Costa Blanca area info
Pinoso or El Pinós rests on the border between the provinces of Alicante and Murcia. This small traditional town is surrounded by the charming Spanish countryside and beautiful sunny homes.
Pinoso has a population of around 7,500 and was previously focussed on agricultural with a thriving footwear industry, it is now attracting the attention of foreign buyers as an ideal location for a holiday home away from the hustle and bustle of the busy coastline resorts but with the convenience of access to Alicante and Murcia Airports. There are 45mins and 1hours drive away respectively, with routes to all the major European airports serviced by most of the popular airlines.
The origins of Pinoso are a mix of various cultures, including the Iberians, Romans (who probably began the vineyards) and Moors. After the re-conquest Pinoso came under control of the Kingdom of Aragon and at this time was just a small group of hamlets, it gained it's independence from Monovar in 1826. The parish church was built in 1743 in honour of Saint Peter the Apostle.
The area around Pinoso is still mostly for agricultural use and grape vines are the most widely grown crop, the local Monastrell variety being one of the most popular and this produces some excellent quality red wines for which the area is renowned. Pinoso is also important for the production of marble and rock salt.
Pinoso is a popular place for those wishing to purchase rural property away from the busy coastlines of the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida. There are a number of Finca style houses and ruins with large plots of land available to buy in the area.
The town enjoys reliable warm and dry weather all year round, so you won’t be feeling those winter chills if you decide to move here.
With more and more overseas buyers coming to this area the friendly locals have embraced the international and cosmopolitan environment.
Food & Drink
Pinoso holds its weekly farmers market on Saturdays and this is a good place to stock up on fresh produce.
A lot of the local almonds, olives, and grapes go to Pinoso for processing into wonderful fruity oils and the famous wines. You can buy the local wine in all the bodegas in the area from as little as 60 cents a litre! Pinoso also offers a wide selection of organic wines which you can buy by the box or bottle.
A short drive away is the famous wine making town of Jumilla (Murcia region). The wine of Jumilla can be found in most UK supermarkets and the town holds it's famous wine fiesta each August, during which the madding crowd is sprayed with wine while partaking of free local “vino” and the fountain in the main square flows freely with local claret in abundance.
Pinoso has been one of the top five richest towns in Spain thanks to the local production of marble, granite, almonds, shoes and local wines.
Marble is Pinoso's most important economic product and the Mount Coto area is the biggest producer of limestone marble in Spain. The marble, or "cream-ivory" as the locals call it, has been mined since the 1950's. Alicante province produces over 25% of the total marble production of Spain and of this Pinoso produces over 97% of it from Monte Coto.
The School's are fantastic and very welcoming, my 2 children love it here and over the past 8 years have embraced the whole Spanish lifestyle and speak the language fluently.
Things to do
There are many interesting and vibrant towns to explore and and enjoy near to Pinoso include Jumilla, Novelda, Elda, La Romana, Villena, Yecla, Abanilla and Fortuna.
The old town square provides tranquility and relaxation and the local people will make you feel very welcome. There’s plenty to do, from hiking to horseriding, you can even paraglide for a bird’s eye view of the valley.
There are three swimming pools that open just in the Summer months and also an all year round sports centre offering various indoor and outdoor activities that appeal to both young and old.
There are numerous bars and restaurants to suit all tastes, many of which offer a 3 course 'menu of the day', including a bottle of wine, from 8 Euros. We also have some British bars and a British supermarket for those who miss some things from home.
Pinoso, Valencia is situated only 45kms inland from Alicante and the popular Costa Blanca. Benidorm and Torrevieja are within very easy reach, these resorts are full of attractions for the young at heart.
Golf is becoming more popular inland, with several new courses planned over the next few years. There are already a number of established and famous courses which offer players the perfect climat to play in.
From the 1-10 of August the Pinoso fiesta is held in honour of Our Lady the Healer with floral offerings and “vaquillas” (bullfights with young bulls).
There are several excellent, entertaining excursions in and around Pinoso like the Cabezo de la Sal mine with its famous red and white walls, the Sierra del Coto marble quarries and the convent in the district of Encebras.
A section of the “Tour of Spain” cycling passes through and around the surrounding areas of Pinoso. The area also has excellent facilities for horse riding and potholing.
