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Velez Malaga, a charming Spanish town, strategically unfolds itself into three distinct areas. Torre del Mar, a coastal gem, is the first area that greets you. Next, you encounter the main town of Velez-Malaga itself, which was smartly placed inland to evade the devastating tidal waves caused by past earthquakes. Lastly, east of Torre del Mar, you’ll find Velez Costa, a collection of smaller resorts that include Caleta de Velez, Benajarafe, and Mezquitilla. Each area, with its unique charm, contributes to the diverse tapestry that is Velez Malaga.

The towns are well-connected, with two local bus services operating regularly. One service links Torre del Mar with Velez Malaga every half an hour, while the other connects the various resorts within Velez along the coast.

As the capital of Axarquía and the largest town on the eastern side of Malaga, Velez Malaga is a bustling hub of activity. Nestled in the foothills of the Maroma mountain, one of the area’s highest peaks often adorned with a snow cap in winter, the town is a picturesque sight with its white buildings. The town’s skyline is dominated by a Moorish castle and church, among other significant monuments. Velez-Malaga is also the birthplace of Maria Zambrano, a renowned writer and philosopher, and proudly houses the Zambrano Foundation, home to many of her original documents and archives. This town is quintessentially Spanish, offering a rich cultural experience to all who visit.

History of Velez Malaga

Velez-Malaga, nestled in the heart of the Costa del Sol, is a city steeped in history. Its origins date back to the Roman era, when it was known as “Villa Velez”. The city’s strategic location, about 15 km east of Malaga, the provincial capital, made it a prime target for conquest during the Muslim invasion of the 8th century.

Originally, nearly 3000 years ago, Velez-Malaga was a Phoenician village. It later transformed into a Roman city named Maenoba. After the Romans and Visigoths, it became known as Bâllish or Ballix Malaca during the period of Al-Andalus.

During the Islamic era, the city truly flourished and was known by various Arabic names such as Ballax, Ballix, Aballix, or Ballix-Malica. A fortress, the town’s highest point, formed the city’s structure, holding great defensive and strategic value. This fortress was a powerful visual symbol, designed to deter any uprising or rebellion from the conquered population.

In 1487, Velez-Malaga was granted city status by the Catholic Monarchs. Today, it is the third most populous municipality in the province, only behind Malaga itself and Marbella. The city’s historic center is declared a historical-artistic site, and it preserves a significant Moorish and Baroque architectural heritage.


Velez-Malaga is a city of age-old traditions. It has narrow, winding streets. These are especially in La Villa district. This is the city’s original town centre. Here, you can find Mudejar Art examples. These include “La Casa Cervantes”. There’s also the Church of “Santa María de la Encarnación”. The Palace of “El Marqués de Beniel” has an intricate coffered ceiling.

The city has several Phoenician sites. These include “La Necrópolis de Cerro del Mar y Jardín” (Map). There are also remains in “Lagos y Caleta de Vélez”. Velez-Malaga has a festive calendar. It’s full of feasts and fairs. Notably, there’s “La Real Feria de San Miguel” in September’s end. There’s also the Fair of Santiago and Santa Ana in July.

Velez Castle

As for tourist attractions in Velez-Malaga, here are some that you might find interesting:

  • Alcazaba La Fortaleza de Velez Malaga: A castle that offers amazing views, especially from the top of the tower. (Map)
  • Ermita de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios: A religious site worth visiting for the views alone. (Map)
  • Casa Cervantes: A historic site with an exhibition dedicated to Cervantes. (Map)
  • Church of San Juan Bautista: A beautiful church and cathedral. (Map)
  • Parque acuático Aquavelis: A water park with attractions designed for everyone. (Map)
  • Cueva del Tesoro: A unique cave to explore. (Map)
  • El Ingenio Shopping Centre: A place where shopping, with cinema and activities in selected dates. (Map)

Velez Costa

Velez-Malaga Costa, located on the Eastern Costa del Sol, is a vibrant area that offers a unique blend of sun, sea, and culture. The coast is home to several towns that have transitioned from traditional maritime or agricultural activities to become centres of sun and beach tourism. These include Chilches, Benajarafe, Almayate, La Caleta de Velez, Mezquitilla, Lagos, and most notably, Torre del Mar.

In addition to the beachside attractions, Velez-Malaga Costa is rich in cultural heritage. From the historical monuments in Caleta de Velez to the archaeological remains in Lagos and Caleta de Velez, there’s plenty to explore.

Torre del Mar

Torre del Mar

Torre del Mar, a popular tourist destination in Velez-Malaga, is known for its high-quality beaches and vibrant promenade. It’s the second most populous area in the municipality of Velez-Malaga and a major showcase for tourism. The town is characterised by its environmental quality and the extent of its magnificent beaches, making it a favourite meeting point for numerous visitors and locals alike.

Torre del Mar serves as a hub for commercial and leisure activities, offering gastronomy linked to ‘pescaíto’ (small fried fish), featured in numerous gastronomic guides. Interesting ruins in the area evidence its origins tracing back to the Phoenicians.

The town hosts several events throughout the year, including the renowned “Weekend Beach Festival”, a music festival that attracts visitors from around the world. In addition to music, the festival offers camping areas for attendees, adding an adventurous dimension to the event.

You should visit:

Old Lightouse of Torre del Mar:

Fairs and festivities

The city’s festive calendar is filled with events that reflect its vibrant spirit and deep-rooted customs.

In terms of local fairs, the city celebrates “La Real Feria de San Miguel” at the end of September, a colourful event filled with joy, music, and dance. Another notable fair is the Fair of Santiago and Santa Ana in July.

As for music festivals, Velez-Malaga is home to several annual events that cater to a wide range of musical tastes. The “Festival Internacional de Guitarra Ciudad de Velez-Malaga” is a renowned event that takes place in June, attracting guitar enthusiasts from around the world. The “Festival Flamenco De la Tierra” is another popular event that showcases the rich tradition of Flamenco music and dance. In August, the city hosts the “Elrow” festival, a vibrant event known for its lively atmosphere and eclectic music.


Velez-Malaga, a city rich in culinary tradition, offers a gastronomic experience that is a delightful blend of Mediterranean flavours and innovative cuisine. The city’s cuisine, with its roots in Phoenician and Arabic flavours, is particularly known for its use of wine and oil.

Among the local delicacies, you’ll find dishes like “ropa vieja”, a variety of berza (a type of cabbage stew) with potatoes, green beans, chickpeas, pumpkin, aubergine, and meat. Some even add bacon and pig snouts. Other must-try dishes include “ajoblanco”, a cold soup made with almonds, garlic, and bread crumbs; “migas”, a traditional dish made with bread crumbs; and “sopas cachorreñas”, a type of soup.

Seafood lovers will enjoy the “frituras de pescado” (fried fish) served in the coastal areas of the city. During Holy Week, it’s traditional to have dishes like “ajoporro” and “ajobacalao”, as well as “tortas de bacalao con miel” (cod cakes with honey) and “maimones”.

The city’s pastry tradition is also noteworthy, with treats like “mostachones”, “tortas de aceite”, and desserts made with cane honey.

Useful Information

  • Local Holidays: 25th July and 5th October when the town celebrates its main fair.
  • Distance From Malaga Airport 36km
  • Town Hall 952-500-100
  • Local Police: 952- 549-238


Velez offers a wide range of services and amenities including two health centres, primary and secondary schools, sports facilities and numerous shops. The theatre de Carmen has a good choice of cultural events throughout the year, although most are in Spanish.