17 Things To Do in Vejer de la Frontera
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
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Planning a trip to southern Spain? You can’t miss out on the chance to visit my favourite white village in Andalucía: Vejer de la Frontera. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful villages on the Costa de la Luz, and is the perfect change of scenery from the many beaches in the area. Despite it only being a small hillside village, there are numerous things to do in Vejer de la Frontera, especially if you’re interested in learning about Moorish history. Not only that, but Vejer is also very well known for its food scene, boasting some of the best restaurants along the Costa de la Luz, not to mention the Province of Cádiz.
The history of Vejer de la Frontera dates back to the Roman period, and since then it has continuously been an important strategic location for all types of settlers due to its unusual position overlooking both the coast and the inland. During the Nasrid era, it formed part of the Christian border, and the village itself was built around a medieval castle. As you walk through its streets today, you can still see the traditional whitewashed houses of Andalucía and its well preserved medieval walls and buildings. Here are what I believe to be the best things to do in Vejer de la Frontera:
1. Plaza de España
Plaza de España is the main attraction in Vejer de la Frontera, and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful plazas in all of Spain. In the 15th and 16th century, this plaza would have held the village’s most important events and festivals. Although relatively small compared to other Spanish plazas you may have come across, it’s incredibly unique and is a hub of activity, even in the off season when there are less tourists visiting. Its Seville-tiled fountain, tall palm trees lining the street, and its many cafes, shops, and restaurants are all part of what makes this plaza so beautiful.
2. Shopping in Vejer de la Frontera
The great thing about Vejer de la Frontera is the many boutique shops you can come across as you’re strolling through its narrow streets. There are a few of these shops located in Plaza de España, but even the most quiet looking streets have their fair share of artisan and clothing shops. Many of the clothing shops have Bohemian style clothing available, and some nice beachwear too, which will really make you stand out if you’re planning on going on a day trip to Tarifa and other nearby coastal villages.
3. Iglesia de la Merced
Like most white villages in Spain, there are a few unique churches to discover that blend in very well with the rest of the buildings. Iglesia de la Merced was originally constructed in the 17th century, but in the late 18th century an earthquake destroyed parts of it and it remained abandoned for over a century. The doors were closed when we walked past unfortunately, but it’s one attraction in Vejer de la Frontera that you can’t miss as you make your way to the plaza.
4. Explore the whitewashed streets of Vejer de la Frontera
One of the best things to do in Vejer de la Frontera is to take some time and explore the residential streets of the village. Keep in mind that the village is on a hill, so many of the streets either have a steep hill on them or a lot of steps, but if you’re physically able to walk along these types of streets I would highly recommend it. Some of the streets offer incredible views over the rest of the village, and chances are you’ll have the streets all to yourself, save for a few straying tourists every so often.
5. Castillo de Vejer
Vejer de la Frontera is a white village built around a castle, so it stands to reason that you need to visit the castle while you’re here. There are different parts of the castle and its walls that you can explore, but the main part is known as Torre de la Corredera. A very popular thing to do in Vejer de la Frontera is to visit Casa de Mayorazgo, which has a small courtyard in it full of potted plants, and steps at the far end that lead up to the top of the tower where you can look down at Plaza de España. It’s completely free too!
6. Mirador de la Corredera
Mirador de la Corredera is a beautiful viewpoint along one of the main streets in Vejer that looks out over the countryside below. We stopped here for a quick photo before continuing on to the main plaza but if you happen to still be in Vejer in the evening, it’s said to be a great spot to watch the sunset from.
7. Calle de la Corredera
Apart from the main plaza, one of the best spots for restaurants in Vejer de la Frontera is along Calle de la Corredera. Most people choose to sit outside and eat here, as the restaurants all have a covered outdoor area to sit in, but if you’d rather sit inside that’s an option too. It’s one of the most important streets in the village, connecting the old town to the newer areas.
8. Have lunch at Califa Tapas
For such a small village, there are plenty of restaurants in Vejer de la Frontera to choose from. There’s a good mixture of fine dining restaurants and tapas restaurants here, but one that I would highly recommend, especially if you’re visiting southern Spain on a budget, is Califa Tapas. It’s located along Calle de la Corredera and offers a great selection of Moorish-inspired tapas dishes. It’s open throughout the day and is always busy with customers, so if you find an empty table grab it quickly!
