“Jávea is sublime, immense, the best I know how to paint. It surpasses everything.”
This is how Joaquin Sorolla described the mountains and sea in an unknown fishing village on the Costa Blanca sometime around 1894. These words written to Sorolla’s wife could have been lost to history – except that Sorolla soon became Spain’s most famous living painter, and his love of Jávea turned it into one of Spain’s most sought-after destinations.
Jávea today is home to one of Spain’s most international communities, complete with top international schools, expat-focused shops and views to pack-up-and-leave for. Yet it’s relatively small population of 24,000 and restriction of high-rises helps it remain below city status and avoid the mass tourism of destinations like Benidorm, some 40km south.
In this article, we at Blanca International talk through the 5 reasons that explain why Jávea is an ideal location for expat families moving to Spain.
The 2011 landmark census from Spain’s national institute of statistics (INE) found the province of Alicante to be Spain’s most international, with over 70,000 foreign residents. This should come as no surprise – Alicante is home to the stunning Costa Blanca coastline. But it’s interesting that 4 of the top 5 most international towns in Spain were concentrated in the northern Costa Blanca region.
Jávea’s neighbour of Teulada-Moraira had the most proportion of foreign residents, followed by neighbouring Calp and Alfas del Pi, with Jávea in 5th place. Recent figures from 2019 show a similar status quo. Five of Spain’s most international towns today remain in Alicante, including the villages of Poble Nou de Benitachell and Lliber, next door to pricier Jávea.
According to 2019 figures, there are 4,544 UK residents in Jávea, 865 Germans, 845 Moroccans, 657 Colombians, 407 French, 357 Venezuelans and 269 Russians.
Jávea’s status and natural beauty have made it a particular destination for well-heeled expat families. According to study from Idealista, Jávea was found to have the most exclusive road in the entire Valencian Community. Pic Tort, which overlooks the Playa Granadella, has an average house price of €3,080,409.
This is about half the average price for a house on Spain’s most expensive road in Mallorca. However, Spain’s Balearic Islands are known to have far higher living costs and property prices than mainland Spain.
Jávea, it appears, is a perfect balance for many wealthy expats.
For a town with just over 20,000 population, Jávea is extremely close to some of the best international schools in Spain. The nearest school is the Lady Elizabeth in neighbouring Benitachell. This top international school on the Costa Blanca was recently acquired by the prestigious Laude network of 11 private schools in Spain.
The British School of Alicante, ranked by Forbes as one of Spain’s top 50 international schools, is also not far out of town. One issue that expat families can face when moving to Jávea is the predominance of tuition in Valenciano at local schools. However, the high calibre international schools in the region provide greater language options for new families.
Jávea’s cove of La Granadella is always ranked as one of the most stunning in Spain – for example here in National Geographic, here in Forbes and here in El Pais. Granadella has also been made famous by top feature films like The Cold Light of Day in 2012. Tom Holland and crew also descended on Jávea in 2021 to film Unchartered.
Indeed, everyone in Jávea will have a story of meeting so-and-so actor from such-and-such film.
Jávea’s wealth of beaches is due to its location on a headland jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. (It’s the closest point on the Spanish mainland to Ibiza, in fact.) Tall headlands on either side of the bay of Jávea make for a maze of coves and pebble beaches, many of which cannot be reached by land.
And in the bay itself, Jávea has the best sandy beach (the Arenal) on the northern Costa Blanca.
Jávea’s official website for tourism (xabia.org) makes a bold claim: having the world’s second best microclimate. This achievement stems from a UNESCO report in the 1990s that evaluated unique factors in Jávea’s weather. For example, Jávea is one of Spain’s most northern regions to enjoy an annual median temperature of 20-22.5°C.
Heat maps from Spain’s Atlas Nacional also show how maximum temperatures never hit above the high 30s, unlike more interior parts of eastern Spain. Likewise, thanks to a large mountain to the north (the Montgo) winter temperatures never fall too low either. (It snows once in a generation.)
As if that wasn’t enough, Jávea is also one of the greenest parts of the dry Costa Blanca.
Whereas annual rainfall further south in Alicante and Elche cities can be as low as 200mm annually – Javea enjoys well over 800mm. According to xabia.org, this is the very origin of the word ‘Jávea’ coming from the Moorish ‘xabiga’ or ‘well’.
If you’re thinking of moving to Spain and buying a house in Jávea, you can view exclusive property listings at Blanca International. Our international team can speak to you in your native tongue and help you find your dream home in Jávea as soon as possible. If you’re still at the inquiry stage, why not rent a car in Jávea with Blanca Cars and explore the area?