INLAND TOWNS. Within 15mins. drive of the coastline I have described above are to be found a plethora of very Spanish towns and villages. Whether they are perched atop mountains or cradled in valleys, they are all variations of the usual theme: narrow streets and passages radiating from the centrepiece of the church square, often a random blend of the ancient and traditional with post civil war 1950s and 60s architecture, together with the contemporary. All but the most humble will boast a few bars, cafes and restaurants, a bakery, general store and pharmacy and have a weekly open market. Larger inland towns such as Jalon, Teulada, Benissa, Orba, Pedreguer etc. will be pretty well self- sufficient. Either attached to these little towns, or positioned somewhere between them there are a number of urbanizations (an ugly word – but it just means a properly coordinated development) both large and small. These provide a mix of modern accommodation built to current or recent European standards, with the peace and solitude of the otherwise untouched, Spanish countryside, usually with fabulous valley views and a dramatic mountain backdrop – at appreciably lower prices than their coastal counterparts. It would be impractical to attempt to capture in print the individual character and components of each of these towns and villages as there are literally hundreds of the blighters within the Marina Alta. Suffice it to say, dear reader, that once you have a more defined idea of which coastal town you would prefer to be associated with, we can then focus on the relevant inland options. The key inland focal points – south to north are:
Benissa The inland part of Benissa Costa – between Calpe and Moraira, as mentioned above.
Jalon Valley The wine producing valley consisting of: Senija, Lliber, Jalon, Alcalali & Parcent.
Teulada & Benitachell Nice small towns, attached and/or associated with Moraira.
Gata & Jesus Pobre Very Spanish villages, inland from Javea. Famous for its basketware and classical guitar makers.
Orba & Murla At the epicentre of the Marina Alta – between the Grape and the Cherry valleys.
Orba Valley, Vall de Laguart, Vall D’Ebo, Vall de Gallinera The cherry growing valleys – wonderful, but a little remote for some tastes!
Pedreguer, Ondara, La Xara Self contained small towns with satellite villages, inland from Denia
Monte Pego & Cumbre del Sol Each are both large developments on their own hillsides, the former is between Pego and the coast, the latter is between and above Benitachell & Moraira. Both are equally suited for holiday homes or permanent living, each offering the cheapest sea views per €, in their respective areas.