We had been in Spain for 13 days and had already covered most of the 'orange' roads on this map (Sue's sister had joined us from England for 9 days of that time) when the two of us finally woke up to a rainy morning in Nerja, on the Mediterranean coast. The weather forecast did not look good for the next few days so, knowing that the good weather would be arriving from the west and wanting a proper look at Spain's Atlantic coast anyway, we headed for Tarifa on the morning of Dec. 28th.
Fondest memory: We arrived there in late afternoon and the weather was wild, but already looking better than Nerja's! We managed to find a place for the night (that did not work out too well) and next morning headed up the coast to do some exploring. We stopped at the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia, but it was closed on a Monday - so we then continued onward up the coast until we reached pretty little Vejer de la Frontera. After finding very nice accommodations there, that afternoon and the next morning was spent exploring both Cape Trafalgar and Vejer itself before heading back down the coast toward Tarifa. With Baelo Claudia being open on a Tuesday, we had a very enjoyable self-guided tour of the diggings and restorations before landing back in Tarifa for one more night. The next morning was Dec. 31st with New Years Eve 2009 rapidly approaching and us still with nowhere to stay. Now that the weather had improved, we decided to play it safe and headed back up the Mediterranean coast to Torremolinos (just outside Malaga) to see if one of our first accommodation spots would take pity on us!
Zohara and I found several lookout points in the old city of Vejer de la Frontera where we could look out upon the white new city.
The Church of El Davino Salvador was closed (yes the door was actually locked) so we saw only the outside...there is also a nice little souvenier shop just outside the main entrance to the church.
The last photo shows what Vejer looks like on the approach road from Cadiz.
Vejer's sister town is Chefchaouen in morocco. This is by no mistake as in fact Chaouen was based upon Vejer. When the Moors retreated back to Morocco they built Chaouen in Vejer's image. I believe there is a love story attached to it as well.
I think the founder of Chaouen A Sidi Ali Ben Rashid was sperated from his wife Zhora who stayed n Vejer, so Rashid built Chaouen not only after Vejer but after his estranged wife too.
I just love the little narrow cobbled streets with no noise pollution from cars!!! You can't spend hours just getting lost here.
There are some great and cheap places to stay as well as lots of nice restaurants. If you want a place to relax then this is the place for you. It is also just 12 km from the beach so what more can you want!
The old Moorish built Castle or CASTILLOwas constructed during the 9th and 10th century. The Muslim Gate dates from the 11th century ( Puerto Musulmana S. XI ) . Reformed during the 19th century ( Reformos S. XIX ).
The Town Walls or RECINTO AMULLARADO surround the oldest part of Vejer and were built during the 10th and 12th century by the Moors as part of its defence to protect the town against the Christian reconquest of the region.
The Safe Gate or PUERTA DE LA SEGUR ( pictured here ) is one of the archways located in the Walls. It was restored by Lord Enrique, Duke of Guzman in the 15th century after the Christians recaptured the town from the Moors.
Favorite thing: The Parish Church of the Divine Salvador or IGLESIA PAROQUIAL DIVINO SALVADOR was constructed during the 14th century on the site of an old mosque. The front of the Church is Visigothic while the remainder is Mudejar. Santuario de Nuestra Senora de la Oliva is a local chapel which houses a 16th century carved image of the Virgin Mary
Perched high above the steep gorge of the River Barbate and the surrounding countryside, the old town of VEJER DE LA FRONTERA has an abundance of historical monuments. The Castle, turreted medieval walls, minaret of the old mosque, churches and convents, are a blend of Moorish, Visigoth and Mudejar styles.
Entering the upper part of the village through the original Moorish gates, you will see that Vejer has a strong Moorish character ( occupied by Moors up to 1250 ) and a maze of narrow, cobbled streets.
Hans and I , along with Carmen and Stace stopped here on our way to the Coast and Tarifa. Vejer is southwest of Jerez and northwest of Tarifa.
Favorite thing: The Church of the Conception or IGLESIA DE LA CONCEPCION was being renovated while we were visiting Vejer. The Church was founded by Juan de Amaya the Elder in 1552 ( fundada por Juan de Amaya el Viejo ) and built in Renaissance Style (Estilo Renacentista siglo XVI ). Ancient convent of Our Lady of the Conception ( Antiguo convento de Ntra. Sra. de la Concepcion ).
All the original ARCHWAYS still exist.
Arco Sancho IV - The oldest and best preserved gate to the Old Town.
Arco de la Villa - The main archway into Vejer. Located in the Plaza de Espana,
Puerto de la Segur - The lowest and best fortified of the archways, squeezed in between the fortifications and the Church.
Puerta Cerrada - The "closed gate" as it was supposedly the most susceptible to attack from the south.
Ideal ocation if you want to stay inan authentic spanish white town with a good selection of tapas bars and resturants, but small enough to chill. Close to some great beaches which are good for Surfing and wind surfing (El Palmar and Cabo de trafalgar). Stunning views. Look forprivate lets for great deals on oldy style apartments. Although a tourist destination this town feel miles away from the souless new developments being constructed on the coast.
Fondest memory: Eating breakfast on the roof terrace of the cosy litlle apartment we had for a few days.
Favorite thing: If you have the chance, climb to some tower or roof and have a look at the Vejer's roofs. A big deal of the town's activitu takes place on the flat roofs, where laundry is let to dry, people chat with neighbours, lie under the sun or just watch the sunset...
Favorite thing: The Plaza de Espana, where the Town Hall is located, is all surrounded by palm trees that give this place a very "african" style. Moorish inhabited this area for many centuries in the middle ages and there are still visible remants of their footsteps here...
If you visit the village in spring, you will be welcomed by the scent of jasmin from hundreds of orange blossoms in the main streets of Vejer.
If you have been to Sevilla in Spring, you will know what I am talking about...
Everywhere you go in Vejer you will find white walls, painted with LIME (not white paint!) every year. The white color reflects the light and the sun rays in summer, making the interiors much fresher.
There is a modern part of the village too where, though with a more contemporanean architecture, the white is still preserved.
Favorite thing: Most streets here are still cobbled the old way, as they have been for many years. This old paving system is still kept in this kind of villages and it gives them a special charm...