Destruction of El Palmar Beach – Vejer de la Frontera

I’ve just found out that some property developers are trying to push through planning permission to build some super-hotels on El Palmar Beach, near Vejer de la Frontera in Andalucia, Southern Spain. El Palmar sits on the Costa de la Luz (Coast of light), the Atlantic coast between Tarifa and Cádiz, and is one of the most unspoilt stretches of coastline left in Spain.

Please sign the petition at the top of this website: Save El Palmar Beach.

You can also join the Facebook group here: Save El Palmar on Facebook

El Palmar Beach, Andalucia, Spain

In December 2009, the local council of Vejer de La Frontera announced a deal with property developers to build a giant 600-bedroom concrete monstrosity of a hotel right on El Palmar beach. The PELP group, who set up the initiatives to prevent this (and whose links I have included above for the petition and Facebook group) strongly believe in the following:

…that the Playa del Palmar, and by extension, the entire Sea around Cape Trafalgar could become an international example of ecological and rural tourism of exceptional quality. An example of real sustainable development, responsible tourism and awareness.

…that the few miles of unspoiled beaches left in our country should not succumb to the concrete development that has already decimated the Spanish coastline.

…that the preservation of natural resources and virgin wilderness areas is of paramount importance.

Sign the Petition and Show Your Support.

Rent a house in Vejer de la frontera.

Vejer de La Frontera & beaches, Spain

Firstly, some shameless Vejer plugs:

Having spent a couple of months travelling regularly on the Ave train between Madrid and Barcelona, I headed back down to Vejer de La Frontera in Andalucia to meet up with my mother and sister for a couple of weeks of catching up & ‘recuperation’. Arriving in early September, the weather was glorious – Vejer de la Frontera, like all of Andalucia, can become far to hot for comfort in July and August – and we spent our time on the beaches of El Palmar, Los Caños de Meca, Bolonia and Valdevaqueros, and made a couple of day trips to Seville, Cadiz & Grazalema National Park.

The photo below shows Vejer De La Frontera from the air – The town of Vejer de la Frontera occupies a hill overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar (with views all the way to Morocco on a clear day) and is surrounded by orchards and orange groves. It contains several ancient churches and convents, and the architecture of many of its houses harks back to the period of Moorish rule, which lasted from 711 until the town was captured by Saint Ferdinand of Castile in 1248.

Vejer De La Frontera, Spain: Aerial photo

Recently referred to as Vejer de las Fashionistas in the press, due to the increasing numbers of celebrities (like Jude Law) spotted lurking within it’s walls, the beaches near Vejer are some of the least spoilt and most beautiful in Spain. Lying on the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light), a section of the Andalucian coast facing the Atlantic, and with building restrictions brought in to combat the kind of development seen on the Costa Del Sol, it’s the perfect place to unwind.

Valdevaqueros, Tarifa, Spain

For those of you partial to your kitesurfing and windsurfing, Tarifa & Valdevaqueros lie only 35-40 KM to the South East. This is the busiest kitesurfing & windsurfing destination in the world. Luckily the huge beaches can cope with the hundreds of kites that descend on Tarifa – on busy Summer days there can be up to a thousand kites simultaneously flying. The downside for sunbathers is that on days that the Levante wind blows, sunbathing becomes a serious exercise in exfoliation. (Watch my video on Windsurfers on Valdevaqueros beach)

Map showing Vejer de la Frontera

View Larger Map

Tourist board video of Vejer de la Frontera

Vejer, Spain

Shameless plug: Rent a beautiful house in Vejer de la frontera! You can also see 2009’s post on Vejer de La Frontera here.

I cushioned my re-entry from Thailand to the UK with a month in Spain. Beginning with a few days catching up with friends in Barcelona, Tina and I made our way down to Andalucia – flying to Jerez near Cadiz – then staying in a small town called Vejer De La Frontera.

Vejer de la Frontera - Jewish Quarter

Perched on a sizeable rocky plateau about 7 miles inland from Cape Trafalgar on the Costa de la Luz in Spain lies the medieval town of Vejer de la Frontera. The Costa de la Luz is a section of the Andalusian coast facing the Atlantic Ocean, extending from Tarifa, at the southernmost tip of Spain, north and northwestward, along the coasts of Cádiz and Huelva provinces, to the mouth of the Guadiana River.

With stunning views of the surrounding countryside – and all the way to Morocco in the background – it is hard to recall a more strikingly located town.

Vejer has been granted the status of Area of Historic and Artistic Interest and has also won the Most Beautiful Towns of Spain award. Vejer contains several ancient churches and convents, and the architecture of many of its houses recalls the period of Moorish rule, which lasted from 711 until the town was re-captured by the Spanish in 1248. Fighting bulls are bred in the neighborhood and a running of the bulls is held annually.

Cape Trafalgar (Cabo de Trafalgar) is perhaps better known as the location of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 where the British fleet, commanded by Admiral Nelson put paid to the combined French and Spanish fleets, and died in the process.

Losing yourself in the maze of narrow, cobbled streets of Vejer feels a bit like stepping back hundreds of years in time. The locals are wonderfully friendly and put up with my Thai/Spanish/English language mixture. The coastline of the Costa de la Luz is undeveloped, unspoilt and extremely beautiful – with wide, never-ending windswept beaches. Could this be our next destination?!

View Larger Map