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Living on the Costa Blanca: The Best Places and Costs

Complete Guide to the Cost of Living on the Costa Blanca in 2024. Explore rental prices, food, utilities, transportation, and medical insurance. Ideal for planning your stay or move to this beautiful region of Alicante.

 Living on the Costa Blanca: The Best Places and Costs
Categories Lifestyle,Costa Blanca
17 Jan, 2024

Living on the Costa Blanca represents an enriching experience, characterized by its diversity in terms of costs and lifestyles. This region, famous for its idyllic landscapes and pleasant climate, offers a range of options for different budgets. The availability of housing and services varies, providing alternatives for both those looking for economy and those who prefer luxury, reflecting the versatility of this area in terms of accommodation and lifestyle.

Regarding everyday expenses, the Costa Blanca stands out for offering affordable prices in basic food and drinks. The region is known for its culinary offerings, ranging from essential products at reasonable prices to high-end gastronomy, including Michelin-starred restaurants. This variety not only enriches the culinary experience but also allows residents and tourists to enjoy a wide range of options according to their preferences and budgets.

An important aspect to consider when living on the Costa Blanca is the annual variation rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which in December 2023 stood at 3.1%. This figure is crucial for understanding the evolution of prices and how they impact the overall cost of living. Despite economic fluctuations, the region maintains a balance between affordability and quality, making it an attractive destination for both permanent residents and visitors. Therefore, if you have always wanted to live on the Costa Blanca or if you are retired and considering moving to the Costa Blanca, this is of interest to you:

Grocery Shopping on the Costa Blanca

Central Market of Alicante
Central Market of Alicante

On the Costa Blanca, the cost of basic items such as potatoes, beer, wine, and bread is quite reasonable, facilitating access to essential ingredients for a balanced diet and the enjoyment of local beverages. For example, you can buy a kilogram of potatoes for approximately 1.44€, an economical and versatile option for various recipes. Beer, popular among both locals and tourists, is available at affordable prices, with a wide range of local and international options. Wine lovers can enjoy a good quality bottle for about 7€, taking advantage of the region's rich winemaking tradition. Additionally, a loaf of bread, an essential element on Spanish tables, can be purchased for about 1€.

Shopping on the Costa Blanca is particularly convenient, given that the province of Alicante has the highest ratio of supermarkets per inhabitant in the entire Valencian Community. This region stands out for its easy access to a wide variety of shopping options, including not only supermarkets and modern shopping centers but also traditional markets and a large number of street markets. The latter add value due to their quality and diversity, offering fresh products such as fruits and vegetables, pickles, food stalls, clothing, and more.

We can roughly calculate a budget of between 150€ and 200€ for the monthly grocery shopping of one person in the province of Alicante.

Throughout the Costa Blanca, you can find supermarket chains such as Mercadona, Masymas, Hiperber, DIA, Consum, Lidl, Aldi, Spar, Carrefour, Hipercor, or Mendoza in the case of Alfaz del Pi.

Dining Out in Costa Blanca

When it comes to dining out in the province of Alicante, prices vary depending on the type of establishment and location. A meal at a mid-range restaurant for two people can cost between 30 and 50 euros, offering a pleasant gastronomic experience without excessive cost. For those looking to enjoy a drink in a relaxed atmosphere, bars and cafes in the region offer beverages at moderate prices, usually less than 10€ per drink, allowing you to enjoy the social ambiance and local culture without great expense. These prices reflect the accessibility and quality of life in the Costa Blanca, where you can enjoy good food and drink at reasonable prices.

In addition to affordable and mid-range dining options, there is also the possibility of enjoying high-end gastronomic experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants in the province of Alicante. These establishments offer exquisite menus, prepared by renowned chefs, in a more exclusive environment and with first-class service. Dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant means a unique culinary experience, where flavors, presentation of dishes, and attention to detail are of an exceptional level.

The price of a dinner at these restaurants can be considerably higher compared to more conventional options. Tasting menus, which often represent the essence of the chef's cuisine, can start from 50-60 euros per person and increase significantly depending on the selection of dishes and wines. In some cases, a full dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Costa Blanca could exceed 100 euros per person.

It is important to note that these prices can vary significantly from one restaurant to another and depending on the season or the special menu of the day. Additionally, it is advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during the high season, as these restaurants are highly sought after by both locals and visitors.

Public Transportation in Costa Blanca

TRAM of Alicante
TRAM of Alicante passing by Muchavista Beach in Campello. Original image by Werner Wilmes on Wikipedia

The TRAM of Alicante: Connecting the Costa Blanca

The TRAM service in Alicante is vital for mobility on the Costa Blanca, providing connections between Alicante, Benidorm, Denia, and other cities. It is a service that combines light metro within the urban and metropolitan core of Alicante, the tram, and commuter services.

