Location Spotlight – El Pinar de Campoverde
El Pinar de Campoverde is an area that is very close to my heart. My parents bought a house in the village in 1980 and it has been either my home or my second home throughout my life.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to spend my summers in Campoverde growing up and to meet friends of all nationalities, many who are still in the village or still visit regularly. It seems that once you find yourself in ‘El Pinar’, part of you will never leave.
So what is it that makes El Pinar de Campoverde so special in the eyes of so many?
Pinar de Campoverde is situated in the municipality of Pilar de la Horadada, the southernmost municipality in the Alicante region. There are obvious logistical benefits of its location. The village is almost equidistant from Murcia and Cartagena cities and less than a hour from Alicante. There is easy access to the motorway and the airports in Alicante and San Javier and it is only a short drive through the fields to Balsicas where you can connect to an international railway network. Beyond the practicalities however, the village’s geography makes it a stunning place to live.
Spread on the hillsides surrounding a series of ancient dry riverbeds and sat alongside the Rio Seco nature reserve, Pinar de Campoverde’s elevated position not only gives many of the properties and businesses in the area stunning views over vast orange groves and pine forests to the north and west, but also across the coastal plains to the mediterranean and Mar Menor seas to the south east. From as far away as Cabo de Palos at the south end of the Mar Menor, you can still see the small white dots of the villas perched on the hillside. Of course El Pinar benefits from the regions 300+ days of sunshine every year and the W.H.O. endorsed climate, but also its altitude, about 400m above sea level, means that throughout the hot summer months the village is cooled by a welcome breeze. It is this climate that has meant that the village has always been a popular summer and weekend destination for families from Madrid and Murcia, many of whom have second homes there.
This leads me to the next key attraction of El Pinar de Campoverde.
While throughout the coast of Spain one tends to find enclaves of different nationalities, I have always felt that El Pinar de Campoverde has a great balance of different nationalities living together. While it is true to say that the British population grew substantially in the 2000’s when the village was extended, there are still many Spanish, both permanently resident and with second homes, as well as Germans, Scandinavians and Dutch living together, all welcoming and friendly with one another. The village has a true sense of community.
Looking back to my childhood, the roots of this community are clear. I remember Campoverde when there were no real roads, the water would be cut off regularly and meals in the local restaurant would often, unexpectedly, have to be eaten by candlelight when the electric was cut off across the village. The road from Pinar to Pilar, the neighbouring town was little more than a dirt track. There was only one telephone box and nobody had landlines in their homes. When my parents went away on holiday leaving me and my brothers with our grandparents (they deserved the occasional break!) we were under instructions to call the Guardia Civil if we needed them. Pinar de Campoverde was an isolated place, if you needed medical attention it was effectively a long way away.
Many of the expatriates who had retired there decided to deal with this problem themselves. They bought CB radios so that they could communicate throughout the village and then, going one step further, they all chipped in to buy an old estate car which they equipped as a makeshift ambulance.
I only remember the ambulance being used once, a chap had a nasty fall while carrying a glass on his way up the steps from the sports centre and was bleeding heavily. The ambulance sprung to his assistance and he made a full recovery. Who knows, without that sense of community the story may have ended far worse. (We now have medical facilities in the village and access to the medical centre in Pilar is via a fast well maintained road).
Today the village has an active “Association de Vecinos” (neighbours association) and neighbourhood watch, as well as many other clubs and societies. There are lots of events through out the year in the village square and in an echo of the days of the “ambulance” the villagers recently clubbed together with a series of events to raise money to buy two defibrillators to be made available to the public.
I think one of the most obvious and heartwarming demonstrations of the village’s strong sense of community is found by simply sitting and having a coffee in one of the cafes by the square. Children of all nationalities can be seen playing in the square while one (and often not all) of the mums or dads watch on while chatting to friends. Parents feel safe knowing that there are always familiar neighbours there to watch out and make sure that all of the children are safe. It’s a way of life that is sadly lost in so many other communities across Spain and the UK. Indeed it can be quite difficult to pop to the bakery for a loaf of bread without finding yourself sat having a drink with whoever you have bumped into. Sometimes the bread never makes it home.
I have incidentally mentioned some of the facilities in Pinar de Campoverde, but what else has the area got to offer?
Things have moved on a great deal since the days of the single phone box and candle lit diners (in a restaurant ironically called “La Luz”). While the development started life as a urbanisation (ie it was managed separately to the town hall), in the 90’s it was incorporated into the municipality.
As a result the infrastructure has improved dramatically, I can honestly say it is one of the best kept areas I have seen, with carefully maintained public areas and flowerbeds, fresh tarmac on the roads, even the brickwork pavements are strangely impressive. Of course now there are landlines throughout and multiple high speed internet and international TV providers.
The village has a number of bars and restaurants ranging from traditional Spanish (The Meson Rio Seco serve great rice dishes) through to the obligatory Irish bar! There is rich and varied entertainment from flamenco festivals in the plaza to the ever popular rock nights in Maggie O’ Brien’s.
The village also has (amongst other businesses) a medical centre, dentist, private doctor, two pharmacies, library, function room, two (small) supermarkets, vets, bank, hardware store, and a public sports centre with a swimming pool and multi-use sports pitches and a church.
Of course the main town of Pilar de la Horadada is only a short drive away with everything you would expect from a significant town, including what is possibly the most impressive sports centre on the South Costa Blanca. A short drive further and you reach the sandy beaches of Mil Palmeras and Torre de La Horadada with its sports marina.
The 18 hole PGA Lo Romero golf course is only 5 minutes from the village and of course, being on the border of the Alicante and Murcia regions there are countless more golf courses within easy reach. You only have to go a short way inland to find adventure centres and riding schools.
Pinar de Campoverde has two very distinct areas, The original part of the village, often referred to as “Old Campoverde” makes up around 50% of the properties but covers about 70% of the land. The bulk of the properties in the “old part” are large detached villas siting on 1000m2 + private plots. Many of the roads are cul-de-sacs meaning that the residential areas are private and peaceful. The elevated position of the village, and the green zones which are interwoven within the village means that many of the properties have stunning views and plenty of space between neighbours.
The newer part of the village, largely constructed in the 2000’s, contains a variety of villas and small apartment blocks, while the plots are inevitably smaller the properties are varied and attractive and require less maintenance than those in the older part. Much of the area was developed by a builder who allowed buyers to choose plots and villa models separately avoiding the end result of having streets and streets of identical properties.
The “New” part of the village is now well established, the area is interspersed with parks and green zones, again very well maintained, and the whole area portrays a sense of quality and thoughtful town planning which is sadly lacking in many nearby developments. Whereas in many areas I have seen 10-15 year old developments already start to look tatty and run down, the newer area of El Pinar seems to look better year on year!
Demand for property throughout the village is high, however there are still some bargains to be found. Some of the properties in the original village are relatively old and in need of modernising which means that there is scope to not only add value but also to make your own mark on the property.
Currently we have listings in the old part of Campoverde ranging in price from 95,000€ for a lovely renovated 3 bedroom apartment (this is a rare opportunity) to 350,000€ for a very large villa complete with 2 separate one bedroom apartments. Properties in the old part can be worth much, much more.
There is a huge variation of property styles in the village where it is very rare to find two villas the same. We particularly like the unique design of this villa, but being Pinar, there will be house there somewhere to suit every taste.
In the new area we have 2 bedroom apartments from just 75,000€ raising up to a large 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom villa for 230,000€
Just as the location and facilities within Campoverde offer something for everyone, so do the range and variety of property.
All in all it is not hard to see why El Pinar de Campoverde has held such a special place in my life for almost 40 years. Even if I am biased, I sincerely think that it would be hard to find a development that can offer so much to its residents while still maintaining the sense of its rural roots. If you come and have a look for yourself I’m sure, that just like so many others, part of you will never leave.
James Brinton – Director, Laddr International
If you are interested in finding out more about the area, or would like to view properties, please do get in touch, while our advertised range is limited, we have access to many properties throughout Pinar de Campoverde and we are happy to work with you to find the home of your dreams via our ‘Personal Shopper Service’ – using our expert local knowledge and in-house legal due-diligence to find the best property for you whilst ensuring that there can be absolutely no nasty surprises!
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