Ayora is known as the honey capital of Spain and the host of the sweetest event in Valencia.

Honey honey, how you thrill me, a-ha, honey honey …

The first line of Abba’s song, Honey Honey fits the Ayora Honey Festival (Feria del primer corte de la miel en Ayora) to a T. Ayora is known as the honey capital of Spain and is the host to one of the sweetest events in the Comunidad Valenciana.

We are true honey lovers. Not the supermarket kind but the kind that comes from a honey farmer. Our current favorite is Miel de Azahar (orange blossom honey) that we order through La Mieleria. So, when we found out about the Ayora Honey Festival, we rounded up some of our friends and headed off for a day trip to the village of Ayora, an hour and a half drive southeast from Valencia.

Let’s Go!

The day started out a bit cooler and hit a high of 26° C. We had an early start because it is an hour and half drive from Valencia and we needed to be there by 11am for the guided tour to the castle (in English!).

On the road at the entrance of Ayora/Almansa, we were greeted by the Cruz de San Antón aka Cruz Cubierta de Ayora built in the 15th Century. Once we arrived at Ayora, we were able to find a parking space fairly easily and walked about 7 minutes to our meeting point at the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción). There we met up with the rest of our group and tour guide. It was a bit crazy because of the number of people as well as the fiestas noises that interfered with our guide’s soft voice.

The Tour

The tour started inside the Church and then a short walk (uphill) to Santa Maria Maggiore Church (Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor) then (another uphill trek) to the Castle of Ayora (Castillo de Ayora). It was amazing to see the city of Ayora from this viewpoint and more importantly, to be able to stand in the same buildings that have been around since the 15th Century.

The sweet taste of honey

After the tour, we headed back to the center of the village and a few of us made a beeline for the honey farm booths. On our way there, we walked through the Artisenal Market where we saw many tempting things like handmade jewelry, and ceramic and wooden kitchen items.  

The honey farmers’ area had booths with a wide variety of honey where you can ask to sample any flavor you want. Their products included a variety of candies like gummy bears (honey with lemon or honey with orange), hard candies with honey and cinnamon, and the best throat candy, propoleo. There were also all sorts of honey creams for the face and body. All of these are artisenal products and priced lower than we expected! Needless to say, we came home with a nice stash of goodies…..lavander honey (miel de espliego), honey and squash marmalade gummy bears and more….

What’s for lunch?

The gastronomy area had over where all kinds of products are served, like the most typical of Ayora and the region (gazpachos ayorinos, baked rice, the fried cakes with honey, sausages and appetizers) plus an assortment of dishes of innovative cuisine.

There was a glass apiary on display in the center of town where the bees were busy doing what they do best…producing honey! We were able to witness the first cut of honey as well as taste fresh honey including the honeycomb.

Next up, after all the honey tasting, it was time for lunch. Gazapacho ayorino, tapas with a variety of sausages, paella valenciana and for dessert, tortas fritas topped with honey or chocolate.

We will be definitely be back for the next edition in 2019!

Address: Calle San Francisco s/n, 46620 Ayora, Valencia
Telephone: (+34) 96 189 06 58
Email: ayora@touristinfo.net
Web: https://ayora-turismo.es/

El primer corte de miel (first cut of honey) is a fun event for the entire family!

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