The city of Valencia is in steady growth and Seville is smashing last year’s property sales with Alicante is one of the most popular destinations in Spain for property hunters and tourists alike because of its beautiful coastline, known as the Costa Blanca, gorgeous resort towns and pretty whitewashed villages. The countryside is mountainous to the north and a flat with a verdant river valley at the southern tip, and the golden sandy coast is backed by nature-filled salt marshes, sand dunes and pine forests. Combine all that with average of 300 days a year of sunshine and you’ve got a province perfect for outdoor pursuits like walking, biking or swimming and a generous range of delicious produce including sweet wine, fresh seafood and fish, almonds, raisins, oranges, olives and artichokes. purchases up by nearly 30%. While the city of Madrid levels off, possibly because the strong economy has priced people out, it has provided jobs, creating a gravitational pull to the smaller, more affordable municipalities surrounding it.
Alicante airport is enormous and one of the busiest airports in Spain. Excellent public transport and newly built roads make getting around the province incredibly easy. Its most famous cities are the coastal Alicante and Benidorm. Both of which have promenade lined beaches with busy pavement cafes and entertainment on tap. Benidorm is one of the most diverse cities in Spain and Alicante has a rich cultural heritage with a host of historical landmarks, museums, galleries and restaurants. Then there are the smaller, inland cities: Elche is an ancient city with a 200,000 tree-strong historic palm grove, whereas Orihuela is charismatic cathedral city. Both offer an antidote to the heady coastal centres as they’re often overlooked by the throngs of summer tourists.
Popular resort towns to the north include Calpe, Denia, Javea, and Morairia, which is coined the St Tropez of Spain. The northern resorts are flanked by protected areas of natural beauty, offer an authentic Spanish vibe plus close proximity to the airport. This makes them popular with second-home buyers who want somewhere convenient, charming and luxurious to visit for long weekends.
The southern resorts are more affordable. They attract more permanent residents because of the great infrastructure (i.e. great schools, shops and hospitals) and friendly expat life offered in modern urban developments. Henry, one of our Podcast guests bought a quad in Playa Flamenca for this very reason. Torrevieja is the largest town with the greatest social scene, but Dehesa de Campoamor is heaven for golfers.
All the coastal resorts offer crystal clear waters and fine white sand beaches but the best value for money properties can be found inland. The Orba Valley is a leafy rural haven just 30 minutes inland of Javea and Denia. Pueblos like Benijofar or Finestrat are tranquil and handsome alternatives to the beachside resorts, yet still close enough for an early morning dip. Then there are thriving commercial towns like Castalla that have their own traditional food dishes and spirited community events.
Who lives there?
Alicante is one of the most popular areas for international buyers in Spain; 50% of residents are non-native. Average property prices here are around €220,000 which is 10% lower than the national average in Spain.
With great transport links to the UK, British people make up the largest population of expats in Alicante together with other northern Europeans hailing from France, Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Why do they come?
In the cities and towns of Alicante province, you’ll find a magnetic medley of mudéjar, mediaeval and neoclassical architecture and old town centres with townhouses and traditional villas and apartments for sale. Modern properties with clean lines and light rooms can be found in contemporary urbanisations where you’ll find homes with either shared or private amenities. Many expats are looking to get away from the tourist centres and move to the more tranquil, rural locations where you might find land to develop or a finca (Spanish farmhouse) to renovate.
The region of Alicante is known for its community spirit, with many of the towns offering concert halls, open-air markets, fantastic good leisure centres and sports facilities, a great calendar of fiestas and public events and many have dedicated spaces where the expat community can schedule classes, clubs, groups and excursions.
Much of the interior and some of the northern coastline is mountainous with plenty of protected areas and national parks that are perfect for hikers and bikers. The fenland areas attract rare species of migrating birds and the many microclimates create diverse habitats for endemic species making them popular with birdwatchers and nature lovers. The flatlands to the south appeal to golfers and the beaches host football or volleyball tournaments, or water sports like diving or sailing.
To explore other regions of Spain, try our ‘Where to Live’ location guides.