9. Windmills Route
If you have some time to spare, and the weather in Vejer de la Frontera isn’t unbearable, there are a few hiking trails in the area which are quite popular. The Windmills Route is one of the most popular hikes in Vejer, where you’ll get up close to some traditional flour windmills and see a variety of different landscapes too. There are a couple of routes to choose from ranging from 3km to 9km, so it’s up to you which one you take!
10. Puerta de la Segur
Puerta de la Segur is one of the smaller attractions in Vejer de la Frontera, but it’s no less important. It was one of four gates that gave access to the medieval enclosure, and was built in the 15th century. It was the most accessible entrance to the castle, so it was always heavily defended. The courtyard that it sits in is often used for outdoor musical performances which you may be lucky enough to see in the summer months.
11. Iglesia Divino Salvador
Next to the Puerta de la Segur is one of the main things to see in Vejer de la Frontera. The Iglesia Divino Salvador partly dates back to the 16th century, with half of the church dating to another period, which you can see if you look closer at its architecture. It was most likely built on the site of an old mosque based on its floor plan which seems to follow what you would find in a mosque. Visiting this church is one of the best things to do in Vejer de la Frontera so it should be at the top end of your itinerary.
12. Explore the medieval walls in Vejer de la Frontera
One thing that I love doing while I’m in Vejer is following the medieval village walls as they circle around the whitewashed buildings and narrow streets. You can quite easily get lost walking around the streets here, but if you follow the walls you’ll eventually find yourself near one of the main attractions. The best spot to view these 15th century walls is between Arco de la Puerta Cerrada and Puerta de la Segur.
13. Arco de la Puerta Cerrada
Unlike the 15th century walls, Arco de la Puerta Cerrada dates back to the 11th century and is a beautiful place to visit in Vejer de la Frontera. It’s located in what would have been the Jewish quarter of the village and is well known for its views of both the Atlantic coast and the Barbate marsh. Its name derives from a time when it was sealed shut from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, when eventually it was opened up to connect this part of Vejer to other streets.
14. Antiguo Iglesia
Antiguo Iglesia, also known as the Convento de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, isn’t one of the main things to see in Vejer de la Frontera, but it sits nestled between two of the village’s main points of interest, so it’s worth taking a look at or popping your head inside if its doors are open. The church dates back to the 16th century and is a nice example of the architecture from this period.
15. Arcos de la Judería
One of the best spots in Vejer de la Frontera for photos is at the Arcos de la Judería. This perfectly framed arched street marks the entrance to the Jewish quarter, and offers beautiful views over the rest of the village. It sits directly next to Antiguo Iglesia and isn’t very far from the main plaza either, but you will have a bit of an uphill walk to get to it. Visiting it is definitely one of the best things to do in Vejer de la Frontera.
16. El Zoco de Castillo
El Zoco de Castillo is another arched entrance along the medieval walls of the village, and is a popular stop for tourists who are making their way through the old town. There isn’t much to see or do at this point of interest, but it makes for a nice photo and the views facing outwards over the village are very picturesque.
17. La Cobijada
A unique thing to do in Vejer de la Frontera is to visit the Estatua de la Cobijada. What looks like Islamic clothing is actually Christian in origin, from around the 16th century, and was very common in Vejer. The statue depicts a woman in this traditional, all-black outfit with just one eye visible, said to be watching over the village. This type of clothing was banned in the 1930’s and is now only worn for festivals and ceremonies. No day trip to Vejer de la Frontera is complete without visiting this iconic statue.
Concerned about parking in Vejer de la Frontera? Yes, the roads are very narrow, but there are quite a few places to easily park before you get stuck on these streets. If you don’t mind walking up a long hill, I’d recommend parking for free here. There’s also a parking garage at the top of the hill along Calle de la Corredera which you'll need to pay to park in but it saves the uphill trek.
Vejer de la Frontera is one of the most unique places in southern Spain to visit. Whether you’re on a road trip in Andalucía or visiting Vejer as part of a day trip from Cádiz. If you’re short on time, you can certainly see all of Vejer in half a day too. Walking through the whitewashed streets of Vejer de la Frontera is like taking a walk back in time, and you certainly won’t be leaving this village disappointed - especially if you try the food here!
Thinking of visiting southern Spain or Vejer de la Frontera? If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them, so please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. You can also stay connected with me through Instagram!
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