The Best Bargain in Europe Today

Uncover the Insider Secrets to Living Well in Spain—Great Food, World-Class Arts, and Great Weather—on as Little as $2,832 a Month

Dear International Living Australia Reader,

Lingering into the wee hours over drinks in colour-splashed Barcelona…savouring scrumptious paella on a warm summer afternoon, the Mediterranean sparkling in the background…watching the moonlight play off the high walls of the thousand-year-old Alhambra…or sitting on a balcony in Seville overlooking the largest Gothic church in the world, sipping a chilled glass of Fino

If you like Europe and its history…its romance and culture…then Spain should be calling your name. Loudly. It offers sophistication, charm, comfort…and, in places, at a price you'd expect to see in Southeast Asia.

The value today is truly excellent…in fact, in the 30-plus years we've been writing about Spain, we've never shouted "go now" with such enthusiasm. Other people are going to catch on to this story, no question. But right now—you're still ahead of the curve. The situation we see in Spain today—the opportunity to buy well below value—won't last forever.

The window of opportunity is open right now, though. And your dollars go a long, long way today in lovely pockets all over the country—hilltop towns, beach retreats, cosmopolitan cities. Fire sales offer eye-popping deals. And even at full price, the values are genuine…and the cost of living is modest. A couple can live very well here for less than $42,000 a year.

Perhaps even more compelling: the lifestyle in Spain is truly enviable…

You could spend days following in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway in the Navarre region, with its wide open spaces, delicious regional cooking, and mild climate…

Or consider the pleasures of wandering the narrow, labyrinthine streets of Granada's old quarter and being transported back to a time when the exotic Moors ruled Spain…

You might enjoy exploring the country's southern coast for some of the most pristine (and uncrowded) beaches in Europe (yes, those beaches still exist; you just have to know where to look).

My name is Glynna Prentice, and I'm a long-time editor at International Living. In the 1970s, travelling after I finished university, I lost my heart to Spain. Its romantic—and rich—history, its people and the rhythm of the days captured me.

Years later, when I lived and worked in Madrid, for instance, I loved the lifestyle. I loved going to lunch with my work colleagues. Make no mistake; we worked hard. But every day we took time for a civilised, sit-down lunch, in a restaurant, away from the office…because this is what you do in Spain.

Life here is easy…relaxed…and wonderful.

And it's not just the cities that have drawn me back time and again…yes, Barcelona is fabulous with its attractive urban beaches, vibrant cultural scene and lively street ambience…but Spain offers a lot more than just buzzing cities.

I love visiting Spanish villages…walking through the cool, quiet aisles of medieval churches and having a drink in the main square, under the shade of spreading elms.

Spain really does have it all…and now is the time to check it out.

You Can't Beat the Value for Your Dollar in Spain Today

Spain is arguably the best bargain in Europe today, offering First-World living at a cost that can compete with some spots in Southeast Asia. We're talking serious bang for your buck.

Thanks to the ongoing recession, property prices in many parts of the country have plummeted. Buying (or even just renting) here is more affordable now than it's been in decades. Just take a look…

These are the kinds of prices you expect to see in Southeast Asia where, along with the good values, you usually make a few compromises, too.

But in Spain…it's First-World, Old World, easy, comfortable… AND remarkably affordable.

Affordable Living Day-to-Day

Even before the recession, Spain was one of the least-expensive countries in Western Europe, and that remains true.

Day-to-day expenses, for instance, can be very low. Pick one of the many areas with a warm, mild climate, and your monthly utilities can run you $200 or less.

And though you may pay less to live here, you're still living in a First-World country.

Spain's airports are sleek and modern…fast highways and high-speed trains link all the major towns and cities around the country…and everyone, it seems, has a mobile phone.

You'll sacrifice nothing living in Spain…but will gain immeasurably in quality of life…

I'd like to show you exactly where—and how—to take advantage of the best Spain has to offer right now in our most comprehensive guide to this country, called Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less.

