For a very brief moment in early fall, before the most recent restrictions in Spain came into effect, I was so fortunate to be able to take a short day trip to Vejer de la Frontera. It is one of the “pueblos blancos” (white towns) in Andalusia. Since the first time I saw a photo of the famous archway, Vejer has been high on my list of places to visit.
Vejer de la Frontera reminded me of Puglia with its white buildings, hilltop location and streets so narrow that you can’t imagine cars driving down them. I absolutely fell in love with Ostuni in Puglia also known as the White City a few years ago, so this “pueblo blanco” in Spain was right up my alley.
How to get to Vejer de la Frontera
Vejer de la Frontera and many of the nearby pueblos blancos make easy day trips from Seville, Cádiz, Tarifa, or Gibraltar. Renting a car and driving is the easiest way to get around Andalusia.
There’s a large free parking lot near the Tourist Office at the base of town. You’ll have to walk up a considerable hill or take the stair path into the town center, but that’s your best bet to avoid driving down the aforementioned narrow, one-way cobblestone streets.
Where to Eat
There are many restaurants in Plaza de España or along Calle de Corredera, both equally prime locations for tapas and tinto de verano. If you haven’t tried tinto de verano (wine of the summer), it’s a light and refreshing mix of red wine and soda, usually lemon flavored. I am devoted to the Aperol spritz, but tinto de verano is giving it a run for its money on my go to drink list.
El Jardin del Califa – A lovely Moroccan themed restaurant with an outdoor patio. After a climb down an enclosed, stone staircase, you’ll eventually emerge at the back patio. Options for vegan/vegetarian/gluten free. Be sure to make a reservation.
Califa Express/La Tetería del Califa – For something more casual in the Califa family, choose one of their other eateries for a lively spot in the plaza or up on the terrace (respectively).
Things to do in Vejer de la Frontera
While there isn’t a ton “to do” in Vejer de la Frontera, there are a few spots that can’t be missed.
Plaza de España – From populated cities to small towns, plazas are always the heart and social center of communities in Spain (and Europe, in general). Serving as meeting points and a spot to sit and relax, locals mingle with their neighbors. Plaza de España features a large fountain decorated in tiles, lined with palm trees, shops and restaurants.
Iglesia Divino Salvador– Built on top of an old mosque with two different construction periods and distinct architectural styles.
This stunning archway starting at Calle Judería is one of the most photographed spots in town. It’s not far from Plaza de España and shouldn’t be missed if you are visiting for the day.
Influenced by its neighbor across the Strait of Gibraltar, shops in Andalusia will typically have Moroccan trinkets and home items. There are a few shops along Calle de la Corredera with baskets, lamps and home items.
Given that Spain is home to the siesta, it’s quite common for shop to close from around 2pm-6pm, though times will vary. Most shops are also closed on Sundays.
After shopping at Cestería tradicional Juani Marchán, walk around the corner for a special view of the Strait of Gibraltar on a clear day.
Where to Stay
If you want to extend a day trip, hotels in Vejer de la Frontera have kept their Moorish influences intact with arches, geometric tiles and open courtyards.
Since I enjoyed eating at their restaurants on two separate occasions, I wouldn’t hesitate to book a room at Hotel la Casa del Califa for the night.
Hotel La Botica de Vejer also caught my eye with its courtyard and affordable rooms with a view.
Hotel V Boutique for a four star luxury stay.