The TRAM Line 9, in particular, connects Benidorm with Denia and passes through destinations such as Altea and Calpe. Other important lines include Line 1 from Alicante to Benidorm, Line 3 from Alicante to Venta Lanuza, and Line 4 which goes from Alicante Puerta del Mar to Plaza La Coruña. These lines facilitate access to the main tourist attractions and residential areas along the Costa Blanca.

Line Cities / Main Stops
Line 1 Alicante - Benidorm
Line 3 Alicante - Venta Lanuza
Line 4 Alicante Puerta del Mar - Plaza La Coruña
Line 9 Benidorm - Denia (includes Altea and Calpe)

In addition, there are several monthly and special passes for traveling on the TRAM that you can check on their official website, such as the multi-trip pass, the Gold pass for retirees, or the Jove pass for young people between 16 and 30 years old.

Bus Network in Costa Blanca

To travel between cities on the Costa Blanca, there are several bus options that facilitate movement, specifically with the ALSA bus company.

From Benidorm to Calpe: The Alsa company offers bus services from the Benidorm Bus Station to Calpe. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes on the most direct route, although some routes may take up to an hour.

From Benidorm to Torrevieja: There are bus options that connect Benidorm with Torrevieja, offering a journey of approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes. Torrevieja, located further south on the Costa Blanca, is known for its beaches and salt flats, which have given the city a healthy microclimate.

Other Connections on the Costa Blanca: In addition to the mentioned routes, there are bus services that connect other cities from Alicante, Elche, Denia, and other towns on the Costa Blanca, facilitating access to different tourist and residential destinations in the region.

Taxi Prices on the Costa Blanca

Taxis on the Costa Blanca offer a convenient and direct option for moving between cities and tourist destinations. However, it is important to note that prices can vary depending on several factors such as distance, time of day, and taxi company. Here is a summary of what you can expect in terms of costs:

  • Base Fare and Cost per Kilometer: The base fare for a taxi on the Costa Blanca can vary, but it is generally in the range of 3 to 4 euros. This is added to the cost per kilometer traveled, which can also vary.
  • Example of Travel Fare: For example, a taxi ride from Benidorm to Calpe, which takes approximately 22 minutes, could cost between 27 and 35 euros.
  • Additional Supplements: There may be additional supplements for services such as nighttime trips, holidays, or luggage transportation.

It is advisable to confirm the rates with the driver before starting the journey and consider booking with well-known taxi companies or taxi service apps to get more accurate estimates and avoid surprises in terms of costs.

Gasoline Prices on the Costa Blanca

At the beginning of 2024, the average price of gasoline in Alicante was 1.55€ per liter for unleaded 95. In other cities of the Marina Baixa such as Altea or Benidorm, the price of gasoline was around 1.65€ per liter. As for diesel, the average price of diesel A was 1.489 euros per liter and diesel A+ (premium) was at 1.601 euros per liter. These prices may vary between different service stations and locations within the province of Alicante.

Internet and Telephony Services on the Costa Blanca

People using the Internet in Costa Blanca

On the Costa Blanca, as in many other regions of Spain, the prices for a 300 Mbps Internet connection with a mobile line average between 25 and 30 euros per month. This price may vary slightly depending on the service provider and specific offers that may be available.

Service Features: For this price, users typically get a high-speed fiber optic connection of 300 Mbps, which is sufficient for regular home use, including high-definition streaming, online gaming, and teleworking. Additionally, the included mobile line generally offers a reasonable amount of mobile data, which can vary depending on the plan.

Among the available options, Finetwork offers 300Mb of Fiber and Mobile with 10GB and unlimited calls for 25€. On the other hand, Lowi provides 300Mb of Fiber and Mobile with 10GB and unlimited calls for 29.95€. For those looking for more speed and data, O2 has a 1 GB Fiber and 200GB with 5G plan for 50€, while Jazztel offers 1Gb of Fiber Optic and 2 mobile lines with 16GB and unlimited calls.

Rental Costs in Costa Blanca

The rental of properties in the Costa Blanca varies significantly depending on the location and type of property. For those seeking more affordable rental options, localities such as Elche, Alicante, Polop, or Villajoyosa offer studios and simple apartments with prices ranging from 350€ to 500€ per month.

  • Affordable Rentals: In these localities, economical housing can be found that allows tenants to enjoy life on the Costa Blanca without a large financial outlay. These rentals are ideal for students, single people, or young couples looking for their first home.
  • Exclusive Areas and Premium Rentals: On the other hand, for those seeking a higher standard of living, localities like Calpe offer a wide range of rentals in more exclusive areas. According to data from Luxinmo, rentals in these areas start at 950€ per month. Benidorm, known for its luxurious villas, offers rental options that can reach up to 20,000€ per month.
  • Average Rent in Costa Blanca: Considering these variations, an average rent in the Costa Blanca can be between 500€ and 900€ per month, depending on the locality, size, and quality of the property.

In summary, the Costa Blanca offers a wide range of housing options, from economical options to luxurious villas, suitable for different budgets and lifestyles. When looking for housing in this region, it is essential to consider both the rental cost and additional expenses to make an informed choice according to personal needs.

