Javea offers a lovely combination of classic Spanish culture that sits comfortably alongside a lively and thriving expat community. If you are looking for year-round sunshine and plenty of people who will gladly help newcomers settle, then this could well be your dream location to begin a new life in Spain. A little local knowledge and expertise can make a huge difference over those first few months – and you’ll have no trouble whatsoever making new friends in Javea.
Most of the expat community tends to be situated around Arenal, although those looking for a more ‘Spanish’ way of life will find plenty on offer around the port and old town. It is quite difficult to pigeonhole which parts of Javea are more ‘locals’ or ‘expats’ as the two really do blend seamlessly together. Those who wish to make plenty of new acquaintances in the expat community will have no problems whatsoever, but if you prefer a more classic Spanish lifestyle then you’ll also find it easy to make friends in other parts of the town.
Many new arrivals to Javea look to combine the two. Maria Gonazales of javeaestateagent.com says how the most common request is that they want a property near the beach yet they want to feel part of the Spanish community. You do not need to travel very far inland whatsoever to smaller communities such as Benitachell, Teulade, Jesus Pobre, and Gata to enjoy almost entirely Spanish speaking communities that will gladly welcome newcomers too.
You needn’t worry about a lack of choices when it comes to ways to enjoy your leisure time in Javea. Outdoors activities tend to be understandably popular for long parts of the year, with a thriving local sports scene that includes football, rugby, tennis tournaments, netball leagues, and many more. Seafarers may wish to look towards the local boating scene, or perhaps learn how to enjoy some scuba diving or sea fishing. Needless to say, there are also plenty of walking clubs that will help you orientate yourself with the beautiful surrounding coastal walks and countryside.
The social aspects of expat life also offer plenty of ways to help yourself feel at home in Javea. The social clubs run activities to match pretty much any interest whatsoever, with examples including handicrafts, languages, cinema, cookery, arts, and a host of charitable causes. Make sure to also check out the thriving bar-sports community if you’d prefer to add a little competition to your social life too! Pool, snooker, darts, cards, and table games all have multiple leagues and evenings to cater for all abilities!
Something you’ll soon realize after living in Javea for just a short while is how popular eating out tends to be. Prices are extremely reasonable even around the most popular and busy parts of Arenal beach. Head a little off the main roads and you’ll find excellent cafes and restaurants offering three-course lunchtime menus for rarely more than 10 Euro per person. It can quite realistically work out cheaper to eat – and it is certainly far less bother than needing to wash all those dishes!
The expat community is useful not just as a way of making friends but also as a handy resource for helping settle into a new country and a different lifestyle. All the people you meet will have also been brand new once upon a time, and they’ll be very willing to provide local tips and advice on all the little practicalities involved in finding your feet. Chances are you’ll need the services of a good Gestor/Notaria as early as possible for registering with a social security/NI number, property purchases, and setting up your finances and banking arrangements. It helps to have one who is well experienced in the local expat community, speaks fluent English, and can help with undertaking any special considerations to help you settle as quickly as possible.
If you are moving your family to Spain, then you’ll need to make some decisions regarding schooling. Younger children are often best served by entering the Spanish state schooling system – and you’ll be surprised at how quickly they’ll pick up the language. For older children, you may wish to consider the numerous private English-speaking schools around the Javea area. Be aware that these can cost up to 10,000 Euros/year although there are some more affordable options. As with the UK, the private schools tend to deliver better grades than public alternatives, but if younger children may find the experience of learning fluent Spanish in the national system a more advantageous long-term skill.
As for employment opportunities – this will be a matter to consider unless you are lucky enough to enjoy a good pension or retain private business interests in the UK. Wages tend to be lower than at home but the cost of living more than makes up for this. You’ll find plenty of English-speaking positions (many expat companies do not require Spanish fluency) across industries that work most specifically for the expat community. Learning Spanish is a good idea and once again you’ll be surprised how quickly you can learn and improve with even just a little effort. Doing so will help open up many more employment opportunities in Javea and beyond.
If you are considering opening your own business, then the good news is that many expats manage to do so very successfully – but be warned that it often involves plenty of hard work and perseverance! An understanding of the Spanish accountancy and taxation system is essential as is a degree of ‘local knowledge’ (a good Notaria can really help here). Those who manage to set up a successful company in Javea usually incorporate experience and skills from their UK career – although it is not impossible to still do well at something entirely new providing you have the dedication. There are few more hospitable places than Javea to take a plunge into the unknown – and who cares if you are working many hours a week when the climate is so enjoyable and the social scene so active!
Many people settle in Javea successfully and it is perfectly plausible to expect to have a fully integrated lifestyle on the roll within just a few months after arriving. So why not join those who are already making the most of the best Spain has to offer?