Hospitable sunny Spain and, in particular, the Costa Blanca for many years attracts Europeans from countries that are less fortunate with the climate.
According to data of the National Institute of statistics (INE) for the year 2019, there are 249.015 British people living in Spain, of which 126.013 are men and 123.002 are women, most of these people are over the age of 45 years.
In the second quarter of the past year, one in eight of the properties purchased by foreigners in Spain was purchased by UK-citizen. At the same time, the number of real estate deals concluded with British remained stubbornly high all last years, despite the complex political situation in relation to Brexit. Amount of transactions implemented with the participation of the UK-residents in 2019 was around 10 thousand per year, in other words, 13.3% of all real estate bought in Spain by foreign buyers was bought by the British.
In terms of specific regions, most significant portion of foreign buyers of Spanish property occurred in the Balearic Islands, where 27.5% of the total number of transactions were concluded with the participation of the UK residents. At approximately the same level 26.6 was observed in the Canary Islands, and finally in the Valencian community there was 26.3%, mainly on the Costa Blanca: only in the province of Alicante foreign buyers made more than 40% of deals.
Today we will take a closer look at the cities in Spain, which are most popular with the English purchaser.
Best places to live in Spain for British: top 5 towns of the Costa Blanca
- Airport: Alicante-Elche – 44 km, 42 min; Murcia-San Javier – 33 km, 32 min.
- Population: 83.337 (January 1, 2019).
- Average property price: 1.383 €/m2 (idealista.com source).
Torrevieja is a cozy and hospitable city with a 20-kilometer coastline. According to data for 2019, more than 40% of its permanent residents are foreigners, among whom the absolute majority are British citizens in the number of 4.533 people. The total number of EU inhabitants permanently residing in Torrevieja is 14.832, from Russia and Ukraine – 8.435, from Latin America – 4.236.
The main advantage of the city, in addition to the Mediterranean Sea, is that Torrevieja is surrounded by two salt lagoons:
- Las Salinas de Torrevieja is a unique pink lagoon with an area of 1440 hectares, thanks to which a small fishing village turned into a major European center for salt extraction.
- Las Salinas de La Mata is another famous lagoon of Torrevieja with an area of 700 hectares, which is silver gray or blue in winter and emerald in summer. The crowning glory of this lake are beautiful pink flamingos, but it is possible to find other waterfowl inhabitants – herons, cranes, geese, and ducks.
The surrounding area of these lakes is characterized by unique mineralized air and curative mud. There are several comfortable closed urbanizations around, where the city’s inhabitants originally from the UK are pleased to buy property for holidays and permanent residence.
- Airport: Alicante-Elche – 50 km, 42 min; Murcia-San Javier – 45 km, 36 min.
- Population: 16.963 people (January 1, 2019).
- Average property price: 1.369 €/m2 (idealista.com source).
Rojales is a small town located just 15 min drive from the city of Torrevieja with its rich infrastructure and 10 min from the resort of
Guardamar del Segura.
Rojales was once a traditional Spanish village with lemon and orange groves. Today, this quiet town, located near beautiful beaches, salt lagoons and orchards, has become a center of attraction for many Englishmen, whom there are more here than the Spaniards. The residents of the Great Britain are attracted here by the picturesque nature, well-maintained areas, a variety of cuisine in cafes and restaurants, good opportunities for water sports, golf courses, and many walking paths in surrounding areas.
Despite the modest size of Rojales – its area is just 27.6 km2 – the town boasts a variety of attractions, including amazing inhabited caves, a wonderful stone dam, an ancient water mill, the Shell House, and small museums that tell us about the peculiarities of everyday rural life in Rojales.
- Airport: Alicante-Elche – 50 km, 41 min; Murcia-San Javier – 53 km, 44 min.
- Population: 77.414 (January 1, 2019).
- Average property price: 1.750 €/m2 (idealista.com source).
Orihuela is one of the oldest and most beautiful Valencian cities, founded by the ancient Romans. It is a city of monuments, monasteries and palaces, and many historical buildings, which are perfectly preserved and striks through their splendor.
Walking down the streets and squares you can enjoy the other side of this majestic city – it is cozy and not boring. Light fountains, musical gazebos in the park, an unusual lantern in the garden on the New Square, an old and strange tower with a round clock, these unexpected and original details of the city’s appearance, so that no one will remain indifferent.
In addition to the lands included in the municipal borders of the city, Orihuela has its own territorial beaches on the Costa Blanca – the Orihuela Costa. It includes such famous coastal recreation areas as the beaches of Flamenca, La Zenia, Campoamor.
The quality of resort services is rated as one of the highest on this seaside, and the natural beauty of the mountain scenery, sea and beaches fascinate tourists from around the world. Many English people buy property here for permanent residence, and their share among other residents of the city is about 20%, which led to the fact that English-language services are available in almost every place and institution of the city.
