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Costa Blanca calling: top places to buy a home in the sun
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Costa Blanca calling: top places to buy a home in the sun

Spain’s Costa Blanca (White Coast) spans 240 km and has just as many towns and beaches to visit. From Denia to Torrevieja, the Tranio team has trawled the coast to bring you the top destinations along this iconic seafront.

The Costa Blanca is located along the coast of Spain’s Alicante province

Did you know?

— The Costa Blanca was named one of the world’s best regions to live by the World Health Organization.
— It’s Spain’s warmest and sunniest coast with 320 days of sun per year and summer water temperatures reaching 28°C.
— It’s famous for its white sands and Blue Flag beaches.
— The name “Costa Blanca” was invented as a marketing pitch for British tourists in 1957.

Little and big budgets welcome

Real estate on the Costa Blanca is more affordable than Spain’s other coastal regions.

  • studios and one-bedroom apartments start at €50,000–60,000
  • three-bedroom bungalows and townhouses start at €100,000–130,000

The local real estate market is diverse. In Alicante’s northern towns, like Denia, Jávea, Moraira and Calpe, there is no active construction and the secondary property market is dominant. This area is popular among wealthy foreign citizens and pensioners who prefer quiet and relaxing holidays. New residential developments are being built in the southern part of the Costa Blanca, a very popular resort destination with lots of nightlife and entertainment. The regional capital, Valencia, is just north of the Costa Blanca and has a major airport with many flight connections to Europe.

Best family destinations: Denia and Jávea

Denia has preserved the traditional feel of an old Spanish village

Denia is a small town with less than 42,000 inhabitants located half way between Valencia and Alicante. The port has ferries to Ibiza and other Balearic Islands and there is a marina for private boats. Unlike the buzzing resorts of the south, Denia is low-key. There are few hotels and tourists tend to rent villas and apartments. There is an outdoor market every Monday and La Marina shopping centre is located three kilometres outside the town. For entertainment, people head out to the local bars and restaurants and there are few nightclubs and casinos. Attractions include the Archaeology Museum (Centro Arqueológico de la Almoina) in the Governor’s Palace (Palau del Governador), an Ethnology Museum (Museu Valencià d’Etnologia) with a unique exhibition about local winemaking and the Museum of Toys (Museo Valenciano del Juguete).

Jávea’s central beach and Montgo Mountain are memorable local landmarks

Jávea (Catalan: Xábia) is a quaint town just thirty minutes south of Denia and 80 km from Alicante. It is perfect for a family vacation as it has plenty of family entertainment and outdoor activities but a quiet nightlife. The town is located at the foot of Montgo, the highest peak in the area (750 m). Since 1987, Montgo and the surrounding land is a national park. Its coastline is particularly popular with divers for its underwater reefs. Jávea is located near Cape San Martin (Cabo de San Martin) and its old lighthouse. If the weather is good, Ibiza is visible from there. The town organises many traditional and modern festivals such as Moors and Christians (Moros y Cristianos), Bonfires of Saint John (Hogueras de San Juan) and the Jávea International Festival (Festival Internacional de Jávea).

Something for everyone: Calpe, Moraira and Altea

Calpe’s Penon de Ifach mountain is also a protected wildlife reserve

Calpe (Catalan: Calp) has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a premium resort over the last sixty years. Now the town is not only a tourist stronghold but also a home to many expats from the UK, Germany and Scandinavia. Architecture in Calpe is a mixture of modern buildings and old Spanish architecture. In the centre is the unique Moorish quarter and the last piece of Valencian gothic architecture: the Old Church (Iglesia Vieja). The surrounding area has great natural beauty and 11 km of magnificent beaches like Cantal Roig at the foot of Peñón de Ifach mountain and Puerto Blanco, which also has a yacht club. Peñón de Ifach is at the heart of Calpe’s local national park of the same name (Parque Natural del Peñón de Ifach). It is home to rare plants, over 300 species of animals and a nesting site for various bird colonies.

