Lake Viñuela and the white washed villages
Alcaucín, Los Romanes and Canillas de Aceituno
and the mountain range Sierra Tejeda
Lake Viñuela is set in the
stunning landscape of the Axarquia in Malaga province.
Less than an hour's drive from Malaga Airport, La
Viñuela is a very popular destination for those
who hope to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Andalusia.
It has also been chosen by many Spanish and foreigners
alike to become their home, enjoying life in its beautiful
surroundings. This idyllic spot attracts writers,
artists, photographers and those who just take pleasure
in the countryside in one of the best year-round climates
Lake Viñuela is a man-made
reservoir that not only provides much-needed water
for the surrounding area but has also been instrumental
in creating a picturesque landscape within an already
glorious rural locale. Prior to the creation of the
reservoir, extensive archaeological excavations were
carried out, producing evidence of Neolithic and Roman
settlements, demonstrating the longevity of this area's
historic legacy. Today the
area has become a favourite spot to get away from
Due to the lake forming part of
the local water supply, the only kind of boating activities
permitted are those in non-motorized vessels. Here
you can now rent kayaks and take sailing lessons with
bilingual staff. Pretty beaches make this the ideal
place for a family outing, away from the nearby busy
coastline. The abundance of flora and fauna transforms
this spot into a changing tapestry, depending on the
season. Picnic areas have been set out, complete with
barbeque facilities, giving the visitor the best views
across the waters.
All of this is set against
the majestic backdrop of the nearby mountains.
Mount Maroma measures 2,065 metres on its highest
point. A great excursion when the weather allows it.
Named after the white village of
the same name, the lake has become a focal point of
the area. La Viñuela (Village) was named after
the vines that still produce the local sweet wine.
The village was a favourite stopping place for travellers
on horseback when journeying between the coast and
Granada during the 18th century, the famous wine being
its main attraction.
Art and Crafts
The famous sweet wine of
the region is excellent and somehow tastes even better
when accompanied by the local food and in one of the
traditional country inns. The Lake Viñuela
area is famous for it's many good restaurants, bakeries
and olive oil mills.
The famously healthy Mediterranean diet is based on
fresh products and the traditionally produced olive
oil. When you do have to leave this lovely area, make
sure that you take some of the local olive oil home
with you. Don't forget to spare some space for the
honey and roasted almonds, figs dipped in chocolate,
moscatel raisins, goat cheese and olives.
Handmade items crafted from
esparto grass is a speciality of the whole Axarquia area.
Baskets, mats and many other imaginative objects are
traditionally fashioned as they have been for centuries.
Saddles, bridles and other leather items are also made
in many of the villages, especially in Riogordo.
Every Tuesday in Trapiche, just before you enter the
Lake Viñuela valley from Velez-Malaga,
there is a popular Farmers Market from 9 am to
Torre del Mar and Almayate
This area is surprisingly free
from the maddening crowds of Costa del Sol!
Here you will find the most fantastic seafood, tapas
of all kind and some gastrobars serving the most amazing
Vélez-Málaga is a very authentic spanish
town with a long interesting history and friendly
people. Visit the tourism office in by the town hall and you will get all information needed, and more!
Surprisingly this rather big town has been "saved"
from mass tourism, probably because it's situated
about 4 km from the Mediterranean. It is a rather
stylish town with an amazing coffee culture and good
restaurants and will probably give you a pleasant
surprise if you turn off from the motorway
to Lake Viñuela as it doesn´t look too
interesting from that side of the town! The prices
are remarkably low for dining out or having some tapas
in one of the many bars in Vélez-Málaga.
Try La Sastreria, La Bohemia, El Convento, El Caserío
de Las Monjas, Bar Rubio and Los Cunados, just to
mention a few.
The town is very famous in Spain for its Easter Processions
and the town is filled with tourists during the Easter
There is an Easter Museum in the old quarter of Vélez-Málaga
to visit if you would like to get some more information.
The old parts of Vélez-Málaga are called
"La Villa" and "La Gloria are situated just below the big fortress
of Vélez-Málaga called "La Fortaleza".
The massive walls from the 11th century are still
protecting the area with the fortress just above,
the area is very quant and definetely worth a visit
if not just for the magnificent view but also for
the narrow lanes and beautiful houses! As the moors
have built this part of Vélez-Málaga,
this was once the "Medina", the market place of Vélez-Málaga.
Torre del Mar
Málaga Airport is approximately
30 minutes drive away
Torre del Mar is the coastal resort of Vélez-Málaga and
has the longest beach promenade in Europe.
It is filled with tapas bars and restaurants, many
of them serving grilled sardines on skewers,
probably the most traditional dish you can find in the Malaga province. Even the "Boquerones", the
habitants of Malaga city, go to Torre del Mar to eat the
sardines. The harbour of Torre del Mar, called Caleta
de Vélez, is one of very few harbours that
still exists on the Costa del Sol with fish auctions
six days a week. There are also several boats that
can take you out for great daytrips on the Mediterranean,
lunch and activities included. Another nice event
is the Thursday market, both in Velez Malaga and Torre
del Mar, Thursdays from 9-13, In Velez-Malaga you
will find it just on the parallell street to the road
going from the the Viñuela area to the motorway
between Málaga and Nerja. Have a look after
the first roundabout from Lake Viñuela towards
Torre del Mar. Turn off at the second roundabout and
look for a parking going back north. In Torre del
Mar you will find more leather and pottery, products
more dedicated to tourism, less pots, pants and vegetables.
The market in Torre del Mar is situated between Calle
Princesa and Calle Tore Tore, towards the sea. There
are several good restaurants in the area so why not
have a "Menu del Dia" in Torre del Mar!
Almayate is situated about 3 km west of Torre del
Mar. It is a village with a very privilaged location,
just by the sea but still very unexploited. There
are some beutiful chiringuitos just by the sea, try
El Hornillero at beach El Hornillo for good food,
music and friendly ambience in the palm tree covered
hut, or continue a kilometre west to Bar Fransisca,
serving the best pizzas in the area.
There is a calm, hippie feeling about these beaches around
Almayate. Try them!