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Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He's travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert. Matthew writes for two sections of Spain Buddy: Moving to Spain and Spanish Football as well as providing Reviews


  1. Clive Read
    December 19, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    The World Health Organisation did not – would not – could not – have made your opening remarks. It is not their function. The WHO exists to coordinate information about illness and treatment among the countries involved. The comment is alleged to hae been made by a second-home resident of Javea, a PERSONAL OPINION, who happened to be the Chairperson of a WHO Committee. As a resident of Javea for 28 years, I do not recognise the ‘tourist guide’ information he gives as worthy of the description “Moving to Javea”. Most of my day is spent advising people about life in Javea and I established the Oasis Help Centre here in February, 2013, following 3 local suicides in 10 days.


    • Elle Draper
      December 19, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

      Thank you Clive for your feedback regarding the World Health Organisation reference. We have amended it at our end to reflect the possible inaccuracy. We were provided with that information by another long-term resident of Jávea, and included it in good faith.

      Regarding your comment, “As a resident of Javea for 28 years, I do not recognise the ‘tourist guide’ information he gives as worthy of the description ‘Moving to Javea'” – we would like to point you to the opening sentence that clearly states it is an overview. Obviously you can not include every snippet of information in a stub article. It may, however, be expanded upon in the future.

      Elle Draper (site owner)


  2. Matthew Hirtes
    December 23, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

    Hmm, interesting feedback, Clive. Of course there will be information which is of benefit to tourists as well as residents. Not really sure where you’re coming from with that jibe. Each sentence is relevant to the heading it’s placed under. Writing’s a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle, you’ve got to make each piece fit. Do you write yourself, Clive?


    • Clive Read
      December 23, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

      Yes, I do write on Javea matters, Matthew. 14 years as compiler, editor and publisher of the Cvic Society Bulletin, then 5 years with Javea Grapevine, and more recently (since the new owners of Javea Grapevine took it ONLINE) 6 months planting Javea Jeard.
      Hopefully, in 2014, I’ll get the final edit of my autobiography completed, for publication in May.


      • Matthew Hirtes
        December 23, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

        Looking forward to reading that, Clive. Kinda wrote my one already. Really appreciate your reply.


  3. Jill Butler
    January 3, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

    I absolutely love Javea. Moved here 10 years ago with my husband. He sadly passed away 4 years ago, but spent 6 and a half years here enjoying every second. Javea (and I am not looking at Javea through rose coloured spectacles) is a stunning area, tranquil and full of beauty. When you wake up to blue skies and sunshine almost 365 days of the year, this has to be good for your health and well being. On the down side, employment is mainly seasonal – and then those jobs that are available do not pay much, so life from that perspective can be quite difficult. From my personal point of view, I would not wish to live anywhere else. Javea has stunning views, wonderful restaurants, the people, on the whole are friendly and helpful and I look forward to waking up to enjoy another day in this “Jewel in the Crown.”


  4. Debra
    February 23, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

    Hi Jill, sorry for your loss! :( really like your comments regarding Javea, I’m really considering moving there in 3 years as I will be retiring. I would really love to speak to you more in detail. My friend Gabi is also going to retire in 11 years, but I need to look into buying property sooner.


  5. Susan Lagus
    August 29, 2014 @ 11:34 am

    Hi Jill, as Debra said, sorry for your loss. I know of a few of my parents’ friends who have moved abroad after retiring only to lose their partner shortly afterwards. I guess that would have happened if still at home but my observation is that you were obviously settled and happy enough to stay put rather than jump on the next plane back to England. That say’s a lot in itself. I assume therefore that making friends is not too difficult? My Spanish is not very good but I will get serious about understanding more. Do you speak Spanish or is it easy to get by with English? There are of course so many questions but I will not bombard you with those. I hope you are still happy and enjoying waking to a beautiful sunny day. Actually it’s a pretty nice one here today (I live in Exmouth, Devon) lol! Take care. S


    • Most Rev Dr Clive Read
      August 29, 2014 @ 11:59 am

      I have been counselling the bereaved for more than 25 years in Javea and introduced services of Thanksgiving, to replace the DOOM AND GLOOM that was the rule here when I arrived. I have done the same with Civic Ceremonies and Blessings of Marriage. I urge the recently bereaved NOT to make any decision of IMPORTANCE for 6 months.Children very often want the survivor to go back to England, or insist on visting with such frequency that the survivor is denied any opportunity of coming to terms with their loss. There is no ‘right’ or wron’ way to grieve and the loss of our loved-one NEVER GETS LESS, it is the fact that we learn to live with it that prevents us from being unfriended. Most of my advice and help is provided over the internet, with people I’ll probably never meet, I was so ill earlier in the year that I wanted to die. It gave me a different outlook when I found I hadn’t. Messages written to remain in confidence.


