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Los Vélez

Los Vélez

Lovers of rural tourism will find a variety of accommodation opportunities including hotels, rentals and camping. Hiking is a popular activity as the natural park provides some lovely signed routes to take, such as the Solana del Maimón, that goes from Vélez-Rubio to Vélez Blanco.

Designated a natural park in 1987, the Sierra María-Los Vélez occupies the eastern end of the Cordillera Subbética in the north of Almeria province. It covers 22,670ha, a landscape of impressive contrasts, with its arid, moon-like plains overlooked by the Sierra's rocky summits, which are white with snow in winter, and the dry, barren south-facing slopes compared to its densely wooded north-facing ones.

The Tourist Office of Vélez Blanco is located in the Oficina Municipal de Turismo, Almacén del Trigo, Avenida Marqués de los Vélez.

Festivals in Vélez Blanco: Cabalgata Reyes Magos, Las Máscaras, La Candelaria, Día de San Blas, Día de Andalucía, Semana Santa, Día de San Isidro, Feria Medieval, Día de San Ignacio and more.

The first local traces of the Iberian people date from the sixth and seventeenth centuries B.C. The Roman era was characterized by the proliferation of these villas through the whole area. Their occupation lasted from the first century to the fifth. In the Al-Andalus period, Vélez Blanco began to grow in importance due to its strategic position, with the name Velad al-Abyadh./p>

Festivals in Chirivel: Cabalgata Reyes Magos, Fiesta de San Antón, Semana Santa, Fiestas de San Antonio de Pádua, Feria de Verano and Misas de Gozo.

The town’s origin comes from a set of farmhouses in the Los Vélez manor. It obtained its municipal independence from Vélez Rubio in 1895. There is not much agreement on the meaning of its name. According to the Arabists, its name means “kiss of Allah”, whilst more recent research has associated its toponym with an Arab verb meaning “to drink”, or “drink from the highest source”.

Festivals in Mária: Cabalgata de Reyes Magos, Semana Santa, Fiesta de Primavera en Honor a la Virgen de la Cabeza, Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos, Fiestas de Santa Quiteria, Olimpiadas de Verano and Jornadas Gastronómicas.

Tucked away in the little-visited northern corner of the province is the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park, a surprisingly extensive wooded area, given the otherwise arid aspect of Almeria´s territory, where there are some superb walks. The two main towns in the park - Vélez Rubio and Vélez Blanco - are well worth a visit, particularly the latter for its original castle and Cueva de los Letreros with prehistoric rock paintings.

They are in a still better state of preservation, but you may only visit them with a guide. However, if you're interested, the tourist information office at Vélez Rubio, or the town hall at Vélez Blanco can advise on a guide who will provide you with a rope and ladder to get you up the sheer rock face; which is one of the reasons of course, why they have survived more or less intact.

The prehistoric cave paintings of the Cueva de los Letreros are spectacular, they can be found 3km out of the town of Velez Rubio. To get to the caves follow the A317 north until you reach a petrol station on the left, next to which is a signed turning to the cave.

Málaga Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Spain with over 15 million passenger movements in 2016. Malaga Airport offers full range of passenger services. The airport essentially operates from Terminal 3 which was opened in March 2010. The second runway which is only used at peak times was opened in June 2012.

There are regular national flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, Melilla. There are also regular International flights to London Gatwick, Stanstead, Munich, and Dusseldorf. See the table below. Charter companies also fly to Almería, making it the second most important airport in terms of foreign tourist arrivals in Andalucia.

María forms part of the Parque Natural Sierra de María-Los Vélez and is one of the area’s greatest attractions. It has an interesting archaeological heritage, especially present in the cave paintings in Cueva de Haza and the Iberian population at El Pasico. It has about 1200 inhabitants.

Chirivel is the fourth town of the comarca of Los Vélez in the north of the Almeria province, south of the Sierra de María. It is worth a visit in April to see the almond trees blossoming. It has about 1470 inhabitants. The town has several outlying hamlets including El Contador, Aspilla, El Cantal and Rambla del Jali.

Vélez Blanco nestles at the foot of a rocky outcrop forming part of the Sierra de María-Los Velez Natural Park and the Ruta de los Castillos (route of castles) through Andalusia. It is as a popular destination for lovers of both rural tourism and sports, as well as culture and history enthusiasts. It has about 1900 inhabitants.

The municipality of Vélez-Rubio is the capital of Los Vélez district, forming part of the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park. It has been declared an official Place of Cultural Interest due to its historical heritage and is a very popular destination for tourists.