Over the last few months, we've invested the funds and the time on the ground to research and write this guide because Spain makes sense today—and not just from an economic standpoint…

The European Country That Has It All

The click of castanets, the swirl and passion of flamenco dancers, whitewashed villages tumbling down hillsides toward the blue Mediterranean…for many people, this is their impression of Spain.

But those are only the bold headlines…

Spain is one of the largest and most geographically diverse countries in Europe. Depending on where you are, the terrain, the look of the people, the accents—even the language they speak—can be different. In Spain, you can find almost any sort of geography you choose.

And living in Spain, no matter where you go, won't break the bank. In many towns, a couple can live well on $3,300 a month, including rent…eat out for less than $40 (and you'll want to—Spanish food is amazing)…and travel the country by rail or bus at discount rates.

Speaking of transport, no matter where you live in Spain, you'll have easy access to the rest of the country—and to the rest of Europe, too. Modern, high-speed trains can get you from one end of Spain to the other in about seven hours.

There are also many small, regional airports, which can zip you around Spain and to the rest of Europe (often on cheap, discount airlines).

If you're worried about the healthcare here…don't be. Spanish healthcare has a good reputation, with excellent medical schools and many qualified doctors. In the major cities and popular tourist destinations, you are likely to find healthcare every bit as good, if not better, than what you have back home, with attentive care and modern amenities.

But Spain's biggest plus may be the people and the lifestyle. Warm and engaging, Spaniards believe in enjoying life, and they put a high value on friends and family. So do as they do…

On long summer evenings, when the sun doesn't set until 10 p.m., sit at an outdoor café with friends until late into the night…bathe in the warm waters of the Mediterranean…gaze on the Alhambra at sunset…hike the hills of green, northern Spain…explore castles both ruined and restored…

You'll get the details about where you can embrace this good life for less in Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less.

Inside, you'll discover how easy—and enjoyable—Spain really can be…and the many ways you can make this country part of your life…full-time, part-time…whatever suits you…

Ah, the Good Life…

Expats already on the ground love it…

"We can drink coffee from our bedroom while watching the sunrise to the east, and in the evening sip wine on our balcony while watching the sunset over the Mediterranean," says expat Shane Kutz. "Before moving to Spain, we could not have imagined that our standard of living would be so breathtaking."

Another expat to Spain says she appreciates the laidback, "Old World" lifestyle. "One of the things I like most about living here is that I don't need a car to get around. That's a big change from life back home, where people practically live in their cars. My husband goes to work by bike, and the kids can take a five-minute walk to school. Then I stroll to the centre of town to buy freshly baked bread for lunch, which in Spain is usually around 2 p.m. or 3 p.m.

"Everything is just a walk away. There are a couple of small grocery stores, a medical centre, a sports complex, a pharmacy, and, of course, several bars where you can enjoy a glass of wine before lunch (Navarre's specialty is rosé). For anything else I might want, Pamplona is just a 10-minute bus ride and costs me just $1 each way."

Ben Ostrom says of life in his adopted hometown of Seville, "Blue skies more than 300 days a year, restaurants and tapas bars lining the streets, and culture pouring from every corner… It's one of the architectural jewels of Spain.

"I've been living here six years now and I love how you can choose your lifestyle. If you prefer to live the simple life, groceries are cheap, or you can eat out without breaking the bank. For breakfast, a tostada con jamon (cured ham on toast) and a coffee will set you back $4.80, while dinner for two and a couple of glasses of wine is around $28.

"Having travelled the world and lived in dangerous cities, I love feeling safe in Seville. The atmosphere is pleasant. There is a large expat community, and you can mingle with Australians, Brits, Irish, Americans and Canadians. My wife and I have private healthcare and pay $165 a month between us. I've been to the hospital a couple of times and the service was excellent."

Real Estate is Now More Affordable than Ever

There are lots of tempting reasons to consider making Spain your new home, and now is the time to think seriously about it.