  6. Martyn Rollinson
    February 24, 2015 @ 2:19 pm

    I am looking a property (starting in a couple of weeks) with a view to moving to the Xabia area.

    It’s true to say that I am a little concerned about moving from the UK in that it is always difficult to build a completely new contact group.

    The more I research the more it appears that in the Xabia region there should be less of a problem making new friends as there is such a large expat population.

    Is there anyone out there who has made such a move recently? I would be most grateful to hear of your experiences (I guess I’m just seeking to reassure myself before making what is a life altering move).

    Many thanks



    • Mark
      April 4, 2015 @ 10:37 am

      I’m in the Same position as yourself looking to move in about June single don’t know a soul can’t wait to see the replys


      • Ros Hughes
        August 20, 2015 @ 11:31 am

        Hi .I too am thinking of moving to Javea.. Want to rent before I commit to buying.Am on my own but have a dog ,are they welcome in long term rentals and generally .I am late 50s .


        • Elle Draper
          August 20, 2015 @ 12:29 pm

          We can’t speak for all landlords, but generally they are welcome yes. You would need to check a specific property with the landlord or agent.
          Wise move to rent first – you’re doing the right thing.
          E x


  7. Clive Read
    April 4, 2015 @ 12:01 pm

    I have helped literally thousands of people with relocation advice since we moved here almost 30 years ago. I established Oasis Help Centre in Calle Toni Llido 5 (at the rear of La Caixa bank in the Port0 where i can be found daily between 10am and 2pm. I do not charge a fee. I also publish Javea Jeard monthly 4-colour magazine.


    • Jay
      April 25, 2015 @ 11:21 pm

      Hi Clive and everyone,

      I am looking for a few agents for long term rental in Javea, would you have any details?

      Prices appear to vary so much from what I have seen but I am looking for the best bunch to communicate with.

      Best Regards


  8. Clive Read
    April 25, 2015 @ 11:59 pm

    I own 2 properties but it suits us to rent where we live, in a duplex on the Eastern outskirt of Javea town, overlooking the Port and Mediterranean. We rented through Alan Trayling, at who is now with Jennifer Cunningham Estates but I am not sure of his ‘work’ eMail address. He has proved he is honourable in our dealings. 50% of his fee was charged to us and 50% to the owner – which I thought was fair,


  9. Carl Arkley
    May 13, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

    Hi there

    This is really a spur of the moment thing. I have just come back from Javea after delivering some goods to a person who my son has just employed as part of his online business (he has just picked up his family 5 weeks ago and took the plunge to move out of the UK). I just cant believe how fantastic and beautiful a town like Javea is as I have always been a little negative about Spain, but not anymore. I am so impressed that I want to “Do the same”, but will have to work for at least the next 10 years?
    I was looking to set a small music school for all expats teaching up to Grade 5 Clarinet and Saxophone, but I am not to sure if this is something that would be in demand by the ex pat community? Could you advise?

    Many many thanks for your time



    • Alan Gandy
      May 13, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

      Carl, it would be hard for us to comment with any authority not being based in the area ourselves. Perhaps someone from Javea might comment here, or you could try asking in a couple of the Javea based groups on Facebook.


  10. Clive Read
    May 13, 2015 @ 6:44 pm

    My family relocated to Javea almost 30 years ago and last week I received a visit and a signed letter from the Mayor, bringing me a Civic present, greetings on my birthday, and thanks for almost 30 years of service to the local community. I have (freely) advised thousands of families about relocation. A municipal Conservatory of Music was opened in Javea 3 or 4 years ago. It is a village (town) with huge population of people not born in Javea and a long music tradition. Being tone deaf – and even clapping out of tune – I cannot comment on the teaching possibilities. I publish JAVEA JEARD and will help you all I can, My eMail address is


  11. Martyn Rollinson
    August 20, 2015 @ 4:16 pm


    I’d be most interested in how you get on as I’m STILL researching a possible move to Xabia – and I’m single, and I have a dog (a very exuberant Weimaraner) and I’m in my late 50s, and I was considering renting first to see how I got along. I am fortunate enough to have a sister who already lives in Xabia.

    AND Mark

    Did you move to Xabia in June – and if so how is it going?

    AND Elle

    How did you find moving there and, again, how is it now?

