House for sale in Hondon de las Nieves, Alicante, Spain -
Hondón de las Nieves is a village west of Alicante, located in the wide and beautiful Hondon Valley and surrounded by pine trees of the woody Crevillente Sierras with the towns of Elche and Crevillente both being approximately a 30 minutes’ drive away. Hondon de las Nieves is typically Spanish, rural, quaint, friendly, and has changed very little over the years. It is now a bustling village with the local economy relying heavily on the agricultural industry from this very fertile valley where red and white grapes and almonds are grown, and the construction industry - with many limestone quarries servicing the Costa Blanca building trade with cement products.
The local grapes are used for both wine making and eating. This rural area is known as the District of Vinalopo; a name often seen on Spanish wine. (So, it is well worth sampling the wines in the local bodegas if you get the chance). Try a tour of Bodegas Cerda, founded 1885, and its wine making museum, view the architecture and enjoy its restaurant, not to mention sampling the wines in the shop before you buy.
Hondon de Las Nieves literally means 'Gorge of the Snow' but not after the weather, (there is virtually no snow), it is named after the village’s loyalty to their patron... "The Virgin of the Snow". This effigy and the church are at the heart of village life, the 'Virgin' has her own fiesta dedicated to her.
Hondon Nieves itself has a population of around 1700 people, who do not exactly rush anywhere... it is a typically mañana mañana culture here. Village life centres on the main palm-lined 'plaza' with pastel-shaded buildings, bars, restaurants and the Ayuntamiento, with several of the bars serving tasty tapas 'al-fresco'. The plaza, itself, provides a focal point for the many and varied fiestas that take place throughout the year.
Nieves has four 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. Like most of the small towns and villages in the area, most of opening hours are traditional and can take some getting used to.
Market days in the village are Wednesday and Saturday. In addition there is an indoor weekday market selling fresh local produce. There is a lovely atmosphere Saturday morning with all the villagers buying their supplies, children playing in the Plaza and the Al Fresco nature of the bars and restaurants.
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 investing and so are keen to buy relatively cheap property inland that have larger plots than nearer the coast.
Although not on the coast, it is approximately a 35 minutes’ drive, and both Alicante town and airport are only 30 minutes away.
Some Urbanisation has been built with the biggest (about 450 detached villas) so far is between Frailes and Nieves, known as "Montañosa". The British, Dutch and German are its main inhabitants, it is centred on the old ‘La Finca’ building that is now an excellent renovated restaurant, bar, and 'social' centre. The economy of the two villages Nieves and Frailes has benefited from this injection of people.
The area enjoys 300+ days of great weather, with summers being very hot and quite mild winters. Although the area does have severe winter storms occasionally... but the farmers need the water for their crops. It is a peaceful and tranquil area, and suited to people who want a slow pace of life in a rural setting. You will need a car as public transport is sparse and for a larger selection and bigger shops, Aspe (10 minutes’ drive) or Albatera (30 minutes’ drive) are alternatives to Elche and Crevillente. The drive to Albatera through the mountains makes most people 'gasp' at the fantastic vista over-looking the Costa Blanca South.