Vélez-Malaga, often known locally just as Vélez, is situated 1 kilometre inland from Torre del Mar and 26 kilometres to the east of Malaga on the scenic Route of Sun and Avocado. It is the centre and capital of the district of Axarquia with a population of 55,000. Despite it's proximity to the coast it has not developed a tourist industry.
The town lies in the wide valley of the River Vélez from where its main resources are found. These are agricultural products of vines, olives, sugar cane and vegetable and salad crops. Good quality olive oils and wine are produced here. There are also many garden nurseries growing and selling a wide range of plants, trees and seeds.
Many visitors bypass Vélez as they turn off the motorway to the beach resort of Torre del Mar or head straight for the El Ingenio shopping mall. However it is well worth a visit, offering interesting small shops and a very attractive old town. A castle stands on top of a hill in the centre of Arrabal de San Sebastián which is the oldest district of the town. On the fringes of the town you will find all the larger commercial sites that you would expect from a thriving market town. These include all the main car dealers, furniture outlets and supermarkets. Here you will also find the Aquavelis water park which is always a popular tourist attraction in summer.