When it comes to weighing up the benefits of buying a property on the Costa Blanca, what better recommendation could one hope for than a nod from the World Health Organisation, which has several times named the region as one of the best places in the world to live thanks to its perfect climate.
What it all comes down to, of course, is the weather – with around 320 days of sunshine a year and temperatures generally ranging between 16 and 28 degrees celsius, there are few places that can compete with the Costa Blanca for those who want to buy a second a second home in the sun.
Below are five extraordinary locations where you can expect to find good weather all year round on the Costa Blanca.
Alicante, the capital of the province, is situated along the Levantine coast, in the bay formed between Cabo de las Huertas and Santa Pola. With around 3,000 hours of sunshine and 97 cloud-free days a year, it boasts of an exceptional climate, with mild winters, hot summers and very little rain. The average annual temperature is usually a pleasant 20°C, which makes it an ideal place to buy a second home.
The first thing that catches the eye when arriving in the city is the imposing sight presented by Santa Bárbara Castle, perched on the highest point of Mount Benacantil, overlooking the entire Bay.
The stand out feature in the city itself is the promenade, Explanada de España. Composed of six and half million, red, black and cream tiles set in a wave-like pattern that runs for 500 metres between two rows of palm trees, it has become Alicante’s most emblematic image. Running parallel to the seafront it is the busiest area of the city, with ice cream shops open almost all year and concerts in summer, it connects Canalejas Park at one end with Postiguet Beach at the other.
With its privileged climate it is no surprise that the people of Alicante enjoy their beaches all year round; besides Postiguet beach there are other fantastic beaches such as San Juan beach, with 3km of white sand, or Albufereta beach which is filled with tourists and locals during the summer season.
Out in the bay, facing the city of Alicante, we find the charming Tabarca island. Located 22 km from the coast, it’s the largest and only inhabited island in the Valencian region. You can enjoy a beautiful walk around this picturesque island and bathe in its crystal-clear waters.
Alicante has become especially popular among retired expats as a location for buying second home on the Costa Blanca, with foreigners now making up around 23 percent over the over 65s population.
Altea is one of the most beautiful corners of the Levantine coast. Located on a hill, its cobblestone streets descend gently towards the sea, dotted with towers and lookouts from which splendid panoramic views can be taken in.
Its location could not be more charming: south of the Rock of Ifach – a 332 metre outcrop rising from the sea that’s every bit as impressive as the Rock of Gibraltar – and north of Alfaz del Pi in the incomparable setting of the Sierra Helada Nature Park. It’s here we find this town of cobbled streets, dotted with white houses.
Its pure Mediterranean atmosphere and its spring-like climate during most of the year, have made it an extremely popular location for expats to buy a second home. Its charm has attracted numerous artists and writers such as Rafael Alberti or Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, who have made it their base. As such, Altea is a town infused with a bohemian aesthetic.
The Old Town (“El Fornet”), with its cobbled streets and white houses, adorned with black wrought-iron window bars and colourful geraniums is one of the most beautiful areas of the city. Apart from the viewpoints, there are numerous art galleries, bars and restaurants, which still preserve the traditional Mediterranean atmosphere. The Church of Our Lady of Consuelo can also be found in the old town, which with its two large domes, is undoubtedly the most prominent and visited monument in the municipality.
On the seashore is the fishing port. Here the morning tranquillity of fishermen tending their chores contrasts with lively atmosphere at sunset. The nearby beach of La Olla is full of small boats and the occasional beach bar. Facing l’Olla there is a small island that can be easily be reached by kayak.
Other beaches include Cap Negret, which is surrounded by volcanic rocks.
Due to the high standard of living and quality developments, Altea attracts some of the most discerning second home owners anywhere on the Costa Blanca.
According to The World Health Organisation, Javea is one of the healthiest places in the world to live. It is protected from harsh winds in winter, and it enjoys a unique microclimate that is regarded as one of the world’s healthiest. Average temperatures are 15°C during December and January, rising to an average of 30ºC in August, so a property in Javea isn’t going to run up any heating bills. It also has more recorded hours of sunlight than any other place in Spain, which is great for vitamin D levels and keeping you cheerful!
Its 25 kilometres of coastline boast some of the greatest variety of beaches and coves in the entire province of Alicante, making it ideal for a range of water sports. Its most outstanding beaches are the Playa El Arenal and Playa La Grava, both blue flag winners thanks to their quality. Arenal Beach is the most popular due to its soft sand and shallow waters. La Grava is a pebble beach, located between the mouth of the Gorgos River and the port, which is popular among families with children. Montañar beach, with its sandstone rock and beautiful sea beds full of aquatic flora and fauna is popular for diving and snorkelling.
