Can you feel that ripple of positivity in our vast ocean of life? In Valencia, on the super sunny coast of the Mediterranean we can.
Right now the winds of change are a gentle breeze, but make no mistake, they’re getting steadily stronger, so why not ride in on the wave of opportunity that is rolling in to one of the world’s best destinations for new teleworkers, digital nomads and smart investors?
There’s no denying that Covid-19 has influenced and will continue to influence our lives. However, haven’t we all painted some incredibly important, priceless pictures of information, created about our world, ourselves, friends, family, colleagues and even our neighbours?
We are networkers by nature, compelled to communicate, collaborate, and cooperate. And if we are prevented from doing so in person, then we’ll Zoom, Skype, Hangout, Houseparty, WhatsApp or any other app that allows us to wangle a way to have our say in important meetings or social greetings.
Some of what we have learnt has even led us to question the very lifestyle we are living, as many of us have been trying out the treats, trials, and tribulations of teleworking.
Now, working from home may not be everyone’s cup of tea, even if you are making that tea just the way you like it , especially if your home office has been doubling as a creative creche, noisy nursery or substitute school.
Nonetheless, an increasing number of both employers and employees are flocking to this fast flourishing way of working, having adapted rapidly to reap the rewards of what many had already predicted would be the way most companies operate in the future.
But whilst during the pandemic these people were forced to stay where they were, the world will now be their oyster, and a rather tasty one it`ll be too, especially in Valencia!
In fact, the trend for teleworking is nothing new, digital nomads have been doing this for years, and indeed, the more progressive behemoths of the business world like Google, Facebook and Twitter had already said that by 2021, at the latest, their employees would be free to remote work wherever they wanted.
All that’s happened is that dates have been brought forward (or back), but many more companies and professionals are jumping on the teleworking bandwagon. So, if you are considering making the move to a more pleasurable place to telework from, (especially if there’s another lockdown), read on for why Valencia should be your first port of call.
Table of Contents
1. All in place
Be in the right place at the right time. If that’s what’s needed, Valencia really is the place to be. It`s location both geographically and strategically, couldn’t be better.
The city lies on the Mediterranean, so enjoys a covetable climate with bountiful, beautiful beaches all along the coast.
The resplendent quality of light here, as captured by the artist Joaquin Sorolla in his many paintings of Valencian life, leads to a happy heart, even in winter.
There are rolling mountains and hills and small towns nearby to go hiking in, some with fresh-water lakes for a bracing bathe at the height of the sizzling summer – and all this is very well connected.
Apart from Valencia Airport, a 15 minute drive or 20 minute metro ride from the city centre, there are two other international airports within driving distance, Castellón to the north and Alicante to the south.
Trains; apart from the high-speed trains of the AVE, Valencia will be an important part of the much vaunted Mediterranean corridor, which will facilitate rapid rail freight and travel for passengers through six European countries.
There’s also a great network of roads to all major destinations, especially now that the AP 7 is toll-free! You can take this motorway to Barcelona, then on to France should you wish. But, of course, Valencia is also a port – in fact, it ranks nº1 in Spain for cargo traffic, but also provides easy access to the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Ibiza etc. So being this well connected gets it international attention.
2. International Fame & Fortune
Valencia is a World-Wide Wonder, an internationally recognised city that the entire planet is now starting to get familiar with.
It’s a magical mix of tradition and fantastical future. Just ask the location scouts for many movies and series, such as this video trailer for ‘Westworld’, season 3, which takes place at the City of Arts & Sciences, itself situated in the drained bed of the redirected River Turia, now a multi-functional recreation space running through the whole city.
By choosing to relocate to Valencia, apart from the many astute entrepreneurial expats and digital nomads already here, you’d be joining a myriad of multi-nationals such as Ford, Apple, Ikea, and tech titans Hewlett-Packard and Plug and Play, a Californian company who have their European headquarters just outside the city.
