MORAIRA Now you have arrived! This ‘Jewell in the Costa Blanca crown’ has grown from a tiny fishing village into the most appealing and unspoilt town on the Costa Blanca. This has been achieved largely by strict planning controls regarding build density, reserved green areas and a limit of just four residential storeys for apartments which has created a distinctive ‘low-rise’ character to the town and surrounding area. The demand for property here remains strong and consistent and, given the very finite supply, and almost non-existence of building plots for additional development – this is very much blue chip investment territory! Geographically, Moraira is similar to Benissa inasmuch as it too has a typically Spanish inland twin town – Teulada, which is linked as one town in administrative terms. Also like Benissa, Moraira’s terrain is undulating hillside and slopes, with a broad valley sweeping through Teulada to meet the Mediterranean at Moraira’s shore. This valley adds further to Moraira’s distinctive character as, for several kilometres, this valley bottom consists of protected vineyards which extend down to the coastal road in the middle of town. The gentle slopes to both sides of this valley cradle a deceptive number of private villas, nestling between the pine trees and palms which help maintain a verdant and mellow feel to this residential landscape. Apart from the lack of high rise, the other feature lacking in Moraira is any significant number of hotels. This again, adds to Moraira’s special ‘feel’ – not only in structural terms – but the added bonus is that virtually, the only tourists who stay in Moraira are either villa owners or those privately renting villas; this also means that Moraira has a more stable, year-round population – not overrun in summer, not deserted in the winter. The quaint and typically Spanish original village lies between the marina and fishing harbour with its adjacent daily fish market, and the partially pedestrianised village centre, with its old church surrounded by pavement cafes and bars and a fine range of cosmopolitan shops and restaurants, to suit all tastes and budgets. Moraira has more than its share of beaches: sandy ones, together with many smaller pebble or rock beaches. Between the marina and the Cap D’or headland is the small bay of El Portet, with several small bar/restaurants along its small promenade. A nice refinement currently underway in Moraira is the project to remove all those unsightly electricity pylons, telegraph poles and their attached cables and replace them underground. Moraira-Teulada’s ajuntamiento (local council) is (like the town itself) of a very cosmopolitan makeup, and the income from the very modest local rates is used very effectively. Given the almost negligible instances of crime or vandalism, locally, we only seem to have to pay for things once here – nothing seems to be destroyed or stolen.