Sun 13 January 2019
Local News | Jalon – capital of the ‘Val de pop’
Jalon – capital of the ‘Val de pop
January 13, 2019
Centre of “Industry” in the Jalón Valley…
The biggest of all the towns in the Valley is Jalón. Xaló is the original, Valencian name of the town and is fiercely held onto by the locals. There are over 3000 inhabitants and a large percentage are ex pats from all over Europe. However, the town retains its local customs and traditions and above all, it is unmistakeably Spanish.
Jalón also produces almonds, olives and citrus fruits. The town is also famous for its pastries and cakes as well as its embutidos (sausages) and cured meats.
Location, location, location.
The town is based in the bowl of the valley surrounded by mountains. The majestic Sierra de Bernia, El Castellet de la Solana and the Peña de la Mica all create the backdrop to this completely stunning corner of the province of Alicante. Although house prices fell in recent years, they have now stabilised. Once again the Jalón Valley is proving to be a hot spot for those looking to relocate in sunnier climes.
A Micro climate.
Having its own micro climate makes it a very desirable place to relocate. This is why so many ex pats choose to live here permanently when they reach retirement age. Added to that with pollution and climate change more and more a concern nowadays, the average age of ex pats is falling. Studies have shown that the type of micro climate that we have here is the best for your health. The Jalón Valley was ranked the second healthiest place to live in the world after California a few years ago.
The climate by most standards is mild. Its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea means that the summers are bearable. October is the wettest month and one can see some incredible rainstorms which can last for a week or more. The rain here, is always welcome, and you never, ever hear the locals complain when mother nature brings it all in one go!
The end of February/ beginning of March sees the famous almond blossom. People come en-mass in coaches or groups of walkers to experience this awesome sight. The Valley is covered in a blanket of pink and white. There is always a sense of optimism which only the beginning of Spring can bring.
The winters are wonderful. It is possible to experience below zero temperatures but these days are few and far between. The sun shines almost every day, whatever the temperature, hence why nobody complains about having to don another layer for a few days.
The town and surrounding areas have a rich and diverse history which goes back to pre-history. There are caves dotted all over the landscape. The “Cueva de las Maravillas” is worth a visit if you are interested in cave paintings from pre-historic times. The Valley was ruled by the moors for over 500 years and the architecture of some of the monuments and houses demonstrates this.
The beautiful Church of Santa Maria is neoclassical in design and its famous blue dome can be seen from any point in the Valley. It is in the main plaza, which is the heart of this busy little town.
During your exploration of the town you will come across the pretty building that is the Hermitage of Santo Domingo built in 1697 but restored in 1978 to its exact original state.
The “Bassa dels Arcs” is a remarkable monument. Built originally to collect rain water to irrigate the vines. Some of the older generation remember learning to swim in it, although it is rare to see water in it these days.
The aforementioned Plaza Mayor accommodates the open produce market every Tuesday. Its a great place to buy your fresh fruit and vegetables as well as household items and artisan foods. People travel great distances to go to the “Rastro”(flea market) which takes place every Saturday along the river in Jalón. Its an idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning. You can buy antiques and unusual household items, art work, jewellery, clothing and leather goods. There is a van to buy “churros”, a sweet deep fried treat loved by the Spanish as well as some great cafés along the way if you fancy a full English breakfast.
For your more modern every day needs there is a large supermarket, a couple of butcher shops, bakers and several clothes shops as well as a pharmacy with an English speaking pharmacist.
Eating, drinking and whiling away the time.
Jalón has some excellent bars and restaurants. No Michelin stars here, but a good “menu del día”and some tasty tapas are easy to find. There is a very good Indian restaurant and the latest addition is a Belgian restaurant specialising in Frits and Ice cream. The frits look like chips but they are twice fried in ox fat, crispy and delicious. The pistachio ice cream is not to be missed!
Walking, hiking and cycling.
Jalón is a superb base for walking, hiking and cycling. If outdoor pursuits are your passion, the mountains provide a spectacular backdrop and the views from the top will take your breath away. Furthermore, there are several excellent Bed and Breakfast establishments. Most of them will point you in the right direction and some organise trips along the many and varied routes. The “Forat de Bernia” is a must for walkers. With its panoramic views of the whole of the Costa Blanca it is a remarkable natural phenomenon. Mountain High Cycling holidays
Cyclists come from all over the world to enjoy the coastal and inland routes. It is part of the famous bike race “La Vuelta” and we regularly see international, professional teams practising in the Valley. There are several very good companies that offer cycling holidays. They will pick up from the airport, organise trips and provide all your needs and some excellent sustenance and socialising in the company of other cycling enthusiasts.
alon is a true taste of Spain, hence why so many of us choose to make it home. Those searching for a dream location here in Spain often think they should be near the sea. Those who have chosen Jalón and its neighbouring towns know the secret. If you want a real Spanish lifestyle its easier to make friends and integrate with the locals. In contrast, the coastal towns tend to be more transient as there are a lot of people holidaying and passing through. Furthermore, we can get to the beaches and coastal towns in 20 minutes, spend the day and then leave the holiday makers behind and come home.
For those who have chosen to make Jalón home it is indeed, “where the heart is”!