Tourism figures to Spain are soaring. A total of 161 million international travellers passed through Spanish airports last year with Alicante alone reporting a record 12.3 million arrivals. British Airways acknowledged the importance of the destination by introducing four weekly flights from London City to Alicante last summer, while this year Jet2 announced plans to increase flights from nine UK airports by 40 per cent.
Alicante is the southern gateway to the Costa Blanca, the long, sandy coastline of eastern Spain. This area saw the worst overbuilding in past decades and resorts such as Torrevieja and Benidorm will be forever associated with high-rise developments. Elsewhere in this region, however, there is much to admire, says David Rovira of Las Colinas, a golf and country club resort an hour south of Alicante and 10 minutes inland from the coast at Campoamor. “The facilities and infrastructure in the Alicante area have improved enormously,” adds Rovira. “High-speed trains link Alicante to Madrid in two hours, the airport is the fourth busiest in Spain and there are good marinas, historic cities such as Cartagena and excellent shops and leisure choices.”
Las Colinas opened in 2010 and is a pleasingly rural and low-level development. The 330-hectare golf and leisure complex is surrounded by 10,000 hectares of National Park, a green and peaceful oasis. It has won impressive praise including being named European Leading Villa Resort for the last two years by World Travel Awards, and seeing off stiff competition to be crowned Spain’s best golf course by World Golf Awards 2015.
Good-value flats and villas come with a sporty, beach club vibe The resort’s established facilities include an attractive Miami-inspired beach club, tennis courts, gym, nature trails, pools and a challenging golf course, well managed by prestigious Troon Golf. There are two good-quality restaurants and a popular kids club, while off-resort guests can hire bikes, sail on the Mar Menor lagoon or go deep-sea fishing.
Property for sale at Las Colinas offers good value compared with other Spanish costas and a fresh, contemporary style. Well-built and imaginatively designed homes include unfussy, modern flats and villas. Homes feature fully retractable glass doors, generous terraces and extensive use of pale woods and glossy white surfaces. Plots of 10,700sq ft for individual homes start from £159,500, with three-bedroom flats of 1,250sq ft and views to the sea from £296,000, and three-bedroom detached villas of 1,560sq ft with pools facing the golf course at £469,000, all prices excluding VAT. Service charges are reasonable, from £85 a month for flats and £128 for villas.
“Our buyers come from across western Europe and Scandinavia,” says Rovira. “They tell me that the low density of building on the resort surrounded by wonderful, protected woodland, a rarity in this area, and the modern architecture are what makes Las Colinas special.”
Townhouses and beach apartments Elsewhere on the Costa Blanca, Taylor Wimpey has three-bedroom townhouses at Brisas de Alenda Golf, 15 minutes from both Alicante airport and the coast. Two-storey with terraces and private gardens, they start at £127,000 plus VAT. Its newest scheme is Arenal Dream, 47 two- and three-bedroom flats north of Alicante near a blue flag beach, completing next spring, with communal pool and gardens. From £187,500 plus VAT.