The market town of Vélez-Málaga, capital of the Axarquia region, is 25km from Nerja and 5 km inland from Torre del Mar. Vélez, as it is known locally, is renowned for its strawberries and vineyards and produces the muscatel grapes from which the famous Málaga wines are made. The town was important in both Roman (called Menoba) and Moorish times (called Ballix-Malaca - Fortress of Málaga-) and had an important role in subduing a turbulent region. In 1487, Ferdinand conquered the town and the Christian flag was raised on the castle's battlements. There are also remains of Phoenician cemeteries and tombs. The town is a centre for the processing of olive oil and sugarcane and ceramics feature among it's other industries.

Statistics

Area: square kilometres Altitude: mtrs above sea level Population: +/- Distance from Nerja: 25 km Driving Time: +/- 25 mins

Location

Places of Interest

The 13th Century Moorish castle has been restored and provides good views of the area. The old town, known as Arrabal de San Sebastián, is a picturesque area of narrow streets. There are some 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. There are several churches of interest including the 15th-century church of Santa María la Mayor, whose beautiful sectioned tower still holds the minaret of the mosque that preceded it. This church was the first building to be erected by the Christians following their victory over the Moors and there is a stunning Mudéjar ceiling.. The Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación was originally a Visigoth bishopric before being transformed into a mosque by the Moors and then back into a church once more following the Christian conquest. The San Juan Bautista church is also interesting for its late Gothic architecture and 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 . Vélez also holds legal cock-fights every Sunday.

Useful Info

Tourist Office 95 254 11 04 Guardia Civil 95 255 83 21 Local Police 95 250 09 91 Taxis 95 254 00 16 Bus Station 95 250 1731 Market Day: Thursday Town Hall 95 255 91 00 Hospital Comarcal 95 254 83 23 Red Cross 95 250 38 46 Social Services 95 250 20 06 Hospital Comarcal de la Axarquia Central Services 951 067 000 Emergency 951 067 021 Information 951 067 023 Out-Patients 951 067 018 FOR NON-LIFE THREATENING ACCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES 902 505 061 Samaritan Helpline 95 226 15 00