Vélez-Blanco, Almería, is home to Spain Buddy’s owners and has been so since 2012. This beautiful “pueblo blanco” in the mountains is right on the border of the Almería and Murcia provinces, and is generally considered a jewel of Almería, regularly winning awards for its beauty and cultural significance.
Future plans for the town include a consistent commitment to “slow tourism,” ecological and cultural consistency and of course to continue its friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Castillo de Vélez-Blanco
The town is overlooked by the stunning Castillo de Vélez-Blanco, an beautiful example of Rennaisance architecture. Its construction was started by Pedro Fajardo y Chacón in 1506 and was seven years in the making. It was built on top of an existing Moorish castle, utlising only the cistern and several castle walls.
Despite its imposing exterior, the interior was extremely palatial for its time. A breathtaking balcony looks out over the town on one side, and a central patio inside. The inside of the patio is stored permanenely in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, although work is underway to replicate the original features in the castle itself – employing local craftsmen. Restoiration of the castle is an ongoing project, but you can enter for free and explore its rooms yourself.
Opening hours for Castillo de Vélez-Blanco
Wednesday to Sunday: 10am-2pm / 5pm to 8pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Restaurants, bars and clubs in Vélez-Blanco
There is something for everyone in Vélez-Blanco, which is one of the reasons we chose it as a place to live. Despite its small size (fewer than 2000 residents), it boasts several bars – all of which serve food – two restaurants and a cafe/cake shop.
This makes it a very popular destination for families. In the historic town centre is where you will find most eateries and we recommend them all! Food is extremely well priced around the town, with tapas starting at a euro each. Here’s a rundown of our favourite places to eat and drink in the town.
Bar Hostal Sociedad
Location: In the main square in the historic centre, facing up the main street.
Favourite dish/es: We adore their “pinchitos de Moreno” which are spiced chunks of pork, cooked to perfection on a plancha. Try them with a little squirt of lemon on top – divine! If you like offal, then you must try the “riñones” which are slow-cooked chicken livers – Sofina loves how much I love those and always lets me know when she’s prepared them! Use the bread to dunk in the fabulously oozy sauce!
Extra Info: Bar Hostal Sociedad has plenty of outdoor seating as well as several tables inside. There is also a function room which compfrtably accommodates 20 or so people. The owners also own the Hostal across the road and Restaurante de Bellavista (detailed below)
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Location: On the corner (hence the name) of the main square in the historic centre.
Favourite dish/es: The magra that Ana prepares is beyond excellent, and the best we’ve tasted in Spain so far. The seafood salad (summer only I think) is also to die for! Also – nab the quail when its available – it’s beautiful!
Extra Info: There is loads of seating outside, but also plenty inside which makes it perfect for all weathers. There is an inside area perfect for small/medium functions too.
Bar el Corredore
Location: In the main high street, almost opposite the Ayuntamiento
Favourite dish/es: This is the place to go to try those weird and wonderful dishes that locals love but most Brits cringe at – such as pig brains or pigs trotters… not to everyone’s tastes but always worth exploring!
Extra Info: Loli is one of our favourite people. She has a very dry sense of humour and we often enjoy a bit of brutal banter. This is where we have our daily coffee (Alan) and mint tea (Elle). Alan says that Loli serves the best coffee in town – and the hottest! It’s one of our favourite places to catch up with friends and watch the world go by. Plenty of seating outside, with a couple of tables and several bar stools inside.
Location: On the left as you enter the town via Calle de Balsa Parra
Favourite dish/es: Manolo (the owner) is a wizard with a jamón knife, and therefore anything with jamón is great here. The “pan con tomate” (bread topped with tomato) is also excellent.
Extra Info: This is a place we go to drink, rather than eat, and we occasionally catch the footie too! There’s also a dancefloor, and the music is varied – Manolo knows how to read his clientele and matches the music well. Sunset is BEST time to enjoy this bar. Pop yourself on the terrace, enjoy the views over the valley and watch the sun set over the castle. Manolo is a superb host and makes us feel very welcome… every time!
Being added soon: Meson Antonia, Restaurante El Molino Casa Porchas, El Palacil, Bellavista, Cafeteria Gines, Bar Centro Social, Hotel Velad Al Abyadh and Embrujo
Business, leisure and clubs in Vélez-Blanco
Agriculture is Vélez-Blanco’s main industry. However it does cater well for tourism too. Most visitors are domestic or from northern Europe. Most are daytrippers.
During Easter Week (Semana Santa) and also the annual fiesta (a week long party), the population explodes. This is because many families return to see their parents and/or grandparents, and to get involved with the many activities on offer. Vélez-Blanco is a very Catholic town and there are regular processions through the main streets. Whether you are religious or not, these must be experienced.
There are several small supermarkets throughout the town – just ask when you arrive, which is your nearest. Do note that they all observe siesta hours.
There are two banks – both in the square n the historic quarter, plus an additional cashpoint at the other end of the High Street.
Holiday accommodation in Vélez-Blanco
There are several hotels in Vélez-Blanco, all within walking distance of the local amenities.
- Hotel Velad Al Abyadh
- Apartamentos el Palacil
- Los Arcos
Shopping in Playa Blanca
There isn’t much in the way of shopping opportunities in Vélez-Blanco – this is a residential town. However, there are plenty of gifts to choose from in the Estanco (tobacco shop) at the top of the High Street. Market day is Wednesday where you can grab fresh fruit and veg, local producce such as chorizo, honey, almonds and cheese, plus clothing and household items.
- This is located over on the newer side of town, just opposite the Guardia Civil Barracks.
SpainBuddy tip: We love to do a “tapas crawl” in Vélez-Blanco. Start at one end of the town and work your way around, having just one drink and one tapa in each. We never manage to finish it – but we always give it a good go!
- Police/Ambulance/Fire: 112
- Centro Médico:
- Mahimon coaches:
- +34 950 41 05 72
- British: +34 952 35 23 00
- German +34 952 36 35 91
- Dutch +34 913 53 75 00
- French +34 600 751 029