|Population||Over 100,000 with 180 nationalities on the municipal register|
|Airports||Alicante-Elche (El Altet), Murcia (San Javier)|
|Access by road||AP7 (coastal toll motorway) N332 (main coastal road)|
|Public transport||Nearest train station is Alicante, Train company RENFE (www.renfe.es), Airport bus, Regular bus service|
|Beaches||El Cura, Los Locos, Los Náufragos, Playa de la Mata, Cabo Cervera, Las Calas, Cala Piteras, Acequión|
Would suit you if
- You like being in a cosmopolitan environment amongst a number of nationalities
- You like to be close to a town with plenty going on
- You want to have amenities close by
- You have young family or visiting family who would like some nightlife and daytime activities
- You enjoy the theatre, history and cultural experiences
5 reasons to choose Torrevieja
Torrevieja is a town on the Costa Blanca, south of Alicante. It offers a great variety of properties and is host to an international community. We give you five reasonsfor buying a property in Torrevieja.
1. The Location
Torrevieja is ideally situated close to two major international airports and the AP7 coastal motorway. It takes around 90 minutes to drive to Benidorm and its water (Aqualandia http://www.aqualandia.net ) and theme parks (Terre Mitica http://www.terramiticapark.com/en/ ). However, it is not so much of a ‘party’ city as Benidorm and is chosen by many Spaniards both to live in and visit for their holidays too.
Although there is no train station here, the railway network is accessible from Alicante and fast speed trains can take you from there to major cities such as Valencia, Santander and Madrid.
Torrevieja is within easy travelling distance of the historic cities of Cartagena, Murcia and Elche. It takes around 40 minutes to reach Alicante with all its shopping, leisure and transport facilities.
Being on the coast, Torrevieja has a number of its own beaches, which, although small, are well kept and mean that you can do a spot of shopping in between topping up your tan. If you prefer a more relaxing beach experience, the Orihuela coast is only 10 minutes up the N332.
Torrevieja has a regular bus service that includes airport transfers to Alicante. Cycling is popular here and there is good provision with plenty of bike paths. Its relatively flat landscape means that you can reach most places on a bike without too much exertion.
The Via Verde or ‘green way’ is a 7km long bike path which takes you past the Laguna Rosa (salt lake) and its stunning scenery. The sunsets from here are spectacular, particularly during the autumn.
The national coach company, ALSA, provides transport for longer journeys and tickets can be booked online.
Costa Azul have lines all across the region including Alicante, Murcia, Cartagena, Torrevieja, Alcazares (timetables and information about Costa Azul services, bus timetables, including for the airport bus).
A very good reason for buying a property in Torrevieja is its healthy micro climate. Not only does it benefit from the usual Spanish weather but its large salt lake brings other benefits to those with skin complaints.
The lake attracts regular pilgrims who cover themselves in its mineral-rich mud and wash it off with salt water. It is also claimed that the high presence of salt in the air is therapeutic for those with breathing difficulties.
Torrevieja boasts two new hospitals. The University Hospital of Torrevieja has a very good reputation and Hospital Quirón, a private hospital, is also highly regarded.
The state health system in Spain is well-respected generally and a good spread of medical centres means that you are never far from the treatment you need.
3. International flavour
Many people come to Spain to immerse themselves in its culture and language. However, there are also those who prefer to settle somewhere where they can be sure of socialising with people of their own nationality and who they can communicate with freely.
Torrevieja boasts a real mixture of cultures and nationalities. It has been chosen by many British, Irish, Swedish, Norwegian, German and Russian people as their country of choice. If you do feel more comfortable mixing with compatriots then Torrevieja is the place to do it.
It is a compliment to this part of the coast that many Spanish people choose to buy a property in Torrevieja. Although it began its life as a fishing village its ideal position and the rise of the tourist industry means that many Spanish families have made their home here too. Many Madrileños (people from Madrid) have bought holiday homes here and the area is characterised by a surge in population during the month of August.
A particular characteristic of the area is that although it is popular for tourists it is not a package holiday destination. Most people who choose to holiday here have some kind of a connection with the town. For example, they either have relatives who live here or have a holiday home of their own. This adds to its characters as an ‘animated’ rather than a ‘riotous’ holiday destination.
4. Markets, shops and restaurants
Wherever you are considering buying a property in Torrevieja, it is unlikely that you will need to travel far on any day of the week before you can find an open air market.
On Wednesdays you can visit San Miguel de Salinas and Guardamar markets, on Thursday, Cabo Roig and on Friday morning it’s the main market in Torrevieja itself.
You are similarly spoilt for choice when it comes to the shops in the area. Torrevieja town centre has a full range of small boutiques as well the usual selection of high street stores.
The Habaneras centre is five minutes from the town itself and includes all the usual shops such as Zara, Mango, Jack Jones, H&M and C&A, all in one easily-accessible area with excellent parking. Very close by is Carrefour Hypermarket which provides even more opportunity to spend your money.
As you would expect from a town that is international in flavour, so are its restaurants. It certainly boasts more of its fair share of Chinese restaurants but there is also a vast selection of other international food available. Mexican, Argentinian, Indian, British, Scandinavian, Italian, Belgium and, of course, Spanish, there is almost every culinary option represented here.
