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Property in Spain: 11 towns that will make you consider moving to inland Valencia

Graham Hunt, property expert based in Valencia gives us the lowdown on surrounding towns and scores them according to their desirability.

Property in Spain: 11 towns that will make you consider moving to inland Valencia
The small town of Chulilla inland from Valencia. Photo: Roberto García Ruiz/Flickr

There are lots of very good reasons to live in the city of Valencia, but if you want more space for your money, to be closer to the countryside or to live within a more villagely community, then it’s worth considering a property inland from the coast but still within easy access to the airport and beaches.  

the truth is that once you get inland and away from the coast prices are hugely affordable for many more people to get exactly what they want.

This article explores some favourites and scores them looking at the distance and time into Valencia, what your money buys you in those areas for differing types of property and giving each town a mark out of ten based on the following criteria:

  • Location
  • The Look of the Town
  • Affordability
  • Accessibility
  • Selection of Properties
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events)

Each town or village will be marked to give it a final score. Obviously the smaller the village the less the entertainment score may be but it may also get a higher mark for the look of the town. The criteria for selection of the towns and villages was that they are outside the ring around Valencia made by the A7 Motorway as it swings inland away from the city and the sea, that the towns and villages had to have some inherent value or attraction and are all 45 minutes or less from Valencia airport.

La Eliana


All photos: https://valencia-property.com/

Along with Betera probably the most expensive of the areas we are going to look at being just 15-20 minutes from the centre of the city of Valencia and 10-15 minutes to the airport. You can still get a very decent three bedroom apartment in the heart of La Eliana for around 120k but villa prices start at around 280k currently and you may need to do some work on them at that price.

Regarding where it is La Eliana scores highly as it is near enough to Valencia but far enough out to get some peace and quiet, plots also tend to be a decent size for outside space considerations. It is a good looking town with an excellent park in the centre and plenty of palm fringed roads around. Prices are higher than most of the competitors here so the affordability score is lower but it is extremely accessible having a metro station near to the centre of the town, bus routes into Valencia and a motorway on your doorstep but generally far enough away to not hear it.

There is usually a great selection of properties but there has been less available post lockdown as everything at a good price sold. In terms of entertainment it’s excellent, fast internet everywhere for your home entertainment, plenty of licensed premises, good independent shops and lots of food choices. You even have outdoor summer cinema and swimming pool in the park. All in all a great package if you can afford it.

Our marks out of ten for La Eliana are below.

  • Location: 8
  • The Look of the Town: 8
  • Affordability: 5
  • Accessibility: 9
  • Selection of Properties: 8
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 9
  • Total: 47/60

See a selection of La Eliana properties here

Naquera

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Calderona mountains, Naquera is a great base for cycling, walking and other outdoor pursuits and also has a small but thriving gastrobar scene and even a local brewery for craft beers.

Naquera scores well for location as it is just 15-20 minutes to the beach and 20-25 minutes into both the city and the airport. It loses a point for the look of the town because of two factors, an abandoned building project as you go past the Consum supermarket into town and a space where the school used to be in the centre of the town next to the unfinished auditorium (The last financial crisis hit hard).

Regarding affordability Naquera scores well with two and three bedroom apartments in buildings with shared pools and even tennis courts around the 100k mark and villas on Estates surrounding the town starting from 130k upwards. Larger villas of 5 bedrooms and above can be found for the same price as a three bedroom villa in La Eliana at 300k.

Naquera loses a point through it not being on the metro line but the buses do connect up with the metro in Betera. The selection of properties is usually good even though again after lockdown most availability was snapped up raising prices somewhat for what was left. There are a decent number of bars and restaurants including the epic Pastoret bar with it’s metre long sandwiches at giveaway prices and a decent selection of local butchers, bakers, laundrettes etc for a small town.

Our marks out of ten for Naquera are below:

  • Location: 8
  • The Look of the Town: 8
  • Affordability: 7
  • Accessibility: 7
  • Selection of Properties: 8
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 7
  • Total: 45/60

See a selection of Naquera properties here.