    Many thanks all



    • Elle Draper
      August 20, 2015 @ 4:23 pm

      Hi Martyn – moving to Spain (we’re in Almeria after a few years in Lanzarote) was a piece of cake… but made much easier because we had some savings, limitless drive and enthusiasm, the support of family and friends and because we researched everything so thoroughly before making any major decisions. Next month will be nine years for us and I still love it here. It’s not all a bed of roses, but as long as you’re realistic then that won’t hurt you.
      You say your sister is already in the area you’re considering – that will be invaluable.
      Give your Weimeraner a tickle from me – stunning dogs!
      E x


  12. Neil and Louise
    August 29, 2015 @ 3:30 pm

    Some great advice on this web site and Xabia sounds a lovely place to retire. My wife and I have recently retired and are in are fifties and looking to up sticks and move to Spain. We have enjoyed 26 years of holidays in all of the Spanish resorts and love what Spain has to offer for a better life style. My wife has recently passed O level in Spanish in preparation for the move. We would also look to rent first but a private villa would be our preferred choice to buy. Can any one recommend what areas of Xabia we should be looking for this type of property and would we need a car. I presume most apartments are in the town area. Many thanks and look forward to hearing from you. Neil and Louise from Sunny Blackpool ( Some of the time ).


  13. Victoria
    December 3, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

    Hi Neil and Louise

    My hubby and I are also in our fifties and we are in the process of selling up and buying a villa in Javea January/ february 2016. We dont know anyone yet but are looking forward to making new friends and enjoying a new way of life.
    I was wondering if you have moved there yet? If so how are you both getting on?


  14. laura cameron
    January 7, 2016 @ 7:21 pm

    Hi there, my family and i are looking to relocate to Javea from Scotland in the near future. Has anyone here moved with young children (my son is 10 and daughter is 3) and if so did they adapt quite quickly? My husband is in the oil industry and is away for 6 months of the year so it is a big step for us to do this especially not knowing a single person and i will ultimately be quite alone for the other 6 months I’m hoping that it is a friendly and welcoming as i have read it is.


    • Elle Draper
      January 8, 2016 @ 12:13 pm

      Hi Laura. Don’t worry – there will be plenty of likeminded people about. Get yourself into some Javea Facebook groups and you’ll make friends in no time at all.
      Good luck with the move xx


    • Fiona MacNeil
      June 11, 2017 @ 4:01 pm

      Hi Laura, Did you make the move? I am in exactly the same situation as you. My husband is away 4 months at a time and we are planning to make the move in November this year! Any hints or tips you have would be welcome. Thanks Fiona


  15. laura cameron
    January 8, 2016 @ 2:42 pm

    Thanks Elle, i never even thought to search on Facebook! xx


    • Elle Draper
      January 8, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

      No worries. There are a couple of quite busy groups about. Just search for Javea on there and you’ll be set xx


  16. Thierry
    February 17, 2016 @ 9:47 am

    IS the town of javea very hilly?. I remember visiting a few years ago and that is my memory.

    Would like to retire soon and was wondering how flat it us really.


    May 4, 2016 @ 8:30 pm

    Hi i am starting a job in Javea town 1st June and need a long term let for myself and small dog, are there any private landlords as i cannot afford the high fees and deposits?


    • Elle Draper
      May 5, 2016 @ 11:19 am

      Hi Kerrie. Yes there are private landlords of course. However, you’ll still need to pay a deposit and a month in advance.
      There are a couple of decent Facebook groups that may be able to help… that are Javea themed. Search for “Javea” but also “Xabia” on Facebook.
      Good luck with the move!
      E x


  18. Herbert F. Osle
    May 9, 2016 @ 9:47 am

    Wow, I just read all these posts! Well I have never been to Javea but we are going there for the first time this week. Javea sounds like a great place and we are thinking of buying a small home there to retire.
    So, I would like to keep up with these posts since we don’t know ANYONE in Javea.

    thanks all

    PS: We are American but speak spanish fluently


  19. Terry Jones
    May 26, 2016 @ 1:50 pm

    Hi, have been reading your comments with interest.
    We are thinking go retiring to Spain, and Javea gets more and more appealing. Having owned 2 x holiday properties on Costa Del Sol for 30 years (now sold), I don’t really want to go return there to live.
    We want to come recce Javea, and advice would be greatly appreciated as to the nice areas. We like peace, but still near to all amenities, like any retiree I suppose. Thanks in advance.


