THE COSTA DEL SOL: GOLF COAST
The amazing popularity of golf tourism is due to ever increasing demand of golfers who are turned into tourists when practicing this sport out of their usual place of residence, especially in the autumn, winter, and spring seasons, that is, during the low season, contributing thus to making Costa del Sol a whole-year-long touristic destination.
Such name is no a cliché as it may seem. Nowadays, it is the largest concentration of golf courses existing in Europe in the very short distance from smallest space between Caleta de Vélez and Sotogrande. The large quantity of golf courses make an unprecedented rich touristic heritage because of their high quality, many of them considered amongst the best ones in the world.
In fact, Costa del Golf has earned a spectacular increase along the years and there are prospects of a moderate growth for the next future, as the ones on the eastern coast could be fulfilled. To the golf courses listed below, corresponding to Málaga province, those of Cadiz province must be added, as they are part of the tourist unit based on golf.
Caleta de Vélez (Vélez-Málaga)
Rincón de la Victoria
|Añoreta Golf 18 holes, 5,976 metres|
9 holes, 2,338 metres
8+9 holes. 6,178 metres
|Real Club de Campo|
18 holes, 6,204 metres
9 holes, 2,920 metres
18+9 holes. More than 12,000 metres
18 holes, 6,348 metres
18 holes, 5,896 metres
18 holes, 5,615 metres
|El Chaparral |
18+9 holes, 6,246 metres
18+9 holes. More than 8,000 metres
18 holes, 6,094 metres
8 holes, 695 metres
9 holes, 2,896 metres
18 holes, 6,130 metres
|La Dama de Noche|
15 holes, 2,728 metres
|Club de Golf de Marbella|
18 holes, 6,518 metres
18 holes, 6,457 metres
18 hoyos, 5.825 m
18 holes, 6,065 metres
|Marbella Golf |
|Santa Clara |
18 holes, 5,878 metres
|Greenlife Golf |
9 holes, 1,142 metres
18 holes, 6,116 metres
18 holes, 6,000 metres
18 holes, 6,118 metres
18 holes, 5,283 metres
|Coto La Serena|
9 holes, 963 metres
18 holes, 5,977 metres
18 holes, 6,249 metres
18 holes, 6,039 metres
18 holes, 5,593 metres
18 holes, 6,048 metres
18 holes, more than 6,000 metres
|Doña Julia Golf Club|
18 holes, 6,021 metres
Baviera Golf is situated in Caleta de Vélez, in the municipality of Vélez-Málaga, capital town of La Axarquía. It is located on the eastern side of Málaga province, at the feet of Sierra Tejeda Natural Park, in an unbeatable beautiful spot, to where access is gained by E-15 or A-7 motorway, heading Málaga or Motril, and taking exit number 274, towards Caleta de Vélez.
Baviera Golf has been designed by the Spanish champion José María Cañizares. It is a flat course of 18 holes, with ample greens and a wide range of obstacles all along the course, combined with water. Of very agreeable design in the first 9 holes, it gets more complicated in the last 9 holes, where the difficulties to comply are more evident.
The great variety of holes and the magnificent views to the sheltering Sierras and to the Mediterranean sea, contribute to make Baviera Golf into something unforgettable.
Caleta de Vélez
Caleta de Vélez, where Baviera Golf is located, belongs to the municipal territory of Vélez-Málaga, capital town of Axarquía region, situated east of Málaga region, bordering Granada province. In the aforementioned municipality there are also the following towns and villages: Almayate, Benajarafe, Cabrillas, Cajiz, Chilches, Lagos, Los Gómez, Torre del Mar, Trapiche, Triana and Valle Niza.
La Caleta de Vélez is a small nucleus that emerged because of the fishing harbour, where the daily fish auction must be highlighted. Inside the port precinct, there is the marina, offering 200 moorings for boats from 8 to 20 metres long. Its Feria, honouring Our Lady of El Carmen, occurs from 15th to 18th July.
Belonging administratively to Vélez-Málaga, La Caleta lacks of a Town Hall and of artistic and archaeological constructions. However, Vélez-Málaga’s territory has many. Let us introduce you to some Velenan history:
Of a large extension, the municipal territory of Velez Malaga and its strategic geographical situtation in the very centre of the Axarquía region, as well as its coastal position, result in a large variety of sceneries. Most of the part of its lands reach over the Velez river basin to both sides, being predominant the characteristic landscape of the Axarquían mountains, where the most remarkable element is the fertile plain. When Guaro and Benamargosa rivers widen the bottom of their valleys, before they join together making Velez river, the numerous grows which go down to the coast also widen up resulting in great beauty views, like the one from the road that goes up from Torre del Mar to Velez Malaga, or singular spots as the plots of Triana or the Trapiche.
