Summer Fiestas 2016

Spain is renowned for it’s colourful and lively festivals all-year-round. But summer is the best time to see and enjoy what the Spaniards do best … PARTY!!

Euro Tour GuideWe HIGHLY RECOMMEND you join the Euro Tour Guide’s web site or Facebook page for up-to-date info on events.

Of course the Hondon Valley and its surrounding areas are no exception to fiesta culture and have an array of activities across the arts, music, drama, markets, crafts and events. Of course there are usually fireworks involved in the evening to end with a bang! But to be honest they are merely a starter gun for more partying under the warm evening stars… yes don’t expect to get in from a night Fiesta until at least 3am!  TIP: Always get there early if you want a seat as they get real busy and the atmosphere is great. You’ll soon see how a sleepy country Spanish village can come alive!

Fiestas Correfocs 2016. Hondon de las Nieves
Fiestas Correfocs 2016. Hondon de las Nieves

So Hondon de las Nieves ( July/August ) has many fiesta events but is best known for it’s love of the Medieval Market followed by the Correfocs (Fire Runners). The latter being a crazy mix of “fire ninjas”, loud music, dancing and teasing everyone with fireworks that ends with a grand finale on the main plaza stage. It’s late, smoky, loud, scary and exciting all at the same time… just forget “health and safety”.  Here is Taimara’s video of the proceedings… it’s mental!  ::: https://youtu.be/tVBNwaUQrnY

Aspe Medieval Market: (August) is a themed “fairground” market full of stalls, food and drink but the vendors and visitors make efforts to dress in medieval costume. Generally there are games and rides for the children, jesters, minstrels and juggling acts as well as falconry, donkeys and a mayhem of activities. Fireworks usually complete the night. Come from 18 to 21 of August 2016 to the Dr. Calatayud park and live an unforgettable experience

Fiestas Aspe Medieval 2016

And the beloved Hondon de los Frailes Parade and Water/Foam Party is usually at the end of August. The parade sees many of the locals in themed or comedy costumes walking or dancing through the main streets of Frailes. They decorate their vehicle and floats with marching brass bands and drummer groups making all the noise. The rest of the village folk line the streets or bring food to the free tables and cheer and celebrate. Often sweets and nibbles are given out … beware the local “punch” which might be a very alcoholic “knock-out” juice but is probably just a home-made sangria. Lots of fun and usually followed by an international singing band on the large plaza stage. An amazing night that defies a small village like Frailes. And yes it’ll be another late night / early morning finish!

The water/foam fight is an afternoon event and basically a water truck, hose pipes, buckets, bottles and containers are used to throw water at everyone. NO-ONE ESCAPES a soaking! You can bring your soaker-guns and a foam machine will flood the plaza like snow! Children and adults love it all the same. (NOTE: don’t wear anything special that day)

FiestasFrailesParade2015

And of course the other local smaller villages don’t forsake their annual fiesta quota. Barbarroja, Macisvenda, La Romana and La Canalosa all step up to the mark.

Further afield of course the bigger towns and cities are incredible such as the Elche Nit De l’alba Fireworks, Alicante’s San Juan Bonfires (the Spanish seem to like fire!) and Novelda has it’s Moors and Christians … there really is so much fun to be had and a great way to see this countries history and traditions, taste their food and party like a Spaniard!

Proud! We are a Finalist in the Pride of Spain awards

Thank you to our clients for nominating Maureen and Hondon Villas for the “Business of the Year” award in the annual Costa Blanca “Pride of Spain” awards. Which is sponsored and run by the excellent Expat’ newspaper “Costa Blanca People” (formerly The CoastRider).

We reached the final!

We are honoured to be part of this. A few years a go Hondon Villas help sponsor this eventthat celebrates people, community groups, organisations or businesses that go above and beyond for others.

The ceremony and winners are announced on 28th Sept’ at The Clubhouse, la Marquesa, Quesada . Tickets are available at just €12 to include hot/cold tapas and I think there is some entertainment too. Please some along and support the local people who make a difference, a great newspaper and promote community services.

And thank you for your lovely comments and support on our the Hondon Villas Facebook Page.

Victoria Hext Grogan says: “Huge congratulations to Mo and Hondon Villas, for reaching the finals of Pride of Spain! It’s no surprise to us because you really deserve it. While I was in spain and renting from Hondon Villas, you and the rest of the HV team always made any problems a matter of urgency and nothing was ever to much trouble for you. Your help was always available even if it wasn’t linked to the rental villa and you made my Spanish Property experience so much easier for me especially when my husband was away working so thank you! Good luck xxx”

Congratulations Maureen, Gina and Sapphire. We really hope you win. We had been on two previous property buying trips with two different real estate companies, neither of which was really helpful. We tried 4 more agencies, one of which tried to push us into buying something so opposite to our criteria it was dreadful.  Thank goodness we found you Hondon Villas. I can’t remember the chaps name in Frailes outside the cafe, but he told us all about Maureen and how she would look after us and boy was he right!  Mo and team, not only do you have our thanks for helping find our lovely home, but also our respect. – Sue Savage

Andrea Campbell-Jackson says:  My Mom and Dad, Ann and Dave, who are arriving at their new home in Hondon tonight had nothing but wonderful things to say about you (Maureen) and the fabulous service you and your company Hondon Villas have provided. Thank you so much for looking after them both in their big move to Spain. You really put my Mom’s mind at ease knowing she had you to help and guide them. I look forward to visiting soon and maybe I’ll see you in the village. Well done on making it to the finals.

