February 2008 Archive

A Guide to Moraira

Moraira is a beautiful town with no high rise hotels. In the centre of the town there is a most attractive avenue leading to the main beach of Ampolla.

This has a water feature along its length with plane trees overhead which give much needed shade during the summer. A natural pond has also been formed near the beach to encourage wild life and there are gardens and paths with plenty of seats.

At the northern end of Moraira is the beach of El Portet studded with exclusive properties! above which is the Cap d·Or watchtower.

The beach is very safe for children and there are two bars/cafes which serve delightful snacks, salads, fish and you can order a Spanish paella, all can be eaten at the very edge of the beach with spectacular views of the Ifach Rock at Calpe. There is also a restaurant.

In the main part of Moraira there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. The main beach, Ampolla, dominated by the beautifully preserved tower, is also very safe for children and during the summer season the beach has at least one life guard. The tower houses a museum with interesting aspects of the sea and pirates.

There is a market in Moraira on Fridays with many vegetable stalls, clothes and gift stalls. There is also a market in Teulada on Wednesdays-.

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Posted by on Tuesday 26th February 2008

Flamenco Dancing

There is a Spanish restaurant which cooks dishes typical of the Valencian region, one of which is paella cooked on a wood fire (to order), also rice with bogavant, fideau, grilled meats, fresh fish and very good home made desserts.

This restaurant is called Viva Espana and is situated off the N332 on the left hand side just before you arrive at Oliva in the direction of Valencia. It takes about 45 minutes drive from Moraira.

On Saturday nights and Sunday lunch the restaurant is transformed into a huge party room; there is an elevated stage and a spectacular display of Spanish Ballet with traditional Flamenco dancing at its best.

During July and August this floor show is also performed on Friday evenings.

There are special prices for group bookings up to a capacity of 300 people, also you can get quotes for weddings, communions, parties, business groups and family reunions.

Their telephone number is 96 2850018.

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Posted by on Tuesday 26th February 2008

Moraira Property for Sale

Villa

Villa

View

View

The villa was reformed in 2006 Main accommodation has 3 bedrooms, family bathroom, en suite, Lounge, kitchen dining, naya, terrace, pool, summer kitchen dining area BBQ. Apartment below with separate entrance, 1 bathroom, double bedroom and living room. Plumbing done for a kitchenette if required. Central heating, aluminum D/G windows, air con to 2 bedrooms in main villa and both lounges. Store room, water deposit for garden. Sloping Walled plot, Fruit trees and low maintenance gardens surrounding the property.Feature fireplace.

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Posted by on Friday 22nd February 2008

Moraira Villa for Sale

El Portet Villa

El Portet Villa

View

View

Built nine years ago to a high specification in a rustic style. Rustic wooden gates leading to a private driveway, off road parking and garage. Separate personal door entry with intercom. Mature and well-stocked gardens. At entrance level we have hallway leading to Shower room, WC, utility room, bedroom 1 with terrace and naya with wonderful sea views. Bedroom 2 with En suite. Both bedrooms have separate access to a private terrace and naya looking out over the bay. Air con to all bedrooms. Total of five terraces.
Several steps down to cosy lounge with fireplace and large dining kitchen. Access to main terrace, nayas and pool area from both kitchen and lounge. Separate BBQ area with terrace and seating. Upper floor accessed by gallery styled staircase from entrance hall, comprising of 2nd lounge area/snug with fireplace. Bedroom 3 with en suite. Lounge and bedroom having separate access to a further large terrace with magnificent views. Separate stair access down to pool.

Update: This property has now sold, view other properties for sale in Moraira

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Posted by on Friday 22nd February 2008

Villas for sale in Moraira

El Portet Villa

El Portet Villa

View

View

1-minute walk to Portet beach, you can hear the waves breaking on the beach, panoramic sea-view from virtually all rooms. Almost unique in Portet is the virtually flat plot!
Orientation, South and west………sun all day, great sunsets The villa was completely reformed in 2004/2005. Providing full gas central heating (about 28 rads), air-con/heat units everywhere, 2.4 sat-dish (relayed from lounge to 6 or 7 further plasma TV’s), feature interior/exterior lighting, auto sun blinds throughout, heated pool with Jacuzzi and auto-cover, built-in BBQ with seating/fridges etc, private parking for 6 or 7 cars, water depositos, garden watering system, full professional landscaping, automated entrances to 2 separate roads, video entry system, full alarm system, master-key system etc,

Completely rewired, re-plumbed, re-drained, re-plastered, re-floored. Replaced the majority of the doors/windows etc. lots of antique doors/antique iron and Tosca stone. Clive Christian kitchen and master bedroom. Their first ever job on the Costa Blanca! .

