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This is the town in Andalucía's Cadiz province that National Geographic recommends you should visit this month
Travel

This is the town in Andalucía's Cadiz province that National Geographic recommends you should visit this month

The pretty 'pueblo blanco' is already on the prestigious publication's list as one of the 100 most beautiful locations in Spain and, among features, it boasts a spectacular beach

La Voz

Cadiz

Saturday, 1 June 2024, 23:34

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National Geographic magazine, a leading authority in the travel sector around the world, is re-launching the reputation of the province of Cadiz as a travel destination, emphasising all the strengths of its brand. A few days ago we published a list of the best castles in the province: 11 hilltop and coastal fortifications that run through Cadiz from north to south, some of the great vestiges of its chequered history, especially from medieval times and the Reconquest.

Now National Geographic has now fixed its sights on another beautiful town in Cadiz and recommends it for a visit this summer. It is not an undiscovered territory for tourism. It is Vejer de la Frontera, a municipality in the region of La Janda. Its first, highly peculiar feature is that it is located on top of a hill and resembles a white village in the Sierra de Cadiz, but it has a beach. And what a beach! El Palmar is a first class surfing destination.

Vejer de la Frontera is already on the list as one of the 100 most beautiful locations in Spain. Its legacy from invasion and occupation embellishes its whitewashed streets and gives it an air of mystery, like the 'cobijada', the traditional woman from Vejer who covers her face with a veil.

Declared an Historic-Artistic Site in 1976 , Vejer's monuments include the fortified walls with their arches and impressive, panoramic views, the church and the medieval castle (11th century), only a small part of which can be visited. The Plaza de España, a place of enjoyment and recreation for the locals, is a symbol of the town and the ideal frame for many a holiday snap.

The magazine's article mentions its similarities to Chefchaouen. As legend has it, that Moroccan town was made in the image of Vejer de la Frontera by the emir Sidi Ali Ben Rachid.

Why you should visit in June:

  • Candle Night - 8 June: the street lighting is switched off and more than 10,000 candles are lit, being distributed throughout the streets and balconies of the historic town centre along a route that ends with a concert of classical string music.

  • Festival Internacional de Jazz Vejer - 20-22 June: the Muralla de la Segur and the Teatro San Francisco are the two stages where music and dance to the rhythm of jazz come together. This festival, known far beyond the borders of Cadiz, will this year feature artists of the stature of Yamandu Costa, Ethan Iverson and Martha High.

  • Candela de San Juan - 23 June: on the eve of the saint's day of San Juan, the 'peñas' (cultural associations) of Vejer make puppets, known as the 'Juanillo's, which are paraded in the streets before the winner is chosen. Afterwards, they are burned on a bonfire and a big party is held with the arrival of the 'toro de fuego', not a real bull, just a man carrying a bull-shaped figure on his back from which fireworks are launched.

In addition to the 'cobijadas' (traditional dress for the women of Vejer - an all-black, head-covering cloak fastened at the waist to a long skirt), National Geographic also mentions the tradition of the Hazas de la Suerte, which is now a candidate for Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status. The 'hazas' is a lottery draw run every four years whereby the winner gains a small piece of land to work. This custom has a long history, even mentioned in records dating from the tenth century.

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