Gran Alacant is one of the closest tourist resorts to Alicante Airport and is located on the Southern Costa Blanca.
Car hire is unnecessary with a frequent bus service running between the airport, the resort and Santa Pola.
Gran Alacant is a popular resort where many Spanish people have bought second homes and many come to the resort on the weekends to enjoy a break at the sea side.
Gran Alacant is also a popular expat resort owing to its superb location and beaches.
Carabassi Beach is the main beach servicing tourists and locals in Gran Alacant while to the north of the resort. Carabassi Beach is a wide, golden, sandy blue flag beach with walkways and foot showers.
Santa Pola is located a mere six kilometres to the south of the resort. Santa Pola is a great place to spend time as well because of its long expanse of blue flag beaches and day trips to Tabarca Island which is a divers paradise.
Santa Pola is a great fishing port as well and boasts a fair number of fish and seafood restaurants.
Nearest Golf Courses
Although there are no golf courses in Gran Alacant, the nearest ones are approximately twenty minutes away by car at Club de Golf Alenda to the north west of the resort and Alicante Golf to the north of the great port and city of Alicante.
To the south of Santa Pola and Torrevieja are numerous golf courses such as the Marquesa and La Finca golf courses.
What To See and Do
Gran Alacant also has on orbital bus system where tickets can be purchased in books of ten. A single fare to anywhere in the resort costs as little as €1.40.
To find out more about things to see and do in Gran Alacant you can head for the Gran Alacant Tourist Office which is located on the Avenida Escandinavia and is open from 09:30-14:30 on Monday through to Friday from the beginning of March until the end of October which is also the peak time for tourism in the resort.
Where To Stay – Accommodation
Gran Alacant has many villas and apartments to rent on the urbanizations of Novamar, Puerto Marino, Monte y Mar, Panorama, Altomar, Sierra Mar and Balcones del Mar.
Currently there are no hotels in Gran Alacant although people who prefer to book hotel rooms will find there are a great variety of hotel rooms to book in the neighbouring tourist resort of Santa Pola and Alicante.
Restaurants, Bars and Nightlife
Gran Alacant restaurants that have been recommended include the New Cinema Inn, Los Belgas, Gran Alacant Café Bistro, Tutti’s Cocina Internacional, Gran Mundo II, Patagonia Steak House; La Fondue, Saffron, and Destinations Bar & Restaurant.
Novamar Central has a fair amount of bars and pubs which offer live music in the early hours of the morning. The White Rose, Dick Turpin and Crazy Daisy are well known in Gran Alacant as a place to spend the evening.
Tres Besos (three kisses) Restaurant in Gran Alacant is a Dutch themed bistro styled restaurant decorated in the style of a typical Dutch living room making guests feel right at home. In the winter time diners can cosy up to the open fire place or sit out on the heated terrace while in the summer you can enjoy al fresco dining. Starters include a Fish Cocktail, Rolled Chicken Breast, Beef Carpaccio, A Trio of Amsterdam Cheeses, Mediterranean Mussels, Santa Pola Prawns and Warm Goats Cheese Main Courses include Chicken Sate, Lamb Shank, Spare Ribs from the Oven, Fillet of Pork, Rump Steak, Duck Breast, Vegetarian Lasagne, Sirloin Steak, Fillet Steak and fresh Fish of the Day. All Dishes are served with salad, fresh vegetables and chips. Drinks and Tapas also available. Tres Besos opening hours are from 16:00-23:00 and during the months of July and August all day.
To book a table at Tres Besos telephone +34 966 695 449 Tres Besos Address: Avenida de Noruega 214 Centro Comercial Carabassi Gran Alacant
Gran Alacant is an ideal holiday destination for families with children who don’t wish to hire a car and are happy to spend lazy sunny days relaxing on the Southern Costa Blanca’s golden blue flag beaches.
Real Estate Agents
Whether you’re looking for a place to rent or to stay at permanently, you can take advantage of the services from the real estate agents in Gran Alacant who are more than willing to help you in finding your ideal residence.
You can contact Gran Alacant Properties (granalacantproperties.com, Tel. +34 966 699 441); GA Homefinders (www.ga-homefinders.co.uk, Tel. +34 966 699 440) and Carabassi Casas (www.carabassi-casas.com, Tel. +34 966 698 301).
Gran Alacant Tourist Information Office (Oficina de Turismo)
Gran Alacant Tourist Office
Address: Avenida Escandinavia 31. 03130. Gran Alacant. Alicante – Alacant.
Telephone: +34 966 699 762
Opening Hours: From June 25 to August 31, Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 h.
Moving to Gran Alacant
If you are thinking of moving to Gran Alacant, then you must read our expat interview with Laura Trevino of Gran Alacant Properties below:
What would you say would be the advantages to living in Gran Alacant compared to other Costa Blanca towns?
Gran Alacant is a fantastic coastal community, part of the fishing port of Santa Pola and we are its biggest cheerleaders. There are many reasons to live or holiday in Gran Alacant but here are five.
1) Beaches: Santa Pola has over 11 kilometers of beaches and coastline. There are beaches for every preference, everything from small, rocky coves to wide sandy beaches. Most our beaches have Blue Flag designation for their cleanliness and amenities. The local beach at Carabassi is jaw-droppingly beautiful, very natural, dunes and pine trees.
2) Food: Santa Pola is home to the largest fishing fleet in the Mediterranean and the quality of the product from Santa Pola bay is amazing. The red prawns are not as famous as the ones from Denia but are better! The squid, the cigala, the quisquilla (white prawns) are well known throughout Spain as are the oysters from La Bahia. This is rice and seafood country. You can sample some amazing paellas here although people from Alicante tend to call them arroces (rices) rather than paellas.
Santa Pola is famous for their arroz con caldero, a multi-course rice dish. First you are served fish and seafood in a broth followed by a dry rice served in a paella. Also arroz con costra which is rice baked under a layer of beaten eggs. And the fruits and vegetables produced in this area are outstanding. Foodies will be happy to know that the Michelin-starred restaurant La Finca is just down the road.
3) The great outdoors: If you love being outside and being active, you will love Gran Alacant. There is a paragliding near the lighthouse, scuba just off shore at Tabarca, biking and hiking the Sierra de Santa Pola and Clot de Galvany, windsurfing and kitesurfing on Carabassi and Santa Pola beaches, sailing and rowing at Santa Pola marina, fishing, you name it. Runners will be delighted to participate in one of the many races including the Abel Anton in Gran Alacant and Santa Pola’s half marathon. There is a triathlon as well as an annual open water swim to Tabarca Island that draws hundreds of athletes. The Clot de Galvany natural park is a great place to stroll, bird watch and enjoy nature.
4) Bring Fido: Gran Alacant and Santa Pola have an active pet owners association and thanks to their efforts and the town hall we have one of the best dog beaches in Spain, La Caleta dels Gossets. This sandy cove is one of the busiest and cleanest beaches in town and draws people from all over Spain. We also have a 3000 square meter dog park with agility zone that every year is host to a Halloween party where families and their dogs participate in a costume contest and parade.
5) Location: Gran Alacant’s location is unbeatable. We are just 15 kilometers down the coast from Alicante, the provincial capital, which has high speed rail connection to Madrid and the rest of Spain, a marina, a casino, university, hospitals, countless shops and restaurants. Go fifteen minutes west and you are in the historic city of Elche with all the amenities it has to offer. That proximity also makes us attractive as a bedroom community for these big cities. The international airport (ALC) is only fifteen minutes away so unlike other coastal communities where you would face an hour’s drive once you land, you can be in your bathing suit and at the beach shortly after landing.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
If you are looking for a Benidorm experience with lots of nightlife, discos and that sort of thing, Gran Alacant is probably not for you. We are more about the outdoors, the beach, the peace and quiet. Although we do have regular bus service to Benidorm!
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
We actually have a pretty sizeable Spanish population in Gran Alacant, even more so in Santa Pola. 73% of Santa Pola’s population is Spanish. In Gran Alacant, the population is closer to 50% Spanish. Many of our Spanish neighbors live in Gran Alacant year-round. They are a mix of retirees from other parts of Spain and families drawn to the community by the peace and quiet, the green spaces and the good local school, Vicenta Russo.