Pinoso’s Clock Tower:
Pinoso’s clock tower is the most emblematic monument of the town and its origins date back to 1887.
Mayor D. Francisco Rico commissioned the project to build the clock tower as the highest point in the town to house the clock, so all the neighbouring villages could behold it.
The clock its self came for Madrid in 1889 and still to this day it still need to be wound every 24 hours to keep it ticking. The chime and it’s bells are unique for their high quality and to this day there operation (they don’t make them like they use to!) The clock tower has two bells, one for the quarter hour and one for the hour.
To visit this monument you will need to make an appointment at the Pinoso Town Hall.
Sax and Salinas
Sax is located in the Costa Blanca, in the Alicante district between Valencia and Murcia. Sax is located to the north and west of Alicante and the south of Denia and Benidorm. You can reach Sax by using the A-31 road which comes all the way from Alicante. You can fly into the province of Alicante through one of three different airports. There is Alicante airport which is located just outside the city of Elche. You can also fly in to the province of Murcia through San Javier Murcia airport. Finally, if you want to come from the north, there is an airport in Valencia…Valencia Airport.
What to see in Sax
Sax is a fascinating city with some interesting buildings. Some of the interesting places that you should visit are in the old quarter. This shows its clear Arabic origins. These streets actually hug against the rock and adapt themselves to the contour lines. Also, there is the Colonia Santa Eulalia which is an agricultural colony that was built during the last 10 years of the 19th century. It is planted with olives, almonds, and vines.
The castle really stands out over the town, it sits at 500 meters and overlooks the village and the river Vinalopo. It is a rectangle castle with a square tower of brick wall and is from the Almohad period. Also there is the Ermita de San Blas which is located in the town square, la Plaza San Blas. It is the historic centre of the town and now houses the statue of the patron saint of the town St Blaise. It was the parish church of Sax during the Middle Ages. Also you should see the church of Our Lady of the Assumption. This church was built during the 16th century. It is one of the finest examples of the Catalan influenced single nave church. It was reformed and expanded in 1787. During the reform of the church, the side chapels were removed which enlarged the sanctuary and the extension consisted of a new vault. Despite the sobriety and simplicity of the design, the church still offers a magnificent and majestic air.
Another place to look back in history is at the Tower, El Torre, which goes back to the time of the Romans. Also, you should visit the Pocico de la Nieve which is a very interesting place. It is situated on the northern flank of the cliff behind the castle and it is a building which is built of brick and mortar and circular in shape. This is basically a snow pit which has been reconstructed since 1970 by the city of Sax. Experts say that they date this structure to the 13th century and it was built in order to supply ice to the locals with ice. The depth of the pit is between 10 and 15 meters and snow was obviously stored here during the winter time until summer arrived. Ice was then supplied to cool down drinks, as a treatment for fevers, or to keep food fresh. The ice was also exported to the nearby city of Alicante. You can find these snow pit over the region and many of them were in operation well into the 19th century. It is only when the technology was advanced enough that ice was being manufactured on an industrial scale that these snow pits were no longer of any use.
There are some good sites here apart from the ones that were made by man. The forests of El Plano have well over 1 million pine trees, and there is also the Sierra de la Cabrera which reaches a height of almost 900 meters. From the top of this mountain you get a great vantage point over the whole valley. There are many unique landscapes in the area which complements the historic allure. If you’re into hiking, there are plenty of trails and roads which are ideal. There is also areas for cycling, climbing, paragliding, and either ultra light flying or hang gliding.
The nearest golf course to Sax is Alenda golf club which is approximately 15 km away. If you’re in the mood to shop, the nearest shopping districts can be found in Elda or Petrer. There is also a market which is held twice a week on both Wednesday and Saturday.
The Moors and Christians festival is held in Sax during the first week of February. It has really evolved since the early 1940s from a mere religious celebration into a festival that lasts for a full five days. Other festivals include the pilgrimage of San Pancrazio, the festival to celebrate the virgin of the Assumption and the Virgen de los Frutos, the Kings parade, and of course the festivals and parades that celebrate Easter.
