Posted by: alwaysmarbella | May 10, 2017

Spain top of the rankings for most high-quality beaches

SPAIN has been awarded 684 ‘blue flags’ in 2017 making it the country with the most high-quality beaches in the world.

The annual award is given to coastal areas which have significant environmental initiatives in place, high quality bathing water and good facilities.

Spain remained on top for the 30th consecutive year despite having six less flags awarded for its beaches compared to 2016.

Of the 684 flags given, 579 have gone to beaches, 100 to marinas and five to tourist ships.

The Comunidad Valencia received the most awards in Spain with 129, followed by Galicia (113), Cataluña (95) and Andalucia (90).

By: EuroWeeklyNews

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Posted by: alwaysmarbella | January 7, 2016

Great news for Spanish property owners: Euribor falls again

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HOMEOWNERS in Spain will save some money this year now that the Eurozone interest rate, the Euribor, has fallen yet again.

Over the course of 2015, the rate which affects savings and loans in countries which use the common currency has plummeted by a record 80%.

As at the last day of December, the Euribor stood at 0.059%, having started 2015 at 0.323%.imgres

This means a typical Spanish homeowner who has a €120,000 mortgage over a 20-year term with a standard ‘Euribor +1%’ rate would see a reduction in monthly payments of €14.63, or a total of €175.56 per year.

For 2016, the future of the Euribor continues to be uncertain since it is linked to European Central Bank (BCE) monetary policy, partly based upon crude oil prices.

Analyst for XTB, Jaime Díez, says oil prices could carry on ‘falling as sharply as it has in the last two years’ – which will be great news for mortgage-holders or those with loans, but not so positive for those who rely upon savings interest for their income.

But other experts say it seems unlikely that monetary policy in the Union will be based upon even greater interest rate falls.

XTB believes ‘rock bottom’ for the Euribor could be around 0.04%, and may reach it in the first quarter of 2016, but could start to climb later in the year.

The plummeting Euribor, which reached record highs of over 5% at the end of 2007, is aimed at making it easier for individuals and companies to seek credit in order to improve the flow of money within the Eurozone economy.

Information provided by thinkspain.com

 

Posted by: alwaysmarbella | December 31, 2015

Do you know how to celebrate ‪NewYearEve‬ in ‪‎Spain‬?

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Eating twelve grapes, one by one, keeping time with the clock as it strikes midnight. This is how we see in the New Year – a deep-rooted tradition in Spain. What is more, if you manage to eat all the grapes in time, you are in for a year of prosperity and good luck. So there is no excuse for missing this magical moment with us. This is bound to be an enjoyable experience you will never forget.

After dinner, you can get together with your friends and family around the television, because the striking clock is broadcast live all around Spain. If you prefer, you can also experience this special night in a host of hotels and restaurants that offer New Year’s Eve parties, with special menus, grapes and, of course, music and entertainment. Important: don’t forget to book your table early.

Nevertheless, if you can, the best thing is to get to the centre of the celebration itself, and play an active part in the last striking bells of the year. In many villages, towns and cities, people congregate in the squares to share these minutes of joy together. Go to the tourist office in the place you are staying, where they will give you detailed information.

In Spain there is a place that has a special link with this tradition: the clock in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid. Thousands of people, mainly groups of friends, and young people dressed up, with hats, bangers, trumpets, masks and jokes, make their way to this square in the centre of the Spanish capital every 31 December to see in the New Year. After the traditional eating of grapes, happiness and excitement take over the place, which turns into a mass party overrun by confetti, streamers and music. Come and join in the lively hubbub. Uncork a bottle of Cava sparkling wine and toast your friends and those around you.

The night has only just begun. There are still many hours of fun ahead. Pubs, bars and nightclubs usually put on their own New Year’s parties, where you can dance until dawn, and the street itself becomes one big celebration. Laughter, fun, groups of young people and music fill the city, while cars sound their horns to welcome the New Year. Come and get carried away by the jubilant atmosphere. You won’t regret it. If your body and strength hold out, there is no better way to finish the night than having hot chocolate and churros (flour fritters) before you go to bed.
This is one of the many options awaiting you in Spain over Christmas, a time when the streets fill with lights, decorations, carols and joy, and there is a special, magical atmosphere to be felt all around. This is especially true for the little ones, eager to get their presents from the Three Wise Men on 6 January. All in all, this is a wonderful time to spend with family or friends in Spain.

