A Quick Guide to the Hondon Valley
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Stunning, Peaceful and the typical Spanish Villages of Hondon
Hondon De Las Nieves & Hondon De Los Frailes... near Alicante, Costa Blanca South. Spain.
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 or ornate drapes in villager's 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 you'll see 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 the table. Hondon is also surrounded by pine trees in the woody Crevillente Sierras (mountain ranges) known as the District of Vinalopo; a name often seen on Spanish wine. So sampling the excellent locally produced wine is a must - visit Bodega Cerdas in Nieves (it is beautiful)!
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 property investment and so are keen to buy relatively cheap villas and apartments inland with larger plots that you'd not match nearer the coast. Some Urbanisation are now being build inland here. The biggest (about 450 detached villas) so far is is between Frailes and Nieves, known as "Montanosa" (sometimes called Mi Casa Familia or Oasis).
This Urbanisation is mainly habituated by the British, Dutch and German and is still under construction but recently the French, Belgians and Scandinavians have started to buy here. The Urb' centres around the old 'La Finca' building which is now an excellent renovated restaurant, bar and 'social' centre (with good food, friendly service and music events). The two villages of Frailes and Nieves have benefited from this injection of people and their money. Both villages have or are now under-going some 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 310+ days of great weather. Summers are very hot, winters quite mild / chilly. Frailes / Nieves do have bad winter storms from time to time but the farmers need the water for their crops. Overall, Hondon is a peaceful and tranquil area, non-commercial really and suited to people you want a slow pace of life in a rural setting, may have come to retire here. You'll definitely need a car as public transport is sparse and most Shops / Malls at least a 20 min's drive 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 including 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, Elche or Aspe are the nearest towns. The drive over to Albatera is over the mountains that most people 'gasp' at, either for the view or the high winding roads. 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.
Frailes is smaller than but similar to Nieves (7 minutes drive), and perhaps less stocked with amenities. However, it matches for bars and restaurants. They also have their Fiesta Week and for a small village is truly amazing. Many foreigners live here but tend to have homes in the "campo". The main hub is in the main street Juan Carlos I, which is home to the Church, shops, restaurants and a chemist. Nearby is Barbarroja, La Canalosa, La Romana and Macisvenda.
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 - IT IS 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, even cold in Jan/Feb,. It can be very windy and the 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 woolly jumper and long trousers at night but it's no where near as cold as UK thankfully.
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 at real value prices 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" with their office in the main Frailes Plaza (look for the blue and green logo!), it's near the Farmacia.
Brought to you by Hondon Villas
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Buy or Sell, we have 10 Years in Spanish Real Estate. We are the #1 local Real Estate Agent in the Hondon Valley areas covering Hondon Valley, Albatera, La Romana, Macisvenda, Hondon de las Nieves and Hondon de los Frailes for property sales, rentals and real estate services.
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OFICINA: Calle Juan Carlos I #24, Plaza Centro,
03689 Hondon de los Frailes (Alicante Region). Spain