Re: Teruel and Shangri-la


I enjoyed the article greatly.

I work in an estate agency near Valencia city and last year we were flooded with enquiries for properties in Teruel. We had nothing to offer and we were surprised at just how many enquirers had their sights doggedly set on Teruel – or nothing.

A Place in the Sun was, we later learnt, the cause of this flurry of interest.

Last summer, I visited Teruel with my son. We arrived by train and returned the 160 km to Valencia by bicycle on the superb Ojos Negros bike greenway.

Before setting off from Teruel we spent the morning walking around the town and looking in estate agent windows – as everyone does. Prices seemed only slightly lower than Valencia. While pretty enough, the town has very little to offer a tourist and I couldn’t help smiling to myself when imagining British house-buyers arriving and expecting to find an undiscovered Shangri-la.

The sad truth is that the town has been slowly dying for the past 50 years. Most everybody with ambition, gets up and leaves. There is a gleam of hope as the new motorway and rail links may help restore some optimism in the future.

While many people complain about the rapid pace of growth on the Mediterranean coast, they only have to travel some 100 km inland to see depressing consequences of negative population growth.

Yes, the properties maybe somewhat cheaper; and yes, there may be plenty of peace and quiet, but unfortunately, Teruel, like many other inland Spanish cities, is in the absolute middle of nowhere.