Vera Playa information website logo
The most extensive news service about Vera Playa's naturist zone - and not just the good news!
Also news archives going
back 5 years



News


There are around a dozen urbanizacions (developments/estates) in the naturist zone and for some there are websites which have news specific to that urbanizacion. Here are the ones we know about - if you know of others, please tell us! Bahia de Vera - http://www.bahiadevera.com
Vera Natura - http://www.veranatura.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
In future there will not be news specific to individual urbanizacions on www.veraplaya.info unless it is of general interest or wider significance.
 
Scroll down to see all the news items - the most recent ones are first
Heavy seas damage Hotel Vera Playa Club
In the week before Christmas (2005), and for the second time in the last 4 years, heavy seas have caused damage to the beachfront of the Hotel Vera Playa Club. The wall to the dining terrace and the steps (both of which were built following previous storm damage - see our News archive for 2001 and 2002) are no more and the indoor swimming pool has also been heavily damaged.
Last time the hotel's owners (Playa Hoteles) pulled out all the stops to get the damage repaired before the hotel re-opened for the summer season at Easter - it will be interesting to see whether they manage to do so again this time.
Over the last few years the once wide beach in front of the hotel has disappeared and it seems clear that at least the beachfront side of the hotel is really too close to the beach for comfort and that Mother Nature is determined to erode this length of beach. There is a breakwater to the north of the hotel. Whether another one to the south would help to stop the scouring action along the sandy beach is an interesting point, but unless something is done it is increasingly clear that not all of the hotel is going to be there in another 10 or 15 years.
www.veraplaya.info - news - December 2005
Water cuts hit Vera Playa
After surviving the summer season without water cuts despite the worst drought in 75 years, in the last few days Vera Playa has suffered a series of unannounced water cuts by water company Galasa, each of several hours duration. Large parts of Almeria province had water cuts during the summer - some for several days at a time. Amazingly, no restrictions on the use of water have been imposed (other than those which normally apply - e.g. prohibiting car washing except in commercial washers which recycle water). It seems that some of these cuts have been deliberate to reduce demand but at least one has been due to a major burst in the water main near the KeyMare office on the Puerto Rey to Villaricos road.
www.veraplaya.info - news - 7 & 9 November 2005
Was turtle Vera Playa born & bred?
A few days ago your webmaster found a turtle struggling in heavy surf near the Hotel. After a bit of experimentation it was found it was wanting to go to the sea, not from it - so it was assisted to do so safely. Could this have been one of the first Vera Playa born turtles to have returned to its birthplace?
7 Nov 2005
Campaign against urbanisation
The Vera Playa Naturist Association (ASOC. TORTUGA BOBA NATURISTA) has joined a campaign of environmental and ecological groups against plans to build a more extensive city than Madrid of 1.500.000 inhabitants and 400.000 dwellings and 30 golf courses in the Almanzora valley, Cuevas, Mojacar & Vera areas by 2015, multiplying by 30 the present population. Now the group say that the opportunities presented by the many building developments enable more than 50 Mafia and other organised crime syndicates to launder dirty money whilst developers have no concern for long term sustainability.
www.veraplaya.info - news - 28 October 2005
Natura World opens for business    Dogged by delays, Vera Playa's biggest naturist urbanizacion (570 units) has now released its 1st phase of beachfront apartments, some of which are now on loan to buyers of apartments in later phases who expected to be in occupation of their own apartments long before now. It is believed that the Developer owns many of the Phase 1 apartments, which are now being offered to the public for rental. (October 2005)
Illegal Beach Sign continues to confuse - An "official" Council beach sign at Playa de Baria 2 declares the beach to be "Zona Textil". But it's not - it's "zona naturista"! Despite the Ruling by Andalucia's Ombudsman the Council's illegal sign is still in place, leading naturists to believe they have strayed too far and convincing textiles there should be no naturists there. Why has no-one removed - or at least changed this sign? Are there no militant naturists left? New Beach guide
Englishman awarded poisoned chalice
A Yorkshireman who has owned an apartment at Vera Natura for less than a year has found himself elected as the Community's President without his knowledge or consent - at its recent General Meeting no-one was prepared to stand as President of the troubled Community, whose previous President Cornelia Sytske Van der Woude resigned after she had been subjected to a vitriolic campaign of personal abuse and criminal damage to her property and car.    Under Spanish law relating to the governance of residential communities, in the absence of a volunteer to act as President of the Owners' Community, an owner can be picked by drawing lots and once selected cannot refuse to accept the post. The only way out is a complicated legal procedure.