The ground floor comprises; Vast naya, leading to entrance-hall, dining-room, lounge, and kitchen, utility, games-room and bodega, passage-way with doors off, to, office/bedroom 5, bedroom 2 with en-suite and terrace, bedroom 4, opposite family bathroom, bedroom 3 with en-suite, a gym or cinema-room and terrace.

First floor comprises; Master bedroom with lounge area and terrace, bathroom, and separate shower-room Link to see more!

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Posted by on Friday 22nd February 2008

The Algar Waterfalls

A trip to the Algar Waterfalls is a very enjoyable day . The area is a famous beauty spot and an easy drive from Moraira, taking the N.332 to Altea, turning off to Callosa d·en Sarria and continue to the Waterfalls which are signposted.

Alternatively you can drive on the AP 7, turning off at the signpost to Callosa d·en Sarria.

During the visit, walk to the riverside and see the various pools and waterfalls. You can walk along the paths which commence by the riverside.

There is also an Environment Musuem (aromatherapy, in vitro fertilization of plants, exhibition of aromatic herbs, essences, etc.) Also visit the Avenue of the Aromatic Plants and the Water Musuem.

There is a First Aid Post, W.C., camping site with W.C. and showers. You can use the barbecue and cut firewood is included. Free parking near the camping area. For any further information telephone the Tourist Information office on 96 588 01 53

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Posted by on Wednesday 20th February 2008

An Interesting day in Altea

There are two ways to arrive in Altea on the Costa Blanca. You can either drive there;

From Moraira drive to Teulada to the N332, turn left and continue through Benissa, Calpe and then to Altea, about 40 minutes total driving. Or you can take the train from Teulada.

It is very easy to park at the stastion which is at the end of the dual carriageway on the right hand side. The first train leaves at 7.13 a.m., then 9.l3 a.m., ll.l3 a.m. and the last train at 20.l3. Returning from Altea, the first train leaves at 7.21 a.m., then 9.21 a.m., ll.21 a.m. and the last train at 20.21.

There is a very extensive market which lies at the back of the town. This is open Tuesday mornings.

Altea has an abundance of good shops and boutiques, most of which are situated in the road behind the N332, also cafes and restaurants.

If you are feeling energetic the climb of approximately 250 steps to the top of the town is well worth a visit. Here you will find a beautiful blue domed church, set in a square full of cafes and bars with a very continental atmosphere where you can have a drink or a meal. Also on the way up to the church there are several bars and restaurants.

The promenade is very well laid out and is also worth walking along. You can reach Albir along the front, past the yacht centre. Also there are Altea properties for sale. Info supplied by Moraira tourist info.

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Posted by on Wednesday 20th February 2008

Medieval Tower and Museum, Alcalali

The Medieval Tower in Alcalali is well worth a visit. To arrive in Alcalali from Moraira, drive through Teulada to the N332, turn left and drive through the town of Benissa. At the end of the town take the right fork, signposted Jalon, drive through Jalon and in about two miles you will arrive in Alcalali.

There is a good parking space at the crossroads to Parcent and Murla. Walk through the town until you reach the square where the church is situated and opposite the church is the tower. This is open every Thursday between 10.0 .m. and 12.0 mid-day, other days by arrangement. The cost to enter is €1.50.

The tower has a very interesting history. It was constructed in 1600 to protect the village from the frequent attacks by pirates and bandits. In 1992 the Town Hall of Alcalali acquired the Tower and completely restored it, the top floor being completely in glass with the most magnificent views of the Vall de Pop, the Coll de Rates, the villages of Parcent, Jalon and Lliber and the mountain Pop de Murla, where, incidentally the last battle in 1609 against the Moors and the Christians took place.

There is a commentary in various languages with pictures on a lap top. The museum is also very interesting with numerous artefacts, weapons, etc, There are various bars and cafes in the village, also a restaurant, called Marcel, which is on the right hand side when you leave the town and return towards Jalon. Here you can have a menu del dia with three courses and a drink, all for €8.00

There are many attractions along the the Costa Blanca and you can find links to other sources of information here.

