Snowbirds in Sunny Spain – First impressions

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Our Canadian snowbird escape this year took us to Spain in Europe. We enjoyed the sunny Costa del Sol area in the Mediterranean a few years ago when we visited for a few weeks in the spring season, and realized that they have a mild winter season which is more like our spring or fall season. The town that we are staying in for 3 months is typically between 10C and 20C (50F / 68F), but has some days up to 28C (82F). The town of Fuengirola enables us to “live like a local” in a modest apartment in the center of the town, which is 2 blocks from the beach area. It is nice for walking, even at this time of year. Our balcony overlooks the always busy plaza in front of a large church, and provides a nice perch to “people watch” as the busy shoppers go by. We can easily walk almost everywhere we want to go, or take the easy to use commuter train.

No snow here! Lovely palm trees, along the beach Malecon walking area.

I like the Spanish “siesta” (afternoon break), but it takes some getting used to. Half the stores will be closed between 2pm and 5pm, which is a time to go home and take a nap, so you can work later into the evening! I have always enjoyed my after noon “power nap” – for meditation. The retail streets are busiest after 5pm.

The plaza in front of the church to the right, is a great meeting place for the locals. Lots of retail shops, and restaurants on the street to the left.

Panoramic view from apartment, Fuengirola, Malaga, Spain.

The warm sun is delightful in the many town plaza squares, lined with restaurants and pubs. The patrons are protected from the cooler ocean winds by the surrounding buildings. The Spanish “tapas” are mini snacks which can be combined to make a meal and or be shared.

5 tapas for E$11 (Euros), includes various dipping sauces.

Our goal was to “live like a local” in a modest apartment – including its Spanish coffee maker and their local “sweetened” coffee blend, cooked on the hob style stove top. Drying our clothes on a line was a new experience.

Fun to see many orange / mandarin trees through out the maze of streets. Warmer jacket for early morning walks. I picked a ripe one, but it was sour tasting 🙁

The inland mountains we flew over do have snow covered peaks.

Very Clean City

We noticed that many Spanish cities seem to really care about keeping their city very clean, and also promote good waste management with pre-sorted garbage. It seems that the garbage fairies show up through the night and clean up the day’s mess. The unique street containers look like normal garbage cans, but are bottomless, feeding into a large underground container, which can be removed by the garbage truck fork lifts. Then the nearby area gets pressure washed. The marble and tile sidewalks get cleaned every day! Cigarette butts have small containers along the sidewalk that help keep the butts off the sidewalk. We even observed one place where professional mountain climbers with ropes, were hired to clean a steep hill side beside a public stairway, that had drink container litter tangled in the grass and bushes.

Garabage handling, Fuengirola, Malaga, Spain

Grocery Shopping



Beach area

McDonald’s Restaurant happens to be located in one of the prime locations of the Malecon along the beach and has provided a lovely seating area there.


Secret world of Rooftops

We love seeing the many creative ways that warmer countries like Spain add space to their modest homes by adding a roof top patio area. Usually squeezed in among clothes drying lines (saves electricity), water tanks, TV antennas, and solar panels.

Church details


Other Articles about our 3 months in Spain Articles – yesRetired


Delightful place to escape to during the Canadian Winters. More information in Wikipedia’s travel Guide, or Photo Gallery with many photos


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3 thoughts on “Snowbirds in Sunny Spain – First impressions

  1. Pro for all the Pickleballers..
    Fuengirola has a Lively active club has started up.
    Most places in Spain have no PB just Padel.

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