Jalón, now officially known as Xaló is a rather typical, Alicantinian, tiny, agricultural village just 10 kilometres inland from the coast. However, it is also an eclectic little place with its villagers, its foreign residents and its all-year round visitors. Although frequented by various nationalities and a variety of languages can be heard in the streets, it is steeped in the time-honoured traditions of Alicante and the Valencian Community. You are as likely to see a yellow lamborghini with personalized plates as a marching steel band or a horse-drawn cart going for a week-long hike in the hills of Bèrnia steering through the village’s streets.
Xaló has a population of approximately 2000. It is surrounded by the hilly terrain and mountains of the Bèrnia sierra (1.128m), the Ferrer sierra (889m), El Castellet (608m) and the Penyó de la Mica (506m), all of which are landmarks.
Throughout the ages, several prehistoric cultures have left their distinctive markes on the town: the Cova de les Meravelles (a cave full of stalactites and stalagmites), the Bassa dels Arcs and the Solana hills. Two Arab castles were built during the 500 years of Arab rule: The Aixa castle, and the castle that crowned the Bèrnia sierra, yet no relics remain today. The neoclassical Santa Maria church and the Santo Domingo hermitage are other monuments in Xaló. There is a great deal of mountain walking in this area, and the routes such as the Xaló or Gorgos River, or the 12km route from Xaló to Bèrnia, are very popular.
“Embutidos” or sausages have well-deserved fame in the district, where authentic butcher masters continue the ancestral practice of making pork sausages. Viticultue is one of the most deeply rooted agricultural traditions in Xaló.