Spain Explained

Best place to live in Costa Blanca: Orihuela Costa, Spain

If you are wondering which is the best place to live in Costa Blanca, keep reading to find out about Orihuela Costa. This town and region situated on the Costa Blanca is a popular destination for both tourists and foreign residents, you will see why!

Best place to live in Costa Blanca: Orihuela Costa

Here some facts about Orihuela Costa, in Spain, one of the best places to live in Costa Blanca:

PopulationOrihuela has a resident population of around 83,000 according to the latest census
AirportsAlicante-Elche (El Altet), Murcia (San Javier)
Access by roadAP7 (coastal toll motorway) N332 (main coastal road)
Public transportNearest train station is Orihuela with the line on the Murcia/Alicante route
BeachesPunta Prima, Playa Flamenca, La Zenia, El Capitán, Cabo Roig, Playa de la Glea (Campoamor), Playa de Barranco Rubio (Campoamor), Mil Palmeras
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Would suit you if:

Probably Orihuela Costa will be the best place to live in Costa Blanca for you if:

  • You like being in a cosmopolitan environment amongst a number of nationalities
  • You want to be close to the sea and plenty of beautiful blue flag beaches
  • You want to have a range of amenities close by
  • You want to have a variety of nightlife to choose from
  • You want to live somewhere where there is plenty to do   
  • You enjoy golf

5 reasons to choose Orihuela Costa

The Orihuela Costa extends from Punta Prima on the outskirts of Torrevieja to the far side of Campoamor.  It is renowned for its fabulous blue flag beaches and vast range of golf courses. We give you five reasons why Orihuela Costa is one of the best places to live in Costa Blanca and why you should buy a property there:

1. The Location

Orihuela Costa is ideally situated close to two major international airports and the AP7 coastal motorway. This provides easy access to the Spanish Costas and through internal flights to other parts of Spain. There are regular flights to most countries in Europe from the two airports.

Although there is no train station in the Costa itself, Orihuela does have a  railway station from where you can access Elche, Alicante and Murcia and travel to more distant locations using the AVE (Spain’s high speed rail network).

Orihuela Costa, as you might expect, is linked to the town of Orihuela. However, most parts of the coast are around 20 km from the town centre. As a result it does have many of its own, independent facilities including town hall, schools, sports centre and medical centres.

Situated further inland, Orihuela is an ancient town that is definitely worth a visit. It is not only the bureaucratic centre for Orihuela Costa but has many old, cobbled streets and hosts an annual medieval market which attracts people from all over the region. The usual fiestas and festivals are celebrated there including the Moors and Christians in July.

Orihuela Costa is within easy travelling distance of the historic cities of Cartagena, Murcia and Elche. It takes around 1 hour to reach Alicante with all the shopping, leisure and transport facilities it hosts. Further north you will find the picturesque towns of Pilar de la Horadada, San Pedro and the very popular Los Alcazares. These are all worth a dedicated visit if you have the opportunity.

Another town within easy reach is Torrevieja. This ‘city of salt’ has a wonderful paseo on the front with many restaurants and bars to try, an Aquapark and Sports City. If you want to experience the hubbub of a Spanish town during a warm summer evening, this is well worth a try.

2. Beaches

Where do you start with Orihuela’s beaches? These blue flag beaches extend along some 16 kilometres of coast. Golden sand, coves and stretches of beach that seem to go on forever – you really are spoilt for choice. You’ll just think you’ve discovered the best when you’ll come across another.

But you don’t have to just lie on the sand or swim in the crystal clear Mediterranean sea. There are lots of water sports in the area and ports and harbours if you wish to keep a boat. You can try snorkelling, water skiing, windsurfing, sub aqua and sailing. For something a little less strenuous why not hire a pedalo for a couple of hours or, if you’re wanting a little more excitement, you can take a ride on a banana boat. There really is something for all the family.

Each beach has it own individual appeal. Cala Capitán near Cabo Roig has two bays and provides an ideal paddling area for younger children whilst older ones will enjoy snorkelling and watching the thousands of little fish swimming in the clear, blue water.

