supermarkets, lots of bars and restaurants, a good choice of shops for furniture, clothes, electrical goods etc, plus several bodegas (the last item isn't essential but is a bonus for us!)  The population of Jumilla is around 25,000 and the mainly Spanish community is very welcoming although few people speak English.  What you need to consider is whether you speak castellano and also bear in mind that valenciano is widely spoken in the Valencia area.  Having said that, we love the city of Valencia and have spent several holidays there, where we have not had any problems in communicating with the local people even though all we speak is a little castellano (and of course a lot of English!)

Good luck,



 Sue Walker

Author of "Retiring the Ole Way", now available on Amazon

See my blog about our life in Spain:

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30 Jun 2010 21:42 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6927 posts Send private message

morerosado´s avatar

Hi Channing, welcome!

Don't believe Sue when she says 'Where we live we have four large supermarkets, lots of bars and restaurants, a good choice of shops for furniture, clothes, electrical goods etc, plus several bodegas (the last item isn't essential but is a bonus for us!)'

When she &  her husband, John, asked my husband & I to spend time with them the first place we visited was a bodega. It IS essential, definitely.









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01 Jul 2010 11:22 by ayrez Star rating in La Marina Oasis. 377 posts Send private message

Hello Channing

We looked in the Valencia area when we thought we could not build here in Murcia. We actually found a beautiful house near a town called LLiria that was about 20 mins from Valencia city. To cut the story short the vendor pulled out and we got our planning permission but that is another chapter in our life in Spain.

We looked at several of the surrounding towns and really liked the area. Valencia is very busy with traffic but there is a metro from some of the surrounding areas. As Sue says most people speak valenciano rather than castellano.

We used an estate agent who posts articles on this forum,.Graham Hunt, who is very knowledgeable. If you check out one of his articles there is a link to his website.

We are really glad we live here in Murcia however. We live near a town called Fuente Alamo and it sounds very siimilar to Jumilla where Sue lives. We are 20 minutes to the coast, 30 minutes to Cartagena, and 45 minutes from Murcia city. Murcia is  beautiful but Cartagena is my personal favourite. Excellent large shopping facilities within easy reach in both cities.

Good luck



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03 Jul 2010 19:07 by channing Star rating in Pennsylvania. 8 posts Send private message

What I am used to is living in a smallish town or city with easy access to culturally diverse urban areas. I am within 11/2 hours to Philadelphia, 21/2 hours to New York and 3 to Washington, so the idea of mirroring this combination has great appeal , such as living in Bunol- at least, on paper.  In looking at Valencia, I confess that I have been totally seduced by the look of the city, new and old, in particular, the Calatrava architecture and, in particular, the new opera house which leaves me speechless and I think I would give up a good amount of convenience to be able to attend concerts there on a regular basis. (I am an opera nut.) I also like the smaller size of Valencia compared to Madrid and Barcelona as well as its location on the coast with proximity to Barcelona.  I have wondered about the language. I speak tourist level Spanish  - Castilian with a Pennsylvanian accent right now, and am planning to take the year to improve my level of comprehension and speaking; I don't know what may be available to me in Valencian but that is a concern and could be a deal-breaker.

I always thought I would land somewhere on the southern coast if I ever made the move, and, ultimately, that may make for an easier adjustment with planned trips to the larger cities. I'm glad to get some input about Murcia as I have wondered about that area. Thank-you and as well for the Grant Hughes site.  Many thanks to each of you for your input.  It is so helpful to be in touch with people who have made the movesuccessfully.  (And, I would never under-estimate the importance of nearby bodegas.)

Ayrez - knowing what you know now, are you pleased you ended up in the Murcia area rather than Valencia?


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04 Jul 2010 11:46 by ayrez Star rating in La Marina Oasis. 377 posts Send private message

Hello Channing

Yes we are glad the way things worked out for us. I am a great believer in fate and am sure this is where we were meant to be.

I agree Valencia is a beautiful city with striking architecture both old and new but the thing that put me off a little was the traffic. Far too many lanes into the city for me and Spanish drivers take no prisoners LOL.

It might be a good idea to rent for a short while to see if the area and lifestyle suit you. Trains are also cheap so that you could easily visit otherareas if you wish. For exmple a  friend of mine is spending a weekend in Barcelona and is travelling, by train,first class from Murcia, for 42 Euros return.



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04 Jul 2010 14:07 by Tumbit Star rating in Costa Blanca. 71 posts Send private message

Tumbit´s avatar

Channing, I live in the Valencia Region myself and am quite familiar with the Gandia area. It's quite a good choice for you as it remains relatively free of expats (when compared to other areas of the Costa's at least!) which has kept the prices at a sensible level, it also and has good rail and road links to the city centre. You might want to consider also looking a bit further inland to Marxuquera.

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05 Jul 2010 03:53 by channing Star rating in Pennsylvania. 8 posts Send private message

Thank-you for your input.You both make very important points and Gandia and Bunol have been at the top of my list for smaller communities. I"ll look into Marxuquera and the Murcia area.)  Train service is so much better in Spain, and all of Europe, generally, than the States. (Round trip to Philadelphia is almost $50.00 and the trains do not run late enough for most concerts.) I never take them; I either drive in or drive to a bus terminal to go into New York - and, our bus services are no thrill either. I like the idea of being in a smaller community. My original thought for my first trip over was to stay in Valencia for two weeks in October to get a feel for the city; I'm re-thinking that - perhaps staying somewhere on the coast and going in and out makes a better first step. My biggest problem re: travel for any extended time is my cat.  I would like to rent short-term for several months after the first of the year but am hesitant to bring him over. How easy is that process? (He's 15.) Leaving him for two or three weeks is one thing with a neighbor stopping in; I have never left him longer than that.

Go Spain! Nadal and the World Cup in one week-end.?  It as fantastic.


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