Posted on 14 December 2016
You don’t have to move far from the Spanish coast to find a winning combination of affordable property with enough space to take a bite of the Spanish sunshine
It’s orange season in Spain. The Seville oranges that many of us will be turning into marmalade in those dreary January days are getting their last burst of ripening sun before being picked and dispatched to British supermarkets over the Christmas and New Year festivities.
Seville oranges come from the deep south in Andalusia, but they are too bitter to eat off the tree (rumour had it long ago that the British only bought them because they knew a way of turning the pith into gunpowder!). If you want to own a house where you can pick your own orange, from your own tree, in your own garden, you are better off further north. The northern part of the inland Costa Blanca, sitting half way up Spain’s east coast, is the perfect combination of lush greenery and citrus trees, but still getting the sunshine and warm winter weather. Alicante gets an average of six hours of sunshine per day in December. Any guesses how much the sunniest place in Britain gets? Less than two hours per December day in Eastbourne.
But where should you go? The Jalón and Orba valleys are especially picturesque when the orange blossom (flor de azahar) is out. The towns and lifestyle are more rustic than the seaside resorts nearby, and less noisy and crowded too, in the height of summer. A good starting point in the Orba Valley is Orba town itself, as well as Benidoleig, Pedreguer, Sagra and Tormos. You’ll get a good choice of modern villas there, plus old farmhouses that may be in need of restoration but equally may be beautifully modernised already.
Would a short drive to the beach be worth it if it brings the dream of owning a home in Spain within your budget?
For some buyers, being within a 30-minute drive of the beach is enough to get the best of the seaside vibe, especially if it means a big saving on the property price that brings the dream of owning a home in Spain within your grasp. Property is a good 10 to 20 per cent cheaper than equivalent properties in a coastal resort. You might find you get a view of the Mediterranean sparking in the distance anyway, as you sit on your terrace, by your pool, squeezing the juice from your own orange into your sparkling wine for a bucks fizz!
Speaking of wine, while the Orba Valley is filled with citrus trees, the Jalón Valley is known for grapes and viniculture. Popular towns with lively expat communities (even those of us who want to buy somewhere ‘properly’ Spanish often appreciate a bit of British chit-chat every now and then) include Jalón town, Alcalalí, Lliber, Murla and Parcent.
Being inland doesn’t mean poor access either. Valencia airport is less than an hour from Orba and Jalón and Alicante airport is less than an hour south along the excellent AP-7 motorway. Both have extremely good year-round flight connections to the UK.
For more information on the processes of buying a property in Spain, download the Property Guides’ free booklet by clicking here.