Kathryn Green Says: “Well done! That is fantastic but of course no shock to me as you have always given outstanding customer service and have always gone above and beyond for all your customers over the years. So lovely to read all these positive comments. xxx”

» More information at Costa Blanca People website (formerly CoastRider).

 

Hondon Valley? On yer Bike!

Almost without fail many Spanish cycle clubs visit the Hondón area each weekend. The local mountains are ideal for cycling, mountain bikes or walking enthusiasts. And Hondón has been part of the country’s major tour “Vuelta España” tour.

Bike Ride. Albatera to Hondón

These are serious “peddle pushers”, all geared up, with bikes that probably cost a few months wages. They most often come over the very long and steep Albatera mountain ranges into the About the Hondón Valley. That’s one hell of a climb (even for a car) so it requires a very good level of fitness. They then stop off at the local bars and restaurants in Frailes & Nieves for refreshment and a rest. It gives the villages a real buzz on weekend mornings.

Bike Ride Alicante CoastNow on to the coast ... Do you fancy a relaxing cycle ride overlooking the Mediterranean sea? This 26-km (16-mile) route from San Juan beach through El Campello village is ideal for bikers of all ages. Get to the finish line and cool down at Coveta Fuma cove before taking the tram back to the city center.

Euro Tour Guide… What’s On?

If you want to know what events, fiestas and entertainment is available across the Costa Blanca then our friends at Euro Tour Guide are experts on events and tourism for the area.

Euro Tour Guide Logo

» Euro Tour Guide : They have an excellent website, video guides, events calendar and books. Their website is well worth subscribing to if you want to get more from your time on the Costa Blanca.

 

Bodegas Cerda… the local Wine Merchant

We love the wine in Spain – and at about €1.25 per litre from the local Bodegas it is a bargain!!

Wine Merchant in Hondon

In the Hondon Valley and beyond we have a nice array of wine growers wine merchants to choose from but the most spectacular one has to be Bodegas Cerda in Hondon de las Nieves. This building could grace any major town or city. It is a working producer and seller of many wine varieties to suite all pockets. As well as a museum to Hondon’s wine producing history it has an audio / visual room for tourists and educational trips.

The cobbled court yard is an ideal place to sample the wines with local tapas, cheeses and cured hams.

If you have not visited it yet … please do so as you will not be disappointed! It is truly the prize of Hondon’s architecture.

» http://www.bodegascerda.com/

¡Feliz día del padre!

Father’s day is known as ‘EI dia del padre’ in Spanish. It is celebrated on the 19th of March and falls on St. Joseph’s day, since the Catholic Church holds a significant influence on its culture. This day is to commemorate the life of the patron saint of carpenters; Joseph, who set an example of fatherhood. In some parts of Spain, like Valencia, there’s a grand celebration on St. Joseph’s day and is called “Las Fallas”. Father’s day, until very recently, was a non-working holiday in Spain.

This annual holiday is considered very important in Spain, as it helps acknowledge the contribution of fathers to individual families and to the society at large. This is a day to honor and thank all the father figures. The entire family gets together and enjoys a big feast and exchanges gifts. Children in Spain get busy in the preparations a week before EI Dia del Padre. They make crafts, gifts and prepare several activities for their fathers. The grown up children who are working or staying away from their home, make it a point to return back home on this day. In Spain people give family the paramount position.
>> http://www.loveyoufather.com/around-the-world/spain.html

Holy mackerel…the Mediterranean diet reduces ageing

New study sheds more light on benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

HV Editor: We agree on the whole! Except on weekends of course when G&Ts and patatas bravas are practically the law. LOL! And remember Hondon Nieves has a great market and al fresco vice on Saturday mornings in the Village Plaza 🙂

med-diet[source: AngloInfo]  To many expats the headline may seem like old but good news to those who already eat a Mediterranean diet, based on findings from years ago.

However, a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this week, reinforces the previous findings that following a Mediterranean diet helps prevent or slow down ageing.

The health of about 5,000 nurses in the USA was followed with a controlled number placed on a Mediterranean diet for more than ten years. The nurses on the Mediterranean diet showed fewer signs of ageing than their counterparts on a ‘normal’ diet. Specifically, it seems that microscopic ‘caps’ called telomeres, which protect our genetic material as it divides, get shorter and less protective on a normal diet. Whereas on a Mediterranean diet, the nurses’ telomeres did not shorten as much; and they showed fewer signs of cell degradation, or ageing.

What is a Mediterranean diet? According to the BMJ it involves eating, “a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and grains; a high intake of olive oil but a low intake of saturated fats; a moderately high intake of fish; a low intake of dairy products, meat, and poultry; and a regular but moderate intake of alcohol (specifically wine with meals).

Three cheers for following the Mediterranean diet then.

One of the best places to find fresh food that fits the Mediterranean diet is at local markets (whether you live in the Med area or not). To find your closest local market, go ‘What’s On’ on your local AngloINFO site and then choose ‘Markets’ from the drop down menu.

» by AngloINFO World editor