MARINA ALTA LOCATION GUIDE
and its surrounding area provide plenty of opportunities for apartments for all budgets – from 100,000 to €600,000+. Villas in this area generally seem to be lower budget linked ones or townhouse complexes, or top of the market ones. Mid market villas are available, but the choice is not great. Altea combines the mellow charms of the original old town with beaches, marinas, golf, shops and restaurants provide entertainment for all ages, and of course, Benidorm just a few minutes down the coast.
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CALPE is midway between Altea and Moraira and is best known for its emblematic rock ‘Peñon de Ifach’ which separates Calpe’s two wonderful long sandy beaches. Calpe combines its town marina with its traditional fishing port which incorporates a row of adjacent fish restaurants offering a range of fresh fish and shellfish to match that of Brittany. The high rise nature of Calpe gives the town a ‘mini-Benidorm’ feel. There is a good selection of modern hotels here which attract a large number of holidaymakers and there is great family appeal in Calpe: its own Aitana department store is supported by many other fine shops whilst, away from
The northern part of the Costa Blanca is known as La Marina and roughly relates to headland area which projects eastwards towards Ibiza, the easternmost point being Cabo de la Nao which separates Javea and Moraira. La Marina itself is divided into La Marina Baja (lower – to the south) and La Marina Alta (upper – the northern half).Both fall within the Province of Alicante and the region of Comunidad Valencia.
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La Marina Baja begins just north of Alicante at El Campello and coastwise extends to just north of Altea, then inland, in rough terms, along the mountain range commencing with the Sierra Bernia, extending west to the Sierra de Serella, a little beyond Guadalest.
La Marina Alta encompasses almost all the areas in which we specialise. In coastal terms this includes the resort towns of Calpe, Benissa-Costa, Moraira, Javea, and Denia to just south of Oliva. Inland this area extends to L’Orcha and encompasses the mountains and valleys of Jalon, L’aguart, D’Ebo, and Gallinera.
SELECT VILLAS of Moraira – Area Coverage
As our office is located in the town centre of Moraira, our main focus of activity is Moraira and its immediate neighbouring areas: Benitachell, Benissa, Teulada; then radiating out to include Calpe, Javea & Denia, and the inland valley areas of the Marina Alta.
The Marina Alta Headland is best visualized as the right-hand side of a diamond, with Javea and Moraira just above and just below the easternmost point. This means that this area has the Mediterranean Sea surrounding about 270º of it. This stabilizing effect of the sea’s temperature ensures we have milder winters and more temperate summers compared to other coastal areas. The right side of the diamond consists of mountain ranges which represent a vast catchment for our year’s rainfall, which then flows into the low lying coastal areas via underground springs and reservoirs. So, although our rainfall is rather meagre, our landscape is verdant and water shortages are extremely rare. The area is served by two international airports – Alicante and Valencia, each on average around an hour’s drive, via the A7/E15 Autovia which runs parallel to our coastline, from beyond Gibraltar to Calais
BENISSA is divided into two parts: the inland part which is more the administrative and commercial centre, and traditionally Spanish in its character; then Benissa Costa which is effectively a seamless, southerly extension of Moraira’s residential development. Between these two halves of Benissa is a stretch of campo (countryside) which has many nice fincas and country villas dotted about the vine terraces and citrus groves. Benissa represents the start of the serious hunting ground of quality villas which extends beyond Javea to Mount Montgo. There are many residential areas
the beaches, there is much to keep the children amused. Property-wise, most of the opportunities here are either apartments or linked villa/townhouse complexes. There are some areas of private villas, of particular note is the residential area leading down to the charming small harbour of Puerto Blanca.
