The Costa Blanca inland town of Aspe lies on the CV-847 between Elche and Novelda about 17km from the beaches of the Costa Blanca coastline, and is situated on a tributary of the Vinalopo river. The area around Aspe is predominantly agricultural and is well known for its wine making, the lack of water has been a huge problem through the centuries but irrigation set in place by the Moors during the Arab occupation have enable the region to develop and prosper.
The town itself still has a large percentage of Spanish inhabitants but is becoming a popular area with foreign investors. Aspe has a population of 18,821 (2006 figures).
There is some evidence of settlements in the area around Aspe as long ago as the Paleolithic Era (deposits found in the Peñón de la Ofra; Cueva del Rollo) and further evidence during the Neolithic Era (Tabayá, Murón de la Horna), the Iberians named the town ‘Aspis’ and their settlement was in the area of Castillo del Rio. Next came the Romans who re-named the town ‘Laspis’ and founded the town in its current location and began to develop agriculture in the area. More important developments came for Aspe during the Arab occupation (8th to 13th Centuries) when an intricate system of irrigation was put in place to bring water to previosly dry areas of land. The Moors lept control until around 1243 when they were defeated and expelled by Christian forces, and in 1244 under the Treaty of Almizra, Aspe came under control of the Kingdom of Mucia it changed hands several times over the centuries until finally becoming part of the Kingdom of Valencia.
Aspe today is a pleasant place to walk around, the old town square (Plaza del Ayuntamiento) is the centre of the community and worth visiting are the church and the modernist ‘casino’, much of the old town centre has now been pedestrianised There is much more for the visitor to enjoy in this very Spanish town, which has a wealth of shops and restaurants. The new buildings blending effortlessly with the older style Spanish houses, the main road through Aspe is beautifully lined with trees and it soon becomes a very picturesque setting for the keen photographer. There is much more for the visitor to enjoy in this very Spanish town, which has a wealth of shops and restaurants. The new buildings blending effortlessly with the older style Spanish houses, the main road through Aspe is beautifully lined with trees and it soon becomes a very picturesque setting for the keen photographer.
A visit to Aspe which is easily reached from junction 74 of the E15, will immediately show the contrasts within the town. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the Plaza Mayor with the seventeenth century parish church on one side, the eighteenth century Ayuntamiento on another side and on the third side is the twentieth century and very modern Casino.
There is much more for the visitor to enjoy in this very Spanish town, which has a wealth of shops and restaurants. The new buildings blending effortlessly with the older style Spanish houses, the main road through Aspe is beautifully lined with trees and it soon becomes a very picturesque setting for the keen photographer.
Aspe was created as a village, over seven hundred years ago, in 1296, and following the expulsion of the Moors at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the village was repopulated by Aragonese and Spanish became the major tongue. Today Aspe is an important communications centre and is easily identifiable from any approach road due to the vineyards growing the Aledo bagged grapes which are to be found in many Spanish homes on New Year’s Eve. The grapes have achieved national status and are labelled as such being clearly marked that they were grown in the Vinalopa area of Spain. The old town centre, the Plaza Mayor, has recently been converted to a pedestrian area and provides a very pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by.
The casino provides a slightly more unusual form of relaxation than the usual water sports which are offered in the coastal towns of the Costa Blanca but in any event it is worth a peep inside to see the contrast with the church on the adjacent side of the square. Also of interest is the Teatro Wagner which was built in 1922 and after enjoying a period of popularity was closed for some time. It re-opened in 1995 and now provides theatre goers with a wide programme of entertainment and is once again a well used venue.
Aspe with a population of around 18,000 people is certainly not a tourist town and the main economy is supported by the growing of grapes and is famous for the production of wine. However, the visitor is greeted by a very friendly population including a few non nationals who have made this delightful town their home. Certainly there are no urbanisations or signs of massive construction work in the close proximity to the town which is just North West of Elche. Aspe is one of nine towns and villages which make up what is known as The Island of the Interior, and the towns work in harmony with each other and they share information on the towns in that region.
Amenities in Aspe:
* Health care centre
* Red cross
* Post office
* Public schools