Vejer travel guide: things to do in Vejer de la Frontera

Vejer travel guide: things to do in Vejer de la Frontera

Here you have a travel guide to Vejer de la Frontera with tips on what to do, main tourist attractions, accommodation, the best beaches and more.

Location of Vejer de la Frontera

Vejer is situated at 200m. above sea level and is just a few km. from the beaches of El Palmar, Trafalgar Bay or Los Caños de Meca. Vejer itself is made up of 2 parts, the old medieval quarter and the newer part of town carefully designed in the style of the ‘pueblos blancos’ of the region. Surrounded by large swathes of agricultural land growing sugar beet, sunflowers and wheat Vejer has a lot of land given over to the grazing of the local ‘retinto’ cattle. Vejer overlooks both the Atlantic coastline and the ‘Las Breñas’ Natural Park a 5,000ha. forest of pine wood running down to the coast and the ‘Marismas’ Natural Park a smaller nature reserve through which the Barbate river runs and which is home to an important collection of birdlife. Both parks have walking trails running through them and are perfect for day walks. Vejer has many view points overlooking both the coastline & the cork oak studded hills of the ‘Alcornocales’ Natural Park one of Spain’s most important nature reserves.

Imagen aérea de Los Caños de Meca y el Parque Natural de La Breña.
Los Caños de Meca and Parque Natural de La Breña.

Vejer is consistently one of Spain’s top ten prettiest towns (survey done by the Spanish Tourist Board) and is widely regarded as being the best preserved of the ‘Pueblos Blancos’. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Strait of Gibraltar Vejer is a historic monument town of turreted walls, flower filled courtyards and ancient buildings.

Vejer weather

It is called the Costa de la Luz for a reason. The Gulf of Cadiz is the area of Spain that enjoys the most hours of sunshine per year. This is according to the yearbook of the National Statistics Institute (INE). Vejer, therefore, enjoys a privileged climate, with warm temperatures in summer, autumn and spring and not very cold winters. Vejer is special at all seasons and each of them offers different ways of enjoying the town.

Imagen de Vejer de la Frontera.
Vejer.

Things to see in Vejer

Discover the historical and cultural wealth of Vejer through its main tourist attractions. These are the most outstanding monuments:

The Fortified Walls

You can still trace the outline of these ancient monuments and in places they appear proud & defensive & in others disappear into homes & you’ll see somebodys washing being hung on the ramparts. Heavily restored in places the walls were built in the 15th.C. as part of the defensive investment after the Christian reconquest of the region. The best sections of restored walls are to be found next to the north face of the church, in the Judería including the old gates of Puerta Cerrada and the entire section from the gate of Sancho el Bravo to the Plaza de España including the Casa del Mayorazgo (see below).
A notable feature are the various arches that lead into the old town through the walls. Unlike in many other towns all the original gateways still exist & form a feature of the everyday life of Vejer.

Qué visitar en Vejer, murallas fortificadas de Vejer.
The fortified walls.

Arco Sancho IV

The oldest & best preserved gate to the old town dating back to the 13th.C.

Qué visitar en Vejer, el Arco de Sancho IV y la estatua de Juan Relinque.
Arco de Sancho IV and local hero Juan Relinque.

Arco de la Villa

The main archway into Vejer in the Plaza de España. Originally this was the termination of the old Roman road up from La Barca.

Qué visitar en Vejer, arco de la Villa.
Arco de la Villa, Vejer.

Puerta de la Segur

The lowest and best fortified of the archways squeezed between the fortifications & the church.

Qué visitar en Vejer, Puerta de la Segur.
Puerta de la Segur, Vejer.

The Castle or Alcazaba

The old moorish built ‘alcazaba’ is tucked away down a narrow backstreet. Only one facade reveals this monuments history as the town has been built right around the edifice. A classic 11th.C. ogee arch leads into a jasmine scented courtyard. Beyond this there is not much to see as now much of the castle is residential. If you are lucky the local scouts who have their den here will show you around the ramparts from where there are fine views of Vejer.