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MORAIRA Now you have arrived! This ‘Jewell in the Costa Blanca crown’ has grown from a tiny fishing village into the most appealing and unspoilt town on the Costa Blanca. This has been achieved largely by strict planning controls regarding build density, reserved green areas and a limit of just four residential storeys for apartments which has created a distinctive ‘low-rise’ character to the town and surrounding area. The demand for property here remains strong and consistent and, given the very finite supply, and almost non-existence of building plots for additional development – this is very much blue chip investment territory! Geographically, Moraira is similar to Benissa inasmuch as it too has a typically Spanish inland twin town – Teulada, which is linked as one town in administrative terms. Also like Benissa, Moraira’s terrain is undulating hillside and slopes, with a broad valley sweeping through Teulada to meet the Mediterranean at Moraira’s shore. This valley adds further to Moraira’s distinctive character as, for several kilometres, this valley bottom consists of protected vineyards which extend down to the coastal road in the middle of town. The gentle slopes to both sides of this valley cradle a deceptive number of private villas, nestling between the pine trees and palms which help maintain a verdant and mellow feel to this residential landscape. Apart from the lack of high rise, the other feature lacking in Moraira is any significant number of hotels. This again, adds to Moraira’s special ‘feel’ – not only in structural terms – but the added bonus is that virtually, the only tourists who stay in Moraira are either villa owners or those privately renting villas; this also means that Moraira has a more stable, year-round population – not overrun in summer, not deserted in the winter. The quaint and typically Spanish original village lies between the marina and fishing harbour with its adjacent daily fish market, and the partially pedestrianised village centre, with its old church surrounded by pavement cafes and bars and a fine range of cosmopolitan shops and restaurants, to suit all tastes and budgets. Moraira has more than its share
here; many with sea views, some close to beaches or the local golf course, others closer to the countryside. This is a mature and established area where past development has been nicely softened with established gardens and mature trees etc. Benissa enjoys the cache of neighbouring Moraira, but often at slightly lower prices.
of beaches: sandy ones, together with many smaller pebble or rock beaches. Between the marina and the Cap D’or headland is the small bay of El Portet, with several small bar/restaurants along its small promenade. A nice refinement currently underway in Moraira is the project to remove all those unsightly electricity pylons, telegraph poles and their attached cables and replace them underground. Moraira-Teulada’s ajuntamiento (local council) is (like the town itself) of a very cosmopolitan makeup (the deputy mayor is an English lady) and the income from the very modest local rates is used very effectively. Given the almost negligible instances of crime or vandalism, locally, we only seem to have to pay for things once here – nothing seems to be destroyed or stolen.
JAVEA is in many ways Moraira’s ‘big brother’. Lying in coastal terms, just round the corner of the Cabo de la Nao, from Moraira, Javea’s landscape is dominated by Mount Montgo (now designated ‘Parque Natural’), known locally as the ‘Elephant’s head’. Montgo is a small mountain of ‘Tosca’ stone – its distinctive ‘trunk’ extending
to the sea at Cabo San Antonio where its subterranean progress continues beneath
the Mediterranean before erupting to the surface as Ibiza (not a lot of people know
this!) Tosca stone, originally quarried from the beaches of Javea in Roman times,
and still featured in arches and pillars in local buildings and villas, until it was
recently banned, is unique to just Javea and Ibiza. Javea’s discovery and
development predates that of Moraira by just a few years, and has changed beyond
recognition during the past forty years of its development. A kind of Spanish
Dartmouth, the town has grown and developed in a ‘T’ shape, parallel to the
coastline, and formed from three distinct areas. The left hand end of the head of
the ‘T’ is the original old town, still retaining its Spanishness and perched at the top of a hill to protect its original inhabitants from pillaging Barbary pirates. This blends
the commercial heart of the town within a tangle of quaint, narrow passageways
and a permanent, covered market building close to the church square. The right
end of the head of the ‘T’ is the harbour and marina, like Moraira, it has its own
market with a daily fish auction but, unlike Moraira, the emphasis of the facility
leans more towards its fishing origins, rather than as a haven for ‘yotties’. Moving
back southwards, along the waterfront, just past the
beachside Parador, is the
Arenal beach a superb sandy bay with clusters of palm trees providing bathers with
