Enjoy our quick guide to Vejer de la Frontera, one of the loveliest of the white towns located in the Spanish province of Cadiz.
It has always been a favorite destination among tourists who are drawn to the town’s distinctive whitewashed houses, picture-perfect monuments, flower-filled courtyards and a number of viewpoints where you can catch a breathtaking view of the coastline and the Alcornocales Natural Park, one of the most significant nature reserves in Spain.
Below we feature an expat interview with Kaly Hill of De La Luz Properties who covers the Vejer de la Frontera area.
Specifically, we asked Kaly on the advantages of choosing Vejer de la Frontera as a place to live and the value for money that one can get if you decide to stay permanently in the area.
Kaly, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we should start off by asking what would you say would be the advantages to living in Vejer de la Frontera compared to other Costa de la Luz towns?
Vejer is simply one of the most beautiful white hill towns (pueblos blancos) just 15 minutes by car from the coast, particularly for its unique setting. Located on top of a hill, views to the coast and surrounding countryside are fantastic. This means that both beach-goers and mountain-trekkers are happy, as Vejer is 15 minutes by car from some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, as well as several national Parks.
Vejer’s beautiful architecture is another aspect. The old town of Vejer, Casco Antiguo, has been very well preserved, and it almost eerily feels like you have travelled back in time. It is incomparable to other places such as Chiclana, Conil, as Vejer’s residents take pride in their town, and there is hardly any graffiti or other vandalism.
There aren’t any large hotel chains, only boutique hotels. Such a preserved, clean town is a rarity these days especially for those of us that come from larger cities. Thanks to the locals who religiously whitewash the facades of their house, it is a pleasure to roam the streets as a tourist, or ‘commute’ to work in the morning as a resident.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
People with physical disabilities or people who depend on wheelchairs might have problems accessing some parts of the Old Town. The newer, more modernized New Town with the small urbanisations (La Noria and Pueblo de Alba) is better equipped to service those with physical disabilities. Parking in these areas is a lot more straightforward.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Vejer boasts everything from gourmet restaurants, virgin beaches and proximity to equestrian centres and golf courses. Personally, I like to take a jog through the windmills or have a yoga brunch on my roof terrace.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
Along the Corredera are many restaurants to choose from, the best being Corredera 55 and Califa Tapas. Garimba in the Plaza de España is also a favourite with tourists. I prefer to dine in the local market, where I can buy a bottle of the organic local craft beer, and a plate of Payoyo cheese before I do my fruit and veg shopping. As supermarkets have become more commonplace over the recent years, local markets had fallen into disuse.
Interestingly, Spaniards are increasingly using the traditional markets as spaces for small tapas bars as well as a place to find fresh eggs and produce, an ingenious move to save these important cultural and culinary spaces. The local market in Vejer has a variety of local tapas, beer, wine, and even a sushi stand!
Garimba – Plaza de Espana – https://www.garimbasur.com/es/
Trafalgar Restaurant – Plaza de Espana – https://www.restaurantetrafalgar.com
Califa Group Hotel and Restaurants – https://www.califavejer.com/restaurants-and-bars
El Jardin del Califa – Plaza de Espana – https://www.califavejer.com/restaurants-bars/el-jardin-del-califa
Corredera 55 , La Corredera – https://www.califavejer.com/restaurants-bars/corredera-55
Califa Tapas – La Corredera – https://www.califavejer.com/restaurants-bars/califa-tapas
Califa Bar – La Teteria del Califa – https://www.califavejer.com/restaurants-bars/la-teteria-del-califa
Califa Express Plaza de Espana – https://www.califavejer.com/restaurants-bars/califa-express
Vejer – La Delicias , La Corredera – https://www.lasdeliciasvejer.com
El Central, Vejer – https://www.elcentralvejer.com
Outside of Vejer
Restaurant Patria – Patria, La Muela -https://restaurantepatria.com/es/
Cadiz – Balandro – https://www.restaurantebalandro.com
Cadiz – La Candela – https://www.lacandelatapasbar.com
Cadiz – El Faro – https://www.elfarodecadiz.com
Jerez – La Cabona – https://lacarbona.com
Santa Lucia – La Tajea – https://www.lanuevatajea.es
Santa Lucia – https://www.restaurantecastilleria.com – La Castilleria
Medina Sidonia – Restaurante La Duquesa – https://www.ventaladuquesa.com
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
Yes, within walking distance in the town there are supermarkets, independent fruit and vegetable shops, fish shops, butchers, dentists and a medical centre. There are also facilities a short drive away in bigger towns such has Chiclana de la Frontera where there are private facilities and Conil de la Frontera and in Cadiz.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
The small hamlets in the countryside such as St. Lucia, La Muela or San Ambrosio are great places to visit on a hike or cycle around the area. Coastal towns such as Zahara de los Atunes, Los Canos de Meca and El Palmar, are known for vegetarian fare, chill-out spots and unspoiled beaches- replete with surfers, expats and retirees alike.
Is crime an issue for expats?
Not at all, perhaps some petty theft here and there but virtually no violent crime at all. As with anywhere, it is always advisable to secure your property when not home and keep valuables etc. away from display in cars etc.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
The property market in Vejer rose dramatically from the late 90’s through to the recession/crisis of 2008. Since 2008, prices have now recovered to the levels of 2004, when properties in the old town were selling at around 2,000 euros per sq meter. In 2007 property prices in Vejer reached 3,000 euros per sq meter. These property price fluctuations can be seen by looking at the Urbanisation of La Noria where 3-bed 2-bathroom townhouses were selling offplan before construction for around 110,000 euros.
In 2010 La Caixa bank repossessed 28 townhouses from the La Noria developer.
La Caixa sold these houses directly for 100,000 euros. So since 2013 prices in Vejer have started to rise again.
How much are the typical property prices in Vejer de la Frontera for apartments, villas etc?
Because of the increasing popularity of Vejer as a holiday destination and because there has not been the overbuilding prevalent in the Costal Del Sol, there are no real bargains to be had. The market is steady and the town is quite prosperous, so there is very little “distressed” selling. Vejer is not a place for property bargains. You would have to go to further inland, to Medina Sedona or Alcala de Los Gazules to get bargains, with property selling for around 1,000 euros per square meter.
In the surrounding countryside, rural properties sell for between 1,000 and 2,000 euros per square meter, depending on whether the houses need refurbishing. Rural land is not expensive, around 5 euros p.s.m.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Vejer de la Frontera or surrounding area?
If you are looking to buy property in Vejer, expect to mainly find large traditional patio houses still intact or apartments within patio houses. In the New Town there are a number of new housing developments that have been tastefully designed and built to blend in with the architectural style of the Old Town. There are also some countryside and coastal opportunities around Vejer.
Planning permission is very rarely given to build new houses and because of this, there is an abundance of “illegal” country houses in the area. Be very careful when buying in the country and always use an established and reputable agent and a qualified bilingual local lawyer to check the legal paperwork whether you buy in the country or in the town itself.
Kaly, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.
De La Luz Properties SL
Here is an interesting tourist video on Vejer de la Frontera.
Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.