What’s perhaps a particular attraction is that facilities are relatively close together. You can select the kind of holiday or living experience you want. Almost everything is here, it’s up to you to craft it.
5. Ports and harbours
Torrevieja has a few of its own beaches but it also has a selection of interesting harbours, promenades and sea views.
The dique de levante is a long stretch of walkway that extends around 1,350 metres into the sea. Ideally to be walked at dusk, it both acts as protection for the harbour from storms and provides opportunity for you to venture out in to the sea without getting wet. From this vantage point you’ll also get to look down on the Marina Salinas with its selection of fashionable bars and restaurants and the paseo to your left.
The esplanade ‘Juan Aparicio’ provides another opportunity to get great views of the sea without treading on sand. It is positioned just off the main seafront ‘Paseo de la Libertad’. For an interesting route to take you around the main features of this attractive water front you can try Torrevieja’s downtown tour guide.
The Eras de la Sal dates back to the 18th century and was the site of the storehouse and wharf for salt from 1977 to 1958. The area was restored in 1997. Various events are held here including the annual International Habaneras and Poliphony Competition.
The International Marina has apartments that you can stay in as well as a pretty harbour where you can wander along the lines of boats and then eat in one of the several restaurants to choose from.
From the different marinas you can take part in a number of nautical experiences including diving, sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. You can even try wakeboarding at the cable ski facility right at the end of the Marina Salinas port.
Worth a visit
The lagoons of La Mata and Torrevieja
Being so close to the sea, Torrevieja’s two lakes can easily be forgotten and yet they are beautiful and unique environments that any visitor to the town should not miss.
The salt lake or ‘Laguna rosa’ is not called the pink lake for nothing. The algi in the water turns it pink and the muffled silence and surrounding salty earth make you feel as though you are on a lunar landscape.
The freshwater lake is quite a contrast. Full of wildlife, it is an excellent place to come and picnic or you can bike ride from La Mata to emerge on the other side of Torrevieja near Montesinos.
Famous for salt
Torrevieja is not just a town on the sea, its past, present and future is also closely linked to the production of salt. The presence of salt kick started Torrevieja’s growth when in 1803 salt production was transferred from La Mata to the town.
Since then it has continued to produce salt for use in Spain and abroad. You can watch from Acequion beach as the salt is transferred in a salt train to the cargo ships waiting out at sea.
If you want to find out more about the history of salt and Torrevieja then you might visit the Salt Museum.
The Ozone and water parks
There is plenty of entertainment if you don’t want to visit the beach. Just out of town is the Ozone leisure centre which includes 8 cinemas, bowling, arcades and restaurants. As this area links on to the Habaneras shopping centre it means you can do a spot of undisturbed shopping whilst the younger members of your family enjoy themselves close by.
Aquopolis is a water park within walking distance of the Ozone. It has a good variety of water rides set in gardens and is an enjoyable day out for the whole family.
A little further out of the centre you’ll find the Aqua-Park Quesada/ Rojales which also presents an attractive alternative to the beach.
The Paseo de la Libertad and Casino
Torrevieja might be a cosmopolitan town but it’s also very Spanish in its atmosphere. If you venture into the town centre on a summer evening you will find yourself amongst a host of Spaniards who walk along the Paseos taking in the scenery of the clear blue sea and pausing for photos with the Bella Lola, who waits for her husband to return from the sea.
You don’t have to spend any money, but if you feel so inclined, there are plenty of bars along the front where you can have a leisurely drink and watch the rest of the world go by.
If you have time you should head in the direction of the Casino. This elegant Spanish building does not house roulette wheels and blackjack tables but is a traditional club for members that is also frequented by locals and tourists. You must take a look at its ceiling if you go inside and, if you are lucky, you might be entertained by one of the shows and events that they sometimes hold there.
Museums and theatres
Torrevieja isn’t just a pretty face. It has quite a selection of theatres and museums including:
- The Palacio de la Música (Music Hall)
- International Music Auditorium of Torrevieja
- Museum of the Sea and Salt
- Torrevieja’s Municipal Theatre
- Virgen del Carmen Cultural Centre
Over the course of the year they cater for most cultural tastes and provide ongoing entertainment for all nationalities. You can keep up-to-date with the schedule of events.
Places to stay
If you are thinking about buying a property in Torrevieja and need somewhere to stay there are some hotels and apartments that you might consider. The Marina International can offer a range of options from small studios with a kitchen to two bedroom apartments with a living room and a kitchen. The apartments are located in the heart of the town.
The Hotel Fontana Plaza is right in the centre of town and offers three-star accommodation. It has recently been refurbished and has its own swimming pool.
Hotel Madrid also has a very central location.
Hotel MASA International is a little further out of town but benefits from some amazing sea views.
If you would prefer to camp then you might like to try Florantilles camping. Further out of town it enables you to have a different type of stay.
Hotel Cabo Cervera is just out of the town centre.
More information about Torrevieja
The Torrevieja website is in five different languages and sends out a regular and informative newsletter. It includes bus timetables, guides to restaurants and an up-to-date list of events and attractions.
There is a Live webcam outside Keepers Bar on the sea front of Torrevieja that gives you an immediate idea of exactly what the weather’s like and how busy the town centre is.