Villamarchante

We are developing more of a soft spot for Villamarchante recently as the town itself improves its offer of shops, bars and facilities and we get to know the lovely surrounding area better.

The development of the Turia river park all the way into Valencia, rideable with your bike, and the excellent walking routes around the town make it more of a liveable place these days.

It scores a little lower on location as it may take you just over half an hour into the city and 25-30 mins to the airport and if you come into the town from the south then the trading estate isn’t the prettiest.

However the entrances from Lliria, Ribarroja and Pedralba are all quite pretty. There are buses into the city but no metro, however you can find good road links to everywhere around and Valencia city. You are also near to the bike racing track at Cheste.

Apartments in Villamarchante are extremely cheap and there are plenty of town houses available for renovation usually too both well under the 100k mark.

Villas outside of the town can be excellent value with recent sales from 90-185k for four and five bedroom properties and you can even pick yourself up an equestrian centre for just 220k. There tends to be a good selection available too. The town itself is improving all the time in terms of entertainment with an excellent sports centre and town hall square for drinks, plenty of local fiestas and the linking up of the riverbed park with the town.

Our marks for Villamarchante are as follows:

  • Location: 7
  • The Look of the Town: 7
  • Affordability: 8
  • Accessibility: 6
  • Selection of Properties: 8
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 6
  • Total: 42/60

See a selection of Villamarchante Properties here.

Chelva

Chelva is a wonderful and pretty looking village 45 minutes inland from Valencia along the CV35 motorway. It has a Roman Aqueduct, a lovely riverside walk and the “Ruta de las Aguas” with fountains springing up all around the village where you can find a Moorish part of town, a Jewish quarter and a Christian part. It’s a small town and gets full of walkers, cyclists and outdoor sports enthusiasts at the weekend but it’s also a great place to live if you like the quiet life.

Being more remote from the city Chelva loses a few points on location and accessibility is one main road in and out and infrequent buses from the city. It’s extremely affordable with both apartments and townhouses available from 30k requiring some work at times but there are not many villas available outside the town. There are quite a few nice bars and restaurants but not too many shops apart from for the necessities. It does have broadband cable internet throughout the town though so plenty of home entertainment available.

Our marks for Chelva are as follows:

  • Location: 7
  • The Look of the Town: 9
  • Affordability: 9
  • Accessibility: 5
  • Selection of Properties: 6
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 5
  • Total: 41/60

See a selection of Chelva properties here.

Chulilla

Chulilla is similar to Chelva in the sense that it is around 45 minutes from the city and despite the fact there are two ways in and out the location loses a few points. It does however get points for beauty and the look of the town. Chulilla is an area dominated by climbers in the Gorge of the Bridges towards the dam at Loriguilla. It’s a great walk and accessible from the town by the Blue Lagoon. The whole surrounding area is lovely and there used to be a Spa, now abandoned, which brought work into the town. The town is overlooked by the ruins of its castle on one side and you can walk up to a cross on the other to get a view over the whole town.

Property in Chulilla is a bit weird. Apartments and townhouses are extremely affordable whereas because of the limited number of villas available prices for these tend to remain higher than you would think for an area 45 minutes from the city. There are basic shops and facilities and the town tries to attract people in at the weekends, at least pre-pandemic, with events.

Our marks for Chulilla are as follows:

  • Location: 7
  • The Look of the Town: 8
  • Affordability: 8
  • Accessibility: 5
  • Selection of Properties: 7
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 5
  • Total: 40/60

See a selection of Chulilla properties here.

Serra

Serra is effectively two places, the town of Serra nestled into the mountains and the gated estate of Portacoeli between Betera and Olocau where a good proportion of the population live. The town itself is steep, allowing lovely views over the mountains that surround it. Plenty of walks and mountain bike trails around for enjoying.