Qué visitar en Vejer, Castillo.
The Castle or Alcazaba.

The main church

Built on the site of the old mosque the minaret is still standing now although now crowned with a bell tower. Under the church is the outstanding ‘aljibe’ or water deposit built by the moors (not open to the public) so large that it can be navigated around in a small dinghy. The church itself has two contrasting styles. Towards the front of the main aisle is visigothic while the remainder is mudejar. The interior was completely bespoiled during the Civil War & little remains of the churches riches. Its simplicity however is most attractive. Take a close look at the burial niches along the outside north wall of the church.

Qué visitar en Vejer, la Iglesia del Divino Salvador.

The main church, Vejer. 

Mirador de la Cobijada

This is one of the most visited places in the village. It is so called because of the sculpture of the Cobijada in this small square. It represents the typical Castilian attire worn by women in the 17th and 18th centuries, which has been lost in the rest of Spain but is an emblem in Vejer.

It leaves only one of the two eyes uncovered and although many confuse it with a burqa, it has nothing to do with it. The costume of the cobijada follows the Castilian model of cloak and saya and even reached the American continent.

From this viewpoint we can enjoy a good panoramic view of the most modern part of the city.

Qué ver en Vejer de la Frontera, Mirador de la cobijada

Mirador de la Cobijada.

The Plaza de España or plaza de los pescaítos

A most attractive plaza this is a favourite spot for visitors & locals alike. Ringed with date palms with some immense bouganvilla bushes as a backdrop the Plaza de los Pescaitos (Plaza of the Little Fish), gets its name from the goldfish that used to swim around the fountain. The ornate fountain is not as old as it seems and dates back to the 1940’s. Decorated with bright ceramics & 4 spouting frogs you will find an almost replica fountain in the main plaza of Algeciras. The town hall (‘Ayuntamiento’) overlooks the square & a notable feature is the 16th. C. façade of the Hotel La Casa del Califa.

Qué visitar en Vejer, la Plaza de España o plaza de los pescaítos

The Plaza de España or plaza de los pescaítos.

Hotel La Casa del Califa facade (ancient Casa del Juzgado)

One of Vejer’s most notable privately owned buildings is the intriguing Casa del Juzgado now better known as the Hotel La Casa del Califa. Until 2018 the ground floor (level of the Plaza) was home to the local Magistrates office and after a decade of legal wrangling this part of the building reverted back to its righful owners, James Stuart and Regli Alvarez founders of the Califa. The main building dates back to 1527 although the façade was added almost a century later. Built on the site of a 10th. Century arab building you can still see the aljibe and remaining stairs from this era by visiting the hotel itself.

Qué ver en Vejer, fachada del Hotel La Casa del Califa (antigua Casa del Juzgado de Vejer)
La Fachada del Hotel La Casa del Califa (antigua Casa del Juzgado).

Casa del Mayorazgo

Next to the Gate of Sancho el Bravo you will find this large private house now a ‘patio de vecinos’ with 5 families living around its large central courtyard. Visiting the medieval tower is free, just walk through the courtyard and leave a donation on your way out. This is a good opportunity to see how families communally live, at one time sharing not only common living spaces but kitchens and toilets. From the tower you will see fabulous views of town, country and coast plus a splendid birds eye view of the Plaza de España. Open every day during daylight hours.

Qué visitar en Vejer, La Casa del Mayorazgo.
Casa del Mayorazgo, Vejer.

Convento concepcionistas

Standing proudly overlooking the south axis of the old town this chapel was built in 1552 as a tomb for Juan de Amaya and his family. In 1584 the nuns of the Conceptionista order occupied the neighbouring convent. In 1773 a brutal earthquake shook Vejer damaging many monuments. The giant buttresses holding up one side of the chapel now frame what is one of Vejer’s most popular views (see the Photo Gallery). The building was heavily restored in the 1990’s and is now open as an ethnographic museum most days of the week except mid-winter.