  20. Zilma Adriana Osle
    June 13, 2016 @ 5:02 pm

    My name is Zilma Adriana Osle. I’m a 34 yr old, 6’1 female. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. My parents and I moved to France almost a yr a go. We are going to move to Javea sometime in September of this yr. I have a degree from Lynn University in Early Childhood Education and in Human Services. I speak fluent English, a bit of French, and Spanish. I’m looking for work and to make new friends in Spain. Does anyone know if there is any job avalibility in the education sector of the job market in Javea? Or, if anyone knows of any website that talks about jobs in education, babysiting, and/or taking care of dogs?


  21. Diana Osborne
    August 7, 2016 @ 8:43 pm

    Hi All
    interesting to read all the comments. we are in the process of purchasing our villa in javea Balcon al mar to be precise and sign for it on the 17th August !
    before choosing Javea we visited up and down the coast renting cars to make life easier etc as far as Gibralter but nothing compared to this stunning place. we just love the scenery and coast line and the fact it is so green. we stayed in b& b’s and rented apartments to get a real feel for the place.
    concerning agents there is many too many and some are just like second hand car salesmen (I hate them at the best of time) but we found a gem a German guy who works for Bartolome Bas near the Arenal no rubbish no cheesy sales pitch just honest opinions plus he introduced us to a notary a fraction of the cost of all of the others. I can only say they have been excellent and could highly recommend them.
    we are using our villa as a holiday home but are moving there full time Spring next year.
    we are looking forward to meeting other expats and to take up some charity/leisure activities I lived in France for 20 years so speak fluent french but no Spanish unfortunately not yet.
    I can highly recommend this beautiful part of the world if any one needs advice on buying don’t hesitate to get in touch and good luck !


    • Dora
      September 18, 2016 @ 11:25 pm

      Hi Diana,

      Congratulations on your purchase !

      My husband and I, 51,47 retired banker, just got back form fact finding trip in the area. We nearly bought a Villa 7 years ago which fell thro, being away in Asia now living in Switzerland only recently got the itch back od Spain. We like the house to use as holiday place and in 5 years + like to spend more time there. There are 3 places we liked in the end. 1. a house to be built on a new development 1k away form Aarenal beach, 2. a 30year old villa in Tosalet needs of renovation
      3. a villa 5 min walk to Old town also needs of renovation.
      really don’t know which one to go for….
      We would like to rent out the place when we are not using.
      not too sure how we could find a good builders and an archetect

      any advise how to decide on the area ?



    • alessandra
      September 18, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

      Hi Diana, I will move there in a few months, we have daughter of 6 years, could you suggest to me the best area of Javea to live …is it a safe place for children…is there crime? thank you


  22. Jamie
    August 24, 2016 @ 9:16 pm

    Hi Laura Cameron did you ever make the move ?
    The reason I ask is myself and my girl and 6 month old are wanting to make the move next year and I work offshore in oil industry.

    Cheers jamie


    • Fiona MacNeil
      June 11, 2017 @ 4:04 pm

      Hi Jamie – did you make the move? Myself, husband and two year old are in the same position and looking to move in November this year. Thanks Fiona


  23. Lionel Vélez
    August 28, 2016 @ 12:04 am

    Hello All, My name is Lionel and my wife Patricia and I are planning a move to Spain very soon. We have visited Spain in the past and we had the opportunity to spent a wonderful three weeks in Altea. We have been searching the real estate market in Altea and have a young Belgian fellow assisting us but we find the property values in Altea significantly higher than those found in Jávea for similar properties. We are Americans from Dallas, Texas, I am fluent in Spanish and my wife has a working knowledge of the Spanish language. I am a retired Commercial Banker and my wife is still working as a Doctor of physical Therapy with specialization in geriatric care. I still keep myself very occupied with a collection of classic cars and other active work. We would like some help in understanding the major differences between Altea and Jávea. How good is access to health care? How are the opportunities for cultural events? We would like to learn as much as we can about Jávea. What is the expat communities like?

    Look forward hearing from all of you.



  24. Clare farnaby
    October 3, 2016 @ 5:33 pm

    Hi everyone,
    Lovely reading all the helpful comments on here! We are also looking to locate to the area. My husband works in the oil industry and I have an 11 year old daughter. I have lived near Murcia for two and a half years but there is not a lot to do here for my daughter.

    We have visited the area and it looks fab, would anyone recommend which area is best for family’s.