As I mentioned before, since the financial crisis engulfed the country, Spain's property market is on the floor. Bargains abound.

Whether it's the lure of big cities like Barcelona or Seville…the beaches of Marbella…or the often-overlooked city of Malaga, there is a home here for you…

And at prices, as I've said, that may surprise you…

It's no secret the global economic crisis has affected Spain's real estate scene. For 15 years, property prices soared. Then in 2007, demand slowed. By the time the worldwide economic crisis rolled through Spain and Europe, the property bubble had well and truly burst.

That means Spanish property is now more affordable than ever. Consider these properties, for instance…

In Escape to Spain, we'll tell you where you'll find these—and many other—affordable properties. Properties with price tags you'd expect to see in Southeast Asia.

You Can Rent for as Little as $550 a Month (No Kidding)

But you don't have to buy. There's nothing to stop you renting for a few months and enjoying the unique Spanish lifestyle. In Escape to Spain, we also look at rentals and give you all the info you'll need if you do decide to enjoy Spain for a few months at a time.

Consider Girona, for instance, about 50 minutes from Barcelona Airport. This is a university town where the Onyer River provides lots of water views. The popular Plaça de la Independència has colonnades lined with restaurants and tapas bars. In late afternoon, all the locals gather here to stroll and to stop for a drink. A glass of good local wine at a terraza starts at €2.50 ($3.70) and it comes with a dish of tasty, locally cured olives as a tapa, for free.

And you can rent an apartment here in the centre of town for as little as €450 ($660) a month for student-style digs. For €700 ($1,030) a month, though, you can get one or two bedrooms and at least 74 square metres of space, all in good condition. For €900 ($1,320) a month, you'll get a family-sized apartment, with perhaps three bedrooms and 93 square metres or more of living space.

Or if you'd prefer life on the Mediterranean…I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the rental bargains to be had there, too.

Take, for instance, a little town we recommend, about 30 minutes from the big city of Cartagena. This place, right on the coast, and surrounded by golf courses, hiking trails and lovely sand beaches, is an unsung gem. Its 15,000 permanent residents have a good range of shops and supermarkets, as well as a covered market and Sunday street markets—it's a proper town. But along with its stunning beaches, it boasts miles of promenade, a new marina, and numerous bars and restaurants. Scuba diving, shore fishing and sailing are year-round activities.

And here, the values are truly extraordinary. You can rent apartments long-term starting at about €300 ($440) a month. But holiday rentals are also inexpensive here, working out to as little as about €10 ($15) per person per night.

Talk about "Southeast Asian pricing"!

In Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less, we'll fill you in on all the details about opportunities like these—and many, many more…

A Couple Can Live Generously in Spain on a Modest Budget

The modest cost of living in Spain is no exaggeration. You really can enjoy the richness of life in this diverse country for a lot less than you may think.

Let's take a look at a typical budget in Alicante, for instance. To give you some context, this town on the Mediterranean is situated in the Valencia region, the garden of central Spain. Inland Valencia is home to vast vineyards and to cultivated fields, growing vegetables of all kinds.

Valencia also grows rice—not surprising in a region whose signature dish is paella.

But Alicante is on the coast, what's called the Costa Blanca, which boasts what is arguably Europe's best climate, with 325 sunny days a year and low humidity. Unlike other towns along Spain's Costa del Sol, which were overbuilt and attract hordes of British tourists, Alicante is pretty and sophisticated, and many visitors are Spaniards. There's a convenient airport here so it's easy to get in and out of.

And Alicante has eight splendid beaches. Below St. Barbara's Castle, an old Moorish fortress, there's a marina, parks, shady plazas, cinemas and a theatre. So the living is not just comfortable, but a notch above. And it'll cost you less to live here than you probably imagine.

