According to the Junta of Andalucia, Velez Blanco sits along the edge of its Northern Boundary just to the south of Murcia. In 2016, its population of 1,984 included 269 non-Spanish. In the previous year, 2015, there were sadly 27 deaths and only 13 births – and as many people came to live in the town, as left it (82). The town is heavily invested in its agricultural history and is actively preserving its history and expanding its economy as ecologically as it can. The natural erosion of rock and soil is being combated by intelligent planting and sustainable agriculture. The wealth of evidence of prehistoric occupation through ancient artwork and archaeology is being protected and studied. What none of these bland statistics convey, however, is how beautifully situated the pueblo is and how perfect a location it is for the historically curious and a walking, climbing holiday.
My visit to Velez Blanco, in November 2017, was very much a voyage of discovery as I knew little about the area. Alan Gandy and Elle Draper were hosting an event aimed at writers and bloggers (#WABAS17) so the weekend was always going to be interesting and lively. I think I finally understand the term ‘a working holiday’, as the whole village embraced us – from the Hotel Velad, where we stayed – to the Premier Teniente de Alcalde, Sr Dietmar Roth, who opened the conference and guided the more energetic of us around the castle that dominates the pueblo.
With the wealth of prehistoric cave paintings, a stunning castle, a richness of local agricultural products – particularly almonds – the town should be firmly on everyone’s travel agenda when visiting this region in Spain.
I loved the view from our room at the Hotel Velad, a delightful, rustic and friendly hotel. Alan and Elle took us to several interesting Bars and Restaurants in the town, all a brisk walk from the hotel. My favourite was probably Bar Alfonso.
For me, it was the people we met who made the stay in the town so special. So if you would like to meet a few of them – then Alan has the perfect introduction for you here www.alangandy.photography/projects/velez-blanco/