Nestling at the foot of a rocky outcrop is the small whitewashed village of Vélez Blanco, 6km north of its neighbour, Velez Rubio.
The municipality of Vélez-Blanco forms part of the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park and the Ruta de los Castillos (route of castles) through Andalucia. It is as popular a destination for lovers of rural tourism and sports as it is for lovers of culture and history. The Almacen del Trigo information office has information on the town and the surrounding Natural Park.
Things to See
The Castillo-Palacio (Renaissance Castle) that crowns the centre of the town is the main attraction, one of the jewels of the Spanish Renaissance. Constructed on top of the old Arab castle in the 16th Century, under order from the first Marqués de Los Vélez, and declared a National Historical Monument, it rises up above a rock more than 1000 metres tall, offering the most spectacular view of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, only the exterior has been preserved to this day as the interior was sold at the beginning of the 20th Century and today is on show at the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York, US.
Other stand-out buildings include the Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol, from the 16th Century, which has some gothic elements to it, as well as Renaissance and Mudejar; The San Luis Convent, from the same century, with a plateresque door and a small mudejar tower; and the Fuente Caños de Caravaca, from the 18th Century.
Outside the centre of town there are various Arab watchtowers, as well as archaeological sites with cave paintings, many located in the Natural Park. Among them is the Cueva Ambrosio and the Cerro de las Canteras, from the Paleolithic and Neolithic times.
There is a lot to do in the Natural Park. Lovers of hiking are able to choose between different signed routes, such as the Pinar de las Muellas, Sierra Larga or Solana del Maimón. However, the best way to know what´s on offer at the park is to get in touch with the Centro de Visitantes, Almacén del Trigo, which is on Marqués de Los Vélez avenue.
Book Hotels in Vélez-Blanco
Gastronomically, those who want you taste the best food here must order the ´migas de harina´, gurullos (type of pasta) with hare or partridge meat, ´bilbaos´ (type of sweet) and mantecados dormidos (Christmas sweets made from flour, almonds and lard).
The major celebrations in Vélez-Blanco take place during the second week of August, for the town´s Feria. In July, the Feria de Muestras y Jornadas Medievales takes place, and of course there are big celebrations during Carnival and Easter.
The municipality of Vélez-Blanco is 140 kilometres from the city of Almería, from where you should get onto the A-7 from the N-344 and N-349. Merge onto A-91 from exit number 578 and continue to ALP-301, then take exit number 408 from A-92N, then the C-321 to Velez Rubio. Once here, take the A-317 and a slight right onto the ALP-726 which goes to Velez-Blanco.
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