LauraA recent survey for HSBC has revealed that Spain is the number one country for happiness among British expats. This was obviously no surprise for us at the Spain Buying Guide, but we thought this meant it was a great time to explore just what it is about Spain and its islands that makes people so happy!


Outdoor lifestyle

One of the factors where Spain came out top in the survey was for an “active outdoor lifestyle” – something that clearly makes people happy! Spain is full of things to do outside during the mainly sunny days – from wind surfing, kayaking, water skiing and sailing, to cycling, tennis, ridding and walking, or even skiing! And if you’re not active, being on the outside terrace of your local bar will also help raise your vitamin D levels.

These activities (mostly!) go some way to helping you become fitter and healthier – and help you meet new people with the same interests as you, which can be very important to stop you feeling isolated. All of these things go some way to helping you feel happy in your life in Spain.

The sun is in the sky

First of all, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t always stay sunny in Spain; you will get rain and you will experience a few cloudy days. However, these days are few and far between – most days when you get up and open your shutters of a morning, you will be greeted by sunshine! In my experience, this encourages you to spend as much time outside in possible – which in turn will help you feel happy. In most parts of Spain, including Fuerteventura and the rest of the Canary Islands, your winter will remain bright (albeit fairly chilly), meaning you can continue most of your outdoors activities.

Healthy Mediterranean lifestyle

In addition to life outdoors and the enhanced levels of vitamin D you will receive by indulging in this on the (many!) sunny days, the Mediterranean diet has long been associated with good health. Spaniards and locals alike continue to survive mainly on good fresh produce, olive oil and plenty of fish. There is also something to be said for eating your main meal at lunch time – with dinner a dish or two of tapas and some soup, instead of a heavy supper. It can be difficult to adjust to the timings of eating in the country, but it shouldn’t take too long to get used to.

OBG-SpainWritten for by Laura Richards, country specialist at


SmartFor more information about emigrating to, buying property, or life as an expat in Spain, click here or call +44 207 898 0549.