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Posted by on Monday 11th February 2008

A Visit to Terra Mitica

Terra Mitica is an adventure park on the northern Costa Blanca, full of interest to both adults and children.

How to get there: You can travel by train on the F:G:V: line that runs from Denia to Alicante. From Moraira drive to Teulada train station, where you can park your car.

Alternatively by car, Take the N.332 Or the A-7 motorway, towards Benidorm and the turn off for Terra Mitica is signposted.

The adventure park opens on the 14th March this year. The cost is €34 per adult for a full day or €21 in the afternoon and €25.50 for children or €16 in the afternoon.

Items of interest. Flight of the Phoenix, a thrilling freefall from a height of 545 meters. Magnus Colossus, the largest wooden roller coaster on the Mediterranean. Waterfalls of the Nile. This is a fantastic ride in a boat. Rapids of the Argos, another fantastic journey fraught with the dangers of the sea.

Restaurants: Greek, Italian and Spanish, all excellent, plus others.

There are many other attractions, including a Minotaurs Labyrinth, rides for children, souvenir shops, street entertainment, firework displays during the summer, spectacular shows, etc.

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Posted by on Friday 8th February 2008

A Walk to the top of Montgo

Montgo Mountain

Montgo Mountain

Half Way View!

Half Way View!

The Montgo mountain lies in the northern Costa Blanca. On the north side you have Denia and Javea on the south.
The Montgo is an important nature park that offers a range of interesting varieties of Mediterranean flora.

In the 19th century, the peak of the Montgo mountain served as a reference point for calculating the Paris meridian.

If you look at the mountain from the Javea side you can see an indentation which looks like the eye of an elephant.

To commence your walk to the top you can start at the path which is just outside the village of Jesus Pobre on the road towards Javea on the left hand side.

The walk takes approximately three and a half hours each way and the path is mainly a rough track of stones.
The last part of the walk to reach the summit is a bit of a scramble but the view at the top is worth the effort. On a clear day you can see the island of Ibiza.

The mountain is elongated, rich in vegetation and rises sharply from the sea to guard the coast from a height of 753 metres.
This peak surveys the entire Marina Alta district. In the spring there are hundreds of different wild flowers en route. Remember to take plenty of water with you.

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Posted by on Friday 8th February 2008

Processionary Caterpillars

Almond Blossom

Almond Blossom

Caterpillar Nest

Caterpillar Nest

January to March in the Northern Costa Blanca is a most beautiful time of year. The almond blossoms are in full bloom and flora and fauna starts to spring back to life.
But what’s this – Candyfloss in pine trees? These spherical nests are home to the processionary caterpillar. Hanging, precariously from the lower, sun-bathed branches of indigenous pine trees, these nests hide an irritating secret!

Around the beginning of March the fully developed yellowish/brown caterpillar emerges from its nest to make the journey down the tree trunk, eating the pine needles in its track. It’s a curious sight as the grubs “follow the leader” in a long procession – hence the name – to a warm patch of soil. Here they burrow and pupate to complete their metamorphosis into adult life as a fairly inconspicuous moth. Now to reveal the hidden secret!

The tiny hairs on the caterpillar carry a toxin that is highly irritating to both humans and animals so beware the temptation to stop these little fellas in their tracks. Best keep an eye on domestic cats and dogs, also. Look out for any signs of distress such as vomiting or difficulty breathing and if you suspect your beloved pet may have come into contact with the caterpillars then a swift visit to the local vets is in order.

They’ll soon be able to remedy the situation. Hopefully, you won’t see too many of the nests as local councils are pretty good at ridding the culprits in the early stages. However, if you do I’d give them a wide berth and just admire them from a safe distance!

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Posted by on Monday 4th February 2008

Garden Centres in Moraira and Compost

There are three garden centres in Moraira:

Paichi Garden Centre, situated on the main road out of Moraira towards Benitachell, on the left hand side just past the European Shopping Centre. This garden centre won first prize for the best stand at the 1V Business Fair which was held in Moraira during the first week of December 2007.

The centre stocks an amazing variety of plants, lots of bedding plants to give instant colour to the garden, plus cacti, trees of all descriptions, water features, pots, etc. The staff speak excellent English and are very helpful.

The second garden centre is La Malonda, situated on the Moraira/Calpe road, on both sides of the road, about one mile from the main beach in Moraira (l·Ampolla). Again there is a great variety of plants, tools, pots and the staff are very helpful.

