Plans for a rainy day in Vejer
- Whether the weather’s great and the sun is out or if it’s a rainy day and you’re not sure what to do here are a few of my favourite excursions around the area.
When it does rain hopefully it will soon stop. Andalucians much prefer to be outdoors than in and you would be surprised by the number of people in Vejer who don’t even own a waterproof jacket – an umbrella or hiding under a balcony will suffice.
In reception we sell an excellent book ‘Coastal Walks in Andalucia’ by the celebrated local guide Guy Hunter Watts.
Day trips out in autumn and winter from Vejer
There are many routes around Vejer including some from the door of the Califa:
- Baelo Claudio. The roman ruins of Bolonia (30 mins. from Vejer) are set at the bottom of a rugged valley on the shore of a large sandy bay. A huge dune (well worth the climb) nestles amongst the pines. The ruins are an intriguing insight into distant times of this ancient fishing community. The modern museum (ruins and museuem closed Mondays) is a real treasure both of content and architecturally. Entry is free for EU citizens (and cheap for everyone else...). Enjoy lunch at any of the 3 fish restaurants below the ruins on the beach.
The roman ruins of Bolonia (Cádiz). Photo Vocento.
- A walk in the Alcornocales Nature Reserve. Just 35 mins. from Vejer is Alcala de los Gazules settled at the foothills of Europe’s largest cork oak forest. There are organized trails in the park including a trek to the highest point on the province at 1,000m. For more information and a permit visit the ‘Centro de Visitantes El Aljibe’ just outside Alcalá for maps etc. *(address bellow). For lunch try the Restaurante Pizarro in the centre of Alcalá (near the taxi rank) for mountain food including wild boar ‘jabalí’ and venison ‘venado’.
*Centro Visitantes El Aljibe (Alcornocales), Ctra. A-2228 Alcalá de los Gazules-Benalup Casas Viejas Km 1. 11180 - Alcalá de los Gazules (Cádiz) Teléfono: 856 587 508
Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales. Foto ruralsierrasol.es
- A walk in Las Breñas Nature park. Just 15 mins. from Vejer this pine clad forest reaches to high sandstone cliffs overlooking the sea and Cape Traflagar. The best viewpoint is from the ‘Torre de Tajo’ (a 10 minute walk from the car park). On a clear day Djebl Moussa, Cap Spartel and other landmarks on the Morroccan coastline can be seen. The desk at the hotel should have maps and they will tell you how to get there. For lunch try ‘El Campero’ (closed Mondays) in Barbate. Don’t be fooled by the drab façade and shabby location - once through the door you are in possibly the best fish restaurant in the area. We prefer the tapas bar to the dining room.
Las Breñas Nature park. Photo undestinoentremismanos.com
- A visit to Medina Sidonia (20 mins.). The marvellous principal church at the top of the hill is the Iglesia Santa Maria la Coronada. This is a truly magnificent edifice with possibly the finest altar in the province. Well worth the climb is the bell tower. Medina is a similar white town to Vejer with grand views and a lively main ‘plaza’. Enjoy exploring and buy pastries from the nuns at the Convento Sab Cristobal. For lunch try ‘Venta La Duquesa’ (closed Tuesdays) in the valley just off the main road from Vejer. Some of the best traditional Andalucian cooking in the region.
Pastries from the nuns. Photo Vocento.
- NMAC sculpture park Highly recommended and just a 7 minute drive from Vejer is one of Spain’s principal outdoor art collections with works by James Turrel, Huang Yong Ping, Sol LeWitt and many others. This is a stunning natural location set amongst mature parkland. For a change of scene visit the nearby clubhouse at the Montenmedio Golf course for a reasonably priced light meal overlooking the truly lovely fairways with views to Vejer.
Photo NMAC sculpture park.
- Cádiz. Not to be missed is a visit to Europe’s oldest city founded by the Phoenecians over 3,000 years ago. The cathedral and museum are a must but also I suggest a visit to the Torre Tavira an old fashioned ‘camara obscura’ with great views across this low rise city. Enjoy shopping down narrow lanes and visit the principal ‘mercado’. There are many great places to eat in Cádiz specially tapas, the usual rule is the smaller the venue the better the tapas. Surrounding the main Mercado (covered market) in the heart of the city are a series of excellent small eateries with a great collection of national and international dishes. For a major meal El Faro (Calle San Felix 15) is the place to be.
Torre Tavira (Cádiz). Photo spanien-andalusien-forum.com.
- Jerez. Always a pleasure a visit to this small merchant city is a fun day out. Try the Gonzalez Byass bodega for an informative sherry tour and a ride on the train so you’ll be well protected from the elements. The castle ‘Alcazaba’ is worth a look but the main pleasure is admiring the classical architecture and wandering the charming streets. Why not while away a couple of hours in the town’s Hammam (Baños Arabes) with a relaxing soak or a massage followed by some mint tea. For lunch my favourite is Bar Juanito just off the Plaza Arenal.
Bodega Gonzalez Byass en Jerez. Foto Andalusia Tour Travel.
- Vejer. Let’s not forget Vejer. Watch out as some of Vejer’s medieval cobbled streets are slippery in the rain but oh so romantic.
Ps. Please ask the receptionists for more information and opening times if necessary. They can book restaurants too where needed…