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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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Recent Reviews

Amazing Villa and Amazing owners!!

5 of 5
If I could give more stars I would!! We took our 10 months old baby on her first holiday with the family and had the best time imaginable and a lot of this was down to how helpful Patricia and Alberto were and also down to how nice the villa was. We had everything we needed, the rooms were comfortable and fully air conditioned. The pool was lovely, the outside kitchen are by the pool was where we spent most of our holiday, listening to music and cooking on the BBQ! I spoke to Patricia before departing to explain that our flights were going to land quite early (11:00 am) and asked if we could come and drop our bags off and then go into town while we wait for the villa to be ready which was agreed should be 17:00. Just like everything we asked this was no problem. When we arrived at the villa at 12:00 Alberto showed us round whilst the cleaners were there preparing the villa and then he and his dad offered to drive us to the nearby shops to buy supplies for one day as most places were closed as it was Sunday and then they dropped us at a nearby restaurant where we had some lunch and then the room was ready by 14:00 and they had taken our shopping back for us and unpacked everything into the fridge. Thank you for the wonderful memories. We will definitely be returning!!
  • Review Submitted: Jun 19, 2018
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2018

Stunning grand villa, great for large groups!

5 of 5
We visited Casa Solariega for a birthday gathering. It’s a beautiful villa in lovely surroundings. Ideal for a large group. Liked that we all had fully equipped and independent apartments, but we could also eat together as a group with the barbeques. We all had a great holiday!
  • Review Submitted: Jun 04, 2018
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2017