Cost of Services

In addition to rent, it is important to consider the expenses of basic services such as electricity, water, and gas. These costs vary depending on the municipality, consumption, the size of the property, and its energy efficiency.

  • The average price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the province of Alicante varies according to the type of tariff and the market (regulated or free). In 2024, the price of kWh in the regulated market, without taxes, is shown with an hourly variation, for example, at 00h it was 0.06231 €/kWh and at 20h it was 0.17529 €/kWh. As an idea, the monthly cost of electricity in Costa Blanca can be around 70€ for a 2-person apartment with normal daily use of household appliances. With daily use of heaters or A/C in summer or winter, it can increase to 150€. In the free market, rates can vary, with some offers.
  • As for the price of water, this also varies significantly depending on the municipality. As an idea, in a house with 4 people with normal daily water consumption, it can cost about 50€ every 2 months.

Buying a House in Costa Blanca

Living in Costa Blanca is to immerse oneself in a world of diversity and beauty. Therefore, instead of paying monthly rent, many people opt to buy a property in Costa Blanca with housing options that cover beautiful localities of the Northern Costa Blanca such as Altea, Benidorm, Calpe, Moraira, and Jávea. In the area including Denia and Jávea, prices start at an accessible 125,000 euros for small apartments, scaling up to 5 million euros for luxury chalets. This region is known for its lush nature, impressive mountains, and spectacular coves, ideal for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. On the other hand, the Southern Costa Blanca, including places like Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa, offers a range of properties from modern apartments near the beach to townhouses, with both luxury and more affordable options.

If what you are looking for are the best areas to acquire a property in Costa Blanca, then you should be well aware of your budget and needs. Do you like nightlife and are looking for a simple apartment with everything you need? Then your areas are Alicante or Benidorm. Are you looking for a house surrounded by nature? Without a doubt, we recommend Guadalest, Polop, La Nucía, or Jalón. Or perhaps you are looking for exclusivity and luxury? Then your place is in Altea Hills, Jávea, or the Cumbre del Sol area in Poble Nou de Benitatxell. Costa Blanca has something for everyone!

The exclusivity of the Costa Blanca is reflected in the price of its streets. Year after year, the most expensive street in the Valencian Community is found in this region. In 2020, the most expensive street in the Comunitat was Penàguila Street in Jávea, in 2021 it was Pic Tort Street in Jávea, in 2022 it was Franz Joseph Haydn Street also in Jávea, and in 2023 Jazmines Street in Benitatxell took the lead, with average housing prices reaching 2,637,333 euros. These data underscore the preference for the Costa Blanca among those seeking exclusivity and a high quality of life.

If you finally decide to acquire your property in this beautiful Mediterranean area, at Luxinmo we have prepared a buyer's guide for the Valencian Community where we explain all the detailed steps in the process of buying and selling a property in the province of Alicante.

Healthcare and Life Insurance in Costa Blanca

Retired couple in Costa Blanca
Many Europeans choose the Costa Blanca as their destination to live during their retirement.

Healthcare in the Costa Blanca offers both public and private options, known for its high quality and accessibility. The public healthcare system is free for those registered in the country and with a valid residence permit. For those who prefer private healthcare, there are various options with variable prices.

In January 2024, the most affordable private health insurances in Spain, which would also be applicable to the Costa Blanca, start from prices like 20.79 € per month for basic policies with copayment. For example, Asisa offers an option with hospitalization included, limited copayment, and telemedicine for 20.79 € per month. Other providers such as Zurich Klinc and DKV offer similar policies with prices in the range of 24.47 € to 25.43 € per month.

For health insurance without copayment, prices tend to be higher, ranging from 52 € to 64 € per month, depending on the insured's age and the coverage offered. These insurances usually include broader coverages and the advantage of not having to make additional payments for consultations or interventions.

It is important to highlight that these prices can vary depending on the age of the insured and the type of coverage selected. In addition, insurance companies may offer different levels of service and benefits, so it is recommended to compare the available options to find the insurance that best suits individual needs.

Example of Monthly Living Cost

We have prepared the following table with an example of the cost of living for one person, in an average city of the Costa Blanca who lives in a rented apartment of about 70m2 and drives a gasoline car.

Category Average Cost / month
Rent 550 €
Food and Beverages 150 €
Basic Utilities (electricity, water, gas) 120 €
Private Health Insurance 30 €
Gasoline 150 €
Leisure Expenses 100 €
Total Monthly 1,100 €

Another example table, this time for a couple in an average city of the Costa Blanca who live in a rented apartment of about 90m2 and drive a gasoline car.

Category Average Cost / month
Rent 900 €
Food and Beverages 300 €
Basic Utilities (electricity, water, gas) 170 €
Private Health Insurance 80 €
Gasoline 200 €
Leisure Expenses 200 €
Total Monthly 1,850 €
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