   So, this was the way that apartment owner Peter Wallis has become President of the Owners' Community of the Vera Natura residential urbanizacion. The first he knew of it was when other owners called on him shortly after he arrived recently for only their second stay at the apartment he and his wife Linda purchased late in 2004 to tell him of the honour which had been bestowed on him. Not surprisingly he was somewhat taken aback and concerned that as only an occasional visitor and, as yet, not a Spanish speaker, he is currently ill-equipped to take on the demanding role on behalf of all the 200 owners of Vera Natura.
   If you thought there weren't hazards enough in purchasing your place in the sun, here is one that few of the books on Spanish property purchase bother to mention (or perhaps even know about!). The law concerned is Spain's legislation on what is called horizontal ownership, a system which applies to all properties in urbanizacions (and which covers all developments with communal facilities and also most residential estate developments which appear at first sight to be just individual detached houses). In many respects the Spanish system seems superior to the system of leaseholds which applies to British flats and communal residential schemes, where the freehold of the block or development can be owned by one person or a company over which the individual leaseholders have no control and possibly little influence. By contrast, in Spain, individual owners own the freehold of their own apartment or house and become co-owners of all the communal grounds and facilities and a body democratically elected by all the owners has to be set up to run the urbanizacion (development) - and this body has to have a President (or Chairman) selected from the owners. Generally there is a volunteer, often it is a contested election. But occasionally no-one wants to touch it with a bargepole. And this is where Peter comes in .... In the immortal words of Oliver Hardy: "This is another nice mess you've got me into Stanley...."
   Footnote: Peter & Linda are the owners of apartamento "Jasmine" a beautiful two bedroom ground floor apartment which is advertised on our Accommodation/Apartments page
www.veraplaya.info - news - 27 September 2005
Stop Press: Peter Wallis has been persuaded to serve as President for at least one year - there is a Secretary and an Administrator to the Communtyto help spread the load and the ex-President has volunteered her help and advice.
28 October 2005.
More news specifically about the Vera Natura urbanisation can be found at http://www.veranatura.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
Textile Owners seek change of status
At least two of the urbanizacions at Vera Playa are under pressure to change their Rules requiring owners and visitors to live a naturist lifestyle, swim naked, etc. A group of 3 owners at Bahia de Vera are taking the Community to Court in Almeria to try and force a change to the Community's Rules. It seems extraordinary that any textile should purchase property in a naturist centre, and even more so that they should then seek changes in the Community's Rules to make them textile. Owners, when purchasing properties, sign up before the Notary to comply with the Rules of the Community. It seems the "textile owners" want to be able to rent their apartments to textiles and for them not to be required to swim naked in the pools. There has been a noticeable increase in the numbers of renters, both short and long term, who are not naturists (owners are not supposed to rent their apartments to textiles). Torrema Natura is the other urbanizacion where textile owners are placing pressure for changes in the Rules, but the phenomenon of textile renters seems to be increasing across Vera Playa - something which other naturist resorts such as Cap d'Agde in France have long experienced. The irony is that Bahia de Vera strengthened its Constitution a couple of years ago to ensure it could defeat exactly this sort of pressure on its naturist status - the Court action, which may not be heard until December or January, will now test how strong this bulwark really is!
www.veraplaya.info news - 16 August 2005
Budget flights cuts turn back clock for Midlanders  
Troubled travel group My Travel is axeing its budget scheduled airline MyTravelLite and reverting to charter flights only. One route which will cease from end of October is Birmingham to Almeria - bad news for Midlanders travelling to & from Vera Playa. The bad news is compounded by Flybe also cutting the route, though whether this is just for the winter season is not yet clear.
Unless they travel to London Gatwick or London Stansted, residents of the Midlands of England will, from the end of October 2005, have to travel to Alicante, Murcia or Malaga as no airline is flying this winter from any of the several Midlands airports to Almeria. This seems a missed commercial opportunity as thousands of Midlanders have purchased property in Almeria Province in recent years and there must be a strong commercial case for running a service to and from Almeria even if only two or three times per week, instead of daily as MyTravelLite has been doing.
www.veraplaya.info news - July 2005
Drought could mean summer water cuts
Spain is suffering the worst drought in 75 years. Some reservoirs are said to be at half their levels of a year ago. The first that visitors and residents are likely to know is when water is turned off, maybe for a day or two at a time. Last year Vera Playa escaped most of the cuts, but places nearby such as Vera town, Garrucha and Mojacar didn't. So don't throw away those empty 5 and 8 litre water containers - fill them with tap water, you might need them for flushing the loo!
www.veraplaya.info news - July 2005
VE day? . . . .Victory at VEra Playa day?
