La Viñuela: In The Heart Of Axarquía

With so many white villages to choose from, it’s often hard to know where to start. La Viñuela might be a good place to begin your white village tour. The La is usually dropped to simply call the village Viñuela. It’s unique attraction is that it’s close by the eponymous named lake which allows for lots more adventures than simply strolling through the pretty streets. It’s an ideal base for a holiday or just a day trip and here’s why.

Location. Location. Location

Viñuela is a 15 minutes drive from the beach at Torre Del Mar but can seem a million miles away from the summer crowds. The main road actually bypasses the town so you only see the rather unassuming backs of houses.

However, if you make the turn, you will find an immaculately maintained white village, especially if you venture further down the main street past the local services. Viñuela is a thriving place despite its size. It’s a popular relocation place for many who decided to move here. It offers the opportunity to live somewhere that retains its Spanish character.

It also has public transport a few times a day from Vélez-Málaga making it a practical choice to live. Plus, it has one of everything that you might need. There is a medical centre, a chemist, bank, supermarket, general store, butcher, baker, gestor, post office etc. There’s a weekly market on Friday with about three stalls but it’s a great place to get local fresh food.

For a small place, it does have 4 bars but the whole town originated from a bar. Back in the eighteenth century, the bar La Venta La Viña, was established to offer refreshments to travellers from Granada to Malaga. The bar grew into a small village. But once you’ve stocked up, completed your business and had a coffee at one of the three bars at the top of the town, it’s time to descend the hill and see the real beauty of Viñuela.                         

La Vinuela - Oasis of Axarquia

White Village of Andalucia 

Think of the classic images of Andalucía. White buildings, small patios and balconies and walls bedecked with blood red geraniums in brightly painted ceramic pots. This is Viñuela! The narrow, one way street is the perfect picture of Andalucía.

The geraniums, which never seem to die, are complemented by huge terracotta pots with small olive trees. This is olive growing country. Although, Viñuela’s festival is actually a celebration of raisins: Fiesta de la Pasa, held in September. This is just one of several fiestas held in the town, the others being: early May – Romeria de San Jose, mid July – Feria de La Viñuela, early August – Fiesta de Virgen de las Angustias and mid August – Feria de Los Romanes. Viñuela never misses an opportunity to party!

Aside from geraniums, the little street has other charms. There’s a small shrine and the tourist office located on a patio just off the street may rank amongst the prettiest in southern Spain.

Lake Viñuela

The breathtaking, almost translucent blue man made reservoir makes a stunning vista. Located about 5 minutes drive from Viñuela village and created in the early 1980s, the reservoir not only provides much needed water to the area, it offers the opportunity to indulge in some water sports.

These have got to be non-motorised and possibly the best way to enjoy the incredibly warm water is through the excellent, Aqua Viñuela. Here you’ll be supplied with life jackets (the water is very deep) and offered a range of craft to hire. All you need to look out for is the plane that collects water in the event of a forest fire. It’s a perfect way to relax and swim for a morning or afternoon.

For a perfect view of the lake and even the coast beyond a good place to head to is the small village of Periana. This white village sits high above the lake, up a winding road and has two spectacular viewpoints: one at the edge of town and the other in the centre by the town hall. Both offer panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding countryside, whose colours vary depending on the season. Parking is plentiful. There are a number of traditional bars and on the outskirts, a couple of serene places to stay and eat: Los Mayoralas or Cantueso both of which offer a variety of facilities and tranquility. Periana is a friendly and likeable alternative to the coast which is barely thirty minutes drive away.

One of the most beautiful spots to enjoy the lake is the perfectly placed Hotel B Bou Viñuela

The dining terrace here has spectacular views of the lake and they’re happy to just serve you a drink whist you savour the glorious scenery though the club sandwich is highly recommended. The rooms all have wonderful views of lake or mountains and there’s great deals off season.

If you’re a little more budget conscious or like the idea of getting back to nature, the campsite offers this along with a bar and restaurant.

It’s very easy to fall in love with Viñuela. This small village with its nearby lake wins over the hearts of many visitors who end up staying here for life!

The beautiful lake Vinuela on a rare cloudy day