Sample Budget for a Couple in Alicante:

Expense Euros (€) AU$
Housing (rent of furnished, two-bedroom apartment) €500 $734
Utilities (gas, electricity, water, phone, internet) €120 $176
Groceries €400 $587
Entertainment (dining out and other) €400 $587
Healthcare €240 $352
Household help—maid once a week (3 hours) €120 $176
Incidentals €150 $220
TOTAL: €1,930 $2,832

Now, the healthcare cost is based on Sanitas' (Spain's largest private health-insurance company) rate of €119.77 ($176) per month per person for a healthy 65-year-old. For reference, the monthly rate for a healthy 55-year-old is €75.49 ($111). The plan includes complete healthcare plus dental, with optional pharmacy.

Depending on how you choose to spend your money, your individual budget could be more or less than the one here. Small apartments in Alicante start as low as €300 ($440) a month…or can be €1,000 ($1,470) or more if you want a large house with a pool, ocean views and other luxuries.

Likewise, you may choose not to have a maid, or to spend more on entertainment. But a couple should be able to live comfortably on $3,300 a month in Alicante or a number of beach destinations in southern Spain.

Rent in large cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao, and in some northern coastal areas like San Sebastián and the Catalan Coast, will be somewhat higher.

Still, we're talking about less than $42,000 a year for a couple to live comfortably and enjoy the pleasures of life in a beautiful, welcoming, friendly, sophisticated European nation.

The Most Comprehensive Guide to Living in Spain

In Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less, we'll share with you stories from expats already enjoying Spain, as well as insiders' guidance about living, renting and buying property there. You'll find examples of what's on the real estate market…the best things to see and do…and much, much more.

And you'll benefit immediately:

And Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less includes:

Firsthand tales from the field-stories from people who have already done what you're thinking about doing. Their hard-won advice will save you time, money and hours (more likely weeks) of frustration…

All the Practical Know-How You Need to Live in Spain

The Best Ways to Explore Spain for Yourself

Spain has so much to offer beyond good-value living…and in Escape to Spain, we dive into all of it…

Whether you're looking for beautiful beaches, golf, historic architecture, sightseeing, adventure sports, great food and wine, or simply walking, you'll find it in Spain.

Public transportation is excellent, and many expats find they don't need a car for day-to-day life. (Of course, renting a car to wander off the beaten track is another matter… Spain is full of hidden gems—out-of-the-way villages, ancient ruins, soaring scenery and more—which epitomise this country's romance.)

Go a few kilometres into Andalusia's hinterland to find white-washed villages on mountain slopes. Drive the winding coast of northern Spain's Bay of Biscay, where green mountains tumble almost to the sea. Here, beyond bustling beach resorts like San Sebastián and Santander, you'll find less-visited fishing villages along the Cantabrian and Asturian coasts.

Wander the vast, lonely stretches of Castilla-La Mancha, stopping to savour towns like Chinchón and Almagro, whose stately buildings speak of former wealthy days.

Explore the many provincial capitals—Avila, Oviedo, Zaragoza, just to name a few—which are rich in history and charm.

For every cliché—sangria, bullfighting and flamenco—there are a hundred secrets just waiting to be discovered.

In Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less, we share our editors' insider travel tips, including secrets like…

Everything You Need to Make an Informed Decision

We've gone through Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less page by page and sentence by sentence to ensure all the information and recommendations…all the resources and contact details, including websites, email addresses and telephone numbers…all the maps, statistics, dollar figures and prices quoted…are completely up-to-date.

We've left no stone unturned. And the best part is that we publish this manual electronically…so it's not just useful, but also colourfully illustrated and interactive.

There's no debate: Escape to Spain is the best guide available to a comfortable retirement in enchanting Spain.

We spent many months—and tens of thousands of dollars—putting it together. It would be easy to justify a price tag of $300 or $400—and, frankly, it would be worth every cent.

But right now, you can put your hands on all of our current, on-the-ground guidance, advice and recommendations for just $99.

That's a serious bargain, considering this guide could save you many times that in time, money and frustration.