Marbella is to get a new luxury hotel complex right on the beach.

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The complex, which requires a further investment of 150 millon euros, is to include a five-star hotel and 120 luxury villas

The Platinum Estates group, an investment fund based in Hong Kong, has just acquired 170,000 square metres of land on the coastal strip of Las Chapas which is situated right next to an area of sand dunes which is one of the most important natural spaces in the town.
The land purchase, which includes 600 metres of beach frontage, cost 50 millon euros and the investment fund has budgeted a further 150 million euros into the hotel project.
According to a member of Platinum in Spain, Juan Luis Segalerva, the group plans to initiate the first stages of the scheme within the next few months. The future resort, explains Segalerva, is to be the most luxurious in the country.

The project is also to bring one of the biggest international hotel chains to the Costa del Sol, something that it currently lacks. However, the agreement is bound by a confidentiality clause which prevents the actual name of the hotel chain being revealed at the moment, says Segalerva.  The scheme includes the construction of a five-star luxury hotel and 120 villas which will be developed alongside the hotel. The architectural style of the complex is of a typical Mediterranean village with a central square where high end shopping and eating establishments will be located. The resort is also to have a beach club.
The operation which was finalised recently acts as a demonstration of the ongoing appeal of Marbella to investors in spite of the delicate situation in the aftermath of the annulment of the town’s PGOU (or town planning regulations) by three rulings handed down by the Supreme Court.

In fact, as Segalerva reveals, when he heard the news that the PGOU was no longer valid, the investment fund was in the last stages of the sale which made it feel unsure about the viability of the project.

However, the fact that the land purchased was listed as suitable for building on in the PGOU of 1986 – to which Marbella has been obliged to return – as well as the guarantees given by the town hall of its full cooperation and the ironing out of the legalities – meant that the sale went ahead.

It is hoped that in January the initial plans will be drawn up so that works can proceed.

Platinum Estates is dedicated principally to the acquisition of high end residential and tourist developments and while it has already made a number of large investments in Spain, this is the first time it has done so outside Madrid or Barcelona.

Marbella was apparently the first choice for this project by the group’s investors and the piece of land purchased is one of the very few which remains along the coast

Posted by: alwaysmarbella | November 20, 2015

Amazon to create 1,000 new jobs in Spain

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AMAZON is set to bring 1,000 new jobs to Spain as part of the online retailer’s expansion plans in the next three years according to an announcement on Wednesday November 18.

Along with a new distribution centre in Barcelona, the company’s logistical centre outside Madrid will be enlarged from 32,000 to 75,000 square metres.

With around 400 workers in Spain since they started in the country in 2011, Amazon plan to begin hiring for the new positions at the beginning of next year and the average monthly salaries are expected to start at €1,422.

Employees can expect a 7 per cent raise after 6 months and with the bonus in place the salaries would be €1,599 which Amazon say is 111 per cent more than the minimum.

Madrid’s regional leader, Cristina Cifuentes welcomed the decision, saying it was ‘a positive step.’

Amazon España’s operations director Fred Pattje said:

“We are very satisfied that we can continue investing and creating jobs in Spain so that Amazon customers can receive their order much quicker and enjoy an unimaginable experience when it comes to shopping.”

By EuroWeaklyNews

Posted by: alwaysmarbella | November 9, 2015

Free Wi-Fi on trains and in stations across Spain

new-ReduceImgWidth-1SPAIN’S rail network will have Wi-Fi free of charge on 89 trains and in 20 outer suburban metro stations, confirms RENFE.

Not every line will have internet available in the near future – the roll-out period will take until at least then end of 2017, since connecting up trains to the network will mean each one has to be out of action for a month.

The first areas to get Wi-Fi will be the high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Sevilla, Getafe Centro station in the Madrid area, and the Plaza de Catalunya station in Barcelona.

Only 15 minutes online will be free of charge during the pilot period, after which it may be reviewed.