Welcoming and truly beautiful, La Romana is becoming increasingly popular with foreigners looking for somewhere traditionally Spanish, yet open to progression. The village is very well provided for with two small Spanish and one English supermarket, bakers, butchers, hardware, furniture and electrical shops. There is also an excellent Saturday market for fruit and vegetables.
The community is friendly and very committed to everything that affects their area. They understand the need for successful integration and acceptance of other cultures, and have embraced the large number or permanent residents from other countries who now call La Romana home. Spanish and foreign residents interact on a daily basis, enjoying the warm climate through alfresco dinning together.
In August La Romana celebrates the Moors and Christians fiesta. It is a spectacular event with the villagers taking a whole year to prepare! In September the Mayor gives a thank-you to all the towns people for their work in the vineyards and offers a Paella in the Park followed by music and dancing.
A communal swimming pool is set in beautiful wooded parkland on the edge of the village, and within 20 minutes drive of La Romana there is the excellent Alenda Golf Course. There are also plans to open 3 more golf courses in and around the area in the not too distant future. The area hosts many beautiful walks and cycling tracks, and there are several horse riding stables nearby.
The larger towns of Novelda and Aspe are only a short distance away, and offer large supermarkets and shops as well as many interesting places to visit. The city of Elche is only 20 minutes away and is worth exploring, with its Palm Culture and a wealth of historic buildings. Alicante is only 30 minutes where there are magnificent beaches and shopping galore, not to mention an active nightlife! Alicante Airport is only 25 minutes away from La Romana
Hondon De Las Nieves / Hondon De Los Frailes
Hondon de las Nieves is a small village, inland, west of the Alicante Region. The nearest city is Elche (City of Palms) to the south east or Crevillente (20 mins drive). Nieves and it is very close neighbouring village Hondon De Los Frailes are typical Spanish, rural villages, quaint, friendly and have changed very little over the years. The local economy relies heavily on agriculture /farming (it is a very fertile valley) and construction / quarrying.
Grapes and almonds are mainly grown in the Hondon area but also many other root crops and fruits. The other dominant industry is construction with many limestone quarries servicing the Costa Blanca building trade for cement products.
Hondon de Las Nieves literally means Gorge of the Snow but not after the weather (there is virtually no snow) It is named for the villages loyalty to their patron... The Virgin of the Snow. This religious effigy and the church is at the heart of village life, the Virgin has her own fiesta dedicated to her.
The Hondon Valley is a beautiful, tranquil, mountainous area in Costa Blanca South, Spain with thousands of acres of vineyards, almonds & olive groves. We typically get over 310 days of glorious Spanish sunshine per year!
Fortuna is set in the mountains of Murcia. This traditional Spanish town, with its hot springs, lets you feel the tranquil pace of Spanish life away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist towns. Set in the north-east Murcia, the atmosphere of this beautiful town offers you an insight into the history of the area with the street and plazas full of atmosphere and history.
Fortuna is probably most famous for its healing water of the historic spa, El Balneario de Fortuna-Leana. it was originally built in 1896, but has recently been thoroughly renovated, keeping its original charm. Its pools and baths take advantage of 52C thermal waters bubbling from beneath the ground. These waters were prized by the ancient Romans and Iberians and water's unique composition became famous for helping with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis. You don't have to be ill to appreciate the wonderful relaxing waters; just enjoy the calming properties of the thermal baths or enjoy a message.
Between Fortuna and El Balneario Romano, within an outcrop of the Sierra del Bano, iis the intriguing site of La Cueva Negra that's linked to El Balneario Romano. As the name suggests, the walls of the cave are black and there are numerous inscriptions known as tituli picti. The most significant inscriptions date from the 1st century AD and detail a cult of nymphs and other divinities, like Bacchus, Esculapio and Cibeles. archaeological work started here in the early 1980's and it is believed that is was a place of worship for both Romans in the 1st century AD and for Iberians during the Bronze Age.
There are two large national parks around Fortuna and hosts a wide variety of wildlife and 50km of hiking trails. Bird life is especially prolific and there are several areas within the parks officially protected to care for certain species. During your walks through the carrasco pines and large oaks, you may see wild boar, foxes,eagles, hawks, owls and also the very rear Iberian lynx.