Velez Malaga is the largest municipality on the Eastern part of the Costa del Sol with 75,623 inhabitants (according to Official Municipal records dated January 1st, 2010), 157,88 km2 and 22 kms of Coast. It is the Capital of the Axarquia which has 31 municipalities.
This municipality consists of the towns called Almayate, Benajarafe, Cajiz, Caleta de Velez, Chilches, Lagos, Mezquitilla, Trapiche, Triana, Torre del Mar and Velez Malaga.
Attracted by its natural charm, many different civilizations arrived and did not hesitate to settle in the Axarquia, particularly in Velez Malaga. There were many cultures that left their mark like the Romans, Phoenicians and Carthaginians but it was the Muslim period which left a more profound and important heritage that can be seen in Velez winding streets revealing an important past during which it used to be called Bellix Malaca (Malaga valley).
The city proudly shows its legacy in its mostly Christian architectural heritage under which the Muslim defeat is buried. The first news we had about Velez Malaga was in the XII century when a chronicler called Ibn Baskuwal talks about “Ballis min nazar Rayya” which is Velez, of Raya jurisdiction. Starting in the XIII century during the Nazar period, many citations appear on the city as it became the Regional Administrative Centre.
Among the most important monuments, we have The Moorish Fortress and its walls, churches built on the old Mosques like Santa María de la Concepción, San Juan Bautista, Las Claras, Las Carmelitas Convent, San Francisco Convent, and Chapels and Shrines, among which Cerro de San Cristobal and Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Sanctuary (the city’s patron saint) stand out.
Living up to its reputation as a strong city, it was able to overcome the most dramatic and complicated events after the XIX century such as earthquakes, the 1804 epidemic that wiped out 60 per cent of the population and the War of Independence among other disasters that made this period one of the hardest for Velez Malaga.
The population has patiently waited for very important projects that now have placed the city at the gates of the XXI century and among those with the greatest development possibilities.
Since pre-historic times, this municipality has always been willing to offer the best of itself to those who came to its shores. In fact, one of Velez-Malaga’s greatest source of pride is Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s comment about the city in his book called “El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha”, part I chapter 41. “Let’s thank God, gentlemen, for leading us all to such a lovely place! Because, if I am not mistaken, the land we are walking on is Velez Malaga
Or prior to that, between the XII and XVI centuries, authors such as Idrisi, Abulfeda, Inb Battuta and Abd-al-Basit spoke of the existence and growing importance of the city. “It is like the Velez fig tree, every new comer hangs his bag” cited by the writer Ibn Asim (1358- 1426) which reflected that Velez was considered a fertile and welcoming land to all travellers in Nazar time.
Velez-Malaga is nowadays a modern and thriving city which has successfully adapted to the new times. Its main economical wealth is agriculture as it has become one of the biggest subtropical fruits producers such as mango and avocado. Velez exports subtropical fruits to more than 30 countries worldwide.
The growing tourist industry in the municipality is based on the high quality of its beaches, many leisure and nature activities and the traditional handmade production of rustic bricks which are the great economical pillars of Velez Malaga.
Velez-Malaga is also the meeting point for scholars and researchers with Maria Zambrano’s Foundation. Every summer the municipality holds a conference to celebrate the excellent work of this Velez illustrious thinker who was awarded the Cervantes Prize.
In addition, every summer Velez Malaga is also an International Centre of Knowledge thanks to the summer courses organized by the University of Malaga which attracts many students and teachers from all over the world.
It is well connected to any part of Spain or the world by an excellent motorway network and by sea with its proximity to Caleta de Velez marina and fishing port and Malaga harbour. If the chosen option is by air, the International Malaga airport is less than half an hour away; in addition, Trapiche airfield is also very near.
30 kms east of Malaga on the A-7 motorway or the N-340 that runs parallel to the coastline.
Once in our city, the following means of transport can be used to move around the towns and the Axarquia Region.