"Historic 'white villages' and walls" Top 5 Page for this destination Andalucía Things to Do Tip by Bwana_Brown
Andalucía Things to Do: 228 reviews and 367 photos
By this stage of our trip to Andalusia we had already either seen or been in several 'white' villages during our travels, but this was the first time we actually had accommodations in one of them. This was the scene that greeted us from our hostal balcony as we checked it out - with Vejer's architecture in the foreground and the distant small community of La Muela lit up by sunshine across the valley on its small plateau. If you look closely, in the bottom left corner is the round shell of a now roof-less traditional windmill while on the distant horizon at both left and right are the tall white towers of today's modern wind farms. According to Wikipedia:
"The whitewashed villages of Andalucia are impressive historical monuments in themselves, and their people still live according to age-old traditions, inherited from their Iberian, Roman and Moorish forefathers. Many of the villages near the coast have become fashionable resorts, while still conserving their ancient charm, whereas others, lost in the highlands of Andalucia, remain rough and ready olive-farming towns, with a special appeal for the adventurous travellers. Most Andalucian towns began as fortresses, which stood along the ever-fluctuating frontier between the Christian and Moorish realms, as is apparent in the names of such towns as 'Jerez de la Frontera', 'Arcos de la Frontera' and 'Morón de la Frontera'."
As for us, we seemed to be almost continuously lost as we tried to negotiate our way along their typical narrow, hilly, winding and all 'white' streets no matter if it was day or night! Still, it was always fun because the places are so small that eventually you will find your way out, just as we did in the streets of Vejer (2nd photo).
We did not have a lot of tourist competition on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 30th so, before leaving town we took our time hiking the short distance up to the defensive gates, walls and towers of old Vejer. Evidence of settlement here goes all the way back to the Phoenicians at around 400 BC, followed by Roman conquest in 216 BC and their eventual ouster by Vandals and Visigoths around 500 AD. Although the Moors took possesion of Vejer in 711, they were finally driven out by Christian forces in 1248 and it is the Christian defensive fortifications that provide the bulk of the present day historical architecture in Vejer.
We entered the fortified area through Arco de La Segur (3rd & 4th photos) along the north wall and located beside the very old church of Iglesia Parroquial del Divino Salvador. We had some great views out over the surrounding valleys from the stone ramparts of the wall as we watched huge vultures glide on the updrafts.
Directions: In old Vejer de la Frontera
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