Torrevieja? or any where else?

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28 Oct 2007 00:00 by 2seconds Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

I am looking to move to spain early next year with my family (wife and 3 kids aged 13,11 and 6)

I am not sure what area to go to, but i need to be near amenaties, schools ect as my wife does not drive.

I have been constantly searching the internet and i have decided that Torrevieja seems like a good area is this true can any one please advise me is this ok or any other information is welcomed, perhaps another area i should look at?

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28 Oct 2007 20:02 by Sten46 Star rating in Hatton, Derbyshire &.... 237 posts Send private message

If you like Blackpool you'll love Torrvieja.

Guardamar, just up the coast is very nice - Morerosado will be able to tell you more about there.

We are in Almoradi - quiet(ish), pleasant little town, about 6 miles inland from Guardamar - has all the amenities you are looking for + away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas.

Can recommend a very good agent in the town - took care of us and very fair. If you are interested I can PM you his details.




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28 Oct 2007 20:46 by bobaol Star rating. 2260 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

Torrevieja is very nice with a new pedestrian walkway being built along the seafront.  It is a very cosmopolitan town with plenty of bars, restaurants etc.  A good array of shops but is very touristy.  It has the 2nd largest market in Spain (every Friday) and has a good bus service to other area but no train station.  A new hospital (Spanish NHS) has just been built with a private hospital close by.  It also has many schools within the town limits.

Being almost a city, it has the problems that any city will have and is looking very seedy in some places but the beaches and seafront are very nice.  It is also noisy due to a large amount of traffic.

You are better off looking outside Torrevieja and there are a lot of urbanisations within a short driving distance.  I prefer the north of the town, Guardamar, Queseda, Almoradi, Rojales, La Siesta etc as opposed to the south, Playa Flamenca, Campoamor, El Galan, etc although there are some very nice places there.  Be aware of the huge amount of building going on in the area which may take some time to "bed in".  San Miguel (north and inland) is very nice albeit a 30 to 40 minute drive into town (only about 15km but road can get choc-a-bloc). but it also appears to have been "discovered" and has a lot of new building taking place.  I have had a place in El Galan for around 5 years and it is great for visiting on holidays but is not the place I want to retire to.

Be careful of which company you rent or buy with.  Look at other threads on this site which will explain the problems but also remember that there are thousands of people who have moved there and are very happy with the place.

I am sending you a PM with a link to a very good developer in the north of Torrevieja which has a very good reputation for service, quality of build and range of properties.  There are other developers but this is just one which is good. 

I would advise you to have a few holidays in the area first to decide on where you want to be and check out the amenities available, especially schooling for your children.

Happy hunting/


Edited to say: there are some nice places if you go a bit further south, San Pedro de Pinatar for example.  Once you go further south than that, you are in the Murcia region which has also been discovered and has lots of new buildings going up.



This message was last edited by bobaol on 10/28/2007.

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29 Oct 2007 09:50 by semijubilada Star rating in London/Torrevieja. 1052 posts Send private message

I've been reading these replies and don't recognise the town I call home.  Blackpool! 

The town can get very busy in August as it is a Spanish holiday town but I would have thought that all towns would suffer the same when the Madrideanos hit the roads to there 2nd homes.  Other than that it's just rush hour traffic so if you pick your times travel is easy.

The main thing I picked up from your question is that your wife doesn't drive, Torrevieja has a good bus service which is free to all people who have signed on the Padron.  She will be able to get around by herself very easily when you're out working so won't feel so isolated.  There are also buses which pick up the children to take them to school.

The advice is the same whatever area you are thinking of buying in.  Rent first to get an idea of whether it will suit.  Then look around to find your perfect place, only you can decide what will suit you.  Buy in haste and you could regret it.

Once out in Spain you will have more of an idea for prices and you may even find your dream home is being sold privately.  The main thing is to avoid the rogue agents who are charging well over the odds in fees.