Among the many coves found along the Javea coastline is that of La Granadella, located between steep cliffs, it has several times been named as best cove in Spain.
Javea is generally one of the more upmarket resorts on the Costa Blanca, a status reflected in the cost of living. A second property on the outskirts of the town, particularly in the developments around the Cabo de la Nao such as Portichol and Balcón del Mar, will come at a premium price.
Denia is a historical and cultural city that has remained free of mass tourism and has grown organically while preserving all its authenticity. Its spectacular beauty, its lively and cheerful atmosphere and the cordial and hospitable nature of its people are just some of reasons Denia has been attracting artists and intellectuals since the beginning of the 20th century.
Its location in a bay sheltered by an impressive mountain massif, the “Montgó”, from where on clear days you can see the silhouette of Ibiza, gives it a privileged climate with about 300 days of sunshine per year.
In the centre of the bay is the Port with its charming Mediterranean air, adorned with palm trees. Despite its importance as a port to Mallorca and Ibiza, which is only 3.5 hours away by boat, it has not lost the charm of a traditional fishing port.
Due to the wind that sweeps across the area from the sea, Denia is also a paradise for those who enjoy water sports.
Built on a cliff and overlooking the port since Roman times, the castle of Denia is the symbol of the city. An attractive must for those who spend their holidays in the area.
The castle is the main tourist attraction and often hosts cultural events and theatrical guided tours. At the top you can enjoy an incredible view of the old town, the coast and the Montgó massif, the highest mountain in the area.
Around the castle the whole old town extends with its narrow and picturesque Moorish streets, while in the lower city, modernist architecture dominates.
Once in the harbour area, you can visit the Baix la Mar neighbourhood, the old coastal district. Located just below the castle, this neighbourhood is made up of narrow streets and traditional fishermen’s houses, with picturesque facades of pastel colours. In the area closest to the port there are many bars and restaurants where you can sample the excellent fresh fish.
The beaches of Denia are, for many, the main attraction of the region. The city has a coastline of almost 15 km, divided into two different sections: Las Rotas, characterised by rocky coves and Las Marinas, with its long and comfortable sandy beaches.
Both offer a plethora of activities: you can dive or snorkel to discover the magnificent seabed of Las Rotas, or practice water sports in the area of Las Marinas, such as windsurfing, kite surfing, rowing on foot and kayaking.
The landscape around Denia is dominated by the imposing figure of Montgó, a mountain 800 meters high located a short distance from the coast. It forms part of a Nature Park that houses 650 different species of flora and is rich in fauna – eagles, peregrine falcons, owls, foxes, wild boars, to name some of the most emblematic. The park has numerous trails that are worth exploring by bicycle or on foot.
Denia is also closest mainland city to the Balearic Islands: less than 100 km from Ibiza.
There are up to three daily trips to the Islands during the high season and it takes between two to five hours to reach Ibiza, depending on the type of ferry. Those seeking out a holiday home or second property in an area still immersed in a traditional Spanish lifestyle need look no further than Denia.
Located to the south of the province of Alicante we find Torrevieja, a destination made unique by the famous salt lakes of the Laguna de la Mata and Torrevieja Nature Park.
Torrevieja also boasts of 20 kilometres of Mediterranean coast where you can enjoy great beaches with calm waters and endless walks. Its longest beach has 2.3 kilometres of fine sand and is known as the Playa de la Mata. It is in the vicinity of the Laguna de la Mata Nature Park and near the Water Mill Park, the latter formed by the sand dunes that lie behind the beach.
But if you are looking for the tranquillity of a near-deserted beach, Torrevieja offers an abundance of coves, such as Cala Ferri, with crystal clear waters, surrounded by palm trees and small dunes.
The most outstanding feature of the area however are the pink and green lagoons that make up 52 percent of the local landscape.
The lagoons form a protected nature park visited by all sorts of wildlife including Flamingos, but they also welcome people from all over Europe who come for the natural mud baths, which are said to be very good for the skin, joints and general wellbeing.
Thanks to the health-giving benefits of these two lagoons, the WHO has named Torrevieja as one of the healthiest places in the world to live. It’s no surprise then that Torrevieja has one of the highest populations of expats in Spain, with thousands of UK nationals making it their number one choice to buy a second property.
With its superb climate and positive health factors, what’s stopping you from buying that second home on the Costa Blanca?