La Viñuela

Basic data
Size: 27.28 Km²
Population: 1,241
Residents known as: Viñoleros
Monuments: Church of San José, Shrine to the Virgen de las Angustias, Torre de la Atalaya, La Viñuela Reservoir
Geographical situation: In the Axarquía, 14 kilometres from Vélez-Málaga, at 151 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, C/Vélez-Málaga, 23. 29712
952 519 002 Fax: 952 519 088
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The countryside in La Viñuela with the reservoir in the background

The town of La Viñuela is situated at the crossroads between two of the most important roads in the province: that of Alhama and Casabermeja. The landscape is low hills, covered mostly in olive and cereal plantations, and conditioned almost always by the presence of the reservoir. From the reservoir one can see right across to the Sierra Tejeda and the Boquete de Zafarraya mountains, and below it flows the river Guaro. As one moves closer to the Axarquía mountains, the landscape gets rougher, with hills covered in oak trees, olives and the occasional vineyard.
Apart from the nickname "Viñoleros", the people of La Viñuela are also known locally as "Polacos", meaning Poles, due to a dispute between this and a neighbouring town in the past. The town itself, sometimes referred to as "The oasis of the Axarquía," dates from the 16th century, growing around an inn on what was then the royal road between Vélez and Granada. The venta, or inn, is still in existence on the main street of the town, and it stood in a small vineyard known as "La Viñuela". In spite of being one of the newest towns in the Axarquía, we know, from archaeological remains found here, that people have lived in this area from middle palaeolithic times, at least, up to the time of the Roman settlement. The principal remains were at the Río Guaro area, these being adobe and cane cabins with ovens for making bronze, along with olive oil mills and Roman pots for the transportation of olive oil. The Romans left most evidence of the their presence at the Pantano de la Viñuela area, where the local people still live by agriculture.

Places to be visited
Church of San José
This church dates from the 16th century, built to a simple rectangular ground plan and with a decorated timber ceiling. It was restored in the 18th century, when a small steeple was added.
Shrine to the Virgen de las Angustias
This is situated on the outskirts of the town on the carretera comarcal 335, ordered to be built by the Granada man responsible for the building of the road at the end of the 19th century. It appears that a small cave used for devotion to the Virgen de Las Angustias had to be destroyed to make way for the road, and in compensation, the builder replaced it with the shrine.
Torre (Tower) de la Atalaya
This tower dates from Moorish times, and according to local legend was built overnight with materials from the surrounding area and the riverbed. Its purpose was to communicate with the vigilance towers on the coast and the Castle of Zalia.
Pantano (Reservoir) de la Viñuela
Just a few metres from the town is the reservoir of the same name, the principal source of water for the eastern part of the Costa el Sol. It is fed by water from the River Guaro and its tributaries, the Sabar, the Benamargosa, the Salía, the Bermuza, the Almáchar and the Rubite. It was built on the bed of the Guaro at La Viñuela, which was left on its right bank, with the Barriada de los Romanes on the left. Covering 700 hectares of the municipality, it holds 170 million cubic metres of water, and apart from providing fresh water for the Axarquía, it allows the irrigation of more than 2,700 hectares of land.
Where to eat 

Restaurante Axarquía. Hotel La Viñuela. Ctra. Vélez-Málaga- Alhama.Tel: 952 519 193 and 952 519 214 Fax: 952 519 282.
Restaurante del Camping. Ctra. Arco Vélez-Alcalá la Real.  Tel: 952 03 01 27.
Tapas bars
Bar Patrivan
.  Plaza de Andalucía, 2. Tel: 952 51 90 55. Bar González. Plaza de Andalucía. Tel: 952 51 90 70. Bar Miguel. Los Romanes. Tel: 952 55 44 36. Bar Caenas. Los Romanesa. Tel: 952 55 44 77. Bar Miguel. C/Las Pizarras. Tel: 952 51 90 48.
Where to sleep 
Hotel La Viñuela. Ctra. Vélez-Málaga- Alhama, s/n.C.P.29712. La Viñuela.Tel: 952 519 193 and 952 519 214 Fax: 952 519 282 
Camping Presa La Viñuela (2ªc). Ctra. A - 356, P.Km. 2,4.C.P.29712. La Viñuela.Tel: 952 030 126. 
Casa rural La Loma.  Tel: 952 51 90 55.. 
Rural Accommodation in the province of Malaga (in Spanish)

Parish church

The annual Feria de la Pasa, Raisin Fair, takes place during the month of September. It dates from the 1960s, when it was established both to celebrate and promote the cultivation of the moscatel raisin in the area, and the Malaga wine made with the grape. Another more traditional festival, the Municipal Romería, takes place in the middle of May in the reservoir area. It dates from a time when the image of Saint Joseph was carried to the area in procession while the people prayed for rain. The small urban areas around the municipality have their own festivals: the romería in La Barriada de los Gómez takes place in the middle of July, while that of Los Romanes is in the middle of August.

The gastronomy of the area is varied, with olive oil being the principal ingredient used. The tomato soup, the gazpacho and vegetable stews are eaten in winter, with lighter dishes cooked in summer, such as fried breadcrumbs with oranges, asparagus omelettes, salads with cod and orange, doughnuts and other pastries.

The main industry of the area in the 19th century was the production of raisins, although since Roman times the wealth of the area has been based on the cultivation of olives. The oil obtained from this green variety is of a very high standard.
In our day rural tourism has become a big local business, and with the reservoir as an added attraction, visitors come here from far and wide to enjoy the rural atmosphere of the La Viñuela.