Qué visitar en Vejer, Convento concepcionistas.
Convento concepcionistas, Vejer.

Arco de las Monjas

The Arch of the Nuns is one of the most Instagrammed spots in Vejer. It is attached to the outer face of the Convento Concepcionistas (now the Museum of Vejerian Traditions and Customs), as it is one of the arches that were built after the earthquake of 1773 to support the wall and the vault of the main chapel.

Qué ver en Vejer de la Frontera, Arco de las monjas

Arco de las Monjas, Vejer.

The best beaches

El Palmar beach

As we said above, Vejer is situated at 200m. above sea level and is just a few km. from the beaches of El Palmar, Trafalgar Bay or Los Caños de Meca. There’s nothing quite like walking along Vejer’s beach El Palmar when the sun is shining and the sea breeze is filling the air.

El Palmar, the beach of Vejer, is considered one of the most unspoilt areas in the province of Cadiz and is one of the best beaches in Andalusia. It is about 8 Kms long and has an average width of about 50m. Its sand is fine and golden and its waters are very clean. It is a beach paradise that attracts thousands of tourists every year and where we can find an almost virgin environment about 11 kilometres from Vejer. You cannot miss its beautiful sunsets, some of the best on the Costa de la Luz, and you will fall in love with them. In addition, this beach in Vejer de la Frontera tops the lists of the best beaches for surfing and that is why, year after year, it becomes a meeting point for lovers of this sport.

El Palmar, la playa de Vejer
El Palmar, Vejer’s beach.

Los Caños de Meca

A little further on, but just a little further, are the beaches of Caños de Meca. There are beaches to suit all tastes: the busiest and liveliest of El Pirata, the wild beach of Los Castillejos and, in the area around Cape Trafalgar, the beaches of La Marisucia and El Faro, ideal for a stroll at sunset. This place where the Battle of Trafalgar was fought is a place steeped in literary legend, history and romance.

Cabo de Trafalgar, Los Caños de Meca.
Trafalgar Cape, Los Caños de Meca.

Why visit Vejer?

One of the great pleasures of visiting Vejer is to walk through its cobbled streets and whitewashed façades. The same ones that the Arabs were responsible for moulding as only they knew how. Lose yourself in its slopes, its ups and downs, its quiet corners that loudly claim their past. In Vejer you can feel the links with the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar, let yourself be trapped by its spell. We are surrounded by living history. In addition to its beauty, its historical and cultural wealth and its privileged location, Vejer is surrounded by nature. This natural environment is ideal for disconnecting and relaxing, for getting away from the daily routine, hiking, breathing fresh air and enjoying an unforgettable getaway or holiday.

Where to sleep in Vejer

La Casa del Califa Hotel

La Casa del Califa is Vejer’s No.1 hotel, which since its founding in 2001 has become a favourite place to stay in Andalucia for travellers and Spaniards alike.  The Califa’s origins date back to the 10th century, with the building sitting in the heart of Vejer in the palm filled Plaza de España. The Califa offers views across the marshes, forests, and hills of the Atlantic coast. Offering a wide range of rooms, from simple doubles to luxurious suites, the Califa caters to guests of all tastes. The rooms are spread out among interwoven buildings linked by staircases and courtyards, with a characteristic Andalucian patio garden at its heart. 

Breakfast, served in the palm filled garden, is healthy and varied using local produce prepared daily.

Convenient private covered parking is located just 80m. from the hotel.

Stay for 1 night at La Casa del Califa Hotel, including breakfast and a culinary dinner in the restaurant El Jardín del Califa, recommended by the MICHELIN guide since 2008.  From 160€, hotel + breakfast + dinner (2 persons).

¿Dónde dormir en Vejer? Foto de la fachada del Hotel La Casa del Califa de Vejer.
Hotel La Casa del Califa’s facade.

Las Palmeras del Califa Hotel

Las Palmeras del Califa is Vejer’s most sumptuous guest house hotel, with scenic views from all rooms and terraces. Complete with a swimming pool embedded into a charming courtyard, Las Palmeras is the perfect getaway for any occasion. Situated in the heart of Vejer’s medieval quarter and spread over three levels, the accommodation is divided up into intimate corners of the house. The old Moorish courtyard (dating back to the 14th century) and the swimming pool (for exclusive use of clients at Las Palmeras) form the focal point of the house.

Breakfast, served in the adjacent palm filled garden of La Casa del Califa, is healthy and varied using local produce prepared daily.

Convenient private parking is available at the Califa car park (100m., covered) or in two nearby car parks when spaces available.

Enjoy a good night of sleep in the comfort of our room and forget about the
morning stress by enjoying your breakfast, prepared by our team and served in the restaurant El Jardín del Califa. From 70€.
Valid from Sunday to Thursday (both inclusive) from October 18 2021 to April 7 2022. Book now this deal by calling 956 447 730.

Las Palmeras del Califa, Vejer.

Plaza 18 Vejer

In the medieval quarter of Vejer Plaza 18 gives the feeling of a private house rather than a hotel. Its six rooms guarantee privacy, luxury and comfort. It occupies a 19th. century manor house renovated by British interior designer award-winning Nicky Dobree, famous for her fabulous luxury villas. The designer, in collaboration with the Califa Group, has created in Vejer an elegant refuge for 21st. century travellers, which you will enjoy as if it were your second home. Unwind on the charming terrace with views of the mountains and North Africa on clear days or sip tea in the living room, surrounded by art, design and history. Plaza 18 also enjoys full use of the adjacent La Casa del Califa’s facilities.

Enjoy a luxury experience at Plaza 18, in the heart of Vejer. We’ll enhance your stay with an exclusive welcome gift, cocktais in our Teteria with panoramic views, an elaborate Afternoon Tea, breakfast, private parking and more. Valid from Sunday to Thursday (both inclusive) from October 18 2021 to April 7 2022. Book now this deal by calling 956 447 730.

Hotel de lujo Plaza 18 de Vejer.
Plaza 18 de Vejer.

Madreselva Hotel in Los Caños de Meca

Imagine an oasis of tranquility between pine forests and the beach. The Madreselva hotel is a one-level building built ‘hacienda’ style, with all the rooms centered around a lush plant-filled courtyard.

Each of the hotel rooms has a small private terrace where you can read, relax, or store your surf equipment. All of Madreselva’s eighteen rooms are equipped with bathrooms and air conditioning. The hotel additionally has a private swimming pool and its own parking.

The Madreselva is located in the heart of Los Caños and is just 50m. from the main beach and a short walk to local bars and restaurants.

Hotel Madreselva en Los Caños de Meca.
Madreselva Hotel, Los Caños de Meca.

Califa Casas

Califa Casas is Vejer’s prime source for quality well managed holiday homes. If you are planning a stay of 3 days or more then staying at one of our lifestyle houses will give you the peace of mind that the Califa assures. The small selection of houses are specially chosen by the team from Vejer’s iconic Hotel La Casa del Califa with comfort, relaxation and views in mind.

¿Dónde dormir en Vejer? Califa Casas, alquiler de casas en Vejer de la Frontera 
Califa Casas, rental homes in Vejer de la Frontera.

Have you packed your bags yet?

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Carta para alérgenos y intolerantes

 

El uso de frutos secos es habitual en la comida Magrebí y del Medio Oriente.
 
Cualquier plato podría contener trazas de gluten, sésamo, almendras, nueces, piñones y frutos secos en general.
 
La carta está elaborada de buena fé aunque
NO PODEMOS GARANTIZAR
que en el proceso de preparación de platos se haya pasado por alto algún ingrediente o que haya trazas de contaminación cruzada.
 

SI ERES ALTAMENTE ALERGICA A SESAMO O FRUTOS SECOS RECOMENDAMOS COMER EXCLUSIVAMENTE DE LA BARBACOA