After we moved in we found out our house advertised in a different agents at 15k more.  So you could find an initial outlay of rent may save you thousands.  It's a buyers market now so there are bargains to be had.  Personally I would always go for a resale as I like to see what infrastructure is around.

I live in Los Balcones when I bought 4 years ago I was told a hospital and a Mercadonna was going to be built there.  The hospital is now in use and it looks like work has started on the Mercadonna.

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29 Oct 2007 18:22 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4271 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I don't personally know Torrevieja, but I do know the other Torrie - Torremolinos, on the Costa del Sol. From what I can gather, the two are very similar in many ways. They will both always attract sneering comments along the lines of concrete jungle, Blackpool in the sun, lager louts, Brits abroad bar culture etc. To some extent this may be justified - but that is only part of the picture. As Semijubilada points out, there are many Spaniards who favour these towns for their holiday homes as well, and as such they are better established with better infrastructure in place, than some other more remote spots.

Many agents, and quite a few Brits with holiday homes, will try to push you towards relatively new urbanizations away from the hustle and bustle. Whilst this may suit those who purely use their homes for holidays, and appreciate the peace & tranquility, you could find yourself living in a deserted ghost town with only the tumble weed blowing down the un-surfaced, unlit roads at night, to keep you company, after the tourists have gone away in the autumn.

I also picked up on the fact your wife does not drive, and I'm guessing your kids don't either! My wife doesn't drive either, and I know she'd kill me if I suggested living on an urbanization out of town. Where we are, like Torrevieja I imagine, everything is literally on our doorstep, supermarkets, banks etc. plus there is public transport available. We have mostly Spanish neighbours, but there are always plenty of Brits around (as well as many other nationalities) giving it quite a cosmopolitan feel, as well as ensuring that we never feel totally isolated in a foreign land, as you might perhaps if you chose a more attractive city like Malaga, or Alicante.  As for the lager lout scene, of course it exists, but you can choose to take it or leave it. Sometimes it's quite fun to sit and observe it, without having to actually participate! And it's nice to be able to have a few beers yourself, then walk home (because after all, she doesn't drive, right?!) 

Yes, it is noisy and crowded, especially in July/August. My preference therefore would be a high up apartment, preferably an "atico" - penthouse, with good outside terrace space, and a basement garage space for the car you inevitably will have, but thankfully won't need much. (So living in the big smoke can actually reduce your carbon footprint!)

Taking a few holidays first to check out different areas, and renting first to make sure you choose the right place, are good sound advice. Ultimately, only you and your family will know where is "right" for you.

Good luck!



"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain




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29 Oct 2007 19:00 by Karensun Star rating in Orihuela Costa. 1476 posts Send private message

Karensun´s avatar

I live about 10 minutes drive from Torrevieja and I love the place. I have a Spanish friend who lives in Torrevieja about two rows back from the front. Her apartment is incredible, space wise and so near to everything. Yes, it's crowded in the summer, but so is everywhere else especially if all the 'facilities' are near by.

I would not mind living in Torrevieja, in fact, if the market wasn't so low I would seriously consider selling and moving there.

  ' Do unto others as you would be done by'
         Now a non-smoker !  

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29 Oct 2007 19:09 by 2seconds Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Cheers for all advice i have taken it all on board and i have booked a trip out to the Costa Blanca in about a week, like you all said i have to go there and try the different areas out but i think i will deffinately rent first of all. I will keep posted how i got on but if anyone else has any more advice it will always be appreciated.

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02 Nov 2007 16:19 by SophieRF Star rating in Quesada. 63 posts Send private message

Hi 2seconds, i would suggest you rent a car a take a drive around the areas, there are some loverly spanish villages with all the amenities you need close to Torrevieja, such as Rojales, Benijofar. Find an agent you can trust and fins out about school bus routes and make sure what you buy is right for you.

