Jalon Valley, Costa Blanca, Spain
Jalon, Alcalali, Lliber, Murla, Parcent
The inland portions of the Northern Costa Blanca are considered by many to be one of the more beautiful parts of rural Spain. The Jalon valley is an excellent example of this, with natural beauty, lush vegetation and stunning mountain backdrops.
The villages to be discovered here are small, with a slow pace of life and plenty of old world charm. The village of Jalon, from which the valley takes its name, and the neighbouring towns of Alcalali, Lliber, Murla and Parcent are of Moorish origin. Hints of this heritage can be seen all around, from the Moorish agricultural imports still grown in the area (citrus fruits, almonds, grapes, carob, and olives), to the architecture, and handicrafts. It is worth mentioning that the Muscatel grape is harvested here, and as a result the towns in the Jalon valley are a good place to savour/or buy sweet Spanish wines.
Recent years have seen considerable interest in the area from foreign nationals, though more from a day trip perspective. In particular the Saturday market El Rastro de Jalon (in Jalon) attracts attention, and is a good place to come for handmade/antique furniture.
Of course there are plenty of other reasons to visit, and for such a sleepy part of Spain there is a great deal to see and do; from 16th century castles and fortifications, to pre-historic caves, and of course long walks and mountain biking. For those keen on a swim in the sea the waters of the Mediterranean are just a short drive away.