VEJER DE LA FRONTERA
The adventure continues!
Today I want to take you to another beautiful place in the south of Spain, named Vejer de la Frontera. There are a total of 19 Pueblos Blancos in Cadiz, and today I am showing you my favorite so far. In my opinion, it is one of the best road trips you could do in Spain and at the same time the most underrated and undiscovered.
The year 711 AD marks the start of the Arab conquest of the Spanish peninsula. They came in from the South, Algeciras and overthrew the Visigoth town by town. They remained in power in Spain for so long that it is inevitable to not feel their presence with some of the words we still use nowadays, food and architecture.The South of Spain has a special spot in my heart, I have always been very attracted to the Arab conquest and visiting all these cultural enclaves fills me with joy and knowledge. To fill you in, Vejer was in Moslem hands for over 500 years, and the conquerors left their mark in the town in the form of its narrow, winding streets and the design of its houses, with their bright inner patios.
From all the Pueblos Blancos I have visited, name they got from the white color of their walls which is made from quicklime to handle heat waves in summer, Vejer is by far my favorite town in south of Cadiz. As a starter, it is very well manicured and the town council has put a lot of effort in making it easy for the tourists. They found out that in the recent years, Vejer has received a big wave of tourism and decided to make it very tourist-friendly. When I went I was amazed by the amount of foreigners and also Spanish tourists from around the country there was. Made me super pumped to share this blog with you today!
WHERE TO PARK:
Accessing Vejer by car is super easy and simple. We went in off-peak so we didn’t have troubles finding parking spots. At the entrance of the town, before reaching the Tourism office (shown below) you can find a free parking garage, left of the offices. I have attached a touristic map of the town to give you a better view of the parking spots and the sight-seeing attractions. We decided to park in a paid parking next to la Casa del Mayorazgo (#7 in the map), because it was very close to our restaurant and it was very accesible.
WHAT TO SNAP:
We started off heading inside Casa del Mayorazgo, which lets you see how the inside of all the houses are. We went in by accident, that is why I want to make sure you plan your trip to Vejer ahead of time and mark off all the must go places. Later on I kept creeping inside rural and local houses for photo opportunities. But we went too early in the year, and not all of them had flowers. Historians say that the open patios inside the houses were trademarks left from our ancestors, specially during the times of the Arabs in Spain. When walking through the streets of Vejer, make sure to peek inside the houses. The will not disappoint! LOL
To be honest, there is not much about the inside of the castle. There is a cute plaque at the entrance of the castle that tells us the story behind Vejer & Chefchaouen (Morocco), the sister cities separated by Gibraltar straight. The legend started with Emir Sidi Ali Ben Rachid who during their reign in Spain, he fell in love with a Spanish girl, from Vejer de la Frontera, named Zhora. They got married and lived in Vejer until the Spanish Crown overthrew the Moors and they had to go exiled to Morocco. There, Zhora lived miserable until Rachid decided to build a town like Vejer.
Anyhow, all this is to let you know that, going in its pretty cool, but also a short little trip. The best part is upstairs where you can take cool photos and watch over Vejer’s rooftops.
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA
This town square its pretty special. Flowers weren’t fully bloomed yet, but the ambience was chill and relaxing.
LA JUDERIA, 8
El Barrio de la Juderia is filled with labyrinth narrow streets and wall bloomed flowers.
La Juderia, 8 is the best door in town! And probably the most seen all over the internet. Make sure you snap a photo there, because we all know if you don’t take a selfie, you haven’t been there!
Its the term used to identify local women in Vejer that wore a particular local costume that covered their face except one eye. Some historians compare this costume to Arab tradition and link Las Cobijadas to Arab women wearing burkas. But this local piece of fabric comes years later from Castillian influences dating around XVI and XVII.
EL MIRADOR DE ALMIZCATE
WHERE TO EAT:
EL JARDIN DEL CALIFA
It’s located in Plaza de España and the reason why I wanted to take my parents there is because I wanted all of us to go back in time and experience the Vejer during the Arab conquest. This restaurant embraces a fusion of Moorish and Spanish food that I couldn’t attempt to miss. Not only the food is great but the ambience and the location is astonishing.
And to finish off, can you find the cat?