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Orihuela Costa

We’ve all heard of the Costa Del Sol, The Costa Blanca and the Costa Verde but how many have heard of the Orihuela Costa? Well it’s not a Costa in the truest sense, it’s 16km of coast in the very south of the Costa Blanca, Alicante region. Forty years ago it was farmland and coastal scrub land with a very small collection of properties in La Zenia; now it’s a large town divided into several separate areas; Campoamor, Cabo Roig, La Zenia, Playa Flamenca, Los Altos, Villamartin, Las Ramblas and part (not all) of Punta Prima. Although often wrongly classified as part of the town of Torrevieja just to the north of Orihuela Costa, the area actually comes under the control of the town hall in the city of Orihuela, some 20km away, hence the name. Its popularity with ex-pats from across northern Europe means there is a diverse population.

With the exception of the Dehesa de Campoamor area and some parts of Punta Prima, this stretch of coast is notable for the absence of high rise development and has few commercial hotels. For those wishing to tailor make their own holidays by renting private villas or apartments the Orihuela Costa is a perfect choice. A Place in the Sun magazine named it in their top ten places to buy a holiday rental property. Take a look at www.house-by-the-pool.com if you are looking for a self-catering holiday in the area.

The Orihuela Costa resorts are an all year round destination for holiday makers, thanks to the milder winters, blue flag beaches and the famous golf courses of Villamartin, Campoamor, Las Ramblas and the newest addition, Las Colinas. Enjoying a wonderful temperate climate, it is said to be one of the healthiest places on earth to live. It enjoys over 300 days of sunshine every year and has an average temperature of around 20 degrees centigrade with very low rainfall, and in winter rarely dropping below 10 degrees.

Zenia Boulevard

Orihuela Costa boasts the largest shopping mall on the Costas! Opening in October 2012, with 150 shops and cafes, sporting some of the best known names on the high streets of Europe, with a bowling alley, casino, children’s play area and ‘town square’ complete with dancing fountains, plus free parking and sea views, Zenia Boulevard is a shopper’s paradise. And it’s always busy.

Ambers Bakery

Ambers Bakery

In addition to this huge shopping and leisure complex there are plenty of alternative smaller commercial centres and restaurants with a wide variety of food, from traditional tapas in Alfie’s in La Zenia, to Italian pizza and pasta dishes at Alfonso’s in Playa Flamenca, or the cakes and breads at Belgium bakers Ambers on Playa Flamenca sea front.

The Orihuela Costa has one of the largest street markets every Saturday in Playa Flamenca, selling everything you need. There are parts of the coastline which have yet to be developed and small coves below low cliffs between Playa Flamenca and Punta Prima. There are also two leisure marinas in Cabo Roig and Campoamor. You can walk along the coastal path for the entire 16km, stopping for refreshment at the small cafes along the route.

Inland from the coast are citrus groves and fields of artichokes and other vegetables, so it’s certainly not barren. It is one of the few areas in Spain where the mountains and hills do not come right to the coast, resulting in a large arable plain stretching all the way to the historic city of Orihuela.

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Forever reading in the British press about the unsold new properties littering the coastal resorts and how nothing is being built, this area is genuinely ‘bucking the trend’. At any one time there are half a dozen cranes to be seen on the skyline building mainly low-rise apartments and houses, which are selling. There is nowhere near the flurry of activity that could be seen a decade ago, but there is building work, a rare sight in Spain these days. And the re-sale market has picked up too. If you are looking for a Spanish property why not contact property finders www.SpanishDreamProperty.com who specialise in finding the right properties at the right prices for their clients (no fee to buyers) for the Costa Blanca and the Mar Menor area.

Orihuela Costa is around 40 minutes’ drive south from Alicante airport, either using the AP7 motorway or the coastal N332 road, and around 20 minutes’ drive north of the current Murcia airport in San Javier, so it is usually easy to find flights from the UK any day, summer or winter.