Vejer de la Frontera, Andalucia
"The Crown of the Costa de la Luz." - Reviewed by Miguel
It was home to the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and, eventually, the Romans. In 711, the Visigoths lost control of the town to the Moors who then occupied it until the 13th century. Bucketfuls of history for such a small place just 190 m above sea level!
I first visited Vejer 30+ years ago (of course, I was a mere child!) and hadn’t been back for many years. I was fearful, therefore, of what I might find there today. Would the history still be intact? Would it be overrun with tacky tourism? Would I be able to find an authentic plate of Boquerones Fritos? (fried anchovies)
Luckily for us all, in 2013, Vejer officially received recognition as one of Los Pueblos Mas Bonitos d’España (one of the most beautiful villages in Spain), was declared a Historical Site and awarded the National Prize for the Beautification of Andalusian Towns. This clearly meant a lot of money had been pumped in and the dusty, undiscovered town of yesteryear had blossomed into quite the polished pearl.
Along with the beautification came the foodies! Yeah! Fantastic restaurants abound and each one that we tried was excellent! The Plaza de España is very spiffy these days and is surrounded by very nice eateries, indeed. Boutiques, restaurants and hotels alike all seemed to appeal to a more conscientious level of tourism. Indeed, the whole of the Costa de la Luz has still retained an “undiscovered” feel.
If foodie/beachy holidays are your thing – you’ll have really hit the jackpot. Miles and miles of windswept, golden sands await you. There are beaches with great restaurants and bars dotted all along them. There are beaches with chirinquitos offering up the freshest fish. And then there are beaches where you need to take a picnic and a pair of dark glasses. These are the more…shall I say… “natural” beaches… where anything goes. I’ll say no more!
- 690 km (6-1/2-hr drive) from Madrid
- 152 km (1 hr 45-min drive) from Seville
- 70 km (45-min drive) from Jerez de la Frontera
- 1 hr 35-min drive to Gibraltar
- TRIPWIX tailor-made “Spanish Classic Countryside Pursuits” program – Enjoy a day in the countryside “a campo abierto” at Los Alburejos and see the Torrestrella brave bulls and the famous (pure Spanish race) purebred horses. Or visit the spectacular Fuente Rey – a benchmark of the bullfighting world.
- Personal sherry bodega tours – with host Elena Domecq
- Sightseeing – Visits to Andalucian hilltop towns or the Roman ruins at Baelo Claudia. Or, take a tour of the 11th-century castle and its open museum.
- Cooking classes – Experience the food and wine of southern Spain – from amazing albondigas to perfect paella!
- Wind sports abound – Kite-surfing, wind-surfing, etc.
- Golf – At nearby Montenmedio and Sancti Pectri Hills courses.
- Beach activities – Miles of golden, sandy beaches nearby – many of them wild and off the beaten track. Go horse riding on the beach, practice your favorite water sports, or spend the days strolling in the soft sand.
- The Feria de Vejer is held in April – Features flamenco, equestrian shows, contests, theatre and more!