Even the education is international, with the two world-renowned universities; of Valencia and the Polytechnic University offering many courses in English, with many affiliated private centres or business schools like EDEM, offering great connections to the international entrepreneurial ecosystem.
And if you have kids, no worries, there are loads of international schools here such as Cambridge House or Caxton, with students from all over the world.
3. Cultural Beliefs
It was Tom Wolfe who said, “Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs”.
Now, if we include the art of having damn fine fun in these arts, then – welcome to Valencia!
Without doubt the city offers a cascade of the usual culture vulture come-ons, as in the above City of Arts and Sciences, incorporating the ‘Oceanografic’ aquarium, or one of the many other museums, such as the IVAM, the most well-known for modern art; ‘Belles Artes’-San Pio V, the Cathedral museum, amongst others for fine art; for history check out the Casa Consistorial, or take your pick of History from Natural, Military, Prehistory, Ceramics, Tin Soldiers, Valencianor even Rice!
Of course, at least one of these is dedicated to ‘Las Fallas’ – Valencian culture at its loudest and proudest. It’s a massive, mega-mix of culture, history, traditional costume, flowers, fireworks, music, parties, and sheer volume – people, but above all noise!
The not-to-be-missed days are the last 5, which end on the 19th of March with the burning of hundreds of satirical, dazzlingly detailed wood and plaster sculptures throughout the city and beyond.
However, some choose to take advantage of the official holiday to escape this marvellous mayhem. Not me.
There are other notable cultural events near the city such as the Tomatina, a kind of fight for your right to throw an unquantifiable amount of ripe tomatoes at friends and complete strangers in a big red battle, not for the faint hearted.
And then there’s the fun in the sun aural excitement that is the Benicássim FIB music festival, only an hour’s drive up the road. Culture is also the prevailing wind in the sails of how Valencians spend their leisure time. And I haven’t even mentioned Paella yet! The dish whose recipe is a labour of love combining culture, pleasure and leisure…
4. Life of Leisure?
It’s a complete myth that people here don’t work hard. In fact, they are some of the hardest working people I’ve met. So, of course – when you work hard you tend to play hard before taking a terrace or a nap and snore.
There’s an added pleasure to leisure here. Valencia has a great nightlife, with nightclubs to shake away the day in and restaurants ranging from the Michelin starred El Poblet to daily set menus for under €10 to dine in.
But the real star of Valencian cultural cuisine is, without doubt Paella, although having said that, there are too many other unreal rice dishes to mention here. Paella is a real sharing dish, best eaten with family or friends on a lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon.
There’s a world of difference between eating straight from the paella pan, do this! – or getting it as part of a cheap daily menu, risky. But always know that the absolute best is the one your mother/father/brother etc in law cooks.
Also, I refuse to put a link to a recipe here – on the grounds that it may endanger my life! Valencians are pedantically passionate in their views of what traditional Valencian paella contains and how it should be cooked. I’ll go as far as rabbit and chicken, surf the web for your own conclusions.
The rest of the week should be spent “terracing out”, my own phrasal verb, coined to mean chilling out and taking it all in on a terrace.
Valencia is not so much a café, as a terrace society. Being blessed with a mild, sunny climate, even in winter, is just one of the reasons that we love to spend any time of the day or night gossiping, people watching, kicking back and having a coffee, beer or cocktail on the quintessence of Valencian culture – the terrace of our beloved bars and restaurants.
And if the sporting life is for you, then there are clubs for athletics, football (both types), baseball, rugby, even cricket, on land.
Then down at the marina you can go rowing, paddle surfing, kayaking or learn how to sail, with massive incentive discounts to get women into the sport.
Or why not get on your bike – Valencia is virtually flat and there is a very extensive, ever-expanding network of cycle paths. No bike, no problem, the friendly faces atBikeAlao will rent you whatever you need and even show you around on one of a choice of fun, informative tours. There are also a plethora of natural parks not far from the city to get in touch with nature while hiking or biking.
5. Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Why does Valencia rate so highly in all the quality of life indexes? Quite simply, it’s a way of life. We really enjoy the way we live and being happy leads to being healthy.
You’ve heard of the famous Mediterranean diet, well, it’s not just about what you eat, but where and when you buy it.
There are so many marvellous fruit and veg markets in Valencia, such as the magnificent Mercado Central,smack bang in the centre of the city, which allow us to eat seasonally, fabulously fresh food all year round.
So, we eat what our body needs when it needs it. In many large cities like London this is almost a lost concept.
It’s also much more fun building up a trusting relationship with a stallholder in a market than a quick dash to the supermarket, although there are plenty of these when you need them.
Here are some of the other factors which keep us happy and healthy:
Valencia is a very safe place to live and has an enviously low crime rate, compared to other Spanish and European regions.
It has a good, international education system, an excellent and mostly free, yep free, health service, and is highly ranked by environmental quality indicators. The region is also one of the most stable in the EU in legal, political, and social terms, making it attractive for foreign investors, which we’ll look at later.
Here are some peachy beach numbers to bore you with; 300 days of sun annually, 514 kilometres of coastline, 260 beaches, measuring 265 kilometres.
Valencia has the highest number of city beaches in the Mediterranean. But all this must come at a cost, surely?
6. Can you afford not to come to Valencia?
The cost of living here is yet another of the reasons why remote workers, digital nomads and international entrepreneurs set sail for Valencia.
For the quality of life you lead, most expats are pleasantly surprised at how little they need to spend to live the dream life. This applies to everyday expenses such as shopping, eating out or going for a drink.
It’s quite normal to get a lunch time 3 course set menu, with choices, coffee, and a drink for under €10. And to be honest, I’m normally stuffed after one!
As mentioned before, fresh market produce tends to be local, making it cheaper and more environmentally friendly than imported. Public transport is cheap, for instance a 10 trip, €8.50, bus ticket works out at a measly 85 cents per ride. So, you’re probably thinking rents and property prices are going to be sky high for a place on the Mediterranean coast.
You may well be surprised, especially when compared to the other two, (Valencia being 3rd) largest cities in Spain, Madrid and Barcelona.
Have an eye-opening look at Why Valencia is the best on our website to see comparative prices for renting or buying in these cities. You can also read more about this topic and why Valencia holds all the cards in Why Investors prefer Valencia, in our Property Investment department Blue Key.
In fact, the healthy Valencian property market is another reason so many are choosing Valencia as their work from home base.
7. A Healthy Estate
As you will have seen if you clicked on our links above, Valencia is not only an affordable place to rent, but also to buy property – especially for remote workers employed by international companies.
Perhaps you think buying a place in the sun is a rather large step. However, when you take into account that you are probably earning quite a bit more than the average local employee, who usually buys their own place, your own salary starts to gain magically more buying power.
And let’s face it, there are some truly stunning places to live here, whether you choose the heart of the city with the hustle and bustle of bar life and easy access to any and all services, or fancy owning your perfect place by the sea, you’re sure to find something to suit style and budget.
Apart from our own sound, professional advice, right here at Globexs, we trust Erwin Hartgring from Dream Properties Valencia and Graham Hunt at Valencia Property to guide you to your ideal home, and even show you around before you arrive, with the help of his virtual visit capabilities!
And even if you decide to telework someplace other than Valencia for a time, you can still make money on your investment with Globexs by letting us manage and rent out your property for you, hassle free, at NESTOR, our property management department.
If you’re still not convinced, then why not rent one of our managed properties first to help you decide what’s best for you. And it goes without saying that they all have the fast, excellent internet connection you need.
8. WWW: 5G
Valencia was one of the first cities in Spain to get the much faster 5G network, in June 2019, and no, we haven’t burnt any of the masts down.
