If you are thinking of living in Alicante, Spain, we wholeheartedly encourage the idea. But don’t just take our word for it. Foreigners make up roughly 15% of the population, and the area is known for their large expat communities, especially Brits. Although its tourist reputation spreads far and wide, it is also a great place to call home. Think gorgeous beaches, stylish townhouses, an affordable cost-of-living, and of course, all that sunshine, and you will soon understand why it is a fantastic place to live.
Obviously, though, a move to Spain is a significant lifestyle change, and any retirees thinking of calling it home, need to know the pros and cons before jumping on that plane. Moving to any country around the world involves specific challenges and hurdles to overcome, for your endeavour to turn into a long-term retirement plan. So, let us weight up how to decide if Alicante is for you, starting with the pros first.
Living in Alicante: Pros and Cons
1: Minimal Culture Shock
When relocating, no-one likes to stand out as the sore thumb, and even worse, make a cultural faux pas. The significant aspect of living abroad in Alicante is that the cosmopolitan and multi-cultural ambience minimises culture shock. Thousands of expats have already chosen it as home, so it is easy to get advice, and make friends with other people of your nationality, even though Spanish people are also friendly. Expats mainly suffer from culture shock when moving to other places like Asia, but since Spain is a top spot European country, any stress from moving will soon disappear.
2: Spanish Weather and Outdoor Activities
To retire to Alicante is to tap into a great outdoor lifestyle that any doctor will verify is good for your health. While golf courses are a popular choice for many tourists, and expats, there is more to the region than that. The best places mean getting to know Mother Nature, whether through adventure sports or only hitting one of the walkable trekking trails. The Mediterranean climate also means that this new lifestyle isn’t just confined to a few months, but for roughly 300 days of the year.
3: Gorgeous Coastline and Beaches
Most expats tend to favour the coastline resorts, and when moving to Alicante, you will have 14 beaches, bays, and coves to choose from, as well as some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches within a short drive. As well as the usual water sports, swimming and sunbathing, some beach districts revolve around the seafood dining scene at night, evoking a pleasant atmosphere found nowhere else in Spain.
4: Property Market of Alicante
When looking at places to live, some expats rent, but most buy property, because Alicante’s market still provides value for money, despite operating in Euros. Having still not recovered from the 2008 housing crash, there are many neighbourhoods to live in, where townhouses and villas make a home from home. Grant Alacant is a popular area to choose from, because Alicante international airport sits just a ten-minute drive away, but in the larger province, there are plenty of places to choose. If you want to buy property in Alicante, browse our portfolio of homes for sale in the larger province, and use the enquiry form to find out more about any home or to arrange a viewing.
So, naturally, the above four are big bonus points, when choosing Alicante for relocation. Add to this, the nightlife, that ranges from peaceful sit-down dining to lively, all-night partying. The delicious foodie scene also stems far beyond the tapas tradition. But as with everything in life, there are challenges to overcome, so what are the cons of retiring to Alicante?
5: Language Barrier for Expats
Experts say the older we get, the harder it is to learn another language. When living in Spain, you will undoubtedly come across occasions when the language barrier halts conversations. Don’t let this stop you though because many an expatriate has found a way around it. Like using translators for an official process like visas, or merely ringing a bi-lingual friend and asking them to translate over the phone. There are ways around it, and you can also start by just learning one word a day. We wouldn’t let us stop us, though, from moving abroad.
6: Cons of a Laidback Lifestyle
When looking at the best places to live, we all dream of a stress-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, retiring to Spain means getting used to the go-slow movement from the afternoon siestas to the Manana saying, of let’s do everything tomorrow. If you like to get things out of the way, as quickly and smoothly as possible, you will need to learn some patience and learn to do as the locals do, especially when it comes to bureaucracy.
7: Home Sickness
After the initial buzz of our new country wears off, some expats experience a longing for their home country. Whether this is simply the food, interaction with their nationality, or an urge to see the grandkids. It is a perfectly natural thing to go through and explains why many Brits choose Spain because it is just a short flight away. If you find yourself with homesickness, don’t make any permanent decisions because it is only a fleeting downside, that many expatriates get over.
8: More Tips on Living in Spain
When you relocate to Spain, there are ways to make a move less stressful and settling in easier. As a team of professionals, we lived in many countries worldwide, so our tips and advice will help no matter where you choose to live. Read more in the biggest mistakes people make when moving to Spain.
About Us: We are Spot Blue, an international property agent, we have helped many customers retiring abroad to find their dream home. Call us today, if you would like to chat with an agent about moving and living in Alicante, or browse our portfolio of homes for sale in all areas of Spain. Each listing contains everything to know including price, location, home features and contact details to find out more via email or phone.