Enjoy our quick guide to Cocentaina, a town situated in the comarca of Comtat in the Spanish province of Alicante.
Cocentaina became a Muslim capital in the last stage of the 11th century. Then in 1258, Jaime I had successfully saved the city from Islamic rule. After half a century, the town suffered from a fire that was set by the Arabs of Granada who came back to the area to seek their final revenge.
Today, Cocentaina is a favorite among road and mountain bikers. Many of its roads are being used as training tracks by professional cycling teams such as Astana and Vuelta a España.
If you’re going to Cocentaina, be sure not to miss any of its important monuments that still reflect the town’s colorful history. Some of its popular places of interest include the Palace of the Counts of Cocentaina, the Catholic church of L’Assumpcio and the Cocentaina Castle.
Below we feature an expat interview with Cristian Barrachina of AL&BA Real Estate who covers the Cocentaina area.
Specifically, we asked Cristian on the advantages of choosing Cocentaina as a place to live and the value for money that you can get if you decide to stay permanently in the area.
Cristian, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we should start off by asking what would you say would be the advantages to living in Cocentaina compared to other Costa Blanca towns?
Location. Cocentaina is located less than 30 minutes from Alicante, and 1 hour from the Alicante or Valencia airports. The good weather as well as proximity to beaches and mountains makes Cocentaina the perfect location to live.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
Cocentaina is a quiet area. However, it has all the services: hospitals, shopping centers, entertainment areas, and it is also close to large cities such as Alicante or Valencia.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
The population of Cocentaina is 11,000 inhabitants, of which 7 percent are foreign people.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Cocentaina is located between mountains. For that reason, there are great options of hiking routes and towns which are considered tourist attractions and can be visited. Cocentaina is close to Benidorm (1 hour by car), and also it has many activities during the year such as its “Moros y Cristianos” celebration or “La Feria de todos los Santos” which is the oldest market in Spain. It is held in early November.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
In Cocentaina, there are many Tapas bars as well as restaurants of Mediterranean cuisine. The Tapas bars serve typical dishes of the area, which are served to share them. In most of them, you can enjoy their terrace dining experience. In the luxury restaurants, you can taste the Mediterranean food with signature dishes. Some examples of these restaurants are La escaleta, which is a restaurant with two Michelin stars; El Laurel; or San Cristobal restaurant which is located on foot of the castle with excellent views.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
Less than 5km from Cocentaina, all the services are available to anyone who need them, from small restaurants to large shopping centers; as well as referral hospitals and private clinics; small shops, which sell all kinds of products; and street markets, where you can buy vegetables and fruits produced by the farmers of the area.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
Cocentaina is surrounded by 24 towns; from towns with 52 inhabitants to cities like Alcoy, with 60,000 inhabitants. In all of them, there are monuments and singular buildings to visit as well as cultural festivals and brilliant gastronomy to enjoy.
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
Near Cocentaina, there are international schools, which have a bus service for their students. Among them, we could find the British School in Xativa or the Muntori bilingual school, founded in 2008 close to Castalla.
Is crime an issue for expats?
Cocentaina and the surrounding areas have one of the lowest rates of crime in the Valencian Community; so that, we can say that Cocentaina is a peaceful town in which you can live and lead a normal life, having the peace of mind of knowing that there are no possibilities of suffering a mishap of this type.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Cocentaina is a small town with a lot of properties, so that the average price is lowering. Nevertheless, we can identify that the price of the properties begins a process of stabilization now.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
It is a good chance to buy, since the slowing down in the descent of the prices which is happening in the real estate of Cocentaina, suggests that the average price of properties has reached the lowest point. There are still very cheap properties for sale, especially kinds of properties with a lot of offer such as apartments or properties to remodel.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
In Cocentaina, there is only one urbanization, it is Gormaig, where there are detached houses and luxury villas. It is a residential area with an excellent setting and orientation since all services are close to it, less than 2 min of Cocentaina. Nevertheless, in Cocentaina, there are rustic settlements where you can live in the countryside with more economical properties.
How much are the typical property prices in Cocentaina for apartments, villas etc?
The guide prices in Cocentaina and surroundings are economical. The prices of a village house (within the population) range from 35,000 euros for homes of 150m². Moreover, the houses of 90m² with elevators are within the 65,000 euro range. However, there are many variations in the prices of these kinds of houses as a consequence of several factors such as the distance to the population, the accessibility, the views, and available services such as swimming pools, garages, storage rooms, etc.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Cocentaina or surrounding area?
If you love living in a peaceful area with all the services; close to the coast, big cities and airports; you cannot stop visiting Cocentaina and value the quality of life as well as its services offered such as its gastronomy, routes, mountains, etc.
Cocentaina is an alternative with many possibilities.
Cristian, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact him, you can find his details below.
AL&BA Real Estate
Passeig del Comtat, 81
Tel. +34 965 591 432
Here is an interesting video on Cocentaina.
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