Cantabria With green valleys, white beaches and the stunning Picos de Europa national park, Cantabria is a nature-lover's paradise and the start of the Costa Verde. Mark Stucklin has a final warning for buyers: "Make sure the house has been inscribed in the land registry.
There are daily ferries to the UK and good ro. But the lure of Asturias lies in its mountainous countryside and meadows, punctuated by Romanesque churches.
Asturias Forget the industrial towns of Gijon and Aviles. Eastern Cantabria tends to be frequented by vacationing Basques and west of Santander is Santillana del Mar, described torrelaveag Sartre as "the prettiest village in Europe". But, despite being a popular holiday refuge for the Spanish, we British have our reservations. So why are few British buyers to be found here, asks Zoe Dare Hall Northern Spain, which stretches from La Coruna on Galicia's Atlantic shores to Weeking Sebastian in the Pais Vasco before siding up to the French border and Spanish Pyrenees, takes in some of the country's wildest, greenest and most undeveloped terrain.
Yet, the odd rainy day seems a small price to pay to experience uncommercial rural Spain, which is greener, friendlier and cheaper than the usual tourist traps. Most of BK Property's English clients are seeking houses to renovate. This is also where Galicia is at its wettest.
So, what is here to buy? Pais Vasco Given its political unrest, impenetrable language and tendency to me, this is still uncharted territory for most Britons buying in Spain. A bit too "Spanish" to live in, with three regional languages and little English spoken, and a climate that's not worth leaving home for?
But beauty and accessibility come at a price. There are low-cost flights to Bilbao, 31 miles away, and Biarritz, 19 miles over the French border, as well as British Airways flights to San Sebastian.
In the past three years, they have risen by 43 per cent on average. The nearest airports are Aviles in Asturias and Santander in Cantabria, both about 37 miles from Llanes, a charming seaside town, and linked by good motorways.
Gillian and John Weston, from Dover, moved to Asturias 18 months ago. Galicia BK Property www. Though property prices haven't made the tremendous leaps seen in Majorca or Barcelona in the past year, they rose at least 12 per cent in Cantabria, Asturias and the Pais Vasco Basque Countryand nine per cent in Galicia. Far more appealing is the capital, Ttorrelavega, a wealthy city with an interesting historic centre - though property is pricier here.
It can add several months to the buying process, but it's the only way to prove the house is yours. Galicia has had many problems with this. A bit too arduous to reach for a holiday house, perhaps? It reminds us of Cornwall.
It stands out for its climate and countryside and for having the most reasonable prices. Zarautz, a nearby seaside town, also has a small English and Irish population, though prices are just as high.
Cantabria Rustica 00 34 60 He says Cantabria has yet to take off among British buyers, possibly due to the similarity between the two climates and landscapes. They rent luxurious flats in the centre, or villas in suburban developments," says Carolina Ortiz, of Inmobiliaria Res. Cantabria Fincas Corral www. Asturias Inmobiliaria Campillo, www.
Its capital, Santander, is easily reached by air or ferry from Plymouth. The countryside is beautifully green. We enjoy the relaxed way of life. Mark Stucklin advises looking at the coast between Ribadesella and Llanes, near the Cantabrian border.
General Spanish. But head south to the islets around Rias Baixas and the climate and terrain are far friendlier.
There are three airports nearby, including Oporto in Portugal, and good ro. And it will probably stay that way.