Cala Capitán, Orihuela Costa

La Zenia beach is popular for its beach bars or chiringuitos that often include entertainment well into the evening. The restaurant, set on the cliff overlooking the sea, provides the perfect spot for enjoying good cuisine and gazing at the view. It’s a very popular venue at Christmas when people from all over the costa join together on Christmas day, along with the customary brass band too.

Many of these beaches have been accredited as being ‘Blue Flag’. This means that they have been checked for:

  • Environmental education and information e.g. map of the beach, code of conduct
  • Water quality e.g. no industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges
  • Environmental management e.g. the beach must be clean, bins available, toilets must be provided
  • Safety and services e.g. adequate number of lifeguards and first aid equipment, supply of drinking water

Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, Cala Capitán, Cab Roig, La Zenia, Playa de la Glea (Campoamor); with so many blue flag beaches to choose from you really need to explore them all and pick out your own personal favourites.

3. Golf

One of the reasons that the Orihuela Costa is buzzing all year round is its golf. There isn’t just one golf course but four to choose from. You can take your pick from the ‘Real Club de Golf Campoamor’, Villamartin, Las Ramblas or Las Colinas.

Having several to choose from you can make sure that your choice matches your needs and your level. The great benefit of taking up golf in Spain is the number of days of sunshine. Whatever time of the year you travel, it is unlikely and unlucky if rain stops play.

Although there are services, bars and restaurants associated with each golf course, you find many people congregating on the famous Cabo Roig strip or  Villamartin Plaza in the evening. Here, the restaurants and nightlife are international in flavour and you can eat anything from Aberdeen Angus steaks to the finest lobsters.

4. Markets, shops and restaurants

All around the Orihuela Costa you will find dotted shops, bars and restaurants. Some of these are located on ‘strips’ close to the beaches. There are also a selection of shopping centres like Zenia Boulevard that bring facilities together under one roof, although most do not have a ‘roof’ as such. In addition to Zenia Boulevard you have the Playa Famenca centre, La Fuente and Punta Marina centre.

Markets are held regularly in most parts of the Costa. A particularly popular one is that held every Saturday morning in Playa Flamenca. For this, the streets are closed as people meander up and down its many stalls and take the opportunity to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and many leather and lace items.

The Villamartín Plaza has always been a popular venue for people staying or living around the Villamartin area. There are numerous restaurants and bars and during the summer in particular it has a lively and bustling feel. If you are considering buying property in Orihuela Costa, it is well worth a visit.

It would be unfair to select out any particular restaurants for you to try. Safe to say that virtually every type of food is represented somewhere in Orihuela Costa. Your only problem is having enough time, money and notches in your belt, to try them all.

5. Spoilt for choice

Whatever your accommodation needs, chances are you will find a property to match. Its popularity means that there are plenty of urbanisations and residential areas to choose from for those buying property in Orihuela Costa. Luxury villas in more secluded spots, the well-established areas of La Zenia and Caba Roig or newer developments near the new shopping centre. You really are spoilt for choice. In this article you can find information about how to buy property in Spain in 10 steps.

Most areas are also mixed in their nationality. This is reflected in the choice and celebration of a number of different festivals and fiestas in the area. Whatever your nationality you will not feel isolated in this part of Spain and are likely to be able to find people who speak your language not too far away.

Clubs and associations are everywhere and a quick look through the pages of a local free paper will soon give a new resident ideas about groups to join, if that’s what you want to do. Orihuela Costa is very much about choosing your own lifestyle, mixing with who you wish and above all, enjoying this beautiful coastline.

Worth a visit

Go-kart racing

You can see ‘Go-Karts Orihuela Costa’ clearly from the N332 – the main coastal road that links each of the beaches on the Orihuela Costa. It is a favourite destination for holidaymakers and those who have younger visitors to stay. There are two tracks for different age groups and next to the tracks there is a wide selection of bouncy castles, trampolines, ball pools and other distractions for the younger ones amongst you.

If you are over 16 you can access the adult track. Be prepared to don a hairnet though underneath your helmet. Perhaps not the most attractive look but you won’t mind in the excitement of seeing your name in lights on the leader board.

If you do choose to be resident here and have young children it is the perfect place for a party and their customised dining area has a racing car theme. Paintball can be an option for older members of your family. The number of combinations of activities makes this a perfect place to visit.

