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An Introduction to the Costa Blanca

Spain is still one of the most popular expat destinations for British people and a Costa Blanca property remains an affordable dream. Despite the excitement in the British media about “staycations”, Costa Blanca’s visitor numbers were up significantly in 2010. With British summers as unpredictable as ever, Spain’s attractions remain constant: the Costa Blanca has an exceptional climate with 3000 hours of sunshine a year, low rainfall, low humidity and an average temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius.

The mild winters mean you can live an outdoor lifestyle all year round. The World Health Organisation has declared the area around Moraira, Javea and Denia to be "one of the most environmentally perfect climates in the world."

The Costa Blanca, or White Coast, stretches for 170 miles along Spain’s East coast – from Gandia in the North to Murcia in the South – with the city of Alicante marking a rough halfway point. It has more Blue Flag beaches than any other Spanish Costa – a guarantee that they are clean, unpolluted and safe for all the family. The Costa Blanca is a cosmopolitan and varied place to live: as well as stunning beaches there are dramatic mountains, lush valleys, breathtakingly pretty villages with white-washed houses, modern resorts, golf, water sports, fiestas and festivals, history and culture, food and wine.

Tourism and development are concentrated on the coast – a short drive inland reveals peaceful villages, small rural towns and gorgeous, unspoilt countryside, with the excellent road network making it simple to get around.

It takes around 2 hours to fly to the Costa Blanca from the UK. Alicante Airport, being midway along the coast, is ideally located for easy access to North and South Costa Blanca. With so many airlines operating services to Alicante – Iberia, Easy Jet, Ryanair, bmi and bmibaby, Monarch, FlyBe, Air Europa, Jet2, Air Berlin – plus all the usual charter airlines – it’s easy to shop around and get a good deal on flights. Murcia San Javier Airport is handy for Costa Blanca South, and Valencia Airport is a possible alternative to Alicante if you are travelling to Costa Blanca North.

Costa Blanca North

At the northern end of the Costa Blanca the terrain is rocky and mountainous – north of Altea is particularly green and lush. Olives, lemons, oranges, almonds and cherries are cultivated here on terraced hillsides and exported worldwide. This part of the Costa Blanca is less developed than the Southern end – with building heights and density strictly regulated in many of the towns. From larger resorts like Calpe to small market towns like Benitachell and Pedreguer, Costa Blanca North has something for everyone. Particularly popular with walkers and hikers, there are twenty natural parks and a mix of sand and pebble beaches.