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Vejer de la Frontera

Spain

Just 50km south of the city of Cadiz is the serene Vejer de la Frontera, one of Spain's famous White Villages (Pueblos Blancos), alongside Mijas, Casares and Castellar de la Frontera. Situated above the River Barbate on a hilltop overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, Vejer has a Moorish-inspired feel that can be seen in the old Moorish castle and the tiled houses in the town centre. With its bright groves of orange trees and panoramic views of the Costa de la Luz, this village is a postcard-perfect destination.

Running of the bulls

Vejer is one of several Spanish towns that celebrates Toro Embolao (Bull Run), an annual Easter Sunday festival that sees two bulls being let loose in the town streets. The Running of the Bulls, which has been a tradition in Vejer de la Frontera since 1976, is part of the broader Easter festival that includes a popular dance called "verbena".

Points of interest

Vejer's old quarter is surrounded by 15th-century city walls that you can climb onto. The walls, which were originally built for defensive purposes, are punctuated by half a dozen arches including Arco de la Segur and Arco de la Puerta Cerrada.

In the old quarter you'll also find Plaza de España, the central meeting place for locals. This town square, which is centred around an ornate fountain decorated with frogs, is filled with cafes and bars. It's also home to the 11th-century Arab Castle (Castillo), which was once home to the Duques de Medina Sidonia.

Beaches

Vejer itself is 10km inland, but it's close to a multitude of beautiful beaches along the Costa de la Luz coastline. At 12km away, El Palmar is the closest beach. It's a wild, sandy shore with plenty of nearby parking but not many facilities (just a few bars and eateries.

Also nearby is Caños de Meca (12km away), a seaside village east of Cape Trafalgar. During the 1960s, Caños de Meca played an important role in Spain's hippie movement. These days, some of that bohemian attitude can still be felt as you wander along its tranquil shoreline and stumble upon nudist beaches that continue to attract surfers, hippies and naturists.

If you're a keen water sports enthusiast, you'll need to travel a bit further out to Tarifa (50km away), on the southernmost tip of the country. Thanks to Tarifa's unique location right on the Straits of Gibraltar, the city gets very windy. So it should come as no surprise that wind-surfing and kite surfing are the two most popular activities here.

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