Other forms of entertainment are likely to be set up in national railboard trains in the foreseeable future including films, serials, TV channels, books, newspapers, magazines, sports programmes, game shows and even live shows, with a ‘basic’ and ‘premium-rate’ ticket depending upon how much variety and content passengers want.

The services, including Wi-Fi, combine satellite – through Hispasat and Indra – with 3G and 4G along the full length of the train track, providing fast internet to up to 400 people at once.

Originally due to be set up by Vodafone, the firm has now been undercut by Telefónica for setting up the Wi-Fi plan, which will cost a total of €102 million.

The franchise will be for six years and renewable for a further four when it expires, at a cost of €46.8m.

Posted by: alwaysmarbella | November 9, 2015

Forbes’ richest women and men in Spain revealed

sandra-ortega-meraSPAIN’S wealthiest residents have been named in this year’s Forbes list, and as expected, Inditex family members top the ‘richest woman’ and ‘richest man’ rankings.

Of the 11 most affluent women in Spain, number one is Sandra Ortega Mera, the daughter of Zara’s owner Amancio Ortega and the former wealthiest Spanish female Rosalía Mera – with a fortune valued at €7.5 billion through her shares in Inditex, Zara’s parent company, and Zeltia, Sandra Ortega splits herself between her work for the family firm and for the disabled charity launched and run by her late mother Rosalía, the Paideia Foundation.

Chairwoman of Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, Sol Daurella i Comadrán (pictured) is Spain’s second wealthiest woman with assets worth €3.7bn, and Banco Santander chair Ana Patricia Botín, whose fortune has halved in the last year to sit at €1.8bn is third.

Joint fourth are Helena Revoredo Delvecchio, chairwoman of Prosegur, whose wealth is valued at €1.5bn – down €50m on last year – and Alicia Koplowitz Romero de Juseu, who owns Omega Capital and who has lost €100m since 2014.

Spain’s sixth-richest woman is Carlota Areces Galán, shareholder of the national department store El Corte Inglés, who is worth €1.2bn.

Joint seventh are Baroness Carmen Thyssen Bornemisza, owner of the art museum of the same name in Madrid and whose net worth of €900m remains unchanged since 2013, and another Corte Inglés shareholder, Paloma García Peña, who has more than doubled her wealth in the last year.

Chairwoman of Ocaso Insurance, Isabel Castelo d’Ortega, is ninth-richest with assets valued at €800m, followed by sisters Carmen and Liliana Godia, shareholders in Abertis, G3T, and BCN Godia, worth €650m after having lost €50 since 2014.

The country’s 11th wealthiest woman is Alicia Koplowitz’s sister Esther, whose shares in public service and maintenance giant FCC have halved in value this year, now sitting at €425m, after she lost her place at the helm to Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim.

Spain’s richest man – who is also the wealthiest in Europe and, very briefly last week, the world – is Amancio Ortega, founder of the Inditex clothing empire which encompasses high-street brands Zara, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Uterqüe, Oysho, and interiors shop Zara Home.

His fortune of €60.9bn leaves his nearest ‘rival’ standing – second-richest man in Spain Rafael del Pino, president of transport and infrastructure company Ferrovial, is worth €8.6bn, less than a sixth of Ortega’s wealth.

Del Pino’s firm is in the top 10 highest-valued companies in the Ibex 35, Spain’s answer to the FTSE 100 but, as expected, covering the first 35 rather than the first 100 with the highest capital value.

Mercadona supermarket chain owner and founder Juan Roig Alfonso is back in third place after a recent dip to fourth, with assets totalling €7.5bn, followed by low-cost clothing retailer Mango’s owner Isak Andic Ermay, worth €4.5bn.

The Gestamp Corporation, an empire that continues to grow, spread across international borders and diversify, has made its shareholders Francisco and Jon Riberas Mera the fifth-richest men in Spain with a net worth of €3.2bn, whilst OHL chairman Juan Miguel Villar Mir is sixth-richest man in the country with a fortune valued at €2.7bn.

