Staying over night in Vejer de la Fontera

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
5
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
7
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
7
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
7
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
2
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
6
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
67 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Europe
country
Spain
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 180
Time of year visited
September
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
149th/359 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 40% SUMMARY RATING: Superb

Summary

Vejer de la Fontera, with its bright white houses perched on its hill-top with views looking all across the surrounding mountains and beaches of Adalucia, is the most beautiful town in the most beautiful part of Spain.  To quote the Lonely Planet, “the jaw drops, the eyes blink, the eloquent adjectives dry up . . . this serene, compact white town is something very special”.  As you wander through the narrow, winding streets, occasionally stopping for a look out across the views or finding a hidden church or restaurant, its hard not to be left with a bit of a magical feeling

 

Top tip #1 – stay overnight and / or stay for dinner in the evening – the vast majority of tourists visit on day trips from the likes of Seville, Malaga, Cadiz etc. which can make it a little busy through the day.  Instead, give yourself the early evening to stroll through the streets when the vast majority of fellow tourists have left and have dinner in restaurants only half full, but not lacking any of that oh-so-wonderful charming experience you’re looking for

Tip #2 – stay at La Casa Califa / Hotel Plaza 18 – all the same place.  Its hard to describe this hotel as it seems to be reside on something like 10 different levels dug into the hillside and going all the way back to the 10th century.  The effect though is magnificent, with a feeling of mystique as you meander your way through the corridors and emerge to one of the levels for sensational views.  Be sure as well to try the El Jardin del Califa restaurant for superb Moroccan food

Top Tip #3 – Restaurant tips.  In addition to El Jardin, Corredera 55 was wonderful and with great views out towards the mountains.  Also worth trying is the San Francisco Gastronomic Market – 10 or so small restaurants in an arcade serving gorgeous food to be eaten in the small hall

Top Tip #4 – use Vejer de la Fontera as a base for exploring southern Andalucia.  It’s within an hours drive from the likes of Cadiz (see extra tips here – Cadiz), Jerez de la Fontera and Tarifa (The beaches of Tarifa), and only 2 hours from Seville (Historic Seville), the Malaga area (Malaga) and the sensational drive through the white towns of the mountains (Driving through the White Towns of Parque Natural Sierra Grazalema).  Far nicer option

highlights

#1 Wandering through the picture perfect, cobbled white-walled streets

#2 The simply gorgeous balconies all around Vejer where you can enjoy the views whilst having a drink

#3 Evening meals under the stars in one of the many hidden courtyards . . . would in particular recommend El Jardin del Califa

#4 Getting lost in amongst the narrow lanes and then suddenly emerging through a series of arches to find a view emerging before you

#5 The elaborate Plaza de Espana with pretty restaurants all around the outside and surrounded by the narrow streets

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone