The residence permits for investment or Golden Visa are granted by the Spanish government through the "Ley de Emprendedores" to promote national investments and offer an interesting solution for investors from non-EU countries buying real estate in Spain.

But, imagine a house in Spain saturated with sunlight, with white walls and a shady courtyard, perched high on a hill, with olive groves not far away and the blue sea in the background.

Spain has stunning beaches, landscapes and capitals... vibrant celebrations and, of course, bright sunlight almost everywhere you go. So it should come as no surprise that many European and non-European citizens choose Spain as a destination. Many Americans have even begun to understand the appeal of Spain for those seeking a cultured but relaxed lifestyle in Europe.

Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (it is only slightly smaller than France), and has a fantastically diverse landscape, culture and way of life.

To begin with, Spain has a coastline of about 3,100 kilometers, most of which is made up of beaches. In northwestern Spain, the hills are green, the temperature is humid and moderate (similar to Oregon), and along the coast is the Bay of Biscay. The Bay of Biscay is known for its breathtaking scenery. On the other hand, the temperate waters of the Mediterranean can be seen off the eastern coast of Spain and part of its southern coast, while the Atlantic can be seen off the westernmost stretches of Spain's southern coast.

All maritime regions have conditions that are considered reasonably temperate, with cooler temperatures in the north and warmer in the south, but usually with a difference of no more than 4.44°C (40 °Fahrenheit) between average maximum and minimum temperatures throughout the year.

Fig - Climate in peninsular Spain, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla

Map showing climate types in mainland Spain, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla. Source:

And what about its culture? In this sense, Spain's background is varied and extensive.

Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs resided in the area, and all of them left important cultural monuments, languages and traditions. For example, you can follow the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, follow the footsteps of the sultans in the Alhambra in Granada, or contemplate the huge Roman aqueduct in Segovia, more than 2,000 years old and much more...

Spain has a wide variety of places, large and small, that deserve to be explored.

In addition, efficient public transportation makes traveling throughout the country a breeze. Numerous communities are connected by high-speed rail lines and commuter trains, and highway networks crisscross the country. You can reach destinations on Spain's southern coast from Madrid in three to four hours, Valencia in two hours and Barcelona in about three hours. Apart from the major airports of Madrid and Barcelona, Spain is connected to the rest of Europe by a network of smaller airports located throughout the country. These airports are served by both low-cost airlines and major international carriers.

Paola can almost feel her home in Spain when she closes her eyes and thinks about it.

She feels a delightful crosswind blowing through the original wooden shutters from 1900, bringing the noises of the neighborhood. She can hear a person singing the same tune every day, an old woman giving piano lessons at 4 p.m., and the cooing of nearby birds.

Paola is an architect. She is 55 years old and was born in Montreal (Canada). She is married to Mario, a 69-year-old industrial engineer, born in Quebec, of Spanish descent.

To understand how she and her husband Mario ended up buying a house in Zaragoza, a city in northern Spain, one must first understand Paola's passion for: cooking and travel.

When Paula married Mario, she made it clear that both cooking and travel would play an important role in their lives. When they started their life together, they used to spend their vacations in Zaragoza, where Mario's grandparents were from.

They would stroll through the accessible city, taking moonlit photos of the Moorish Mudejar buildings and imagining life in Roman times thanks to the beautifully preserved remains of the period.

As they strolled through the narrow streets of the city, they were drawn to the smells of grilled octopus and Aragonese specialties such as ternasco, which was fantastic!

In 2020, Paola, like everyone else, experienced the global isolation of the pandemic. Desperate to rekindle her love of travel, she convinced Mario to spend their savings on a house near Zaragoza, so they could come and be in sunny Spain, more often, without the hassle of the pandemic.

Paola first searched the internet for apartments in the historic center of Zaragoza. For more information, see 5 Steps to buying one or more properties in Spain.

Since there are no bidding battles in Spain when buying an apartment, as there are in the United States, they simply made a good faith payment, and the apartment was taken off the market until they paid the remaining balance of the property.

You may also be interested in this article: How can I live in Spain if I buy a house?

They go to Spain several times a year, planning their trips around festivities such as: La Fiesta del Pilar, which is a week-long folk and food festival where they make a giant paella), and Semana Santa, when thousands of pilgrims parade through the narrow streets beating drums.

Aside from the events, Paola and Mario like good food and have their favorite restaurants and places.

Finding a restaurant just down the stairs from an apartment that serves the best seafood fideua (a local variant of paella made with vermicelli noodles), is part of normality.

The long days of dinners, the downtime after lunch when people just talk.... the street atmosphere, the good wine... are already part of it.

Walter and Gina, former employees of a Seattle multinational, also came to Spain. At a certain point in their working life they began to consider retiring outside the USA. Their options were varied: Ecuador, Thailand, Mexico, Italy or France. But, for one reason or another, none of them matched what they were looking for, but Spain captivated them.

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