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Costa del Azahar

Spain - Costa del Azahar

The Costa del Azahar is also known as the Orange Blossom Coast and its starting point is between Catalonia and Castellon in the north although there is some dispute over where it actually ends, with some saying it stops at Valencia and others believing it runs as far as the Costa Blanca.

The area is known for its good beaches and friendly locals, and it is an area that is still relatively unknown to expats, particularly as it has never attracted as many tourists as the Costa del Sol or the Costa Blanca. The area attracts those who enjoy outdoor activities such as horse riding and hiking.

There has been very little building work (construcción) done in the region, so overdevelopment is not a problem here and the homes that are on offer are generally traditional Spanish houses (casa rural), although small pockets of land on the coast have had apartment complexes (complejo residencial) built in the hope of attracting a little more tourism to the area. Estimated numbers of expats in the area in 2005 were nearly 95% less than areas such as the Costa del Sol. The area was popular for a while with German buyers, but as they have left the area it is Spanish buyers who have been taking over the properties. Some expats are put off as some areas have a poor infrastructure (infraestructura), with little public transport and roads that are in poor condition.

Castellón de la Plana is the capital of the province and is situated on the coast. It is one of the larger towns in the region and offers a more cosmopolitan way of life than some of the smaller, more rural towns. Rental properties (propriedad) in the town of Castellón de la Plana are reasonably priced and if you are looking for a home in a quieter area you will find that the rents (arrendamientos) are much lower than those in the larger towns. Added to a fairly low cost of living (coste de la vida) in the region, this makes the area attractive to expats.

While English is widely used in more touristy areas of Spain, it is rarely heard in the Costa del Azahar so the area is more suited to those who can converse at least a little in Spanish or who are prepared to learn. Those looking for work will find that there are opportunities in the region in the tourism field, as this is just opening up. An increasing number of shops and other businesses are being aimed at the tourist and expat market in towns such as Castellón de la Plana.

Other popular areas include the medieval town of Peniscola and Benicassim and the region has an average of 320 days of sunshine each year which makes it ideal for those who are looking to retire to the sun as the winters are very mild. The area has been officially named by the World Health Organisation as one of the healthiest places in Europe in which to live.

Read more about this country

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