There are no traffic lights, it has a 13th-century castle and there are no traffic wardens but there are streets full of restaurants, bars and cafes. What? That isn´t enough?
Sax is so popular because it is far enough inland to be “inland” yet it is only 30 minutes to Alicante Airport and 35 minutes to the beach. Access is by the A31 Dual Carriageway Alicante to Madrid road which runs just outside of the town, by rail and coach from Alicante so you can go to the beach and not have to take your car, and now we are only five minutes away from the AVE station at Villena. The AVE is the high-speed train from Alicante to Madrid which has only four stops and we are five minutes away from a station that onboarding will you have you in Madrid in 2hrs 9mins for as little as 20€.
Let us stick with the town of Sax for now rather than escaping to the beach or the capital city of Spain. Sax is dominated by its 13th-century castle known as the Headlight And Guardian Of The Border a landscape of history and rock. When driving back home to Sax after daylight the sight of the castle, fully lit, and seemingly floating in the air is one of the most welcoming sights I have ever experienced.
Commercially, Sax was only affected in a minor way by the economic crash as it is the home of three major international businesses selling “persianas y toldos”, window blinds and sun canopies and a shoe industry that means if you recently bought a pair of shoes in Debenhams, for example, the chances are they could have been made in Sax or nearby Elda. Recently we have seen the opening of a Consum supermarket, the equivalent of a Waitrose or Marks & Spencer Food Hall whilst there has been a Hiperber and Mas y Mas, both excellent supermarkets for as long as I can remember, and if that isn´t enough there is a Carrefour (Think Tesco) eight minutes’ drive away within a shopping mall complex that has two cinemas one of which is showing films in English with Spanish subtitles.
Sax is served wonderfully well with schools, our son was eight when we moved here and reluctantly, we put him into a state school, he always went to a private school in Manchester, and within six months he was fluent in two languages and following five years in a secondary school went on to study Pharmacy at Complutense in Madrid one of Spain´s most famous and prestigious universities.
Sax has almost full employment and subsequently a very low crime rate. It is a small town where everyone knows each other and a Spanish family would normally feel shamed if a member was in trouble with the police. Their modern values are the ones we experienced growing up in the UK 50-60 years ago. I parked rather stupidly recently on the Hight Street (Gran Via) even by Spanish standards I was naughty as I popped into the bank. I received a phone call within 90 seconds from the Local Police who called me a “dickhead”, well the Spanish equivalent, no ticket no fine just a little humiliation.
For health, Sax and Spain, in general, is far superior to the UK. In the town, we have a brand new Health Centre with eight doctors, two nurses, diabetes clinics and a 24/7 Emergency Walk/In Centre. Ten minutes away in Elda is the remarkable award-winning University Hospital El Virgen De Salud where the surgeons are second to none and the food is atrocious, well it can’t all be good!! Newly opened is the Fibromyalgia centre offering support and therapies for those suffering from acute pain.
There are now four Language Schools in the town and the town hall ran a scheme for language swapping that well may be run again. Learning Spanish is a lot less difficult than it may seem and there are new ways of learning that concentrate on Spanish.
There are restaurants and bars aplenty with prices that are at first beyond belief and a three or four-course lunch of good quality can easily be found for 10€ or less. For a special occasion, there is Casa Mami and La Torreta which are a little more expensive but great food experiences can be had. Coffee and toast for breakfast will cost no more than 2€ and the coffee is possibly the best in Europe. We have a Walking Group, two Golfing Societies, Ladies Who Lunch and probably lots more Social Activities to enjoy. Sax, it´s a great place to live.