No metro but a bus links Serra with Naquera and Betera metro station. There is one road in from Naquera which becomes a stunning mountain road over to Segorbe and Altura along with a turn off to take you to Valencia’s Pride Rock at El Garbí. There are a selection of local shops and small supermarkets along with a few bars and restaurants including some excellent Sunday paella places in the mountains.

Property in the area is very affordable with apartments from 30k to modernise and villas from around 100k upwards around the town. On the Portacoeli estate property prices are higher with smaller villa starting at around 200k as it is much nearer to Valencia city.

Our marks for Serra are as follows:

  • Location: 7
  • The Look of the Town: 8
  • Affordability: 7
  • Accessibility: 6
  • Selection of Properties: 8
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 6
  • Total: 42/60

See a selection of Serra properties here.

Lliria

Lliria is the main centre of the Turia valley and covers a very large area too towards Casinos on the Western side, Olocau on the Northern side and Villamarchante and Benaguasil to the South. You can find yourself in Lliria quite often doing official paperwork at times at the tax office, social security, hospital and electricity company. To be fair it’s not the prettiest of towns despite the Roman remains and the Monastery on the hill but it is let down by the outskirts at times as you go into the town.

The metro line from Valencia ends at Lliria and the CV35 motorway gives easy access into Valencia. There are loads of shops and facilities and Lliria is known as the town of the Music having two competing Brass Bands. There is a more than decent sports centre, a lovely park with restaurant and barbecue areas, a good selection of restaurants and cafes and plenty of large shops. The centre is cute and the roman remains are impressive.

As Lliria is a bit further inland than Betera, Ribarroja and La Eliana it is much more affordable. However, prices of villas vary wildly as there are 83 estates that belong to Lliria and you can be up to 10km away from the town in a really rustic area and still be in Lliria. You can always find a huge selection of property in and around Lliria. Villas start from around 90k and can go up to 500k depending on the estate, proximity to the town and size of villa. Apartments start from around 50k and townhouses in the upper part of town are often under 50k but need extensive renovation.

Our marks for Lliria are as follows:

  • Location: 8
  • The Look of the Town: 5
  • Affordability: 8
  • Accessibility: 7
  • Selection of Properties: 7
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 7
  • Total: 42/60

See a selection of Lliria properties here.

Ribarroja

Ribarroja is a town with two separate areas. On one side of the river you have the main town and the metro line taking you very quickly to the airport and then onwards into Valencia. On the other the expensive luxury villas which seem to be more a continuation of the high end La Eliana villas.

Ribarroja has a lovely park with a mini railway for the kids and a cafe/bar for the adults, plenty of cafes and restaurants including one of those specialist huge bocadillo bars, El Instituto, a decent selection of shops and easy access to Valencia via a back road past the airport and also easy access to the A7 Barcelona-Alicante motorway.

Property in Ribarroja is a bit variable. You can find excellent apartments from around 60k and townhouses from 100k needing some work but villas tensd to start at 200k on the Masia de Traver estate and you can double that for the high end properties near to La Eliana although there are areas outside the town where you can get villas for around 300k

Our marks for Ribarroja are as follows:

  • Location: 7
  • The Look of the Town: 8
  • Affordability: 7
  • Accessibility: 6
  • Selection of Properties: 6
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 6
  • Total: 40/60

See a selection of Ribarroja properties here.

Olocau

Set in a natural bowl at the start of a winding mountain road to Gatova, Olocau is a stop off point for cyclists at the weekend and a lovely little village to live in. The population is under 1000 but swells to quite a few more in the summer when Valencians look for a cooler countryside area to spend their summer nights. Access is via a single road leading from the junction of Betera and Lliria over a hill overlooked by a neolithic fort.

Olocau doesn’t have many shops as the town is so small but it has three or four bars, a couple of general stores, a bank, pharmacy, medical centre and very good sports centre.

Olocau property is a selection of townhouses and apartments starting at around 30k for something to do up. However, it also has a couple of estates outside such as La Lloma where you can find villas from around 150k.

Our marks for Olocau are as follows:

  • Location:8
  • The Look of the Town: 8
  • Affordability: 7
  • Accessibility: 5
  • Selection of Properties: 6
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 5
  • Total: 39/60

See a selection of Olocau properties here.

