Viñuela is an inner municipality north of the town of Velez-Malaga and the famous beach town of Torre del Mar. It is also approximately 48 km from Malaga, the provincial capital. On its western side, you’ll find the Embalse de Viñuela, the largest dam in the province.
The town itself is quite small, at a mere 27 sq km, and is totally dwarfed by the dam (a.k.a. water reservoir). The first occupants of present-day Viñuela arrived in the 16th century and have grown to a lean population of around 1,700. Many of the residents work in the vast olive and cereal plantations that surround it.
Although the town that is now formally known as Viñuela originated in the 16th century, various archaeological finds in the area indicate that the earliest inhabitants in the region arrived in the Paleolithic era. This is consistent with the history of other neighboring towns in the province.
Other settlers in the area were the Romans, who were followed by the Moors. The town’s architecture and a watchtower are the last vestiges of the long Moorish occupation in the entire Iberian Peninsula, which lasted for hundreds of years.
Restaurants, Pubs & Bars
There are a number of places here where you can find good food and beverages (whether alcoholic or not) here. Since Viñuela is a small town, some restaurants here also double as bars at night, so you basically will be going to the same places whether you want to eat out or down a few bottles of beer.
Some of the establishments worth mentioning are the following:
* Bar Caen along Los Romanes;
* Restaurante La Viñuela along Urb. Haza del olivo;
* El Pantano along Ctra. Colmenar km 30 Los Romanes;
* Camping Presa La Viñuela along Ctra A-356, km.30;
* Antigua Venta La Viña along Plaza de Andalucía;
* Bar Miguelin along C / Las Boards;
* Patrivan Bar along Plaza de Andalucía;
* Venta El Charco along C / Los Ventorros; and
* Bar-Cafeteria Quitapenas along C/ Pizarras.
Depending on the establishment, the usual fare may be comprised of fish, grilled meat, pizza, churros, lamb, wine, and mouth-watering tapas.
The beach town of Torre del Mar, which is dotted with upscale hotels, is just a 23-minute drive from Viñuela, so you might want to opt to spend the night there. However, if you prefer a quieter atmosphere, then staying here would be the better option.
You might want to check out Hotel La Viñuela, a resort very close to the reservoir itself. With 16 double rooms and one junior suite in its premises, this establishment can hold up to 38 guests. You may contact the management of this hotel at telephone number 952519193/214.
People who love the outdoors are easily lured by the camping grounds at the Camping Presa La Viñuela. It is also near the dam and hence also offers fantastic views of the scenic landscape. So if you want to indulge in some outdoor adventure, you might want to try this place. Call them at 952030127-26 for more details.
For a more private lodging experience, check out the B&Bs, cottages, and holiday rentals below. These are usually stand-alone units with home-like amenities. Just call them up for more details through the phone numbers provided.
* Rural Lodging Montosa - 952519005
* Las Casas de Cantoblanco – 679684847
* Cortijo La Loma – 952519055
* El Tesillo – 952276229
* Felicidad – 952554448
* El Castillo – 952542058
* Morisca – 952554448
* Perla - 952554448
Monuments & museums
Aside from the town itself, which with its peculiar narrow, winding, and steep streets reminiscent of Moorish descent is a large museum by itself, there are a handful archaeological monuments worth visiting. Here are some of them:
Iglesia de San Jose - This unassuming 16th Century church was built on a rectangular frame with a wooden deck. It underwent a major restoration in the 18th Century, which lasted from 1731 to 1734.
Torre de la Atalaya - This Moorish tower was constructed to serve as a lookout against invaders coming from the coast. If there’s any truth to the legend, this tower was built practically overnight.
Ermita de la Virgen de las Angustias - Located in the nearby Barrio de los Ramirez, this shrine (ermita) was built by the person tasked to construct a road in the area during the late 19th century. The road’s route had to go through a small cave and the shrine was built as a way of compensating for the cave’s destruction.
Embalse or Pantano la Viñuela - This is the dam mentioned earlier and, although not exactly what you might call an archaeological monument, it certainly played a large part in the history of this town.
There are many things you can do while in Viñuela. You can test your mettle with some outdoor adventure around the dam; tour the historical sites of Viñuela, Velez-Malaga, and Torre del Mar; take part in the annual festivals; or bask under the hot Mediterranean sun on the beaches of Torre del Mar.
For your shopping needs, we suggest you just drive south to nearby Velez-Malaga or Torre del Mar. You’ll have wider choices for groceries, medicines, and other personal items. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for there, then you may proceed to Malaga, which is just a short 36-minute drive away.