Expats in sunny Spain wake up to big freeze

Published:  19 Jan at 6 PM
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As the predicted big freeze finally reached Spain, UK expats in Andalucía and even the holiday island of Majorca woke up to snowy vistas reminiscent of the British winter.

Although snow and sub-freezing temperatures had been predicted for a week, the heavy snowfalls across the south of Spain came as a shock to UK expats who’d relocated away from Britain’s chilly winter weather. Majorca, publicised as the ‘sunshine island’ for its January temperatures of around 18C, was hit hard with blankets of thick snow covering the landscape and even part of the island’s capital, Palma.

On the Spanish mainland, things were no better, especially in the coastal resort favourites of Benidorm, Alicante and Torrevieja. All schools in the region were closed due to freezing temperatures and dangerously icy roads, with the snowfall itself the worst since 1983, and southern Valencia and Alicante’s northern areas saw an incredible 25cm of snow in 24 hours.

Temperatures in the affected regions have dropped as low as -2C, with British pensioners stripped of their cold weather payments as well as losing out on the sterling exchange rate hoping and praying for an early thaw. Holidaymakers arriving to enjoy the region’s balmy winter are less than thrilled, and residents are wandering the snowy beaches hunched into thick winter coats and boots.

Dave McQueen, the Brit owner of event organisation company BenidormVIP was shocked to wake up to the snowy scene, especially as he’d left the UK to get away from winter chills. He’s unhappy that no weather warnings were put in place, especially for the forecasted high winds and rain lasting five days. Another more positive expat kept himself warm by building a snowman on the beach. Luckily, temperatures are set to rise in the southern regions on the weekend, making roads safe to travel and cheering up holidaymakers and expats alike.
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