some essential shade. The length of the Arenal is lined with restaurants and shops, and both the Pueblo and the Puerto have
their fair share of shops, bars and restaurants too. Between these three centres, from first-line seafront, back to the Pueblo
many apartments have been built and there is much choice for all budgets and tastes. Beyond this triangle, are many
developments of detached villas (as well as linked villas and townhouse complexes), available for all tastes, from €120,000 to
€5m+. As with Moraira, many of these areas are now very mature, with the bulk of the properties partly obscured with
greenery, low density development and plenty of protected green areas. The Pueblo has recently been subjected to three years
of sustained infrastructural renewal (now completed) which has caused a certain amount of disruption, and has adversely
affected local property values. At this point, this does represent something of a buying opportunity for those with a little
DENIA lies to the north of Mount Montgo, over the Elephant’s trunk and at the
end of a spectacular elevated and winding road which will shock travellers with the
superb coastal panorama, as one descends towards Las Rotas and Denia properY;
not least because of the total contrast of the landscape. The focal points of this
view of Denia are its two large harbours/marinas, Denia castle atop an emerald
green mound – in the centre of town, but facing the harbour, and the total flatness
of the landscape around the town. Apart from apartments and townhouses, Denia
itself has limited availability of detached villas. However, just along the coast, north
of Denia are Las Marinas and Els Poblets where there is an unusually large
availability of all kinds of property, often within a level walk of the superb beaches
that make up this whole length of coastline – from Denia to Gandia. Whilst there
are some villas in this area of the grand style, smaller plot size requirements and
more dense development mean that there is a greater availability of more modestly
priced properties to suit all tastes. This whole area is much flatter than the rest of
the Marina Alta and is more suitable for the more elderly buyers, those requiring a
maintenance garden, and those looking for a flat walk (or cycle) to
amenities. Denia itself is a larger and very Spanish town, with excellent shops, restaurants and all other amenities. There is an
excellent regular high-speed ferry service to all the Balearic Islands, and a few minutes drive away, in Ondara is a superb new
out of town shopping complex.
INLAND TOWNS. Within 15mins. drive of the coastline I have described above are to be found a plethora of very Spanish
towns and villages. Whether they are perched atop mountains or cradled in valleys, they are all variations of the usual theme:
narrow streets and passages radiating from the centrepiece of the church square, often a random blend of the ancient and
traditional with post civil war 1950s and 60s architecture, together with the contemporary. All but the most humble will boast
a few bars, cafes and restaurants, a bakery, general store and pharmacy and have a weekly open market. Larger inland towns
such as Jalon, Teulada, Benissa, Orba, Pedreguer etc. will be pretty well self- sufficient. Either attached to these little towns,
or positioned somewhere between them there are a number of urbanizations (an ugly word – but it just means a properly
coordinated development) both large and small. These provide a mix of modern accommodation built to current or recent
European standards, with the peace and solitude of the otherwise untouched, Spanish countryside, usually with fabulous valley
views and a dramatic mountain backdrop – at appreciably lower prices than their coastal counterparts. It would be impractical
to attempt to capture in print the individual character and components of each of these towns and villages as there are literally
hundreds of the blighters within the Marina Alta. Suffice it to say, dear reader, that once you have a more defined idea of
which coastal town you would prefer to be associated with, we can then focus on the relevant inland options. The key inland
focal points – south to north are:
The inland part of Benissa Costa – between Calpe and Moraira, as
Jalon Valley The wine producing valley consisting of: Senija, Lliber, Jalon,
Alcalali & Parcent.
Teulada & Benitachell Nice small towns, attached and/or associated with Moraira.
Gata & Jesus Pobre Very Spanish villages, inland from Javea. Famous for its
basketware and classical guitar makers.
Orba & Murla At the epicentre of the Marina Alta – between the Grape and the
Orba Valley, Vall de Laguart, Vall D’Ebo, Vall de Gallinera The cherry
growing valleys – wonderful, but a little remote for some tastes!
Pedreguer, Ondara, La Xara Self contained small towns with satellite villages,
inland from Denia
Monte Pego & Cumbre del Sol Each are both large developments on their own
hillsides, the former is between Pego and the coast, the latter is between and
above Benitachell & Moraira. Both are equally suited for holiday homes or permanent living, each offering the cheapest sea views per €, in their respective areas.
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