Within its medieval walled centre, Vejer de la Frontera is in-keeping with the purest of Arabic-Andalusian architecture. The dazzling white houses, the labyrinth of steep narrow streets and arches painted in lime, it is an artistic beauty with great appeal to tourists. In Roman times the town was called Besaro; with the Arabic conquest its name changed to Bashir, and after the Reconquest it became Bejer, from which Vejer originates. Despite these many incarnations, Vejer retains the architectural features of all of these periods.
This impressive historic town is very close to the sea, and positioned on top of a green hill 190 metres high, from which you can enjoy amazing panoramic views.
Due to the natural resources of the surrounding area, staying at ‘La Botica’ in Vejer not only offers you the opportunity to get to know the town, but to also take part in a variety of sporting and leisure pursuits. Vejer de la Frontera is situated next to the Natural Park of La Breña, and the marshes of Barbate, and it is also just a few kilometres from some of the vastest natural beaches in Spain. Los Alcornocales National Park is also very close by, along with a myriad of sites of cultural and historical significance, all of which offer a number of different leisure pursuits to the visitor, be it at the beach, or in the mountains. For example, just 45 minutes drive from Tarifa and the Straits of Gibraltar, Vejer is a passage for many migratory birds, which can be watched with the help of our guide. Also of great interest are the many white washed villages around Vejer with their wonderful festivals and traditional customs.
The nearest beaches
El Palmar Beach, which is in the district of Vejer de la Frontera and very close to the town itself. This is one of the largest beaches in the area: At over 4 km long, and 50m wide, it has retained its natural beauty and has not become overly commercialized or built-up. It is popular with young people and families alike and is enjoyed by those who wish to relax, but is also good for water sports, with some of the best waves for surfing in all of Andalucía (all necessary facilities are available). El Palmar is also famed for its beautiful sunsets, thought to be the best in the area.
Zahora Beach is a little more built-up, and tends to be busier. It is perfect for rod-fishing, and is very close to the famous Trafalgar Lighthouse and Caños de Meca.
From the Barbate area to Caños de Meca and inland towards Vejer de la Frontera there is one of the smallest nature parks in Andalusia with some 5,000 hectares, the Breña y Marismas del Barbate Nature Park. It contains five different ecosystems: marine, cliff, pine grove, marshland and dunes. Special mention should be made of the stunning Tajo de Barbate. It is more than 100 metres high and is the most famous area of cliffs on the Atlantic coast of Andalusia.
To enjoy this spectacular location from up close, the best thing is a boat trip from Barbate port, moving through the clear, turquoise waters, which are also suitable for scuba diving and snorkelling. Along the cliff face, which has been eroded by the water and wind, you can see freshwater springs that flow into small coves; these are the famous “caños” (water spouts). Along with brambles and fig trees there are typical plants you would expect to find in saline environments, such as sea-blite, saltwort and everlasting. The holes in the stone are nesting grounds for many cattle egrets, jackdaws and yellow-legged gulls, as well as the peregrine falcon, turnstone and whimbrel. As far as birds of prey go, special mention should be made of the osprey, barn owl and kestrel.
Paragliding and hang-gliding enthusiasts have an ideal destination here. There is even a free flight club in Vejer.
This biodiversity is even more varied in the marshland areas and lagoons, home to a large number of birds; the site of nesting grounds and migratory stopovers. A walk around the park will give you the chance to photograph the mallard, northern shoveller, and even the odd little grebe, heron and purple heron. Amongst the reeds you can see little bitterns, Cetti’s warblers and common warblers.
Another singular landscape is La Breña pine grove. It has undergone intensive replanting to stabilise the dunes, prone to movement, making it the largest pine wood in Cadiz province and the pine cones and nuts produced are collected for use The pine wood reaches right up to the cliffs, where Aleppo pines share their copses with different juniper species. Especially outstanding is the Torre del Tajo Trail which ends with beautiful view. This is one of the watchtowers used in the 15th and 16th centuries to warn of approaching pirate ships, and which later witnessed the Battle of Trafalgar.
The patio is the heart of La Botica. Breakfast is served there and it is a place for meeting, reading or quiet chats during the day, following the traditional way of life of the Andalusian houses in this area.
The rooms are distributed around it and the kitchen, where the breakfast buffet is available, is also distributed.
The roof terrace is a very special place, where you can rest, sunbathe, have breakfast or simply relax while contemplating the wonderful views.