In these times of break, Rendez-Vous Immo gives the floor to French-speaking expatriates who have chosen to come and settle in Andalusia, and more particularly in Estepona . Today, we offer you the testimony of Sandra and Walter, a retired couple who are very active in organizing a social life for French speakers in Estepona.
RDV Immo: Hello Sandra, you have been living here for 6 years. Why did you choose Estepona?
My husband and I visited the Andalusian coast from Nerja to the Portuguese border. We even looked at the Portuguese side. We had rented an Airbnb room in Estepona for a few days. We felt this was our place: a small town full of charm and authenticity, not too much traffic, located between Malaga and the beautiful beaches of Tarifa.
RDV Immo: How did you experience your adaptation?
No problem. We had already lived in other foreign countries. For the formalities at the start, we had the chance to meet Francine Pompas at the Tourist Office. She helped us a lot in dealing with the police. We bought a property and everything went smoothly. We had a lawyer who took care of everything. This is a usual approach here, especially for a property that is not new. As there are many foreigners who live as permanent residents, you can share moments with Spaniards and the different communities of foreigners.
RDV Immo: How do you think the city has evolved?
The mayor, el alcade, does a lot for the city of Estepona: renovation of the old town, embellishment with trees and flowers. The town has a theatre. The program is not yet up to the building, but it will certainly come. It also has a hospital but for the moment, there is only the building, the interior fittings and the medical staff will arrive in their time ¡
I find that there are too many constructions on Estepona but that gives work and makes the people of real estate work. If the mayor manages to maintain Estepona as a medium-sized city, that’s fine. If Estepona becomes “A Marbella”, it would be a shame ¡ To this day, we live very very well there!
RDV Immo: You are at the origin of the organization of French-speaking meetings, how is it going?
Originally, the group was formed by a French teacher of Spanish nationality to encourage exchanges between the students of the school where he worked and the French speakers of Estepona. It happened at the French pastry shop. The teacher abandoned this activity and I, in a way, took it up again. There are many more Francophones who attend the meetings which take place every Friday evening currently in another bar for practical matters. There are always a few Spaniards who come. There is no registration, no dues. People come and give me their email and phone to let them know about our monthly dinner. This group is an opportunity to make friends, to seek advice, to learn about the steps to take with the police and the town hall, not to feel alone, to obtain doctor’s telephone numbers , physiotherapist and lawyer who speak French. Very good friendships were forged within the group. Some offer activities such as a hike to the Sierra Bermeja (mountain of Estepona).
The Tourist Office announces the Friday meetings in its weekly program under: “Franco-Spanish linguistic exchanges”. It is a French-speaking (French, Swiss, Belgian, Canadian…) and Francophile (Spanish…) group. The organization is informal.
If you too would like to testify to your expatriate life in Estepona, we invite you to contact us by email at email@example.com or by phone at 0034 676 86 22 50.