Some Europeans are moving to Spain to escape soaring energy prices

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
A view of sunbeds lined up on the beach, in Benidorm, July 2020
A view of sunbeds lined up on the beach, in Benidorm, July 2020   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos

The Spanish town of Benidorm in the so-called Costa Blanca has long been a popular destination for people from all over Europe. 

It has also become a place for people to save on high energy bills thanks to its mild climate.

"It's cheaper to stay here than in the Netherlands,” said John Buter, a tourist.

“It's much colder there. You have to turn on the heating. And you have to pay the energy company for that."

“You have to be crazy to stay in the Netherlands. You can enjoy the money you would otherwise spend on gas and electricity,” he said.

The tourism sector is eyeing the opportunity to increase the number of foreigners coming to the region.

It can cost around €50 per night in a hotel during the low season, and flats are also getting more bookings.

“Most tenants come from the north of Europe -- Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany,” said Daniel Elman, a landlord for MyFlats, which helps tourists temporarily rent apartments.

“It`s clear why. All those people would otherwise lose a lot of money to heat their homes. We do not have that need in the south of Europe,” Elman said.

The EU has accepted Spain's so-called "Iberian exception," which allowed the country to decouple the price of gas from electricity for a year.

The option could halve the energy bills of around 40% of people living in Spain and Portugal.

Some people in the city are sceptical that it will last long enough, however. “I don't think this will last more than a year,” said Maxim Lampole, a Belgian tourist.

“But I would say, for the time being, come to Spain and enjoy it.”