When the Vélez river valley reaches the coast, its mouth clads in sugar cane grows, ever scarcer in the coastal strip of Málaga province. Torre del Mar expands next to the Vélez river delta, ever extending, turning the once humble marine and agricultural location into a touristic and cosmopolitan large town. Nevertheless, not only the coastal area has undergone dramatic changes. Small towns like Chilches, Benajarafe, and Almayate, see anexes growing rapidly on the coast, whereas other existing ones such as Caleta de Velez, Mezquitilla or Lagos, are also growing at a steady pace in population and buildings, causing the transformation of the coastal scenery, where the small fertile terrain hardly survive, helped by the use of green houses.
Vélez-Málaga and its district enjoy a privileged geographic situation, an advantage taken already by its prehistoric inhabitants, whose presence has been profusely proved by the remains found in the outskirts of the town. Most probably, the first settlement was Iberian, then Phoenician and after them, Roman and Arab. Also the Carthiginians left an outstanding trace near the river Vélez mouth, at a place called Toscanos factory, which goes back to the 8th and 6th century B.C. Their inhabitants settled on a nearby hill, Cerro del Peñón, where some chronists situate the Greek city of Mainake, quoted amongst others by Estrabón, Avieno and Ptolomeo.
Under Roman domination, the whole area underwent a revitalization, being inhabited until the Low Empire period (Mainoba), but undoubtedly, the Arabs were the ones that gave Velez Malaga its importance. They established an urban nucleus that stood out because of its strategic location, being one the main defences of the Nasrid Granada kingdom, as well as commercial and culturally speaking.
At the end of April 1487, King Fernando el Cátolico and his armies conquered Vélez, causing the expropriation of Moorish lands to give them to the noblemen who fought by King Fernando. Apart from taking the lands from them, they were forbidden to speak their language, practice their religion and customs, and they underwent a tax rise, which led the fragile peace to break after the conquest and to the Moorish upraisal which lasted from 1560 to 1569. As a result, the Moors were defeated and expelled, being the land repopulated with Christians.
The fort of Velez is already mentioned in the 13th century and had the mission of watching the town from its 16 metre-high tower and which still exists. From the castle, only the recently restored Tower of Homage remains. The named Paño de la Muralla is also part of the ancient walled precinct, containing a ceramic panel that remembers the Battle of Axarquía, occurred in 1483. This fort played a crucial part in 1704 during the War of Spanish Succession, being left very damaged at the time, its defensive importance wasn’t restored until the War of Independence against the French, when it was destroyed.
The visitor finds in Vélez-Málaga, amongst the many historical buildings worth visiting, the Mudéjar-styled church of Santa Maria la Mayor, which used to be a mosque; the Municipal Palace, dated from the 16th century and once site of the High Court and Granada Captaincy; the three-bodied Mudéjar-styled church of San Juan Bautista, which style was rather deteriorated because of refurbishments, conferring it a neo-classical air. Inside, it houses a very valuable baroque-styled altarpiece that goes back to the 15th century and that is attributed to the artist Berruguete. The convent of San Francisco, started by the Catholic Monarchs and situated in Vélez-Málaga old Jewish quarter, was later turned into the Convento de Observantes; its cloister cosists of Mudéjar archways on the ground floor and arches on the first floor. Around the convent arose houses which were at first dwellng of craftsmen and bourgeois and later on, of noblemen and royal officials. This is the reason why a few palaces and stately homes, such as the Plaza de las Carmelitas and Casa del Mercader can still be seen.
We must not forget visiting the Convent of the Carmelites and the Claras, both dated from the 17th century; San Juan Parish Church, from the 16th century and refurbished in the 19th century, which tower is crowned by a pyramid-shaped ceramic capital; San Jose de la Soledad Convent, unfortunately in a poor state, but less interesting because of its mannerist façade from the 17th century; the Hermitage of Remedios, from the 17th century, which holds Our Lady of Remedios, saint patroness of the town and last, but not least, the Mudéjar late Rennaissance-styled palace of the marquis of Beniel, that presents a superb coffering over the staircase gap.
The original nucleus of the town has an evident Arabic root in architecture. Unfortunately, of the four doors which enabled access to the walled town, only two remain: the Real and the Antequera. Near the first one, there is the beautiful fountain of Fernando VI, dated from 1758. As well, there are well kept three-storey ancient houses with yards, tower, archways with large wooden eaves roofs, probably built by people from Vizcaya and Asturias who repopulated the area after the Catholic Monarchs conquest.