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Vejer de la Frontera, the insider guide

Plaza de España.
Plaza de España. / A. Forbes
  • Use the lockdown to plan a future break to one of the most beautiful spots of Andalucía

Why not while away the time granted by the coronavirus lockdown, planning a future break to one of the most beautiful spots of Andalucía?

EAT

El Jardín del Califa

This 'secret garden' style restaurant has stood the test of time, remaining a favourite among locals and visitors. The menu is of authentic North African and Middle Eastern dishes inspired from Vejer's Moorish past. Start things off with a sharing mezze of falafel, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, feta cheese and Marrakech salad; or maybe tasty lamb 'Kibbe', Lebanese style croquettes with seasonal vegetables. For a main dish I can recommend the beef 'Tagine Rif'. There's cous; meat skewers; and pastela too, and vegetarian dishes.

Corredera 55

Found on the west-facing street of Corredera, at number 55, is the chic village restaurant created by restaurateur and executive chef Ellie Cormié. In addition to the outside terrace pergola looking over the rolling countryside, there are two interior dining rooms, creating sociable, relaxed spaces to enjoy a drink, tapa or gourmet meal. Dishes have genuine providence, using largely organic ingredients from the surrounding land and sea. Ellie's field-to-fork approach supports small scale producers and local fishermen, whilst rewarding diners with layers of fresh flavours that showcase Andalusian homespun gastronomy.

Las Delicias

Found a little further up on Calle de la Corredera is Las Delicias, a restaurant and bar within an old theatre. The flamboyant setting is often enhanced with live music.

Viña y Mar sherry bar

Vejer is of course in the land of sherry and I recommend you put aside any misconceptions and try some of the wonderful fortified dry white wines from the province of Cadiz at this street side café.

DO

NMAC Foundation Sculpture Park

Spectacular sculpture park where 'contemporary art is in perfect harmony with nature'. The permanent collection includes over 20 pieces displayed throughout the semi-wild parkland.

Annie B's kitchen

What better way to get to know a destination than through its food? Annie has been offering food, wine and culture adventures for years. Her informal cooking school based in her beautiful and historic Vejer old town home was where it all started. You'll have a day filled with laughter, helping to prepare easy local dishes, learning the tricks of the trade from a pro, followed by a gourmet lunch on a sun-drenched roof terrace - with fab views of Vejer and the countryside.

If you are eager to discover more, Annie also offers curated private tours within the province of Cadiz and beyond. For example, as a qualified sherry educator, she is happy to whisk you off to the bodegas of Jerez for a day of wine, history and fun. Or how about a day-tip to Tangier and the exotic foodie pleasures of Morocco?

Nature Tarifa

Ignacio Soto offers guests a unique perspective of the remarkable Costa de la Luz.

His small group travel itineraries, ideal for families or friends, provide tailormade holidays including accommodation, dining and adventures -including unique access to events such as the almadraba tuna catch.

Ya En Tu Casa

Probably the most tantalising store in Vejer. This fine food boutique is crammed with goodies from across Iberia, from exceptional extra virgin olive oils; fine wines and spirits; artisan cheeses; and top-notch hams. Just click and have a look at their online shop - an abundance of temptations that can be shipped worldwide.

Whales and horses

Vejer overlooks the Atlantic. The coast is a delight. El Palmer is the place for a sundowner; or maybe even a horse ride. From these shores you can also see whales! Wildsea promises to select responsible, marine ecotourism experiences.

STAY

Casa Shelly

This place is a real find - an impeccable, upscale boutique guesthouse where the cool, clean minimalist lines of the Swedish aesthetic meet the warmth and charm of historic Andalucia.

Casa Shelly, created by owners Swedish Chris and Spanish Javier, is a stylish 7-room home-from-home.

Plaza 18

By the town's palm-shaded Plaza de España, one finds Plaza 18, an exclusive hideaway hotel that is a collaboration between 'La Casa del Califa' hotel, created by James Stuart, and Nicky Dobree, an award-winning interior architect and designer. The 19th century merchant's house has been reimagined as a smart 21st century bolthole for travellers looking for elegance and style yet with the laidback charm for which the neighbouring 'La Casa del Califa' has become renowned.

Las Palmeras del Califa

Enjoy the simplicity of a village guest house; access to the facilities of a hotel; and the privacy of Vejer's only hotel swimming pool (which by the way comes with spectacular views!). Secure underground carparking is available for guests, reserve in advance.

La Casa del Califa

The pioneer of Vejer hospitality, La Casa del Califa, is the work of James Stuart. Arriving in the 1980s to enjoy the surf of the Costa de la Luz coast, he stayed and has created an imaginative, relaxed and unique hospitality experience for visitors to Vejer.

La Casa del Califa is a fascinating, historic building; a mix of unique spaces, from shaded courtyards and pathways lined with flowers, to simple guest rooms and posh suites. The hotel is home to the El Jardin de Califa restaurant, a cool bar with terrace and a North African style tea house.