Happy hunting


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02 Nov 2007 20:45 by coast-almeria Star rating in Mojacar. 71 posts Send private message


Just to mix it up a little, what about Vera or Mojacar or Almeria in general.  We have an international school next academic year and is a lot less busy and is a great area to experience a true Spanish way of living with a small dose of ex-pat community.  Murcia airport just over 1 hour and Almeria 45 mins and new airport will be another 45 min drive.

Another plus point is that it is the sunniest and driest area of Spain.  Always a plus.

Check it out!

Happy Hunting!



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04 Nov 2007 18:08 by s.and.y Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Hi 2seconds,

My advice would be, don't even think about moving anywhwere in Spain unless both partners are able to drive, your wife should learn and get a licence at home now.

Always rent for at least 6 months before buying, the area is really irrelevant, you will know what is right for you when you experience it.  Only when you are sure of the area, check several agents locally, never stick to just one.


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04 Nov 2007 18:33 by Pickles Star rating. 141 posts Send private message

Pickles´s avatar

Hi, i would take a look at almoradi realy lovely,we have stayed in many areas of CB.and have settled in almoradi.good luck

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04 Nov 2007 20:46 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4271 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Welcome to the forum, Sandy. I don't wish to be critical and risk upsetting you after your first post, because this is probably the friendliest forum around. But I have to disagree with you on your first point.

Quote: "My advice would be, don't even think about moving anywhwere in Spain unless both partners are able to drive, your wife should learn and get a licence at home now. "

I don't know where in Spain you are? But if you read the posts earlier about Torrevieja, and my own about Torremolinos, you will see that there are places where you can live car-free quite happily, just as there are in the UK. It all depends on your priorities.

Having pounded the highways of Britain for years before leaving, & then a brief spell in the US where I would agree it's impossible to live without a car, I was more than happy to hang up the car keys when we moved to Spain. It's true, that if you fancy living on one of the numerous new urbanizations that have sprung up in recent years in previously undeveloped areas (sometimes illegally!) where you can enjoy beautiful landscaped gardens & pools, peace and tranquility away from the madding crowds, and pristine stretches of deserted beach, then the non-car driver in the partnership may get a little frustrated at having to rely constantly on the other partner every time you have to make an hour long road trip to buy a pint of milk from the nearest town.

But there are plenty of great places to live where you not only don't need a car, it's actually best not to bother using it even if you have one. I know plenty of Spaniards who don't drive. And furthermore, I would hazard a guess that 2seconds' wife has very good reasons for not driving. To learn now in England, and then, while still inexperienced, try to cope with the chaos of Spanish roads & drivers, would almost certainly be the best way to ruin their Spanish adventure before they even got the bags unpacked.

As for your second bit of advice i.e. rent first, and check out several local agents - spot on!



"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain




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05 Nov 2007 11:32 by suemac Star rating in Jumilla, Murcia. 1001 posts Send private message

Hi 2seconds

As somebody who doesn't drive (and neither does my partner, John) this has been an important point every time we have been on a viewing trip. 

Don't always believe the agent!  We saw a very nice property in a small village, but we were told by the agent that there was a regular bus service to the large town nearby  . However when we asked about the bus in the sales office, we found out that the buses only ran in the summer months!  As we are planning to live there all year round, this meant the property was totally unsuitable.  Yes, if she is young enough your wife may want to learn to drive, however we are going to be retiring to Spain and so could reach the stage where we were unable to drive any more.  (Our friend Bob who is 75 can no longer drive as his sight is too bad). Another agent took us to a village where there were only a couple of buses a day, so shopping in the nearest town would be a day's expedition! 

We spent a week in Jumilla, the nearest town to Santa Ana where we are buying a house, just checking to see whether we could get around using public transport, and decided the service was regular enough and reasonably reliable enough for us to consider living there.  So my advice would be to confirm any information you are give about buses, and test them out while you are in the area.  After all, you may want to go out for a meal and have several glasses of wine, without having to worry about driving home.

Good luck with your house hunting!



 Sue Walker

Author of "Retiring the Ole Way", now available on Amazon

See my blog about our life in Spain:

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14 Nov 2007 18:26 by 2seconds Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Thanks for all the useful advice people, i have just returned from a trip to torrevieja area and i have found the best 2 areas that are for me are firstly Guadamar as this have everything close by as my wife is unable to drive S.and.Y for medical reasons other wise she would love to.

next area of choice would be quesada or rojalis as these are close by.

so next move is to fins a large 3 bedroom house or a 4 bedroom house for rent in these areas then its off to the land of the rising sun for me

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14 Nov 2007 21:26 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4271 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar
Sounds like a hell of a commute. What do you drive? Concorde?



"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain




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15 Nov 2007 17:05 by SophieRF Star rating in Quesada. 63 posts Send private message

Congratulations 2 seconds on getting the ball moving, all the best.


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23 Jan 2008 01:35 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6933 posts Send private message

morerosado´s avatar

Torrevieja beach bars face patio destruction

Robin and Jeanette Parkes who own the Santa Maria café bar on the Torrevieja sea front thought last Thursday would be just like any other day. That was until they opened the post to find a letter from Torrevieja council demanding that they return their outdoor patio area to the state in which they found it when they took over the Santa Maria cafe two years ago. The council has also said that failure to comply with their instructions could result a fines of up to €22,000.

Robin and Jeanette were not the only ones to receive the letter from Torrevieja council, which gave each of the beachfront cafes and restaurants just 10 days to pull down the canopies, supports, walls and floor tiles the owners have carefully erected and installed to protect their customers from the elements in the winter, and the full force of the sun during summer. Torrevieja council wants the area restored to the way it was before these owners made their outdoor improvements because it is saying that space needs to be made for a new walkway, similar to the public footpath further down the coast at Playa Flamenca. Heavy fines could apply if the council is forced to pull down the now permanent fixtures.

Jeanette Parkes said: “The public walkway has been in the making for about 20 years, and nothing has ever happened. Even if the council wants to start work on the walkway, which we would love them to do, there is still plenty of room for a public path and our outdoor patios. We are all very upset as our savings have gone into making improvements to our café bar, and now the council just wants to destroy it.”

Robin estimated that he and Jeanette have invested more than €14,000 to tile the floor of the patio area and erect a canopy so that the outdoor space can be used all year round. He said: “If it rains, the surrounding area gets so flooded that people walk through our patio to get to the post office.
We don’t mind, but we have made dramatic improvements to the beach front and now they want us to pull it down. We pay €3,000 a year for our patio tax, and we also received permission from the council to go ahead with the patio improvements.”

Jeanette and Robin still have photographs of Café Bar Santa Maria when they took over the establishment almost two years ago. In front of the café, there was nothing except a dirty concrete area, and then the beach. Other premises along this stretch have also invested money and have made the area a popular place to eat and drink all year round.

Owners include Britons, Spaniards and Mexicans. They cannot understand why permission was given, that they were allowed to spend their money, only to have the council to now take the stance that everything must come down. A meeting has been arranged this week between bar owners and Torrevieja councillors.
Rebecca Griffin









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23 Jan 2008 08:57 by xetog Star rating in Wiltshire/holiday ap.... 514 posts Send private message

Good Lord- are they trying to put everyone out of business in Spain. What a shambles!


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23 Jan 2008 12:37 by patpur Star rating in Castle Bromwich Bir.... 389 posts Send private message

Yes Spain is becoming a total joke it seems it dosnt matter if you have permission or not as they can just change there mind and thats you stuffed.does that mean none of us are safe? Pat.

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23 Jan 2008 14:02 by xetog Star rating in Wiltshire/holiday ap.... 514 posts Send private message

I don't think that we honestly know, Pat


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