Located in the Marina Baja region of the province of Alicante, Alfaz has some beautiful scenery. The beauty of the surrounding area is due to the Sierra Helada Mountain and the Sierra Helada Nature Park.
According to statistics from 2011 Alfaz has approximately 21,670 inhabitants, 55% of which are foreign nationals. Alfaz has the second largest colony of Norwegian residents after London.
It has approximately 4 kilometres of coastline with the beach of Albir being the most important. This beach is only two kilometres from the town centre next to the Sierra Helada Nature Park. Surrounded by clear crystalline water it offers relaxation and enjoyment for visitors. Sporting activities in the area are varied and there are many to choose from.
The Raco d’ Albir possesses great natural beauty with impressive cliffs and coves. Mild summer temperatures and warm winters make it the ideal place for a second residence or to spend a holiday. Many people have made there homes here in Urbanizations such as Arabi, Barranco Hondo, La Estrada and Devesa.
Its history can be traced back to the V century B.C from the important remains and *Toponymy that the Iberians left in their wake. After studying the remains found near Albir beach (which they have dated to be from the II & IV Century), archaeologists believe there was a Roman Colony there that shared the area with a settlement dating back to the Neolithic period.
In the middle of the 16th century Alfaz was a hamlet or settlement, dependant on the Barony of Polop and was known as Alfaz de Polop. In 1786 the residents of Alfaz planted a pine tree in the main square because they wanted to gain independence. They finally achieved this in 1836 and the area became known as Alfaz del Pi. Alfaz comes from the Arabic language and means "fertile land or cultivated land," Pi is a word from the Valencia language meaning “pine”. This pine tree which is now over 220 years old is the symbol of the village.
The town’s main economy relies on tourism, although it still has some industry and agriculture mainly vines, oranges, lemons, almonds, figs and carob trees. The town has many businesses and good infrastructure while maintaining its charm as a small town.
Fresh fish from the bay added to other local dishes such as "stilts dacsa amb" (meat balls and corn), sweet and savoury “cocas” , and “Pebrera ofegà “and” borreta form part of the local gastronomy The Bodega Mendoza grown and produce their wines in Alfaz and have won many international prizes. Their wines have the “denominacion de origen” which is a guarantee of the quality and origin of a wine.
Monuments and places of interest include:
- The Sierra Helada Nature Park . With cliffs over 300 meters high, it's name comes from the visual effect of the moon’s reflection on the surface of the mountain making it look like a block of ice. This park is very important environmentally with valuable native plants and wildlife.
- Torre Bombarda. A watch tower it has been declared to be of cultural interest.
- Ochre Mine. At the foot of the Sierra Helada Mountain.
- Parish Church of “Cristo del Buen Acierto”. Constructed in 1784 by the first patron of the town, San Jose. Today it is dedicated to the “Cristo del Buen Acierto” or Christ of Good Decisions.
- El Albir beach.
- Castle of Alfaz. Moors and Christians show.
- Promenade of Stars. Located on the beach of Albir, the promenade has stars along the esplanade honouring the winners of the Alfaz Film Festival which is celebrated every July.
- Roman Villa. Archaeological discovery located in Albir.
Important fiestas :
- Celebrations of the Cross. Held on the 1st of May and lasting three days to honour the cross.
- International Film Festival. Held at the beginning of July, the awards are known as the Silver Lighthouse.
- Local fiestas of Albir. Held the weekend after 15 August, with recreational events for residents and tourists.
- Jubilee Celebrations in honour of the Holy Christ of Good Decisions. This fiesta takes place from the 31st of October until the 10th of November and is the most important local fiestas of Alfaz del Pi in honour of their patron .
- Celebrations in honour of the Immaculate. Coinciding with the bank holiday of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the 8th December, a holy day of obligation, the fiestas are held from the 6th to the 8th of December . The fiestas are also known as the Fiestas of the Immaculate One.
*Toponymy is the scientific study of place names (toponyms), their origins and meanings.