Our Spanish Dream

Our Spanish Dream 2

 First View of the South Costa Blanca

Our first sight of the Alicante region heading south from Alicante airport was so different from everything I knew about Spain. Passing Santa Pola we came to the salt lakes. I’d seen salt lakes many times before, but not like this. They stretched way into the distance towards the far away hills, lining both sides of the road. A few of the lakes are still part of the successful and long-standing salt industry and later I would see some being harvested. Most however are preserved for nature, forming the 15 kilometer (or so) Parc Natural de Salinas de Santa Pola. The landscape reminded me a little of the English Fens, except the Fens don’t have flamingos! As we drove further south down the N332 coast road we came to pine woods acting as a natural sea defence to stop the dunes being washed away. Where was this ‘concrete jungle’ I had heard so much about?
We saw signs to various villages and urbanisations. I knew we didn’t want to buy on a small urbanisation built just for the ex-pats in the middle of nowhere, so we didn’t stop. We wanted to be by the sea. Then came Guardamar de Segura, a midium-size Spanish town, known for its 7km of beaches, dunes and the pine woods. It’s traditional in style, most homes are in relatively low rise apartments, narrow streets and a bustling town centre. At the northern end of the town along the beach is a long row of old fisherman’s cottages. Tiny in size it is hard to believe large families lived in them for many years, some are still owned by fishermen. A touch of local history preserved. There are a few high rise hotels and apartments and in the last few years permission has been given to develop the land on the other side of the N332, so this was the first point where we saw buildings on both sides of the road and also new builds under construction, but not for long.

Our Spanish Dream 1

And So It Begins...

Although I had visited different parts of Spain during my childhood, my husband Dave had never been there until the year after my parents made the move in 1991.  They had bought a plot of land a few years earlier outside the northern Costa Blanca town of Moraira and had built a villa there.  The old part of town is typically Spanish and quite attractive.  Dave slowly fell in love with Spain, its culture and the sunshine.  However I found the twisting roads and hills around the area difficult as I am very prone to travel sickness so living there was not an option.  When it came to buying our own property we needed a much flatter part of the coast with no high rise buildings, and that was a challenge!  In addition to that we wanted to be within easy driving distance of my parents’ when visiting.
We had heard from my parents’ friends that the ‘south’ (meaning the part of Costa Blanca south of Alicante) was a terrible place, just a concrete jungle with endless building.  We headed there anyway because it was flattish.  We found that whilst there was a lot of new build property on smaller plots than in ‘the north’, they were affordable.  There was also a lot of protected coastline with pine woods where you could walk along sandy beaches without being able to see a building.  Roads heading just a few kilometres inland were lined with citrus groves and palms and for me it was such a change to look at a vista not dotted with white villas.  So this was where we decided to find our new home.

Dave and Bev Townsend have two homes, their main one in Norwich and a second home in Playa Flamenca in south Costa Blanca, Spain which they also let as a holiday rental   They run a property finding business offering a free service for those seeking to buy a property in the Costa Blanca (Alicante) or the Mar Menor area of the Costa Calida (Murcia) 

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