Fran Clemente, President of the Vera Playa Naturist Association (Tortuga Boba Naturista Association) reports that the Mayor of Vera has, apparently, announced that he will be dropping the prohibitions on naturists proposed in forthcoming council regulations. If this report proves to be true it represents a victory for the Association and for the more than 1,500 naturists who sent letters of objection to the Mayor and Council. We know that many visitors to this website sent Fran Clemente's model letter of protest or composed one of their own. Several of the urbanizacions at Vera Playa organised petitions or collected signed copies of the model letter of protest and delivered them to the Town Hall. It looks as if Vera Council may have seen sense and realised that if it went ahead with its illegal regulations to prevent naturists at Vera Playa from doing what they are entitled to do under the Spanish Constitution and under EU law it would lead to mass protests, to conflict between naturists and police, to arrests of naturists found outside the "official" zone, to court cases, to campaigns to overturn the rogue local legislation, to appeals to the Spanish Supreme Court and to the European Court of Justice, to actions against Vera Council and the police for damages for wrongful arrest, recovery of fines and massive claims for compensation for illegal imprisonment. Let's hope the first reports prove correct.
This website's response.
Comments by visitors.
Click here for more information and model letter.  
webmaster, 8 May 2005
Only hours left to protest!
As you will see from the item below, the naturist lifestyle at Vera Playa is once again threatened by the machinations of the local council. Vera Council is now in the process of bringing into force Regulations which would prohibit people from being naked (naturist) anywhere except in the strictly defined naturist zone (defined by Vera Council that is!). This may well mean that no longer will it be possible to walk from your apartment to and from the beach naked, or to go to the Vera Natura supermarket in normal naturist attire. It is also suspected that having been ruled against by the Andalucian Ombudsman over its action to try and reduce the naturist beach to 1/3rd of its proper length, the Council may try to use their new Regulations to make it illegal to use 2/3rds (2 kms) of the official naturist beach as naturist. Fairly certainly the new Regulations made by Vera Council will be found to be invalid under the Spanish Constitution and the European Human Rights Convention, but it could take years and enormous expense to prove this through the Courts - meanwhile Vera's Town Police will be arresting, jailing and fining people between 300 and 3000 Euros for being naked where the anti-naturist Vera Council says they shouldn't be. Now is the time to stop this nonsense. The President of the Naturist Association has drafted a model letter of objection which all interested naturists can send to Vera Council. Please print it out and complete it and send it by urgent mail, by hand or by fax or via the Council website complaints form to Vera Council. It must be there by 4 May (today) so please do it now - there is not much time! This is the most serious threat yet to the naturist community who live at and visit Vera Playa - please do not ignore this appeal. Click here for more information and to download model letter. Comments by visitors.  This website's response.
webmaster, 4 May 2005
Council declares war on naturists
The Naturist Association for Vera Playa (TBNa) has today petitioned the Public Protector for Andalucia in respect of Regulations proposed by Vera Council under which naturists could be fined between 300 and 3000 Euros for straying naked outside the zones designated naturist (by Vera Council). It is believed this may make attendance by naturists at the Atoda Vela bar or in "Hotel Street" illegal and also seems to be another attempt by Vera Council to redefine the majority of the naturist beach as textile. The Public Protector has already ruled against Vera Council on the question of the length of the beach but the Council has ignored his ruling - these proposed regulations - which the TBNa describe as "unconstitutional" - are another example of the anti-naturist administration in Vera trying to confine or eliminate naturism so as to accommodate the many textile developments which the council has promoted.
www.veraplaya.info - news item 22 April 2005
Textile apartments for camp site land  
UK travel and property company Tarleton and naturist package holiday operator Peng Travel are offering for sale apartments to be built on the site which was part of the Almanzora Camping camp site immediately to the north of the Hotel Vera Playa Club. For several years the site has appeared in the corporate development brochure of Playa Hoteles (the owners of the Hotel Vera Playa Club) as the site for a new textile hotel, and in 2004 the camp site was re-organised, the textile section was completely cleared and the naturist section was relocated to the area adjacent to the hotel dual carriageway. The result was an extremely large site for development - probably 3 or 4 hectares. Now, according to Peng Travel textile apartments are to be built on this site instead of a new textile hotel. Prices at "El Paraiso de Vera Playa" are said to start from 192,500 Euros for a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment - ground floor apartments will have private gardens - some quite large - and top (2nd) floor apartments will have large (57 sq.m) solariums with private swimming pools of 10.75 sq.m. Doubtless these penthouse apartments will be much more expensive. The development will have communal swimming pools and landscaped gardens and will have a narrow beach frontage immediately adjacent to the far north end of the naturist beach.
