The bustling market town of Vélez-Málaga lies 5 km inland from Torre del Mar, surrounded by subtropical vegetation.
Capital of La Axarquía, Vélez-Malaga, often simply referred to as Vélez, is the centre of an agricultural region known for its strawberries and vineyards, which produce the muscatel grapes from which the famous Málaga wines are made. The town is a centre for the processing of olive oil and sugar cane. Ceramics feature among other industries. If you are in Velez on a Thursday, take time to wander around its weekly market, always an enjoyable experience.
The town was important in both Roman times, under the name of Menoba, and Moorish when as Ballix-Malaca (Fortress of Málaga) it had an important role in subduing what has always been a turbulent region. In 1487, Ferdinand conquered the town and the Christian flag was raised on the castle's battlements as the Moors were ejected. This victory paved the way for the fall of the Nasrid city some five years later. There are also several remains of Phoenician cemeteries and tombs which testify to a still older history.
Things to SEE
It is 13th Century and is the towns main feature. It has been well restored. There are good views of the surrounding countryside from up here. Read about the Velez Castle >
The Old Town
The oldest part of the town, known as Arrabal de San Sebastián, is a picturesque area of narrow streets. You will also come across attractive mansions built during the 16th and 17th centuries, including the restored Palacio del Marqués de Beniel, Plaza Palacio 1 which hosts the International Summer School of the Axarquía covering all aspects of culture including flamenco concerts.
Of special note, among the several churches to be found in the town, is the 15th-century church of Santa María la Mayor, whose beautiful sectioned tower still holds the minaret of the mosque that preceded it. Inside Moorish arches seperate a triple nave and there is a stunning Mudéjar ceiling. This church was the first building to be erected by the Christians, following their victory over the Moors.
The Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación was originally a Visigoth bishopric before being transformed into a mosque during the Moorish period and back into a church once more following the Christian conquest.
The San Juan Bautista church is also interesting for its late Gothic architecture and superby naturalistic sculpture Cristo Crucificado by Pedro de Mena.
A prestigious guitar competition takes place annually in July with free concerts taking place on the patio of the Palacio del Marqués de Beniel (see above).
More controversial, Vélez also holds legalised cock-fighting every Sunday when crowds of aficionados arrive to place their bets.
Golf in Velez - Malaga
There is only one golf course in Velez-Malaga and that is the Baviera Golf Course known for being surrounding by visually stunning scenery.