Zenia Boulevard

If you spend any time on the Orihuela Costa, visiting the Zenia Boulevard shopping centre is a must. It is one of the largest centres of its kind in Europe and is the biggest in the Alicante region. It’s proving to be a major attraction for those living inland as well as on the coast and perches in a perfect spot above the Costa. You can sit outside one of its restaurants or bars with your shopping bags and still see the blue of the Mediterranean sea below.

Of course, it has a vast range of shops but it is more than just an opportunity for retail therapy. It’s also an excellent way of spending a day out, even if you don’t like shopping. The water fountains on the ground floor delight children as they dodge the water and an extensive play area on the first floor is an opportunity to relax whilst your young ones enjoy themselves.

The bowling arcade and casino mean that those more reluctant to be dragged round the shops can easily be occupied.  During the winter there is even a small ice rink outside, but don’t forget to take some gloves! Every day entertainment is put on stage inside the shopping centre. You can sit on the chairs provided and watch the singers, bands, magic shows and other entertainers without spending a penny.

However, if you do want to splash out, there are plenty of restaurants on the second floor and a variety of cafes and bars on the ground floor. You are never short of somewhere to sit down and reflect on your Orihuela Costa  shopping experience.

Orihuela town

Although Orihuela town is a little distance from the costas it is worth a visit. It is an ancient town with human settlement dating back to the bronze age and is renowned for its selection of beautiful religious buildings. For example, the architecture of the Catedral del Salvador reflects the Gothic period and includes ornamental iron work and a Baroque organ. The Iglesia de las Santas Justa y Rufina includes a Gothic tower complete with gargoyle figures.

Orihuela has its own selection of medieval fairs and traditional processions and fiestas that are worth checking up on when you are out in Spain. The Moors and the Christians is always particularly popular in July and you can but wonder at the commitment of those dressed up and marching in the heat.

You might or might not be aware that Miguel Hernandez is a famous Spanish poet who lived in Orihuela. You can now visit his house, which has become a museum dedicated to him, and find out more about his life.

If you really want to get a feel for this proper Spanish town then a visit at night is in order. You would be well advised, however, to obtain a map from the Tourist Office first to help you navigate the maze of narrow streets. If you are feeling very energetic you could even make the trip up to Orihuela Castle, although full daylight might be best for this.

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La Pedrera Lake

If you have had too much of the hustle and bustle you might want to enjoy some countryside and relaxation away from the coast. You don’t have to go too far inland to find the Pedrera Lake, Torremendo, just off the CV95. The lake is in fact a reservoir rich in flora and fauna and is surrounded by olive, orange and almond groves.

Whilst you are in the area you might want to visit the Casa de la Pedrera. This was originally a ‘Grand Design’ house, featuring in the popular TV series. It has magnificent views overlooking the lake and you can sit in the tea garden and relax with a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of homemade cake.

There are lots of activities in the surrounding countryside that are organised by Casa de la Pedrera. These include quadbiking, horseriding, fishing, knee boarding, kayaking; a huge variety that is amply covered by their website.

Places to stay in Orihuela Costa

These are some of the places to stay in Orihuela Costa:

  • The Zenia hotel is a popular hotel for those who are thinking of buying a property on the Orihuela Costa and want to explore. It has it’s own pool and terrace area that looks out onto the sea.
  • Hotel Cabo Cervera is just out of the town centre.
  • The Orihuela Costa Resort hotel and restaurant has a large pool and a relaxing outdoor bar area. It’s extensive grounds mean that it’s popular for a number of functions and events in the area.

More information about Orihuela Costa

  • Orihuela Costa Website.
  • Orihuela Costa also has its own sports centre.
  • And if you are thinking about buying a property in Spain, you can fill out this form and we will offer you a free consultation without obligation to solve all your queries.

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George S Wortham

1 December, 2020 12:16 am

Would this be a good idea if you are retiring from America to live? Is it safe and affordable to live there ? Expats are also there, correct?
Is the weather warm ?

Oscar Paoli

1 December, 2020 11:29 am

Hi George,

Indeed, this is a great place to retire, beach, sun, good food and close to every need you may have. Also much more affordable than the US, no doubt. Many expats here from all over the world.

The weather here is great all year long.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers