Vejer de la Frontera
Perched on the top of a hill some 8 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean, Vejer de la Frontera is probably the most picturesque of all white villages on the Costa de la Luz. At an altitude of about 200m above sea level, the village commands breathtaking views over the surrounding hills and fields, over nearby beaches and Strait of Gibraltar. In the distance one can even see the coast of northern Africa. Vejer de la Frontera enjoys relatively cool temperatures even in summer, thanks to the breezes coming in from the Atlantic. The historic centre of the town is a fascinating maze of narrow, steep streets where at every turn one is surprised by unexpected views, curious patios and passages, notable buildings and monuments. In Vejer one finds some of the more select hotels in Costa de la Luz and the extensive and unspoilt beaches of the Atlantic coast are only a short drive away.
Vejer’s history is long and fascinating, making it an ideal base for your Costa de la Luz holidays. Inhabited since prehistoric times, in antiquity Vejer witnessed the arrival of Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs, all which left indelible marks on the town and its surroundings. The Phoenicians started the tunny fishing off the coasts of Vejer which is still today a major economic activity in the area. The Romans constructed an aqueduct, roads, mills and kilns which are found scattered around the countryside. In the case of the Visigoths, we even know the exact day they consecrated a chapel in the hamlet of San Ambrosio; 14th November 644. It’s still standing in the same place.
Those who undoubtedly influenced Vejer the most were the Arabs. Remaining for 574 years, the town’s intrinsic character was shaped by its Muslim inhabitants; the now-so-typical whitewashing of the buildings, the layout of its narrow and winding streets, parts of the original defensive walls and castle, even the grounds of the main parish church rest on the foundations of a mosque that was previously in its place.
Vejer was claimed by the Kingdom of Castille and the Muslim population expelled by 1285, however for the next two hundred years Andalusia and Vejer were frontier territory between Christian Castille and the Muslim kingdoms of Al-Andalus. It is from this turbulent time of ongoing skirmishes and battles, when Vejer was a rough little border town, that de la Frontera was added to its name. Today Vejer is more known for its culinary outlets and for the cultural activities it hosts, such as Vejer Art, Vejer Weekend Fashion, Vejer Flamenco Nights. People flock to the town for its weekend markets, to browse in its local craft shops and to delight at the variety of delicacies in its gourmet boutiques.