    Many thanks


  25. Tanya Evans
    November 21, 2016 @ 4:43 pm

    Hi everyone
    Been reading all the comments that you have all entered and must admit that I have been looking forward to buying property in Javea for a long time and you are making me even more hungrier to do so and now it’s possible for me. I’m hoping to purchase a bungalow which would allow me to commute to Javea a month at a time 6 times a year. I have seen a property which I like and I’m a bit hesitant as the property requires some refurbishment.
    Normally this does not bother me back home but now I’m on my own as my husband died two years ago I’m getting a bit worried if the work would turn into a big money pit.
    What I’m trying to ask all is can anyone recommend a good decorator/kitchen fitter and what would a ball park cost of refurbishing a medium size kitchen, really any information would be of help. Regards Tanya


    • Elle Draper
      November 21, 2016 @ 4:47 pm

      Hi Tanya. We can’t recommend someone for you locally on a personal basis – but as we know that locals do read this… maybe someone else can jump in and help you.
      Elle xx


    • Melvyn
      August 14, 2017 @ 12:43 am

      Hi. I am a kitchen fitter of thirty years and I am moving to Javea in November. Our website is or



  26. Denise Johnson
    November 30, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

    Hello everyone really enjoyed reading all your posts ..have gathered lots of info from you all..My husband & I are both retired from London & have lived in Gran Alacant Alicante for almost 12 years..We would like to rent in Javea or Moraira with a view to either buying or long term rental…we would require a 2 bed a lounge with views … would be lovely…could be a tall order but you never know hopefully someone will read this n reply thank you in advance… you have any rental telephone numbers… or information for us…have joined a few groups on FB.. muchas gracias..xx Denise & Richard


  27. Alan
    December 6, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

    i dont know if the climate comments are correct or not, but Javea does offer a very mind climate even in the depths of winter you are normally only a few days away from fine weather and blue skies


  28. janet shaw
    February 9, 2017 @ 11:42 pm

    Hi All.I have been reading comments about javea and just wondered if anyone can help.We are looking to live in spain as a retired couple.We have been visiting the Orba village,as much as we like it thought it clicky with expats, could anyone comment on that? are we being fussy.We obviously need a community with expats to give us sound advice,but don’t want to become embroiled in people’s small mindedness.and clicky groups. We want to know if its worth having a villa with a pool (cost) IBI bills (cost)
    Are sespits a problem? Or are mains best.
    Many Thanks
    Vicky and Mike


  29. Joe Morrison
    March 10, 2017 @ 11:25 am

    Great reading all the comments, we are a young couple moving to Javea area, we have joined FB groups etc as the other comments suggested, however any offers of advice etc would be great, also looking to meet other ex-pats as we only know one or two people in the area.

    Any FB groups or forum sites we have missed?

    Joe & Martin


    • Fiona MacNeil
      June 11, 2017 @ 4:06 pm

      Hi Joe, Did you make the move to the area? we are looking to move in November so looking for any tips!


  30. Sandra watson
    August 3, 2017 @ 1:28 pm

    So many interesting comments from many many different people.
    I am a mature lady thinking of moving to Javea in late September for the Winter.{initially}and do not know anyone.
    There are so many areas in all parts of Spain one could move to it is mind boggling!!
    I will work hard on learning as much Spanish as I can before I go as i think it important to
    at least be a little conversant in the language.
    Does anyone know about reasonable long term apartments in the area for a single person?
    Also any other information would be much appreciated. For example getting to Javea from the airport..
    Thanks in advance


  31. Jason
    August 24, 2017 @ 11:27 pm

    Hi my and I are making the move to javea in a couple of months we have 2 young children 6 & 10 .
    Was wondering if any families have made the move and can give us any advice on settling in and making new friends


  32. Kaila
    October 21, 2018 @ 10:29 am

    Hi everyone. My partner and I have not been to Javea before but after extensive research and much mind changing, we think this looks like the best place for our eventual retirement. We are planning to visit on 27th December 2018 for a week, as my office is closed for Christmas – so I have enforced holiday that I would like to make the most of. We are hoping to look at some properties and get to know the area, but I wondered how open estate agents, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants are likely to be in the period.
    Also if anyone has bought a property there, how did you go about it? The viewing/inspection trips look like a hard sale to me, I think we would rather use a few local estate agents – any first hand advice on this would be great.
    Thanks in advance Kai


  33. Arthur Farley
    February 21, 2021 @ 7:54 pm

    This thread seems to have gone dark, but I wanted to get everyone’s thoughts on Xabia as a location for an American Expat family. My wife and I and our four year old son (who’s mildly on the autism spectrum). Will finding a suitable school situation be easy there? We love the location and the town. We’re planning to head over this summer to find a place to buy. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you for thoughts and consideration in advance. Arthur


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