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Spain, Monóvar - Real Spain

Inland from the Costa Blanca, in an area called Vinalopó Medio - named after a river called the Vinalopó which runs through the area - lie the towns of Monóvar, Pinoso, La Romana, Aspe and the Hondons. These towns are surrounded by mountains separated by shallow valleys - the mountains rise to at least 1,000m even though the area is only 40-50km from the coast at Alicante.

These towns are still populated mostly by the Spanish, not having given over to ‘foreigners’ from Northern Europe. This area is towards the southern end of Valencia, a semi-autonomous region where the local language is Valenciano (a variety of Catalan) and where many ‘Spanish’ town names have their Valencian equivalent.

As you drive through the area, the sight of so many almond trees, olive trees and vines is breathtaking, especially in January when the almond blossom is at its best. The main industry is growing and processing almonds, olives and vines. These are still harvested by beating the fruit-laden olive or almond branches with sticks, so the fruit falls onto a net placed on the ground around the tree, or grapes being picked by hand. Every village and town has its Bodega – a co-operative which buys the farmers’ grape crops.

The other industry in the area is marble quarrying, which boosts the area’s economy and infra-structure. Marble is quarried, then cut from huge cuboidal blocks of stone into highly polished worktops and flooring, for export around the world.

For the visitor, this is Spain. Not the cosmopolitan night clubs and trendy beach discos which are the same in Aya Napa, Bali, Manchester and the world over (though if you look, you can find these places here), but the Spain of fiestas where the catchy arabesque-ish music, the Catholic Church’s traditional processions, the long lines of Moors And Christians in their fantastic costumes, the fireworks and the all-night dancing (followed at 7am by hot cups of thick chocolate into which you dunk your locally baked biscuits – before going to bed) go hand in hand. It’s the Spain where you are greeted with an ‘Hola’ as you join the end of the queue in the Bank, or as you pass an older Spanish person in the street. It’s the Spain where you go into the butcher’s for six chorizos (spicy sausages), to find that the man serving the older lady is having a long conversation about how little Luis is doing at school, wasn’t it awful that Loli had the flu and couldn’t be Fiesta Queen this year, and had she heard that Raoul and Maria-Carmen are to be married next month, and ... so on. So, you sit and wait in one of the chairs thoughtfully provided. Quick and efficient it may not be, but very soon you begin to wish that everybody did their business in this way, even in London.

Plus golfing, horse-riding, walking, bird-watching, visiting amazing castles, churches, hermit’s cave, museums and historic houses. And, somewhere, a river called the Vinalopó.

Written by Jonathan Trahair - Owner of Property 402513 in Monovar, Spain

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Monòver Holiday Villas & Homes (198)

 

Recent Reviews

Rural gem.

4 of 5
Lovely large property in rural location, which would comfortably accommodate 2 families, car hire advised although local shop well stocked is about 10 min walk. Daphne and Malcolm are atttentive hosts and arranged an excellent welcome package which was very good value. Shared pool was fabulous and even though we were there in 35° heat it was never overcrowded. Great holiday.
  • Review Submitted: Jul 25, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2017

Perfect accomodation for a family

5 of 5
We are just back from a most wonderful holiday where we stayed in this property. The accomodation was exactly what we needed, not an easy ask for a family of 6, but with the pool, the barbecue, the patio, good quality internet and air conditioning, as well as being a short walk to the local shop and within an easy drive of Alicante, it was just perfect.
  • Review Submitted: Jul 22, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2017