by Saskia Mier
Velefique is home to the remains of a castle built by the Moors on a hill to the east. Take a walk around the outskirts through forest paths to the Tetica de Bacares, located at 3,000m altitude. It has about 240 inhabitants.
In the eighth century, the Berbers of Queen La Kahima found refuge here, before being Romanized and Christianized like the Spanish from the southeast. From then until the twelfth century, some Mozarabic communities lived here in peace, and many went with King Alfonso “el Batallador” to repopulate the Ebro Valley in 1125-1126. More>
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Santa María
The church was burned during the Moorish revolution in 1570 and its reconstruction began on January 1, 1600, but was not completed until 1734. It is believed to be in the late Gothic style with a Mudejar coffered ceiling. The facade of the church is painted white and the entire front door is fenced and surrounded by beautiful flowers. Located on Calle Iglesia.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Ermita de Febeire
The simple chapel was painted white and has only one door. It is currently in a state of abandonment. Located north of the town.
Sierra de Alhamilla
Only 15km northeast of Almeria city is this largely barren and rugged 8,500ha mountain range, designated a protected natural area in 1989. Riven by deep gullies, particularly on its southern slopes, it rises to 1,387m at its highest point of the Colativí peak. It is a sparsely populated area, with only 50 inhabitants within its boundaries. Despite being semi-arid, the Sierra has some outstanding examples of holm oak woodland in places over 800m.
When visiting Velefique, try local dishes such as migas (fried breadcrumbs served with pork), caldo de huevos (egg soup), gurullos (pasta stew), fritada de sangre (black pudding), trigo guisado (wheat stew) and choto al pastoral (goat). Sweet treats include turron (almond nougat), talvinas (bread pudding), almendrados (almond cakes) and suspiros (meringues).
Popular festivals in Velefique are Semana Santa, Hogueras de San Antón, Día de la Candelaria and Fiestas de Agosto. More>
The tourist office of Velefique is located in the town hall. More>