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Expat Spotlight: Ali (Costawomen)’s Top 3 Tips for Spain

Ali Meehan is an English expat and has lived in Australia, Spain, Dubai and Thailand. She is now very settled in Los Boliches, Fuengirola, Spain. She is founder of costawomen.com, the free, social and business community for Women living in, or planning on moving to Spain. She is also part of the Typical Non Spanish expat team and a fundraiser for Cudeca.org the only Hospice in Spain.

Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in Fuengirola?

1) Meson Salvador in Los Boliches. Traditional Spanish tapas and meals. Great wines. Noisy and fun bodega!
2) Cafe Nomad on the Paseo Marítimo Rey de España close to Sohail Castle in Fuengirola. New find, offering gluten free, wholesome food and very friendly staff.
3) Bodega Restaurante Charolais ­- in the “new” Foodie part of Fuengirola (behind the Post Office), provides some unusual tapas choices as well as main meals and wines. (In 2016 there will be a gourmet market opened in this area too!)

Top 3 favorite typical foods and drinks in Fuengirola?

1) Coffee! It comes in at least 9 types if you get the right location and in some bars and cafes you can still buy one for 1€!
2) “Fritura Malagueña” was originally created in a beach bar in Malaga. It’s a mix of different fish, cooked in a egg free batter and quickly fried in olive oil. One portion is enough for two people.
3) Talking of fish (because we do a lot in Fuengirola) in the summer enjoy some Espetos de Sardinas ­ barbecued on olive wood on the beach chiringuitos. Top tip ­ the best fish restaurants are full of locals.

Top 3 tips for new expats in Spain?

1) It just is… Spain does things differently, its not wrong, it just is. Get used to it and get over it.
2) Read about Spain. My 3 favourite books ­ “Daughters of Spain” by Joan Fallon, “Spain, Summer of ’36” by Juan Vicente Garcia Moreno and “Duende” by Jason Webster
3) Use Social Media ­- Facebook and Twitter are brilliant for connecting with ‘locals’ already living in your area. Finding out whats on and ask questions in the groups for your area.

Top 3 tips for travellers in Spain?

1) Be surprised! People have a misconception that Spain is overdeveloped in buildings and underdeveloped in style. Prepared to be surprised.. you are in for a treat.
2) Expect to put on the kilos! Spain has wonderful food (who knew aubergines and honey would taste that good?)
3) Expect your senses to be awakened. The vibe in Spain is loud!

Top 3 tips for what to pack for Spain?

1) A smile. Andalucia is a friendly area and a smile (and a few words in Spanish) go a long way.
2) Your dancing shoes. Andalucia is not just home to Flamenco. You will find places doing a mean Salsa and Tango too!
3) The travel agent’s number because you won’t want to leave!

Top 3 favourite places in Spain

1) Malaga – the unsung city (although that is changing as more people find it). Its full of museums, music, food, culture, events and lots more
2) Mijas – the original whitewashed pueblo, turn a corner and look at the view!
3) Tarifa – mile upon mile (or kilometre upon kilometre) of white sand and undeveloped beaches.

Top 3 neighbourhoods in Fuengirola

1) El Boquetillo is very much the Spanish heart and centre of town (Spanish…Fuengirola? Yes that’s right. Many people have a misconception Fuengirola is very British! British Expats are one of the smallest populations in the Town with Fuengirola being a Spanish seaside town with more Spanish tourists during the summer than Foreigners.)
2) Los Boliches mi pueblo, formerly a fishing village, it has some of the best beaches in Fuengirola, excellent food and has a very stable population being an all­year home to Spanish and Foreigners alike.
3) Los Pacos was originally home to the Finnish community, but now with a more local and international neighbourhood.

For more tips from Ali on Spain, watch the Spain blog and join her at costawomen.com, follow her on Twitter
@costawomen, and on Facebook/costawomen.

Interested in contributing? Contact erin@insidersabroad.com!

Published January 25th, 2016 by Ali Meehan
Posted to Inside Secrets to Spain

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