It is no secret that the 2008 economic crisis hit Spain hard after its property boom collapsed, and with an economy that relies heavily on tourism, the country has struggled for many years to gain strength again.
However, according to Spain’s tourism ministry, at the beginning of last year sun-seekers were choosing to return to Spain again as the number of visitors to Spanish destinations hit an all-time high. British tourists were at the top of the list, followed by the Germans and the French.
The international financial markets have been a key driver in the start of Spain’s economic recovery, having quite an impact on the property market. Property prices are still around 40% below what they were since the beginning of the recession but it has meant property investment has increased substantially over the last year or so as buyers see an opportune moment to buy property for sale in Spain again. Various reports have noted that 55% more British people bought a property in the first three months of last year whilst the number of online searches increased by 51% over the first six months.
This momentum has continued into 2015 thanks to the rise of the pound, dollar and Swiss franc against the Euro. Consequently, Unique Living has seen demand for luxury properties in Spain increase from British, American and Swiss buyers, keen to buy where tourists are flocking to take advantage of renting out their investments.
One of the many attractions of Spain is its local food, adored by both locals and those who visit on holiday. The food and services industry plays a crucial role in Spain and it has suffered tremendously when the recession hit. People were watching their pennies by eating at restaurants less and cutting down their supermarket bills. Local food outlets, quirky markets, food fairs and so on were disappearing by the day.
However, as the country slowly began recover, these local eateries and markets have started to become more popular with shoppers seeking good value for money and the tasty treats that Spain has to offer. With Spain offering absolutely delicious produce to ‘tantalise those tastebuds’, holiday makers are increasingly cooking their local cuisine at home be it al fresco or indoors. Why do you think so many Spanish properties have such impressive kitchens?!?
Sierra de Aracena for example, which is dominated by a hilltop ruined castle and church, is renowned for its local produce – from handcrafted honey, chestnut marmalade and confectionary to a variety of organic products for sale, the area has become a popular place. The town is also responsible for the production of Jamón Ibérico – the finest cured ham in the world!
With Easter just gone, Mallorca would have been ripe with festivities, and locals and holidaymakers would have been enjoying a variety of markets and mercadillos (street markets) to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, cakes, confectionary and so on. Almost every town has a weekly market with the biggest being on a Thursday in Inca. Other popular markets include the Sunday market at Santa Maria where there is plenty of local produce, Sineu Market, a superb authentic market and Santa Maria del Cami to the North of Palma which hosts a large market every Sunday. In addition there are summer markets which run between 1st May to 30th September.
Coming up soon is the Pollensa Wine Fair which takes place on the 18th and 19th April, where people can taste a variety of wines from Mallorca and other Balearic Islands, and stock up on their favourite tipples. The event takes place in the Claustre del Convent de Santo Domingo in the centre of Pollenca.
Similar to Mallorca, popular markets include Puerta Banus street market, San Pedro street market, Marbella ecological market and Marbella centre street market. Easter is again an important time for the Spanish food industry and visitors will be greeted with an assortment of wines and foods to satisfy their tastebuds.
Barcelona’s internationally renowned gastronomic offerings play a key role in the local food and services industry. This delicious Catalan cuisine ranges from cheese, meats and seafood to butifarra and fideuas. Catalunya has been at the top of food lovers lists for many years and everybody loves the hustle and bustle of a good food market. Sant Antoni Market for example is a great examples alongside Barcelona’s best-known market, La Boqueria. Food ranges from fresh fruit salads and organic vegetables, to crabs and lobsters fresh out of the sea and are still moving.