Request your copy now and, because it's electronically delivered, you'll have access to it straightaway. Of course, as with all our International Living products, this guide is guaranteed…

Our Guarantee to You

Request your copy of Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less now and you'll have it in your hands just as soon as your order has processed.

I'm so confident you'll be impressed by all the useful insider guidance our manual includes—and by all Spain has to offer—that I'll give you a 30-day, no-hassle, money-back guarantee.

If for any reason, you're not completely satisfied with the depth and breadth of information and guidance you find in Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less, simply let us know within 30 days and we'll refund your purchase—no fuss, no questions asked.

And—when you order your copy now—we'll send you something extra, too…

Order Escape to Spain, and you'll also get a special bonus report

Free Special Bonus: Gracious, Good-Value Spain: Where You Can Enjoy "Old World" Living at Bargain Prices (value: $38, FREE).

As I've said already: Spain makes very good sense right now. But not everywhere offers equal value. A lot of "cheap stuff" was thrown up in Spain in the boom times—much of it sub-par in construction (and often permitting). You may see ads for these places, but they do not represent good value at all.

In Gracious, Good-Value Spain: Where You Can Enjoy "Old World" Living at Bargain Prices, we share with you the cautions you should be aware of—as well as our top picks for best-value locales today.

You'll find out secrets like the best places to watch for fire sales…and how to know if a place is worth your attention or not.

We'll tell you about a comfortable, casual coastal community of 182,000, which flies well under the Australian radar screen. The temperatures are moderate all year here. Average summertime highs are in the mid-20s C. And values are very good. You can buy a comfortable, 65-square-metre apartment starting from about $276,000, and rent one long-term from about $800 a month.

You'll find out about a great community outside Barcelona, which keeps you within easy, quick reach of the city but offers you lower prices, a more laidback lifestyle, and great beach access.

It's a lively place filled with cafés, and, though it's at the coast, it's a proper "business" city, which means you'll see guys in suits and women in twin sets. Yes, tourists come here, but it's a proper, year-round town. And you can own a renovated two-bedroom apartment close to the beach, in a building with a parking space, pool and green areas, for about $284,000.

ORDER Escape To Spain NOW

For Sophistication, Charm, Comfort and Value, You Can't Beat Spain Today

There's no better way to launch you on your way to an enjoyable life in sunny Spain—on a budget you'd expect to see in Southeast Asia.

If you like the idea of a locale that offers sophistication, charm, and all the comforts and excitement of Europe—at a price you'd expect to see in Asia—look no further than Spain.

The value you'll find on the ground today is excellent—probably the best values you'll see in your lifetime…the lifestyle is enviable…and in Escape to Spain, we'll show you how—step-by-step—you can make it your own…


Glynna Prentice

Glynna Prentice
Editor, International Living

ORDER Escape To Spain NOW

P.S. With Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less, you'll have exactly the guide you need to help you see the opportunities in Spain that make the most sense for you, and home in on them quickly and efficiently. Today, in the right places, you really can find values you'd expect to see in Southeast Asia. But here they are in Europe. And not just anywhere in Europe—but in sunny, friendly, culture-rich Spain.

This is the kind of opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime.

If you've always liked the idea of a retreat in Europe…of a place you could return to again and again, where it's safe…the pace of life is slow…the culture values family, friends, art, music, good food and rich experiences…then Spain deserves your close attention today.

With Escape to Spain: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well and Enjoy the Good Life For Less, you'll have exactly the guide you need to take the idea you have in your mind's eye and make it your reality on the ground in Spain. It's a modest investment, which could enrich your life immeasurably. Give it a try today. If you don't like what you see, just let us know within 30 days and we'll give you a full refund.

With this special deal, we'll also send you a special bonus report, Gracious, Good-Value Spain: Where You Can Enjoy "Old World" Living at Bargain Prices (value: $38, FREE)… And it's yours to keep, no matter what.

ORDER Escape To Spain NOW