The Orba & Jalon Valley

Located at the epicentre of the Marina Alta, Orba is a small, typically Spanish inland town cradled in a fertile evergreen valley of citrus, olive and almond groves, and sheltered by the surrounding mountains. Although the town only has about 2000 inhabitants (a well proportioned mix of Spanish, British and other European) it is large enough to provide all essential services and facilities with a choice of good shops and supermarkets, bars, restaurants, banks, a fine community pool, sports and  barbeque park, and a new 24hr medical centre.

Orba and its neighbouring valleys maintain a very strong Moorish influence, apparent not just in the Arabic origins of the village names but also visually in the architecture and terracing of the hillsides. Referred to as the medicine chest of Europe in medieval times, not only do many wild herbs flourish but the area draws thousands of sightseers every spring to see the spectacle of the almond and cherry blossom. The local valleys are reputed to enjoy the earliest cherry harvest in Europe. A stark contrast to the nearby rice fields of Pego and vineyards of Jalon.

Javea its coastal neighbour is claimed to be the first place in Spain to greet each dawn and the sun shines for at least 300 days per year here. The ferocity of the midsummer heat is tempered by the happy cocktail of the altitude, the mountain breezes and the fact that Orba, being at the centre of a promontory, is within about 20 km. of the Mediterranean for a full 180º. We were in Orba at the end of October and the temperature was 25ºC.

All kinds of property can be found in this area, from original Spanish terraced town houses through to majestic mountainside fincas (farmhouses), equally there are several small developments from town houses and apartments to imposing, individually designed luxury villas on plots of up to 12,000m2 (3 acres).

Compared to the nearby coastal resorts, many of the towns and villages in the mountain and valley areas are relatively undiscovered and the market here is, relatively speaking, in its infancy. This situation, while it lasts, continues to throw up some exciting opportunities for shrewd buyers, who are prepared to venture just 20 minutes or so inland.

Whilst there are several popular entertainment venues in and around Orba without the need to travel to the coast, the greater appeal must be to those seeking the relaxation (or the exertions) that this spectacular rural setting offers. The mountains offer great opportunities for walking, climbing, cycling, fishing and horse riding etc. whilst the coastal resorts have all the usual attractions and some of Mediterranean Spain’s finest sandy beaches, just a twenty minute drive away.

Author:  Chris Garwood – Partner, Select Villas of Moraira December 2010

Villas for sale in Moraira and Benissa  

Apartment for Sale
2 beds, 1 bath
249,000 Euros

Apartment for Sale
3 beds, 2 baths
249,000 Euros
Finca for Sale
7 beds, 9 baths
760,000 Euros

Villa for Sale
4 beds, 3 baths
785,000 Euros