Luxury villa sleeping upto six people on the edge of Orba village. Well equipped not a basic holiday villa, with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, private pool, ample garden furniture, shady areas and gas BBQ.
The whole area has hundreds of fiestas throughout the year, ranging from small local ones, to the Fallas in Valencia that last for 6 weeks. There are some fantastic fiestas which occur in the Orba Valley, many of the biggest and best local events are in the village itself.
There are a few nearby events that you should try and see if they are happening when you are here.
Any Moors and Christians festival, and the Fallas in March are other events that are worth seeing.
Bull-running (bous al carrer) is the main activity in June. If you are tempted to join in then be very careful - the bulls, or to be more precise cows, may be small but they are very quick and agile, their horns are long and sharp and can do you serious damage.
Denia holds its own version of bull-running (Bous al mar) which is perhaps less cruel than the norm. Staging is erected in the form of a square with one side being the quay to the harbour. The brave (or foolish) ones try to entice the bull to fall, or be pulled into the sea. The aficionados stand on the quay waiting for the bull to charge. They then attempt to grab a horn at the very last second so as to pull the bull into the sea. This is a somewhat risky but amusing spectacle as lines of youths systematically dive into the water. The bull usually wins, but should he happen to fall in, he is gently led back to the shore by a boat.
The fiestas are the highlights of the village year. The biggest fiestas are the 4 day weekend in May and the week long fiesta at the end of July into August. There is a smaller fiesta in Orbeta in June.
Paella cooking competitions, bike racing round the village and dressed carts, or floats, are all topped off to the sounds of the Orba Band. Modern Spanish pop bands pass away the early hours of the mornings at fiesta time.
Hardly a month goes by when there is not a religious fiesta day with parades in the streets. Some of the most moving sights are the processions at Easter time. All fiestas have firework displays that make our Bonfire night look like a damp squib event. Although with Spanish fireworks, the amount of noise they make, seems to be more important than the visual effects.
The Orba valley villages of Tormos, Sagra, Sanet y Negrals, Rafol, Benidoleig and Beniarbeig, Fontilles, Fleix, Campell, Benimaurell and Murla also hold similar events so if you miss the Orba ones look out for those.
Christmas is not celebrated in the same way as in the UK. The Spanish big day is the evening of January 5th for the Epiphany or Three Kings day, (rather than Christmas) when the Kings, who arrive on horseback, distribute presents to the children of Orba in the plaza, calling them up one at a time. New Years Eve is also well celebrated but you will need to book early if you want a meal.
The Moors and Christians troupes of Alcoy hold the biggest processions of their kind in Spain (23rd April). The costumes, spectacle, noise and atmosphere are electric, something to be seen and never forgotten. At Fontilles (approximately 3km from Casa Alegria) in mid-October on a Sunday daytime, they hold a smaller repeat version, primarily for the patients in the sanatorium. This event lasts all day, and can be heard all around the Orba valley. All of the Moors and Christian photos on Casa Alegria pages were taken at this parade.
The Fallas last for 6 weeks, although the final 5 days from 15th March to the end on 19th March are the most enjoyable. Valencia is the main place to see these events, Denia is a good alternative. The Fallas are to celebrate the coming of Spring, and the fires symbolise the clearing of rubbish (spring cleaning).
As well as the parades in Valencia, the biggest attraction is the building of paper mache statues satirising national and international celebrities. The statues literally hundreds of them are placed in roadways around Valencia. They are set alight on 19th March, St Joseph's day, the patron saint of Carpenters. Before this, they are judged in categories, e.g. children's, subject and complexity, etc. The statues are massive, some 4 or 5 storey's high. There are coach trips from Orba to the Fallas in Valencia.
The Fallas in Denia are well worth seeing, all of the Fallas photos on Casa Alegria pages were taken at Denia.
In Denia, there are dozens of statues spread around the shopping/business area, there are parades, bands, fireworks that you just won't believe. As with Valencia, the statues are set alight during the night of 19th March.
Orba fiesta calendar (all dates are approximate)
The Three Kings - Procession and distribution of presents to the children of Orba. The Three Kings is celebrated rather than Christmas Day. The Kings arrive on horseback, to present their presents.
The Fallas end on March 19th St Josephs Day (see Fallas)
The week of Easter is celebrated with sombre religious processions, usually entailing an effigy of Jesus on the Cross being carried through the streets followed by mourners wearing black and carrying candles. Spaniards of all ages take part and one cannot help being struck by the sense of community and dedication to tradition that the celebrations reflect.
Fiestas in honour of the Patron Saint - Each town has its Patron Saint and a fiesta is held in their honour which usually last one week. During this time the towns commercial activity virtually shuts down as celebrations go on practically 24 hours a day. Festivities include processions, dancing in the streets, live music, sporting events and firework displays.
Bull running is a spectacle which you must see, as there is nothing like seeing the inhabitants of Orba fleeing through streets lined with colourful market stalls, chased by cattle. Joining in with the bull run is a sure way to get your adrenaline flying through your veins, but it is certainly dangerous.
Summer Fiestas, festivities include children's entertainment, music, dancing, parades and of course fireworks.