Actually Valencia, in 2019, for a week in June was known as the world capital of 5G. Throughout the week, the International Conference Centre, designed by Sir Norman Foster, hosted the Global 5G Event and the EuCNC2019 congress, two internationally renowned events organised by the University Polytechnic of Valencia through its iTEAM Institute, where all the keys to the present and future of this technology were revealed.
In addition, the latest milestones in research were presented, as well as the most recent 5G commercial developments and the challenges involved with this technology, which will go far beyond mobile phones.
And Valencia is investing in this in a big way, which will only improve more rapidly the benefits here for remote workers. Here’s a quote from Narcís Cardona, director of iTEAM; “This will make Valencia a focus of international reference, a meeting point for the world’s leading experts in the field, where we can also begin to see how 5G will revolutionise our production sector and, ultimately, our society.”
So apart from better, faster internet, Valencia is also full of opportunities for the future.
9. Land of Opportunity
The economy, amongst other things, makes Valencia the outstanding land of opportunity.
We’ve already looked at investment in property, above, but what about those of you with an entrepreneurial spirit? It’s been well documented how the international expat community has helped regenerate areas of the city, such as Ruzafa, which you can read about in Digital Nomads and Expats, the Ambassadors of Progress, but what has attracted all these SMEs and Startups?
Maybe these figures can shed some light on the attraction to the action in Valencia: According to the OECD energy supplies for industry and telecommunications are cheaper than elsewhere in Europe.
Whilst in terms of employees, salaries in the Valencian Region are 15% lower on average than in Barcelona and 21% lower on average than in Madrid.
And these differences go up to 40% for highly qualified staff. Still not convinced? How about this – setting up an office in Valencia on industrial land can generate savings of up 90%, compared to Madrid.
Then there are new opportunities thanks to Covid-19. We have now realised that for many jobs it doesn’t matter where we are. And this is why Valencia is actively promoting the immigration of teleworkers, in marketing campaigns all over the less climate lucky world.
Because remote workers, living in places like London, earning London Salaries will give the Valencian economy a massive boost, whilst giving the teleworker a much better quality of life – a real win-win situation!
And that’s not the only economic incentive, taxes here will actually help save you money, and you have an ex-soccer star to thank!
10. David Beckham can help with your tax
Yes, I know that may sound strange, but here it is: In 2019 the Spanish government reinstated a tax law that was originally introduced so that high earning, foreign sports stars, such as David Beckham, wouldn’t have to pay so much income tax in Spain, hence the name ‘Ley Beckham’.
Not a sports star? Lucky you, because the revised law applies to all but sports stars! And you don’t have to be a millionaire either to benefit. It’s a little complicated, so I’d advise you to get in contact with the Globexs Legal Assistance department.
However, here are some of the basic facts: For the first six years that you live here you can choose to be taxed as a non-resident, although classed as resident; only income obtained in Spanish territory will be taxed, so foreign investments won’t be; this also means that if you live in another country and own property here, you’ll only be taxed on income from it, i.e. renting it out. Now we get to the numbers.
First the standard rates of tax; if you earn up to €12,450, you pay 19%, then up to €20,200, you pay 24%. But now it gets interesting, a flat rate of 24% tax – up to €35,200, you pay 24% (normally 30%), then up to €60,000, again, you pay 24% (normally 37%); then up to €600,000, yet again you pay 24% (normally 47%).
Anything over that is taxed at 45%, so the first €600,000 you pay 24%, the rest you pay 45% tax. So basically, the closer you get to €600,000 without going over, the more you’ll save in tax, up to 21%!
The only snag is, that you can’t have been a tax resident in Spain for the preceding 10 years, and you must be either employed from Spain or be sent here by your company – I think I would be asked to be sent – get me to Valencia!
And remember, as a teleworker or remote worker we, at Globexs can provide you with absolutely all the help you’ll ever need. Curious? We’d love to hear from you!