It cannot be denied that the Costa Blanca, where I have lived with my husband for the past fourteen years, is multi-faceted. First off, dealing with the Playas, they have all that is expected of its seaside resorts; blue flag beaches aplenty, and a Mediterranean sea with enviable temperatures to lure sea lovers. It has tiny, covetous coves, and long expanses of golden sand; and the shorelines can be rugged and mountainous, or gently sloping. Just take your pick.
If you enjoy a cosmopolitan life and eating al fresco, this really is the place for you. We breakfast, lunch and dine on our modest patio most days, if staying at home, except during the few...winter months. In this neck of Spain, the weather is equable for most of the year – February and March being our coolest months, and even then, the sunshine can catch you out! Before we decided on this part of Espana, my husband did a lot of reading and checking, and we were both drawn to the statement that "The Costa Blanca area of Spain has been voted by a World Health Organisation to be one of the healthiest regions in which to live." Quite a draw...It has a microclimate, and especially during the last few years, hardly enough 'precipitation!'
When we tire of too much bricks and mortar, we get in the car and drive a few miles to the orange and lemon groves, where the air is heady with their sweet perfume. If you fancy driving further inland, you won't be disappointed. There are small, quaint, white villages and lone fincas, often surrounded by vivid. scarlet and cerise bougainvillea and pastel-coloured lantana, and there are ancient woods boasting gnarled olive trees defying the years. The pale pink almond blossom in Spring which grows a few miles from our apartment is short-lived but such a delight to see. And, of course, it wouldn't be Spain without the palm trees, standing tall like proud statements of nature.
Nature lovers and walkers can meander at their leisure in countless acres of hills, woods and forests inland and there's no shortage of wild life (not to mention a human slice -'extranjeros:' holiday-makers - of it in July and August when visitors let their hair down...) Seriously though, if you want to get away from it all, you can. There are lizards, snakes, wild goats, pigs, eagles, vultures and a variety of other birds to wonder at and photograph – if you can spot or find them!
For the 'culture vultures,' just outside of Torrevieja, a few miles from us, there is a brilliant, acoustically- pleasing, theatre where concerts are regularly held; also there are dance studios and 'music rooms' for tuition and practice. In The Park of Nations, a long stone's throw from us, there sits an art gallery where there are regular showings of local work, and the Casino (a lovely old Moorish building) in town also have regular art and photographic displays. There are three further theatres in Torrevieja, so always somewhere to go if you're a music/singing enthusiast. There is also a'Museum of Salt' where you can learn of the history of salt (much dredged from this area).
What about food you may ask? Whatever your fancy, you'll find it here: from British favs. like fish and chips, to Tapas (delicious Spanish snacks consisting of a selection of meats, fish, eggs, veggies, spiced potatoes, etc., paella; Chinese and Thai dishes, not to mention Indian, French and Mexican, et al. And do note folks, prices are very reasonable here. You can easily dine on a three course meal for E10 and under.
History buff? You can tilt your straw hat at the Windmills, read up on the Civil War, and travel further afield and get your fill of castles and old buildings, not to mention visiting the many museums, churches
On a more practical note, both my husband and I have been in two of the hospitals here, and our local one 'Torrevieja hospital' is a state of the art facility where we received excellent care.
If you like to shop: there are two local markets, plus several others a short distance away; and we have a superb Shopping Mall nearby: Zenia Boulevard where you really can shop till you drop, eat or relax in lovely surroundings, bowl, and lose or make a few euro in the Casino.
There are countless clubs and groups offering anything from Bridge and Computer lessons, Drama, Art and Writing groups (noteworthy WordPlay and the U3A), Bowling, Language classes and many others.
Torrevieja can be proud of its sports facilities too. They have built a massive complex, with Olympic sized swimming pool, football pitches and gymnasiums, and we have a smaller one even nearer to us.
So what else can I say to convince you that the Costa Blanca region is a good place to live? I could go on about our many fabulous, spectacular Fiestas, but that would take a whole article. Perhaps another time.
What's not to like?