Is it a good idea to retire in Valencia? Valencia is welcoming, warm, it’s not the beaten track like the Costa Del Sol, it has great food, it’s cheap, in essence, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the best years of your life.
Valencia is better thought of as not one city, but many dotted towns and villages that make up the Province of Valencia on the East coast of Spain.
Each area has a very different culture and lifestyle. The north is mountainous which is hot in summer and cold in winter. In the South, people speak more of the local dialect and the terrain is very flat, this is the home of Paella Valenciana and the rice paddies that produce the rice for them. To the West is Wine Country, where the bodegas of Utiel and Requena grow the vines and celebrate the most amazing harvest festivals.
If you are thinking of retiring to Spain, allow us to give you some detailed information on the surrounding areas of Valencia and what to expect from them
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The South - expats and english supermarkets
The southern coast of Valencia, towards Benidorm but not quite as far, has many urbanisations, these are residential estates built recently and set up with foreign investment in mind. In Gandia, Denia, Cullera and Xativa you will find English supermarkets (Iceland, Aldi etc), paper shops with English newspapers and many expats who have made the big jump and moved to Spain.
If you want to enjoy the sun and get to know people who speak your language, this is the place to look.
Prices are here, purely because the real-estate has been set up with northern Europe in mind. So prices held pretty high throughout the financial crisis, and although currently a little cheaper than the 2007 peak, expect to pay €200,000 or more on the property.
Requena and Utiel - wine, food, and mountains
To the west, inland, people speak standard Castilian Spanish and you don’t find so many Valencian speakers which is great if you want to come to learn Spanish.
The Martes mountain range is home to wineries so the wine in this region is very cheap and the quality, well it’s astounding.
Real estate in this region is still very cheap indeed as it’s more rural, you don’t find too many foreigners here. But if you are looking to move to a more untouched area, enjoy food and drink good wine, you should move to Requena and Utiel.
South of the city - local culture and great paella
To the south of the city of Valencia are the flat-lands and the rice paddies. The Albufera lake is a freshwater lake which has been irrigated along the massive expanse where the rice is grown.
This is where the real Valencian culture stems from. The locals speak Valencian, there are few ex-pats, the prices on housing is cheap, and the food is amazing.
It’s a takes a certain type of expat to move to this area, those who are looking for more of an adventure and who aren’t phased by living in a different country. Once people here are your friends, they are friends for life, but it takes time to get used to the lifestyle and settle in.
Retire in Valencia capital - busy city centre life
Valencia is the Capital of the Valencian Province. It is a city of some 800,000 people, around the size of Leeds or Bristol so it has a very urban centre with massive shops like The Corte Inglés (which is like a John Lewis), McDonald’s, cinemas, parks, theatres and so on.
The expats that tend to live in the centre are younger and looking for work.
Some people retire to the centre but you should be aware that it is quite a cramped and bustling city, good to visit but if you are looking for a quiet retirement you may want to find somewhere less noisy.
The North - a little of everything
To the North of Valencia at the foot of the Calderona Mountains are Betera, Lliria and Olocau. These towns are beautiful. They are home to many expats that enjoy the Valencian lifestyle and integrate with the welcoming locals.
There are different from the expat areas you might expect to find on the Costa del Sol, you can find really spectacular houses with swimming pools that are far from anywhere, there are also urbanisations that we mentioned earlier, but they are majority Spanish residents who have moved out of the city with their families. The towns are around a half hour drive from the city of Valencia, but they tend to have everything you need, and Spainsbury’s is a local supermarket which imports all of the things you might miss, OXO cubes, crumpets, and Cumberland sausages.
If you are looking for somewhere to retire to Spain, Valencia has a wealth of choice. But if there is one piece of advice we can offer you right now, it would be to spend a three-week holiday in an area you think might be right, just to get the feel and travel around to see different places.
Above all, Valencia, on the whole, maintains a sense of fun and of life. It isn’t as industrial as the Costa Brava and not as saturated as the Costa del Sol. It’s the perfect medium of a good pace of life, with everything you need to get by without any problems. We truly believe it is a good idea to retire in Valencia!
At Globexs we offer our services to anyone looking to anyone looking to move to Spain, we have local property experts and we can advise you on any questions free of charge. We have spent a long time in Valencia and we know how to help people best. You can contact us on +34 962 066 814 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to read more you can visit our blog here.
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