About the Hondon Valley, Stunning and Peaceful!
Typical Spanish Villages in Hondon De Las Nieves & Hondon De Los Frailes... near Alicante, Costa Blanca South. Spain.
An insight into the Hondon Valley Area
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The Hondon Valley is located inland, west of the Alicante in Spain. It's nearest city is Elche to the south east or Crevillente (20 min's drive). Hondon de las Nieves and it's very close neighbouring village Hondon de los Frailes are typical Spanish, rural villages, quaint, friendly and have changed very little over the years. The economy relies heavily on the agricultural industry in this very fertile valley. The other dominant industry has been Construction with many limestone quarries servicing the Costa Blanca building trade with cement products.
Hondon de Las Nieves literally means 'Gorge of the Snow' but not after the weather (there's virtually no snow)! It is named for the village’s loyalty to their patron... "The Virgin of the Snow". This effigy and the church is at the heart of village life, the 'Virgin' has her own fiesta dedicated to her. You'll often see posters in village windows or flags in the streets with the 'Virgin' printed on them.
Valley of the vines, almonds, olives... you name it!
Grapes and almonds are mainly grown here but also many other root crops and fruits. Known by many as 'el valle de las viñas', Hondon de las Nieves is now a bustling village in the heart of Hondon wine and grape country. They grow red and white grapes as far as the eye can see !! Some are for wine-making (delicious and silly cheap!) but many are for eating (read about Grape Bagging here). Surrounded by pine trees in the woody Crevillente Sierras (mountain ranges) this rural area is known as the District of Vinalopo; a name often seen on Spanish wine. So sampling the excellent locally produced wine is a must!
New Build - New People !
The last 10 years has seen an influx of Northern Europeans into both Frailes and Nieves areas. These people have seen the potential for living and investment and so are keen to buy relatively cheap property, villas and apartments inland with larger plots that you'd not match nearer the coast. Some Urbanisation are now being build inland. The biggest (about 450 detached villas) so far is is between Frailes and Nieves, known as "Montanosa" (aka Mi Casa Familia or Oasis).
This Urb' is mainly habituated by the British, Dutch and German and is still under construction - it centres around the old 'La Finca' building which is now an excellent renovated restaurant, bar and 'social' centre (...great food by the way and friendly service). The urb' is due to be finished in 2008/9. The two villages of Frailes and Nieves have benefited from this injection of people and their money. Both villages have / are now under-going some new and re-construction, new businesses are opening and the general infrastructure is being improved.
The Hondon Valley Amenities
The surrounding area and valley is mainly farming land and pine covered mountains. A beautiful sight most of the time as this area enjoys 300+ days of great weather. Summers are very hot, winters quite mild. Although Frailes / Nieves have sever winter storms from time to time... but the farmers need the water for their crops. It is a peaceful and tranquil area, non-commercial really and suited to people you want a slow pace of life in a rural setting. You'll need a car as public transport is sparse and most Malls at least 20 min's away. Although both villages are well serviced for mini supermarkets, hairdressers, DIY, builders, pet shops, bakers, butchers, restaurants and bars... even if the opening hours take some getting used to!
Nieves has about 4 small but well placed and stocked supermarkets. One of which is English, a 24hr 'La Tienda' (shop), spotlessly clean butchers, a fresh bread bakery, a newsagent, a few banks, 2 or 3 hairdressers, gift shops, a post-office, a school, a large Multi-Sport Centre, tobacconist, Bodega Wine merchants and a well stocked chemist. There's a local Doctor too. For a larger selection and bigger shops, Albatera or Aspe are the nearest towns. It's the drive to Albatera over the mountain that most people 'gasp' at. The Vista over-looking Costa Blanca South is fantastic and it's the drive that most Property Agents seduce you with !!!
Markets galore in the Hondon area
Market days in the village are Wednesday and Saturday in Nieves plus there is an indoor weekday market selling fresh local produce. Saturday morning has a lovely atmosphere with all the villagers buying their weekend supplies, children playing in the Plaza (main square) and the Al Fresco nature of the bars and restaurants.
Life is slow in the Hondons!
Hondon Nieves itself has a population of around 1700 people, who don't exactly rush anywhere... it is a typically mañana mañana culture here. Village life centres around the main palm-lined 'plaza' with pastel-shaded buildings, bars, restaurants and the Ayuntamiento (town hall).Several bars serve tasty tapas 'al-fresco' looking onto an area. The plaza provides a focal point for the many and varied fiestas that take place throughout the year.
Fiesta is Party Time!
Something both Frailes and Nieves (and other nearby villages) excel in, is the Fiesta season...
For small villages (less 2000 pop.) they really do 'push the boat out'. The fireworks are amazing, costumes just as amazing and their hospitality is welcoming. The locals seem to have embraced the 'foreign invasion', possibly because of the wealth it brings but also they are genuinely friendly people. yes, fiestas in Hondon Valley can be very colourful. So make sure you get to see them, usually in the summer months but Christmas is good too (look for the nearby La Canalosa Nativity - SUPERB !!).
The Hondon Valley Weather
The two main villages of Hondon sit in a valley of Sierra de la Crevillente. Summers are very hot and dry while the winters are a quite few of degrees cooler, windy and can rain hard but it doesn't last long. In fact the weather in the mountains make for interesting views: the mist and clouds change the landscape dramatically.... so cameras a ready !!! So yes in winter you'll need a wooly jumper and long trousers at night but it's no where near as cold as UK.
Hondon Villas and Property
Although relatively small in numbers, the influx of foreigners into the Hondon region over the last 10 years has meant there is now a thriving sale, resale and rental market in the area. There are town and country homes for sale on the Costa Blanca. Property in Hondon de Las Nieves and Frailes areas give you all the benefits of country living with the added benefit of being close to the neighbouring towns, airports, motorways, leisure facilities and beaches. There are plenty of new-build or resale villas, fincas or apartments available in the Hondon area. Prices are reasonable here and you'll GET A LOT more for your money inland !!! | Your local, trusted and experienced real estate agent is "Hondon Villas", in the man Frailes Plaza (look for the blue and green logo!).
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