Sit back and enjoy a glass of chilled wine and a plate of homemade tapas, there are no crowded beaches here. The Jalon Valley has its own special charm, retaining Spanish ambiance there is also an international mix in the air. Jalon welcomes guests from all over the world who want to experience a pace of life slowed to a healthy balance.
The Jalon Valley (Xalo) nestles between mountains at the entrance to the Val de Pop in the Costa Blanca which in translation means; The White Coast, a popular place for European tourists since the 1960s.
Before Covid, Jalon welcomed Americans, Chinese, and Australians; generally the traveler types brave enough to venture away from the beaches, Barcelona and Madrid. Spain has a lot to offer. The growth of tourism during the late 1970’s attracted many people to Spain’s coastal areas but since then many visitors have fallen in love with the smaller country towns and have settled here eager to soak up the history, culture, and a slower pace of life. The area has one of the healthiest climates in Europe and attracts many health professionals. You will have no problem finding a yoga teacher, hiring a bike, or doing boot camp-style exercises in the park. Other activities such as rock climbing can be booked or perhaps you fancy a more tranquil activity, a guided walk for example.
You enter Jalon from the coastal road N322, coming from the South you will have passed Alicante, Villajoyosa, Benidorm, Altea, and Calpe. Going North you can visit, Benissa, Teulada, Moraira, Javea, and Denia. Enter through the winding road towards Jalon and the Val de Pop.
In my mind’s eye, imagination enters, a picture forms in the squint of my vision, A Sultan sits high on his decorated horse, where silk tassels hang loosely over the smooth white bristled skin of his horse. The beast digs his hooves into the rocky path, eager to move on in the mid-day heat, The Sultan grips the rein of red fringe. He watches over the changes of times. Then turns to gallop up the mountainside, disappearing into the cotton ball cloud that appears to be balancing on the mountain top. Throughout history, these mountains have provided sanctuary for the persecuted and strong-willed bandits. Each rocky crevice and crooked line clings to a story, secret and mysterious as legend dares to hold it.
Open roads stretch out and over the landscape of the Jalon Valley. Smaller roads criss-cross over the vineyards. Cyclists whizz past or hog the road. If you are lucky you will see a horse and cart. Don’t forget to wave.
Grapevines, cover parts of the valley; bought into Spain by the Moorish travelers who made their way up from North Africa. I glance up once again to my Moorish soldier with gratitude, The Muslim farmers of 1472 became the most important suppliers of Muscat raisins to the markets of the Kingdom of Valencia. They were here yesterday too in spirit as we sip wine from dusty bottles. The wine flows in the valley as the almond blossom blows. Large and small avocados grow in the hot sun, as do pomegranates; picked and then sold from a market stall in the car park where you will find the tourist office. Dry green leaves compliment the yellow skins of lemons that had earlier hung laden in trees whose branches, heaving and heavy with fruit, kiss the ground tenderly. Oranges grapefruits and peaches, lush from the earth, are placed on our tables to add color and aroma. We have tasted the same as all who followed the citrus aroma, along the winding trail that brings you into the Jalon Valley.
The Gorgos river, also known as the Jalon river, carves its way through the Valley. In summer it is a dry bed of stones, In winter it is a channel for the water streaming down the mountains. Reeds grow green and birdlife life play amongst the shadows. There are three water mills worth checking out. You can walk along the river bed to Alcalali, the next village. A particularly beautiful walk, especially when the almond trees blossom in February. Walk up the hill to the town square to take refreshments. In the other direction of the river, you can walk to Lliber. There is a little street there filled with flowers.
Jalon has an open-air swimming pool which is great if you have young children. There is quite a large area of grass to relax on or picnic. Centrally located and accessed by a bridge near the tourist office. For a few euros you can easily spend the day here.
Walk into the town square on a Tuesday and it will be buzzing with traders selling locally grown fruit and vegetables. However, every Saturday morning there is the popular rastro market which stretches along the river park. Here you will fing antiques, bric a brac, gifts and clothes and some local crafts.
Weekly art classes run in restaurants and throughout the summer you will find live music, quiz nights and other activities.
Jalon has a good mix of cuisine. From traditional Spanish food, (Alleluja Bar) Pizzas, Indian. Healthy cuisine offering creative vegetarian dishes, not forgetting Belgium cakes and pastries, or burger and chips. Casa Claudia has an extensive menu and will do private events. Mingle and meet, the locals are always willing to stop and have a chat. Although Jalon is quieter than the busy coastal towns, I find it one of the friendliest. This of course could have something to do with the local wine, I prefer to think that the people here are calm, “Tranquilo” as they say in Spanish.
Want to stay longer, or visit. please leave me a message and I will send you information of places to stay and the latest events here. If you have any questions, I am happy to guide you. Lauren.