Mi casa es su casa.
Well, not really. Mi casa is actually Jeroen’s casa, so I can’t make any promises that you can have it as well. But, we sure had a lovely time finding one during our special “house hunt” to Spain.
Jeroen had been toying with buying an apartment in Spain for a few reasons. The costs of buying is extremely low right now, which played to our advantage. Plus, he had the funds needed and saw an apartment as a great investment opportunity. I obviously was not going to turn down the idea of having an extra place in one of my favorite European countries, so I tagged along to offer my opinions and advice. (But, realistically, mostly to drink wine and relax on the beach.) We only had a few… um… “basic necessities.” The apartment/condo/house we would buy had to have air-conditioning, it had to be within walking distance to a beach, within walking distance to a good restaurant, and (ideally) have a swimming pool on-site. You know. The basics. 😉
We flew into the Alicante airport, then set forth to our check in to our hotel in San Pedro del Pinatar, which was a good hour away. If we could do it over again, we probably would have picked something closer to the area we were looking to buy in, but the city had been suggested because it has a wonderful hotel (Thalasia Costa De Murcia) with wellness spas, massages, and all the works.
An hour’s drive also gave us plenty of time to stop along the way to check out the various beaches and cities’ atmospheres. Our first time was in Torrevieja, where we walked along the Playa Del Cura, then stopped for a few tasty adult beverages with a scenic view.
Plus, you know, we found this… so Jeroen immediately felt right at home.
Torrevieja seemed nice… it was originally a salt mining and fishing village, and it’s a large enough city, but still has a small town feel. And with the coast so close, it’s easy to see why this would be an ideal place to have a vacation home. It was the views outside of the city, however, that really blew us away.
All in all, even though Torrevieja seemed like a great city, we knew there was something more, something better, in Spain for us. And to be honest, none of the apartments that were shown to us really blew us away. We decided to move on.
We checked out a few other areas in the Alicante region: Mil Palmeras, Villa Martin, and Playa Flamenca, to name a few. All of the areas were nice, with many affordable and potentially great places, but in every place it felt like we were giving up something. Mil Palmeras was beautiful, but we heard that, outside of the summertime, it was a ghost town. Since we planned to rent out the apartment during the summer and enjoy it ourselves in the winter, that made the location less than ideal. Other areas were also nice, with a few good restaurants and beaches, but none within walking distance. The distance thing would be a plus for both renters and us, because it makes things more accessible for large groups. Plus, if you plan to have any alcohol, it’s best that you don’t drive. And who wants to have a vacation without alcohol?
So, we enter a new contestant into the ring: Punta Prima. Punta Prima is a fairly typical, fairly small, touristic area along the coast. But, it offers so much. First of all, it’s about 30 minutes away from two international airports (Alicante and Murcia), making it fairly easy to get to. It has approximately 320 days of sunshine per year, with a promenade of shops, bars, and restaurants that are open year round. There are hiking trails along the beach that connect the city with Torrevieja, Playa Flamenca, and other beautiful beaches along the way.
We immediately fell in love. Not just with the area, but with the apartment complex we were shown. Inside the complex itself there were four swimming pools, large terraces, lush greenery, and hundreds of palm trees, giving it a secluded and peaceful feeling. We were debating between getting a small penthouse (that could fit two people comfortably), or a large two-bedroom apartment that was on the ground floor, with immediate access to a swimming pool. The struggle was real, because obviously, for ourselves, we would love to have the penthouse. The inside area was small, but the terrace was just as large as the inside portion, and there was possibilities to put a hot tub. Eventually, we decided on the ground floor apartment because we thought it would be better for families who were planning on renting. With easy pool access, it is really the ideal place for people with children. You could easily stay inside, yet still keep an eye on the pool.
Needless to say, I’m really excited about our new purchase. Our furniture has been ordered and delivered, and we will go in February to finish decorating the apartment and explore more about the area. If, in the mean time, you are interested in renting, or already live in the area and have exciting things for us to check out, please let me know in the comments below!!!
THE TRAVELIN’ SONG: You Make My Dreams Come True (Hall & Oats). Fun little song to hum while you dance and sing along the beaches. Even if you’re a bit shy, I’m sure you won’t be able to help it after a few drinks. 🙂
BUDGET: Ha, this budget was a bit different than the rest as there was also a large purchase attached to the trip. However, for the week itself, it was probably $500 for for airfare, car rental, food, and the fancy hotel. The food portion was rather cheap… I love Spain.
TIP FOR TRAVELERS: If you’re feeling athletic or adventurous, take some time and explore the trails that go along the beach. It connects one beach to another, and is a great way to pass the time and still see many different areas.
DEFINITELY CHECK OUT: Our apartment. I love it already.