We also have a nice mix of people from all over Europe, not just the UK. My block has over 22 nations represented: Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, the US, Sweden, The Netherlands, Ireland, many more. The Norwegian Club of Alicante is located here. We also have many neighbours working at OAMI, the European patent and trade agency.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Take the ferry to Tabarca just off shore and spend the morning on its lovely beach followed by an arroz con caldero at one of the beach-side restaurants. Or go for a drive through Campo de Elche, the rural hamlets of Elche, and stop to have rice for lunch on the weekend. The fiestas in Elche in August are a highlight as well as the feast honoring the Virgen del Carmen, patroness of fishermen and the sea, in Santa Pola and Tabarca.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
TripAdvisor is great resource for finding good places to eat. Also ask local people where they like to go and why. For special occasions, we are big fans of Nou Arcos in Los Arenales for seafood and rices and Narcea in Santa Pola for great Asturias-style food. For lunch in the countryside, we like to go to Bar Indalecio or Casa Molina in Valverde.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
Gran Alacant is a year-round community, not just holidays, and as such has all the shops, supermarkets, banks, dentists, hairdressers, shops, bars, cafes, a weekly market, gas stations, etc. We also have an organic food market once a week and an organic food shop. We also have a sports pavilion, small post office, local police station, an international library and medical center. They are building a second school very soon. Our community has high speed fiber optic internet, something you don’t even see in parts of Alicante city. There is bus service around Gran Alacant as well as regular service to Alicante and Santa Pola.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
We are big fans of Valverde, a small village that is a pedania (hamlet) of Elche. For such a small place, it has a lot to recommend it. The village has two good restaurants, a general store, a small church as well as cultural center. Less than 10 minutes from Gran Alacant.
We also really like the neighbouring beach community, Los Arenales del Sol. They have a lovely seaside promenade lined with many bars and cafes and you can easily walk there from Gran Alacant. In the summer check out the many chiringuitos or beach bars that pop up on the sand. The nicest one is Life Beach. Lovely place to spend an evening. I got married at one!
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
We have several international schools in the area including the highly-rated Laude Newton College in Elche, one of the best schools in Spain according to El Mundo. There is a multi-lingual school in Santa Pola, Alonai. In addition, the British School of Alicante is just ten minutes down the road in Agua Amarga. This is super appealing to parents working at OAMI.
Is crime an issue for expats?
This part of Spain is generally very safe although that is not a license to switch your brain off. A bit of common sense is your best defense. Lock your home and car. Do not leave valuables on display. Don’t hang your bag on the back of your chair in a crowded café. Be wary of con men who prey on foreigners.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Because of our proximity to Alicante and Elche, because we are something of a suburb, because of our year-round nature and because we are not just a holiday community, Gran Alacant did not suffer as much as other parts of the Costa Blanca. Prices dropped here but not as precipitously as in other areas. Prices stabilized a few years back and in some areas we have actually seen a small increase in prices.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
If you are in the right place in your life and have the money it is always a good time to buy. Here in Gran Alacant, there are still some good values to be had. However, buyers should not come in here expecting to negotiate huge discounts like during the crisis. Sellers may negotiate a little but buyers need to be realistic.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
Gran Alacant is made up of several urbanizations. Our name comes from the oldest one, Gran Alacant, which was built 30 years ago. The largest is Monte y Mar, a mix of villas, townhouses and apartments that covers most of Lower Gran Alacant but really it is easier to think of Lower and Upper Gran Alacant. Lower Gran Alacant is flatter, you can walk everywhere quite easily.
Other communities in Lower Gran Alacant are Costa Hispania, Novamar and Mediterraneo near the Clot and the beach and Puerto Marino over by the main commercial center. In Upper Gran Alacant, you get great views and easy access to the lighthouse and Sierra de Santa Pola. Popular communities include Gran Vista, Altomar I and II, Monte Faro, Olivo de Oro, Brisamar, Brisas del Faro and others. Each area has bars, shops, restaurants, supermarkets, etc.
How much are the typical property prices in Gran Alacant for apartments, villas etc?
Pre-owned villas on Gran Alacant start at 220,000 euros and up. Those with larger plots and better views, with pools and other upgrades can fetch more. You can nab a 2-bed, 2-bath townhouse for 85,000-115,000 euros on a community with communal pool. Apartments go for 75,000 and up. Proximity to the beach, views, upgrades can drive the prices up. New build independent villas start at 220,000 and semi-detached villas with pools start at 178,000 euros. New apartments overlooking the beach are going for 140,000 and up.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Gran Alacant or surrounding area?
Call Gran Alacant Properties! We live in Gran Alacant and love this community. We know it better than anyone and can give you good insights. When you find the right house, be sure to hire a reputable solicitor who speaks your language. Buying property abroad can be scary and stressful and a good abogado is your best protection and they will take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Finally make your wish list and prioritize. Ask yourself what is the most important thing? Sea views? Outdoor space? Distance to the beach? Room for guests?
Laura, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.
Gran Alacant Properties
Avenida de Noruega, 214
Centro Comercial de Carabassi
Tel. +34 966 699 441
Here is an interesting tourist video on Gran Alacant.
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