Pedralba

Pedralba is a pretty village with an excellent selection of wines made there. It is a traditional working village with grapes, almonds, artichokes and of course orange groves surrounding it. The river Turia flows by its side and it even has a street with canals flowing outside the front doors.

Pedralba is approached via a really nice road from Villamarchante or another from Lliria and you carry on further inland towards Bugarra from there. On entering the town you can find a couple of popular bars for cyclists and walkers and there are plenty of outdoor pursuits areas surrounding the town. You can find lots of stables and horse riding tracks around too. Accessibility is good but you will take 30-40 minutes to get into the city or to the airport.

Being small the town has a limited number of shops but it does have a cooperative where they sell the locally produced wine and other products. There are a lot of small shops for the basics and a decent selection of bars and cafes in the town. It also has a good sports centre just outside on the road to Bugarra.

There are a lot of townhouses in Pedralba and a limited number of apartments. You can find plenty of villas outside the town in the surrounding fields and oftentimes they have plenty of land with them to make your own smallholding. Prices of apartments and townhouses start at around 30k for places requiring a lot of work. Villas off-grid can be found from 60k and villas connected to the mains from around 90k upwards.

Our marks for Pedralba are as follows:

  • Location: 6
  • The Look of the Town: 7
  • Affordability: 8
  • Accessibility: 6
  • Selection of Properties: 6
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 5
  • Total: 38/60

See a selection of Pedralba properties here.

Betera

Betera is at the end of the metro line to the North West of Valencia and is a large town of around 20,000 people. Betera has an impressive 27 hole golf course at El Escorpión, the best course in the area without doubt, and villas to match it dotted around the course.

Betera has a couple of large supermarkets, plenty of other shops and a large selection of bars, cafes and restaurants with many gastrobars being found on the Alameda which is used as a place for the weekly market and the summer fair.

Accessibility is impressive coming from the CV35 motorway junction at San Antonio as you drop down into the town and can see the Castle at the top of the town and the mountains of the Sierra Calderona in the background. Coming from Rocafort it’s not so impressive as you skirt the metro line and go past building supply merchants that line the road before getting to a backlog at the traffic lights by the station (This will change soon with the northern ring road to Naquera) The road from Naquera is lovely from the North and there is a back road to La Pobla de Vallbona through the orange groves that is really nice too.

Property in Betera varies from apartments starting around 75k to townhouses at around 100k. Villas outside the town vary starting at around 180k for older properties up to 1 million and more for high end modern villas around the golf course.

Our marks for Betera are as follows:

  • Location: 8
  • The Look of the Town: 6
  • Affordability: 6
  • Accessibility: 7
  • Selection of Properties: 7
  • Entertainment (Shops, bars, restaurants, events): 7
  • Total: 41/60

See a selection of Betera properties here.

Conclusion: What’s the Best Place Then?

There’s one thing which is clear. With our marking system La Eliana is the best place to live with 47 points. However, your budget may not get there because it’s more expensive than many of the other places.

Naquera is the closest with 45 points and has the advantage of being much more affordable. Bear in mind though that every town or village has its own advantages and disadvantages and certain places will suit certain people better.

Graham Hunt is a real estate agent and relocation expert based in Valencia. Originally from just outside Liverpool he came to Spain as a student and never left. Read more at his blog or follow him on Twitter.

If you want him to show you around some properties in Valencia, drop him a line.

And if you live in the area and you think there is another town that should be included on the list, let us know in the comments below!

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PROPERTY

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

If you get locked out, have a break-in or need to change or fix the door lock at your home in Spain, here are the rates and advice you need before calling a Spanish locksmith (cerrajero).

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

Like anywhere, locksmiths are generally expensive and the price can vary greatly depending on the service you need and where you are.

It also depends on when you need them, as it’ll cost much more to call them out on a Saturday night than a Monday morning, for example.