The third garden centre is Trossets. This is situated on the way towards the Swiss Hotel. If you take the turning inwards just by the El Molinet Restaurant and keep going straight for about a mile you will see it signposted. This is similar to the other garden centres and the staff speak English.

Compost. There is an extremely efficient centre where you can collect compost. This is on the industrial site on the N 332, Drive through to Teulada to the N 332, turn left and about a mile along going in the direction of Benissa on the right hand side you will see the industrial site (Poligono). Turn right into the site and immediately right again.

You will see the compost area on the right. Take some large containers with you and a shovel. Drive into the area and your car will be weighed. Then continue to the end of the compost area and take as much compost as you can.

When you return to the office your car will be weighed again and the difference in the two weights will be charged. It is extremely cheap and you can fill five or six large containers for as little as 4 or 5 euros!

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Posted by on Saturday 2nd February 2008

A Train Ride to Denia

A very good day can be enjoyed by catching the train to Denia. Drive from Moraira to Teulada where it is very easy to park your car free of charge. The first train to depart is at 8.20 a.m. and the last one is 21.20. From Denia the first train to Teulada leaves at 6.50 a.m. and the last train at 19.50. A complete time table is available from the Tourist Office in Moraira.

The train stops very near the harbour where, incidentally, ships leave for the Balearic Islands. The harbour is very attractive with several open air cafes and restaurants all overlooking the fishing boats.

The main street of Denia, the Marques del Campo, is a delightful tree lined avenue, with many shops, boutiques and cafes. Also, walking up the street from the sea there is a covered indoor market tucked away on the right hand side.

There is also a castle on top of the hill, well worth visiting.

At the extreme top of the town there is a large market on Mondays and a car boot market on Fridays. This is situated on the other side of the roundabout from the large Mercadona.

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Posted by on Saturday 2nd February 2008

To Buy or Not to Buy?

To buy, or not to buy? – that is the question.

Especially when some of the UK media are reporting that property in Spain is overpriced by 30%, that thousands of properties are empty, prices are falling, developers are going bust, and Spanish building company stocks are plummeting. Add to this the really scary stories of developers taking homeowners´ land, demolition of illegal buildings, and town hall corruption, and it´s enough to put you off the idea of owning a home in Spain completely!

Of course we all know that there’s “no smoke without fire” and there are obviously issues for concern, but we also know that the media excel at scaremongering – good news doesn´t make headlines. Perhaps some feedback from this Correspondent in Spain may dispel some of the misconceptions and generalizations.

These tales of doom and gloom apply only to very specific areas of Spain and if you do the research, there are still some very worthwhile investments to be made. Hang on tight to your dreams – Spain still offers all the attractions which drew you to it in the first place, not least the wonderful climate and some beautiful places to live.

Today’s poor exchange rates are obviously concerning prospective buyers relative to what they can buy for their £sterling. When we bought our home in Spain, the exchange rate was in the mid 1.80´s. The pound has gradually weakened over the past 5 years, to around the 1.30´s now. City analysts predict a further decline over the next few months, with the pound settling between 1.20 – 1.30 for some time and unlikely to rise above 1.30 again. Then, who knows, maybe the UK could join the euro?

We have no option other than to get used to it, but the weaker pound has clearly not discouraged us Brits from traveling, shopping and holidaying in the euro zone. Nor has it put us off moving abroad – according to UK government figures, a record 250,000 British nationals emigrated last year, with Spain and France in the top 4 destinations. It simply means you don’t get as much for your money as you might have a few years ago, unless you work hard to find it.

Right now may not really be the best time to sell, but it could certainly be the best time to buy, provided you do your research carefully.

We have been living and working in Spain for many years now and have seen the property boom and then the inevitable tail-off – not dissimilar to what seems to happen in the UK every few years. Being in the resale Spanish property business ourselves, we have to make sense of what is happening now in the Spanish property market to enable us to plan ahead and secure our future. We keep abreast of what´s being reported in the UK, but we have the benefit of first-hand experience and local knowledge to help us keep things in proportion.

When we first began researching where to live in Spain, we made numerous trips to all the Costa’s over a 4-year period, and almost gave up! We witnessed, nearly 10 years ago, the mass of new developments and housing estates being constructed in the sun. It was cheap, and awful. We knew then, and it wasn’t rocket science, that the bubble would one day burst as far as those areas were concerned.

