Welcome to Move to Alicante & the Costa Blanca!
We are Lisa Sadleir and Sarah Farrell and we are here to make your Move To Alicante as smooth and stress-free as possible.
We save you time, money and frustration when you purchase property in Spain or plan a move to Spain, by providing you with accurate information and clear instructions to plan every step of the process. Very importantly, we will share our contacts and guidance to help you complete essential administrative tasks in Spain. We thoroughly enjoy living in Spain and, with our assistance, you too can get as much out of it as we do.
All the information we publish on this website has been verified by reputable, trusted sources. We have an excellent network of Spanish professionals who are keen to share their expert knowledge with foreign residents.
We believe that the enjoyment of buying property in Spain and living in Spain is too often hindered by the infamous system of Spanish bureaucracy and the misinformation we are subjected to.
We believe that too many people spend too much money:
- paying professionals to resolve simple administrative matters
- or, paying expensive fines incurred for not following procedures
We are convinced that that seeking expert advice and guidance before planning your move to Spain is essential for a successful relocation.
With our help, your Move to Alicante will be a smoother and more enjoyable experience.
Alicante on the Costa Blanca has a lively cosmopolitan flavour which is popular with expats, particularly British, who tend to flock to the suburban beach resorts just a few kilometres from the city itself. Thanks to the British expat community and tourists, you will find many people can speak English as well as good English schools. The city also has first-class public transport system, health care and is certainly more affordable than the larger Spanish cities. Alicante city sits in the middle of the Costa Blanca whose resorts such as Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa, Santa Pola, Altea, Calpe, Moraira, Jalon Valley, Benidorm, Javea and Denia are also firm favourites with holidaymakers and expats alike.
With a population of about 322,000, Alicante has the feel of a large town rather than a city with property prices and rentals certainly much lower than in the bigger cities like Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga. Its historic heartland, castle, beaches, shops and restaurants coupled with a lively culture and nightlife have turned Alicante into a popular destination for expats and Spaniards.
Highlights of Alicante
Alicante has a thriving business and commercial centre as well as a culture all of its own. It is a city of contrasts with a charming historic old town, chic marina filled with luxury yachts, sandy beaches and the impressive Santa Barbara Castle dominating the skyline. Because it is compact, it is able to combine all the advantages of city living – great shopping, restaurants, nightlife, theatres and entertainment – with the friendly air of a small town.
We all know Spain loves to party and Alicantinos are no exception. Whether it is a casual drink or tapas in a bar or an extravagant night out at the casino or world-class restaurant, the locals know they will be in for a good time. This is particularly true at during the fiestas, especially the well-known Saint John Bonfires (hogueras de San Juan) in June when huge colourful statues are put up in the streets only to be burned on the final evening. Coupled with the noisiest firecrackers booming across the city twice a day and you won’t be in any doubt of Alicante’s ability to entertain you.
You can relax on the beaches or take a tram to the neighbouring beach resorts of San Juan de Alicante or El Campello. Alternatively head inland to explore the mountains or traditional Spanish towns such as Jijona where they make the turron nougat, Agost where they make pottery, Elche for shoes, or Ibi, famous for its toy-makers. There are so many super attractions and activities in and around Alicante, the only thing holding you back will be finding time for them all.
Sports lovers will know Alicante will be the starting point of the prestigious round-the-world Ocean Volvo Race for the fourth time in October 2017 and that the Vuelta de España cycling race will be passing through Alicante again in August. The Alicante region is also a top spot for many sports including football, golf, tennis, sailing, paragliding, cycling and mountain walking.
Like much of Spain, you will find the cost of living is good here. You can enjoy a lunchtime menu with a drink from as little as €8 while in the daily market you will find an abundance of fresh food, particularly fish and shellfish, at great prices too.
On top of this, you will enjoy endless sunny days with an average high of 31ºC during the day in August along with 11 hours of sunshine and a low of 17º during the day in January with just six hours of sunshine a day.
Getting out and about in Alicante
Alicante-Elche is the sixth busiest airport in Spain used by more than 12.3 million passengers a year. It is a major European connection for many airlines including budget companies such as easyJet, Ryanair, Monarch and Norwegian.
From Alicante, you can get fast trains to other top Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia to explore the rest of Spain. Within Alicante itself, it is easy to get around by bus or the extensive tram system which has many stops within the city as well as further up the Costa Blanca to Benidorm. These trams run frequently and have air-con to provide a cheap way to get around the city. The city has a good bus network but the tram is an easier way to get around.
Property prices in Alicante
Your money goes a long way when buying property in the Alicante province, which includes the Costa Blanca. Prices are starting to rise after the crash in 2008 but you can still pick up a quality property for a great price. Average property prices in Alicante are €135,589 but you can pick up a one-bed apartment for an average price of €76,908. Sales have dropped since the crash but overseas investment has remained consistent and now accounts for 51.35% of all sales. Rentals are also cheap and you can find 2-bed apartments to rent in Alicante city centre for around €400 although you can pay up to €1,500 for the chic marina area or for penthouses.
Schools in Alicante
The Spanish state schools are very well run but if your children are older and are not fluent Spanish speakers, an international school may suit them better. The most prestigious of these is King’s College, The British School of Alicante, which follows the British curriculum. The nursery and reception takes children from three to five years, when they move up to the primary school until they are 11. The secondary school, where children study the GCSE and A-level curriculum, caters for 11 to 18-year-olds. They will be studying English, Spanish and the local language, Valenciano. Annual fees are from €6,764 for nursery children up to €9,371 for sixth form.
In the neighbouring city of Elche is the LAUDE Newton College, regularly rated one of the top 100 schools in Spain according to El Mundo. Children are educated according to the British National Curriculum, the International Curriculum (I.B.O.) and the Spanish National Curriculum. Children can progress from the nursery right through to sixth form with fees ranging from €5,400 a year for nursery children to €8,200 for sixth form.
The University of Alicante is regarded as one of Spain’s most modern and innovative universities offering a wide range of subjects in the arts and humanities; sciences; health sciences; social and legal sciences; engineering and architecture.
Other international schools in the Alicante province are the Costa Blanca International College in Benidorm, Xabia International College in Javea, Steve Jobs School in Javea; LAUDE Lady Elizabeth School in Benitachell (junior and Lliber (senior), El Limonar International School Villamartin and the Phoenix International School in San Miguel de Salinas.
How many people live in Alicante?
The Alicante province has about 1,855,000 residents with an average age of 42 years. Foreigners make up 19% of the population. Alicante city is home to around 328,500 people, of whom 12% are expats. Some towns have a higher proportion of expats such as Javea where 44% of the 27,500 residents are from overseas and Torrevieja where 42% of the 88,500 residents are foreigners.
Due to the large community of expats, especially English-speaking, there is an extensive network of social and business groups for expats as well as professionals catering for the UK market including doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers, teachers, opticians and accountants.
Settling into your home in Alicante
There are a hundred things to deal with when you move to a new country and Spain certainly excels in bureaucratic procedures. You should have an NIE (ID number) for renting or buying property but you will also need to register at your local town hall, get a social security number for working or healthcare, and sign up to the Spanish health system, if eligible. You can follow our step-by-step guide to these procedures in our online course or get in touch with us to find out how we can help you plan your move to Alicante.
The public healthcare system in Alicante is excellent and you should find doctors and other medical staff will speak English. If you are working and paying into the Spanish social security system or you are a pensioner, you can register for public healthcare. However, many expats in Alicante choose to take out private health insurance to guarantee they see an English-speaking doctor or if they are not eligible for public healthcare.