Nor would it cost the same to open your front door as it would a reinforced security door.

But locksmiths don’t just make copies of keys and bail you out when you’re stuck outside your flat.

They also offer a whole host of different services including, but not limited to, opening safes, creating master keys, installing security doors, anti-drill doors, cutting specialist locks that reject copied keys, and even unlocking the boot of your car.

How much does a locksmith cost in Spain?

Given all these variables, the price can range massively.

According to Cronoshare, the average price for a nationwide call out in Spain can start from €80 anywhere up to €400.

On average, for a basic service, you can expect to pay anywhere between €40-€70 an hour for the labour, with the price of changing or installing a basic lock anywhere between €80-€200. 

For basic door openings, it depends on the situation you find yourself in: for doors locked with a key, which is a more complex task, prices average around €200, and for doors that are jammed or slammed shut, slightly cheaper in the €80-€100 range.

For an armoured or security door, prices can start at around €300.

In short, a general rule is that the more complex the task is, the higher the prices.

And as always, prices can vary depending on where you are in Spain, the quality of the locksmith, the time of the day and week you need his or her services, and if its a public holiday or not. 

So, as always, compare prices to try and find the most economical solution without skimping on quality.

As such, the following rates are estimations taken from average prices from locksmith.

Weekend/holiday rates

Where prices can really start to add up, however, is when you have an emergency situation requiring a locksmith’s assistance at the weekend, on a public holiday, or outside of normal working hours.

And if you live in Spain, you probably know there’s quite a few of those days throughout the year.

If you really need a cerrajero on a public holiday or during non-working hours (usually defined as anything between 8pm-8am) prices can reach €300 or €500 due to the fact you’ll have to cover the cost of travel, which starts from around €40 plus the increased rate.

Then you must also include the price of labour to the flat rate, which is usually somewhere between €40 and €70 an hour regardless of when you call them out.

Key vocabulary 

We’ve put together some of the basic vocabulary you might need if you find yourself needing a locksmith while in Spain.

el cerrajero – locksmith

la llave – the key

la llave de repuesto – the spare key

la puerta – the door

la cerradura – the lock

la bisagra – the hinge

día festivo – public holiday

cambio de bombín – change of cylinder lock

puerta blindada – armoured door

coste de mano de obra – labour costs

quedarse afuera – get locked out 

puerta cerrada de un portazo – door slammed shut

puerta cerrada con llave – locked door

Tips relating to choosing a good locksmith in Spain 

If you’ve just started renting a new place or have bought a property, it’s advisable to change the lock as you don’t know who has keys to your front door. If you’re a tenant, try to negotiate this with your landlord as it’s in both of your interests that only you two have keys to the property.

If there has been a burglary in your property while you’re living in it and there’s no sign of forced entry, then there’s a very big chance that the burglars had a copy of your keys, and you should definitely change the locks. 

If you’ve lost your keys and you think it happened close to your home, again it’s advisable for you to change the locks.

One of the best ways to avoid being locked out and having to cough up a hefty sum is to give a spare set to someone that you trust that lives in your town or city in Spain. 

When it comes to choosing a locksmith in Spain, you should make sure he or she is a reputable one. Asking friends and family first can be your first port of call.

If not, make sure you read reviews online if available to get any insight beforehand.

In order to avoid any nasty surprises, ask them on the phone for a budget (presupuesto) for all the costs attached to their services before accepting.

Be wary of cerrajeros that automatically want to change the whole lock when a simpler and less costly option is possible. 

Usually they should offer you a contract for you to read carefully before signing. It should include a three-month guarantee for the potential new lock or at least a breakdown of the costs.

Make sure that they are not charging you an excessively high price if it’s an emergency, as this is not actually legal.

There’s also asking them to prove their accreditation with the Unión Cerrajeros de Seguridad (UCES).

Weekend and holiday rates can be higher nonetheless, so consider your options and if it’s worth staying with a friend or family member for a night to save some money. A trustworthy and honest cerrajero will let you know about the money you could save if you choose to wait as well.

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