The lack of infrastructure, poor locations and the whole mass housing estate boom was certainly not our Spanish dream and not surprisingly, it has become a terrible nightmare for some of the unsuspecting property purchasers of that time.

I can remember some of the property exhibitions and Reps on stands trying to reel us in with inspection tours and subsidised trips, geared for selling a vast number of properties. It was like lambs to the slaughter and we are glad that we never succumbed to it. That massive scale of new development and over-supply is responsible for much of today´s bad press and falling share prices of the larger construction companies.

We were fortunate that we had the time to thoroughly research our ideas and not get caught up in the whirlwind created by ravernous property conglomerates. Seeing so much development really put us off, and after nearly giving up on our Spanish dream, we found Moraira and Javea on the northern part of the Costa Blanca.

Moraira and Javea were already well established and had many beautiful, individually designed villas, but no high-rise and no housing estates. Developed areas were interspersed with lots of unspoilt pinewoods, vineyards and olive and almond groves. Looking inland, there were beautiful rolling landscapes and mountains, and coming from the Peak District National Park, it felt more like home!

We soon realized, though, that these exclusive and desirable locations had a much higher price tag than what was on offer elsewhere. This did not deter us, we decided to invest in location and compromise a little on the property. We are so glad we did!

The quest we embarked upon for our own “"place in the sun":/” eventually became our business, offering property finding services to others looking for suitable property. We realised that most people don’t really have the time, contacts or expertise to seek out property in the best location and at the best price. They would rather work with us than alone, and we are here with our fingers on the pulse! See some of the testimonials.

We have seen a significant increase in a new breed of client over the past couple of years. People are shopping smarter these days, and 98% of clients are very active on the internet. But they soon realise that all is not as it seems, especially with varying prices for the same property at numerous different agents. It’s no wonder they are cautious and rightly so, it gives a really unprofessional impression of the property market here. This, coupled with the bad press tarnishing Spanish property generally with the same horror stories, it’s no surprise that many people conclude that they can pick up a villa for next to nothing!

Although we have seen a steady decline in property sales in general terms, thankfully Moraira and Javea still continue to retain desirability and consequently, higher property prices.

Most people have holiday homes here to enjoy, whilst knowing they have made a good investment. The expats, who live here permanently, are more than settled. So it would be a mistake to think that people in established and desirable areas like these are going to give their homes or second property away; Most seem far from being desperate.

Yes, it is a buyers´ market, and people wishing to sell their property realise the trends and are prepared to negotiate harder on price subject to the condition, location and more importantly – on their personal circumstances.

We are seeing many properties being withdrawn from sale and people holding back because they know now is not really the best time to sell. Consequently, quality property stock is becoming rare and well-priced quality property still sells first – if you can find it!

A good investor knows the time to buy and a good deal! But beware of waiting for the impossible deal and missing the boat completely. Prices will inevitably rise, whilst you hang on for that fantastic deal in the rain and the cold, whilst taxes are getting higher, crime is on the increase, the cost of living is sky high and getting worse, and immigration continues to escalate at an alarming rate. You could be enjoying the sunshine and laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle today.

It’s a real challenge to find your dream villa, whose owner happens to be desperate to sell, especially when Moraira and Javea are very popular choices for the villa rental market offering significant income for those that seek it.

That said, there are always a number of people going back to their native country, either through ill health, divorce, bereavement etc. But is their property in the location you want and are they prepared to accept your offer? Most of the properties that are not selling usually have good reasons why they don’t.

As far as that suggestion that all Spanish properties are 30% overpriced is concerned, in our experience prices are always negotiable to some degree, especially so on properties requiring a lot of work. But if it’s in the wrong location you’ll be lucky to get your money back. It’s surprising just how many make this mistake, so be careful you don’t end up buying one of them, old or refurbished! I wouldn’t buy some of the properties I see at half the price, let alone a 30% reduction.

And some I would not touch at all, so it is really important you do the research and don’t believe everything you read. You will know a good deal when you see one.

We help all our clients make the right choice and a property truly needs to represent good value in the whole scheme of things. To establish this, we work very closely with all our clients, seeking out really worthwhile properties on their behalf. We utilise all of our skills, contacts, building experience and years of living here, whilst we build up a true picture of what you want, and what is available. All this can be in place ready for your arrival. For further information take a closer look at this link or you can contact us using this link

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Posted by on Friday 1st February 2008