In the spring , what better than a romantic break or a good day out in the Jalon valley?
If you are quick, you can still catch the almond blossom, which covers much of the valley in a sea of white and pink. Stretches worth seeing are between Jalon and Alcalali and between Alcalali and Parcent. Remember your camera.
The valley is known locally as the Vall del Pop or high valley so if you see these signs dont panic, you are in the right place. Well known for its honey and many varieties of sausage, the valley is also famous for its sweet mistella or muscatel wine and attracts many
Spaniards, expats and tourists. Mistella goes down a treat with dessert or as an aperitif with lots of ice.
The valley also produces decent whites, rosados and reds, which can also be bought at most of the bogedas in Jalon village for less than a euro a litre. Dont forget your plastic container!
Other highlights in Jalon include the 17th century restored Santa Domingo hermitage near the riverside car park. Next to it is el horno del cal or lime kiln dating from Roman times when lime was used as cement for building, made by heating limestone to over a thousand degrees for three days.
The kiln we can see today was used during the construction of the hermitage.
The 19th century church of Our Lady in the main plaza has the characteristic blue-tiled dome of the area.
If you have time, take in the wine museum and the Saturday rastro.
Visit Alcalali just two or three minutes up the valley from Jalon for its medieval watchtower, which houses a small but informative raisin museum (open on Thursday mornings only).
The tower is capped by an incongruous modern platform but this at least provides an excellent view of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
Take a self-guided walking tour of the village by getting the route in English from the town hall or by downloading it from the website. Its a great way of discovering fascinating details you would otherwise miss.
On your way around, you can still see one of the few original Riu-Raus or drying sheds for raisins, characterised by a long wide covered porch. This style is refl ected in many modern villas.
Raisins were exported all over Europe via the port at Denia. You are spoilt for choice for bars, cafes and restaurants in the valley.
One of my favourites is Merendero at la piscina just outside Parcent for its large buffet starter and wild boar stew not for the faint hearted.
The valley runs about 30 km inland from Benissa.
We have concentrated on the area round Jalon, though if you are feeling more adventurous and have more time, go further inland to Benichembla, Castell de Castells and Tollos for their rugged mountain scenery.
Some units include a terrace and/or balcony.
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This property has been on Booking.com since 30 Mar 2015.
Country house: 6 rooms.
Wherever you go, you will enjoy the peace and beauty of the inland Marina Alta.
How to get there?
Jalon is 10 minutes from Benissa J63 on the AP7 (15 minutes north of Benidorm) and off the N332. From Concentania, take the CV706 to Gorga then the CV720 via Balones, Benimassot,Tollos, Castell de Castells and Benichembla.
The Jalon Valley tourist office is in the riverside car park, tel 96 648 1017
For bed & breakfast in Alcalali, Casa
Rosa tel 96 648 2516/626 063127, turisrosa@
wanadoo.es www.toprural.com/casarosa and Casa Almar tel 96 648 2015/664 221025, firstname.lastname@example.org www.casaalmar.com
Merendero Restaurante, La Piscina, Parcent is just outside the village to the right off the CV715 Tarbena road, open every day from 1200 to 1600, menu del dia 12,50 euros. Costa Blanca
San Francisco De Asis, Urb Marina, San Fulgencio, 03177, Alicante, Spain