Sax is an idyllic ‘typically Spanish’ town in the province of Alicante, Valencia. With an imposing castle dominating the skyline and rich flora and fauna, this is the perfect place to slip into the Spanish lifestyle and enjoy your life in Spain.
Archaeological findings date Sax back to the Bronze Age and its castle has Roman and Moorish foundations. It is a traditional town where Spanish is the language spoken and life pretty much follows the ebb and flow of generations. However, in recent years it has seen the arrival of a few foreigners who have been lured here by its charms.
Sax has been built in the valley of Vinalopó and enjoys pleasant views of the surrounding hills. It is a picturesque area with agriculture still being its main source of income. Dominating the views is the large hill and its castle. Romans, Arabs and Christians have taken to travelling through Sax over the centuries. It is a natural corridor that now also serves as host to the railway line between Alicante and Madrid.
Sax boasts a typical Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and mild winters. There is a wealth of local fauna that includes cypress, pine, juniper, thyme, lavendar and rosemary. The region has some rocky ground on which you can find interesting plant communities along with species of fungi, mosses and lichens. There are many types of birds and insects as well as some species of reptiles. A natural park borders the castle which overlooks the town and is well worth a visit.
Agriculture is still very important here with fruits, vegetables and grapes grown in extensive vineyards. Water for the crops comes from the River Vinalopo which runs through the valley. Sax has some industry too, predominantly shoes, leather goods and furniture, but it remain a rural setting.
To see and to do in Sax
‘Typically Spanish’ it might be, but it’s also blessed with plenty of facilities too. It has its own doctor’s surgery, chemists and banks and you will find a whole range of shops, bars and restaurants to choose from. If you aren’t able to find what you want here, then other major centres are not far away.
Here you can feel as though you are in the real Spain without losing out on modern services. Sax has its own sports centre with football pitches, tennis and basketball courts, climbing wall, a gymnastic circuit and open air swimming pool.
All the major festivals are celebrated here including Semana Santa (holy week), Cabalgata de Reyes (procession of the three kings) Carnaval, Moors and Christians and the festival of San Blas. San Blas is the patron saint of Sax and as such several days of festivities are dedicated to him.
It is a good area for hiking and you can enjoy walks through the El Pino pine forest and its one million pine trees or brave the Sierra de la Cabrera mountain range. The old quarter of Sax is well-worth exploring and oozes atmosphere. With narrow, winding streets and historic architecture, some parts of Sax feel like a throw back to medieval times.
The castle is a historic site which attracts many visitors. It is perched on a steep rock known as ‘La Peña’. Rather unusual are the snow pits which are located in the arras and can date back to the 13th century. These pits of up to 15 metres deep were used for the storage of snow in the winter. This would then be used in the summer to keep drinks and food cool.
Sax combines a number of appealing attributes. Here you can find a more leisurely pace of life, a beautiful setting and a rich heritage. There’s no wonder that this charming Spanish town has attracted some international residents too.
- Population: 9.700
- Nearest airport: Alicante (30 minutes)
- Road access: A 31
- Public transport: Hourly bus service, on the route by rail from Valencia to Alicante
- Beaches: Alicante (35 minutes)
- Nearby local towns: Elda, Yecla, Monóver, Villena
- Cities: Alicante (35 minutes)