How To Choose Where To Live in Spain (Scoping Trip)

Planning a holiday in Spain?  

In the Spring of 2012, we arrived for our 8 day Holiday in Spain (A Scoping Trip before our actual move to Spain).  This was our trip to compare what we have seen on-line to “real” life.  We wanted to choose where we were going to live in Spain.  We had quite a bit of ground to cover and came prepared with our criteria.  We only made a few advance plans:

  1. Our flights in/out of Madrid
  2. A rental car for 8 days
  3. 1 nights accommodation in Madrid, so we could recoup the day of arrival.

Now, this isn’t saying we didn’t do a ton, and I mean a ton, of research in advance.  In fact, I had planned several different itineraries.  Our plan was to drive and explore as much of the coast line as we could.  We knew we wanted to live along the coast somewhere between Valencia and Malaga.  We would stop along the way, where ever it “felt” right.  We planned to drive along the N 340 rather than the A 7 or AP 7 Highways.  This way we would be certain not to miss a small town or village that may have been of interest to us.  We had a list of general areas and links to some sample accommodations, within our budget.


Links to the hotels in this table are at the bottom of the post.Planning a move to Spain? It's best to plan a scoping trip to check things out. Including a detailed plan on how we chose our best place to live in Spain. Holiday in Spain - Finding the perfect rental

By doing this, we had no idea where we were going to be sleeping each night.  We would get up early, eat breakfast and head out for the day.  Each day around 4pm, we would find a Wi-Fi hot spot (Usually a McDonald’s) and browse the net for a rental.  This was an odd holiday in Spain, but it worked well for what we were trying to accomplish.  Every day faithfully, we would try hotel consolidators (Hotwire, Priceline, etc), but oddly enough it seemed we booked nearly every night via Booking.

Though we did have our spreadsheet of possible places to stay, we weren’t sure of the exact locations.  We found it much easier to do a search within 30 km of our current location for that very night and without fail, we got the best deals ever.  I recall in Almeria, we found a 2 bedroom apartment on the beach, during Spring Break for $46 for one night!  We also stayed at a nice resort in Nerja for one night for $70.  I don’t recall one rental being more than $92 for the night, so not bad.  All of this was via  We loved that is searched all types of accommodation from Hotels, Resorts, Apartments, B&B’s as well as Camping.

Here are some of our Bookings via for our Holiday in Spain

  1. Javea
  2. Alicante
  3. Madrid
  4. Almuñécar

Holiday in Spain, Our View from rental in AlmuñécarWhen we actually moved to Spain and were in search of a long term rental, we of course needed to stay somewhere.  Again we used Booking to find a rental in Almuñécar, click here for deals.  We also booked a 10 night rental using Vrbo, find your vacation rental now.  (We do not have an affiliate link with them, but they are a good source for your Holiday in Spain).

We have been so pleased with that we decided to sign up for an affiliate link.  This means if anyone uses our link to their site and books accommodation, we will get a very small percentage of the booking.  So please feel free to use the links we have provided for you.  You can even book mark them in your browser and use to book accommodations anywhere in the world.

If you are planning to take a sabbatical, career break or mini-retirement, I highly recommend you take a “Scoping Trip” of the desired location.  We really enjoyed the flexibility we had with booking our accommodation each day.  This allowed us to cover a great deal of land and only stay the night in locations that were either of interest to us or “on the way” to the next location.

We had specific criteria we were “judging” with each location.  We listed the nearest major city and we kept track of each smaller town we liked and if they met the criteria.
Criteria for location to live in Spain

As we were moving each day for our scoping trip, we had picked out many hotels in advance in different areas.  Then once our driving day was over, we would hop online and see which was closest to us and then stay there for the night.  Our full list is below.


MadridBooked Hotel
OlivaApartamentos y Villas Oliva Nova Golf
DeniaAparthotel Ogisaka Garden
AlteaLa Galera del Mar
El CampelloPueblo Acantilado Suites
AlicanteHotel Albahía
 Hotel Alicante Hills
TorreviejaAparthotel Elite Sun Beach
 Sercotel JC1 Murcia
Vera Mar Menor
El ToyoCabogata Plaza Suites
 Cabogata Garden Hotel
RoquetasHotel Citymar Bellavista
AlmerimarHotel AR Almerimar
AlmunecarChinasol – Apartments
NerjaEl Capistrano Sur

Good luck to you and let us know if we can be of any help.

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