Velez-Malaga

Overview

Velez-Malaga is the administrative centre of the Axarquia and the largest of region's towns. Today Velez-Malaga is home to some 60,000 inhabitants working and living throughout the district. With that number increasing each year it is one of Andalucia's fastest growing towns.

Situated 35 kms east of Malaga and just 4 kms inland from the nearby coastal neighbour Torre del Mar, the history of the town can be dated back to prehistoric times. Although like many towns and villages of the region, it is the remains of the Muslim occupation of Velez-Malaga ending in 1487, which is still most evident in the town today.

Velez-malaga Fortaleza

Most noticeable of the towns links to it's Arabic past is it's most visible land mark, the 13th century Moorish hill top fortress La Fortaleza which stands high above the old town district.

For most of its history the economy of Velez-Malaga has relied heavily on agriculture, where cultivation and farming of the fertile plains around the town and along the valley of the Rio Velez has led to all manor of crops being successfully produced.

During the last century Velez-Malaga became known for its sugar cane refineries and olive oil processing plants and although now very much in decline a couple of working factories still remain.

Like most of the region Velez-Malaga is now looking to the tourism and leisure industries to provide employment and future prosperity for the town. As a result there is an ongoing programme of restoration works and new projects funded by the Ayuntamiento (local government) which are both improving the town's amenities and maintaining its cultural heritage and at the same time adding to the town's overall appeal.

Sightseeing

There are a number of places of interest to visit in Velez-Malaga including some of the town's numerous churches which through their various architectural styles help to plot the town's history.

Plaza de las Carmelitas, Velez-Malaga The centre of town is Plaza de Las Carmelitas here you will find not only the Ayuntamiento or Town Hall but also the Convento de Jesus, Maria y Jose often referred to as Convento de Las Carmelitas. The convent was founded in 1669 and of particular interest are the 18th paintings housed there.

The land mark of Velez-Malaga is undoubtedly La Fortaleza and Murallas Arabes or moorish town walls which date from the 13th century and are located in the old Arabic quarter of town. The tower was restored in 1992 and, whilst not open to the public, the surrounding gardens make for a pleasant spot from which there are some spectacular views across the Velez-Malaga and Torre del Mar area.

For those with the time to spare we have put together a walking tour of Velez-Malaga which passes through the old town and takes in the tower and main churches.

In the centre of Velez is the modern theatre Teatro del Carmen which has a regular programme of performances. These include traditional and classical music concerts, dance both contemporary and traditional styles and featuring many flamenco acts and literature readings.

In additional regular art exhibitions are held both at the Palacio de Beniel in c/ Plaza Palacio and the recently opened Sala de Exposiciones in c/ Las Tiendas.

Located at the nearby El Ingenio shopping centre is the 12 screen cinema Cinesur which shows one film a week in its original language which is usually English.

For more information on sightseeing in the region please see our sightseeing page.

Fiestas

Fiestas play an important part in the social calendar of Velez-Malaga and during a fiesta is good time to visit the town.

February Carnival The February Carnival is a feature of the town’s celebrations. However it is the week leading up to Easter, Semana Santa that forms the pinnacle of the year's festivities and the events held in Velez-Malaga are the largest and most spectacular in the Axarquia region.

Velez also has two Ferias in July Feria de la Veladilla del Carmen and later in October Real Feria de San Miguel which is the larger and is held in honor of the town's patron saint San Miguel.

For more information on fiestas in the region please see our fiestas page.

Activities

There are some good sports facilities both indoors and outdoors in Velez-Malaga, including one of the region's few indoor swimming pools on c/ Arroyo Hondo.

In addition the town has a sports complex with an athletics stadium which doubles as the home of the local football team Velez CF. The complex also has an Olympic size outdoor pool and numerous tennis, basketball and handball courts. Other tennis courts can be found around the town. The new Parque Centro located on the edge of town provides good cycling and jogging paths.

Nearby there is the Aquavelis water park and golf is available at the Baviera Golf Course.

For more information on activities and sports in the region please see our activities and sports page.

Shopping

As you would imagine a town the size of Velez-Malaga has an excellent selection of shops, both in the centre of town and at the nearby shopping mall El Ingenio. The weekly market calls on a Thursday but there is also a daily covered fruit, vegetable, fish and meat market located in c/ Poeta Joaquin Lobato.

For more information on shopping in the region please see our shopping page.

Beaches

Velez-Malaga is located 4 kms inland with the nearest beaches at Torre del Mar.

For more information on beaches in the region please see our beaches page.

Food & Drink

Eating out in Velez-Malaga is low-key and centres mainly around the town's numerous tapas bars and cafés. Please click the links to see the location of each of the following establishments.

Our recommendations include, for fresh seafood Capri Bar & Restaurant (Calle Alcalde Juan Barrenquero) which also has an upstairs dining room and also the nearby seafood & excellent fried fish restaurant or 'freiduria' La Gamba Dorada (Calle Pintores Clavero).

Restaurante La Galaxia located on Parque Andalucia is an air-conditioned restaurant serving good value Spanish cuisine and has tables available for eating outside on the park itself.

Meson La Tribuna (Calle Felix Lomas) is a small 'meson' style Spanish bar/restaurant that serves a good selection of tapas and plated meals.

At Bar Las Delicias (Calle Adeodato Altamirano) they serve excellent Roscas and Alpargatas which are types of toasted sandwiches.

For tapas try the recently opened Casa Paqui Tapas Bar (Calle Doctor Laureano Casquero) which offers a good choice of tapas in a modern but typical Spanish style.

Also Bar La Peña (off of Calle Canalejas) is a good choice for lunchtime tapas and 'raciones' (larger portions of tapas!). Tables available both inside and outside.

Located near to the theatre you will also find a number of places to eat in the pedestrianised Conjunto del Carmen.

For more information on food and drink in the region please see our food and drink page.

Travel Advice

Velez-Malaga is served by good bus links from Malaga and Granada and there is also a regular local bus linking the town with Torre del Mar and Caleta de Velez which stops at the El Ingenio shopping centre. Work is currently in progress on the new tram link which will also serve Torre del Mar.

If you choose to visit Velez by car then please note that at present parking in the town centre is very restricted. However this will improve when the new underground car park currently under construction close to the theatre is completed in 2005.

For more useful information to help plan your next trip to the Axarquia please see our travel advice page.