Thomas Andreas Meyer, who owns designer streetwear clothing label Desigual, is seventh with €2.5bn to his name but whose company is worth €3bn, which is why Víctor Grifols Roura, chairman of the firm Grifols is eighth with his fortune of €2.6bn.

He is just ahead of Fernando Masaveu Herrero, owner of the Masaveu Group and Veguín Group, and brothers Juan and Carlos March Delgado own the financial entity Banca March, and the Alba Corporation – joint ninth, their assets are valued at €2.4bn.

Finally, the 11th richest men are brothers Antonio and Jorge Gallardo Ballart, shareholders in Almirall with a net worth of €2.3bn and who have spoken out about the financial risks of the north-eastern region of Catalunya becoming an independent nation.

Within Forbes‘ top 100 richest Spanish residents are several entire families, rather than individual women and men, who either own companies or hold shares in large corporations.

Posted by: alwaysmarbella | July 3, 2015

Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon sizzles on the Costa del Sol

Hollywood A-lister Kevin Bacon has recently taken a secret Costa del Sol holiday

Kevin BaconThe Footloose star found a luxury Mijas villa to bring together his family from around the world.

The Bacon clan arrived for two weeks of sunshine in an opulent hideaway, costing at least €20,000 per week.

The 56-year-old father-of-two and his stunning actress wife Kyra Sedgwick, 49, managed to keep a low profile throughout the entire trip.

“They stayed in a lot as they were primarily here because Bacon’s father-in-law has been extremely unwell,” said the source.

The pad has been used by other celebrities, including Jermaine Jackson, earlier this year, before Bacon, who was recently the face of a mega-bucks EE telephone network campaign – arrived.

Posted by: alwaysmarbella | July 3, 2015

Fuengirola castle home to German beer festival until July 19

FUENGIROLA’S Sohail castle has been transformed into a German beer fortress for July. 

funegirola-castleThe eight edition of the Spanish Oktoberfest will showcase a plethora of German beer and typical Bavarian food until July 19.

There will be various special events, including all the German sausage you can wrap your lips around for just €1 each on July 7 and 14.

While on July 9, anyone who turns up purely in white will be treated to a free ½ litre of beer.

Daily live performances from German musicians are also set to light up the castle’s spectacular inner courtyard.

Posted by: alwaysmarbella | July 2, 2015

Top ten tricks to beat the Spanish heat

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1. Flutter a fan: No, it’s not just an outdated stereotype, Spaniards really do use fans to stave off the summer heat. So do as the “abuelas”(grandmother in spanish) do and make sure to carry a fan, or abanico, with you whenever you’re in the city.
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2. Go to a terrace with a misting fan: Otherwise known as the best invention ever, these water vapour sprays attached to industrial size fans ensure the air is kept moist and cool even during the hottest hours of the day.
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3. Take public transport: Buses and metros are among the coolest places to be when the mercury rises, so much so you might find yourself staying on long past your stop to enjoy the cool temperatures.
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4. Go to “chiringuito”: Enjoying a few drinks in the shade of the traditional spanish beach bar, where, you might just find a little bit of cool.

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5. Find a fountain: While we do not necessarily condone jumping into fountains, you can find some cooling spray from one of these monuments that are often dotted all over Costa del Sol towns and cities.
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6. Slather on the suncream whenever you are in the city: It might seem obvious but it’s amazing how many people forget to protect their skin from the sun when they are in a city rather than on the beach. Walking around sporting a red hot burn will just make you even hotter, so make sure you slap on the suncream and save yourself a lot of aftersun and discomfort.
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7. Go swimming: If you are not lucky enough to have a private pool don’t worry as beach club, hotel, and municipal pools can be found all across Costa del Sol towns and cities during the summer months.
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8. Mooch around a museum: Keep your cool and get your culture fix at the same time by heading to a museum, where you can wander aimlessly for hours enjoying the air-conditioning!
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9. Go to the cinema: Catch a summer blockbuster at Marbella or Puerto Banus cinema, where you can avoid the baking heat to take refuge within a dark, cool, air-conditioned theatre.
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10. Relax in a leafy shade of Alameda park: Get away from the hot hustle and bustle of the city and take refuge in the leafy shade of the  Alameda, in Marbella.

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