Many of our clients ask us about what it is like to move to Andalusia with children. They ask us about schools, should they attend public Spanish schools, or private International ones. We get questions regarding family activities, the degree of difficulty when it comes to learning the language, what it was like to integrate in this Spanish culture… We have been through it. In this guide we will describe what living in Andalusia with a family is like.
Schools in Andalusia
There is no right or wrong in sending your children to a public local school or a private international school. Both have their pros and cons. Below we list a few highlights but for more detailed information, read our blog dedicated to the difference between Spanish (private or public) and International schools.
- You and your children will learn the Spanish language quicker
- You and your children will integrate with the community faster
- Your children will experience a more traditional form of education
- Spanish private schools tend to be academically challenging
- Your children will learn to be a part of an international community
- Your children will receive a disciplined and creative form of education
- You and your children might find it challenging to form strong relationships with the Spanish locals
What to do in Andalusia with children?
There are endless things to do as a family in Andalusia. There are numerous child-friendly activities that are also fun for parents!
Every city or town offers a wide variety of after school sports activities. The municipality often offers these activities at very cheap rates. Sport is seen as an important activity for the children by the Spanish community.
- Dance and Theatre
On the creative side, many dance, music and theatre clubs are available. In the larger towns you will have more choice, yet every village has its own!
- Beach exploring in the Costa del Sol or Costa de la Luz
Spend the day at the beach and have lunch at one of the local chiringuitos. You can do this in the spring and summer months. Most chiringuitos close during autumn and winter, but the beaches are open 24/7, all year round! Don’t let a bit of wind stop you from enjoying a beautiful walk on the beach.
Other beach activities include body surfing, wind surfing or kite surfing. Kayaking or paddle surfing are great options and of course, making sand castles and playing in the water are truly delightful activities.
It doesn’t stop there! Go rock & shell searching. There are some beautiful shells, corals, and coloured stones to be found.
- Hiking in Andalusia
There are many spots to discover that are child-friendly. Some examples of places to explore are the Doñana, Caminito del Rey, El Torcal de Antequera, Nacimiento del Río Borosa, El Cerro del Hierro, Ruta Río de la Miel, Puente de Solomón, Ruta del Río Chíllar…
- Caves in Andalusia
Exploring the history of Andalusia through caves is a fun excursion for all ages. You can find ancient paintings in some of these! Some great caves to tour through are the Cueva de la Pileta, Gruta de las Maravillas, cuevas de Nerja, Cueva del Gato, Cueva de los Murciélagos…
- Attraction parks in Andalusia
If you are looking for a thrilling day this might just be the answer! You might want to go to a zoo, an attraction park or a water park in the summer months. Check these parks out: Isla Mágica, Tivoli, Bahía Park, Aquamijas, Selwo, Butterfly park Benalmádena, Castellar Zoo.
- City hopping in Andalusia
Another option is to pick a new city centre or village every time and go sightseeing! The kids will learn about history in the field!
As you can see there are plentiful activities you can organise as a family in Andalusia!
How to integrate in Andalusia? Learn Spanish
Knowing how to speak Spanish will make the process of integrating much easier, quicker and more fun! Your kids will learn on the go. The locals are always willing to help, most of the time simply because they are interested in you!
In general, the younger children learn by listening and repeating. The older ones may need some extra assistance after school to get up to speed. Both will be fluent within a year. As a parent you struggle to keep up with them because you have less exposure. However, attending Spanish lessons and helping your children with school work will help you very much!
We definitely recommend you to take Spanish lessons with a Spanish teacher. It will start slow but you will see notice yourself improving quickly. Spanish is a very easy language to learn since you pronounce everything literally as you read it. Learning Spanish is not the same as learning Andalusian, but be patient! You will get the hang of it for sure!
Danielle Ernstsen | 14th December 2022