Moraira is quiet harbour popular with wealthy foreign citizens

Moraira is the quietest town on the Costa Blanca. The quaint fishing village vibe makes it a popular choice for British tourists who often buy property there, and pensioners in particular. Despite the high demand from wealthy foreign citizens, the local real estate market has options for all budgets and tastes.

The fishing community is still active and there is fresh seafood for sale on the local market every day. Moraira is also famous for Muscatel grapes that make the world-famous dessert vine.

Altea is one of Spain’s main centres for Orthodox Christianity

Altea is a relatively large resort compared to other towns and villages on the Costa Blanca. It is located to the south of Calpe and has many large hotels. The town offers a wide array of holiday entertainment for visitors. The atmosphere is bohemian and became famous for its artistic tendencies in the 1960s, attracting many musicians, artists and writers from all around Europe. Nowadays, Altea is the centre of cultural life on the Costa Blanca with its new Arts Centre and Concert Hall (Palau Altea Centre d’Arts). Alongside its many antique shops, there is the orthodox church of Saint Michael built according to traditional Russian architecture and consecrated in 2005.

The booming south: Benidorm, Alicante, Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa

Benidorm is nicknamed the Rio de Janeiro of Spain

Benidorm is a popular resort, often called the Spanish Rio de Janeiro for its many high-rise buildings and the shape of the coast line. This town is considered the entertainment capital of the “White Coast”. It is home to the region’s theme parks including Europe’s biggest Terra Mitica and aqua parks: Mundomar, Aqualandia, and Terra Natura. The coast is divided into three beaches. Playa de Levante is popular with tourists and located close to the city centre. Playa de Poniente and Mal Pas near the port tend to be quieter. Every year, Benidorm hosts the Low Cost Festival, a big indie event that attracts music lovers from all over Europe. This town is a popular destination for young people thanks to its vibrant nightlife.

Alicante is the informal capital of Spain’s Costa Blanca

Alicante is the second biggest city of the Valencia region and capital of the Alicante province. There is an international airport 10 km away from Alicante making it a common starting point of trips to the Costa Blanca. It is a hub for many low-cost airlines including Ryanair and easyJet.

On top of Mount Benacantil in the town is the Castle of Santa Barbara (Castillo de Santa Bárbara) built in the XIII century. Alicante is one of Spain’s oldest cities with architectural monuments dating back to Roman, Moor and Gothic times.

In the centre of Alicante is the Paseo Maritimo seafront with many restaurants, bars and cafes. The highlight of local cuisine is paella, which is thought to originate from this town.

Torrevieja is famous for the distinct red waters of its salt lakes

Torrevieja, located 50 km from Alicante, is considered the Russian capital of the Costa Blanca. There are also many expats from Western Europe living there too. The nearby natural salt lakes (Salinas de Torrevieja) are located on the national parks of Lagunas de la Mata and Molino del Agua. This town has an open exhibition dedicated to the Spanish Navy and a floating museum on the decommissioned submarine Delfín. The Museum of Sea and Salt (Museo del Mar y de la Sal) is dedicated to the history of salt extraction in the region.

Orihuela Costa’s is considered one of Europe’s cleanest ecological sites

Orihuela Costa is just 5 km south of Torrevieja. It is one of the oldest settlements in Costa Blanca and has a lot of medieval churches from the XIV to XVII century. In the historical centre is the Orihuela Cathedral, decorated with works of Velasquez.

The town is fast developing a range of premium residential blocks. The noteworthy upmarket residential projects include Campoamor, Capo Roig and La Zenia. There are very few hotels however but the town’s infrastructure is good and has a wide selection of nurseries, schools, supermarkets and shops as well as golf and yacht clubs. In 2012 the largest mall in the province of Alicante, Zenia Boulevard, was opened and contrary to Spanish tradition, works without a siesta break.

Ivan Chepizhko, Tranio

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