- Airport: Alicante-Elche – 62 km, 48 min; Murcia-San Javier – 140 km, 1 hour 44 min.
- Population: 68.721 (January 1, 2019).
- Average property price: 2.136 €/m2 (source idealista.com).
Benidorm is the most brilliant resort of the Costa Blanca, attracting with the splendor of the beaches, the generous Spanish sun, the glow of night streets, an abundance of entertainment and the lush beauty of the surrounding landscape. Benidorm is also called «Mediterranean New York”. What is the reason for this?
First, it is the city with the highest numbers of skyscrapers in Spain. Second, it is the city with the highest numbers of skyscrapers per capita in the world.
Benidorm has excellent transport links with the main transport hubs in Spain. Most often, tourists and owners of local property arrive at the airport of Alicante where there is a direct bus service to the city.
But favorite entertainment in Benidorm in summer will be its amazing beaches.
The Levante beach
The beach Levante (Playa Levante) is one of the main beaches of the city with a length of more than 2 km, which located not far from the city center, in close proximity to prestigious hotels, restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, shopping centers.
The Poniente beach
The popular Poniente beach (Playa Poniente) is located close to Levante. The territory covered with light sand is more than 3 km long and equipped with rental points for shades, loungers, water sports equipment for diving, parasailing and surfing. You can go water skiing and ride on catamarans.
The Mal Pas beach
This beach with a length of 120 meters placed between the Levante and Poniente beaches, in the Old town area, in a tiny bay surrounded by picturesque rocks. The zone is covered with fine golden sand and attracts fans of peaceful rest.
The Almadrava Beach
In a small rocky bay to the East of the Levante beach, there is a sandy and pebbly beach of Almadrava (Cala Almadrava) with a rocky bottom. The fascinating area is considered as a nudist beach, but no one interferes if you want to wear a swimsuit. Almadrava does not have any signs of civilization as umbrellas, sun beds and rental stations for beach equipment, but it is nice and quiet. From the shore the bay is surrounded by low juniper-covered hills.
The cosmopolitan nature of the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca is represented in the street names of Benidorm, which correspond to famous cities and countries of the world: London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Romania, Stockholm, Malta, Moscow…
There is so called «English zone» in Benidorm, or zona guiri (zone of strangers), as the Spanish people call it. There are many authentic pubs here, GB-pounds are exchanged for euros without undue formalities, and it is much more difficult to find a classic Mediterranean menu than the British one. Nine out of every ten people met here will be British citizens!
- Airport: in the city.
- Population: 334.887 (January 1, 2019).
- Average property price: 1.533 €/m2 (source idealista.com).
Alicante is a resort city in the East of Spain, the center of the province of the same name. In terms of population, it is the second in the Valencian community and the 11th in the entire country.
Alicante is a place where you can find everything you need: the sea and white sandy beaches, an extensive history and attractions, from the medieval fortress to the classic Mediterranean old town with narrow cobbled streets. This is a dynamic and modern city that is one of the best places to live and relax in Spain.
All the beaches of Alicante are awarded the Blue flag: they are well-groomed, well-equipped and comfortable. Close to the coast there is the sea pure, deep turquoise color. Also near the coast there are several small but very beautiful parks where century-old trees provide shade. Such a pleasure to take shelter from the burning southern sun during the day, with relish sipping coffee or refreshing drinks in one of the local cafes.
Alicante has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. All hotels, regardless of star rating, demonstrate high service; convenient traffic interchange makes it possible to get to any place in the centre of the city fast and easy. Light rail system and comfortable buses connect Alicante with its picturesque suburbs and neighboring resort towns.
The historical part of the city is located at the foot of the mountain Monte Benacantil, there is crowded with people and life and things going on. The luxury promenade Esplanade Boulevard separates the beach area and the port from the old and modern areas of Alicante. The Esplanade stretches for almost half a kilometer from the small park Canalejas (Parque de Canalejas) to the square of Puerta del Mar. There is represented one of the most beautiful buildings in Alicante, the Carbonell House (Casa Carbonell), built at the beginning of the last century.
There are also about two dozen museums in Alicante, and the most famous of them is the Archaeological Museum. Nature has not endowed Alicante with lush vegetation, so numerous parks and squares of the city is the work of human hands.
For example, the Canalejas Park has the reputation of being the most popular and visited in Alicante. It is famous for its huge hundred-year-old trees that cover the entire territory with cool shade.
The Park de La Hereta has walking trails leading to the medieval fortress of Santa Barbara.
And on the outskirts of the city lies the Palmeral Park. This is a true oasis of palm trees, giant ferns, cacti, bright exotic flowers, surrounded by man-made silver waterfalls and reservoirs.
In summary, the presence of the international airport Alicante, private British schools, a high level of English-language services and a wide selection of property for every taste – all that makes Alicante an attractive city for British citizens to live and invest in.