For most of us when choosing a Spanish holiday destination, or even an area where we may be thinking of buying a second home or relocating to, its nice to know there is a good range of services available. In some of the more remote parts of Spain there may be very few services or even none whatsoever, but those travelling to sunny Costa Blanca will be happy to know the larger towns and cities favoured by holidaymakers have modern infrastructures and a number of helpful services. Such is the geographical layout of the Costa Blanca, should you choose to stay in a small rural village you are never more than a short drive to the nearest town.
Hopefully not a likely scenario, but should you require the services of the police during your visit there are two main police forces in the country, Policia Local and Guardia Civil that tend to deal with different issues and areas of crime but both will always be available to attend any emergencies. What I find refreshing about both of these police forces is that they mainly focus on genuine crime and generally don't act like the ‘jobsworths' you often find in the UK who will pull you the minute you stop in a loading bay, drink a beer in public or attempt to cross the road where there's no marked crossing point. Spanish police usually turn a blind eye to that type of thing and stick to the more important job of ‘fighting crime'.
The smaller towns and villages on the Costa Blanca will usually have at least a small clinic to deal with minor injuries or ailments, and if a really tiny village there will always be a local ‘matriarch' that has been delivering the village babies and tending to the ill since time forgotten who will be available should you have an injury or fall ill. Government clinics and hospitals are predominantly well equipped and efficient although if attending one for anything serious or medically complicated it is advisable to employ the services of an interpreter.
The majority of private hospitals in Costa Blanca are excellent and compare well to any in Europe, but if you end up in one without comprehensive medical insurance, you will pay dearly for the privilege. If involved in an accident and an ambulance is called, these could come from either a government or private hospital, so if you are attended by one from a private hospital and have no medical insurance ask to be taken to the nearest government facility.
As is the case with private hospitals, private care homes here are superb and some can be likened to holiday resorts such are the services and facilities they offer. Most have their own emergency rooms and out patient facilities and some boast hotel style accommodation, shops, restaurants, extensive gardens and even swimming pools. Spanish are by and large very caring and compassionate people, and if you can afford it, retiring to a care home on the Costa Blanca is a very favourable option.
Child Day Care
Child day care is something most people won't even consider when on holiday in a foreign country but it does give parents the chance to have one or two child free days during their stay, and most in Costa Blanca are run by friendly, fully qualified staff and are a delight for the young ones with indoor and outdoor play areas, games, puzzles, workshops, music and reading.
There are more estate agents on the Costa Blanca than you could shake a stick at, many having set up business here during Spain's property boom who managed to keep their heads above water during the recent ‘economic crisis'. There is no hard and fast rule when dealing with estate agents here as they all offer the same thing, some with extensive offices, personal touches such as airport pick ups, hotel accommodation and a bit of client wining & dining who will gain their expenses back on a higher commission, and others with no office or ‘fancy frills' but a much smaller commission rate. A handy hint when thinking of employing the services of an estate agent is to browse local Facebook groups where you can ask for recommendations.
When on holiday you more than likely won't need the services of a trades person unless you are staying in private rented accommodation and the owner is unavailable and hasn't left a list of emergency numbers. As with estate agents, every man and his dog here seems to be a builder or trades person of some sort, and let me tell you some are total ‘cowboys' who get as much work as they can in a certain area until their reputation catches up with them and then simply move on to another area. So, be very careful, ask to see qualifications, ask to see past work they have done where you can chat to the owner, and again, ask around in the local Facebook groups. Finally, if a ‘builder' has trained for say 4 years in multiple trades, and a ‘plumber' for the same length of time, although spent learning solely how to plumb, who do you think will have the most experience if you require some plumbing work done? The same applies to all trades 🙂