www.veraplaya.info - news item 10 April 2005
Commentary
"Worst winter for 40 years"
The weather at Vera Playa often attracts superlatives - but it's usually for being exceptionally warm or dry or sunny. But this winter it's for being the worst anyone can remember - cold, sometimes very cold, and actually below freezing on a number of nights - unknown around here; wet, and wet enough to get some of the local rivers actually flowing - a rare sight indeed - and snow as low as the village of Mojacar in early March; and dull - sunless, cloudy days are a rare phenomenon at Vera Playa - but not so this winter unfortunately. Of course "worst weather for 40 years" by Vera Playa standards still means lots of sun (16 cloudlessdays in February), good winter tans and definitely warmer than the UK!
Weather statistics on our Weather page.
Vera Natura Covered Pool Crisis
Work to replace the roof of the covered pool at Vera Natura has had to be put on hold following an anonymous denunciation to the local police. Apparently the work requires the permission of the local council as a project and cannot be done as simple repair work. It was expected that the work would be completed by the end of March but since the issue of the Order to paralyse the works there is no telling when the necessary Licence will be issued or when the works will restart and be completed. Works to repair a cracked pipe in the main outdoor pool, which may have been caused by an earthquake registering 4.5 on the Richter scale whose epicenter was 80 km north of Vera, and which was causing the loss of a large volume of water every day have been undertaken so visitors will have use of this pool but not, for some time, the indoor pool.
Source: President, Vera Natura Community, 20 March 2005
Popular tapas bar turns naturist
Good news for naturists - the popular tapas bar Atoda Vela is now owned by naturists and as it is located just within the naturist zone (next to the main gates of the Torrema Natura and Bahia de Vera urbanizacons) the new owners have decided to welcome naturists with a simple dress code - a towel to sit on. The previous owners, though welcoming naturists to their bar, insisted that clients should be covered up whilst on their premises. The bar re-opens for Semana Santa (Holy Week).
   Hopefully this policy of welcoming naturists in their natural state may extend to other bars and restaurants serving the naturist zone - there is a new and popular bar/restaurant (Mayo de 2004) immediately opposite the Atoda Vela and this would also benefit by adopting a naturist friendly policy.
www.veraplaya.info news - 17 March 2005
Earth tremor the cause of water loss?
An earth tremor or minor earthquake in late January may be the cause of a continuing loss of water in the main outdoor swimming pool at Vera Natura. Investigations are to take place to determine whether a crack has been caused by the earthquake allowing the water to seep away. The earth tremor, which took place at breakfast time, was clearly perceptible to many Vera Playa residents, but Andalucia is in an earthquake zone and earth tremors and small earthquakes are commonplace, which is why new buildings have to be built to tough earthquake resistant standards. This particular one has not even rated a mention in the local media, though some local residents report minor cracks appearing in walls of their homes.
Sun 6 Feb - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   2005
The problem has since been located and is understood to be a cracked pipe. The pool has been completely drained and should be repaired and refilled well before the beginning of the outdoor bathing season in April (14 Feb 05)
Hey Guv...how about a swim for 50 quid?
One of the consequences of the closure of the covered and heated pool at Vera Natura has been the desertion of the urbanizacion this winter by renters who like their winter swim.
    Of course some prospective visitors have not got to know about the demise of the indoor pool until after they have committed themselves to stay (they can't have visited www.veraplaya.info or they would have known!) and at least one whose good lady particularly likes to swim on her winter holiday was sufficiently desperate to offer £50 a week for a "virtual apartment" at Bahia de Vera - not that he wanted to stay in it, but just to get hold of its key to the Bahia de Vera indoor pool. But, sad to say, he got a negative response as the incursion of outsiders into Bahia's expensive facilities has been the reason for the installation of high-tech computerised security to keep out all those except owners and genuine Bahia renters.
    Mind you, for the last fortnight the main gate of the urbanizacion has been wide open 24 hours a day to all and sundry so he and his lady wife could just have strolled in f.o.c.
    The final irony is, of course, that the Bahia de Vera pool at a distinctly untropical 20 degrees C is practically unusable this winter and he should have made his offer for a virtual rental to a Torremar Natura owner whose pool is a cosy 29C.
Prospective visitors should note that even if the pool heating doesn't get fixed, by March/April the Bahia covered pool should be much warmer just from the effect of solar heating through the covered dome and by April/May outdoor pools in all the urbanizacions will be warm enough to use and the whole problem will then be able to be completely forgotten until next winter. Vera Natura's covered pool should be reroofed and reopened by April, an event which will be celebrated by a fly-past on April 1 by the world famous Flying Porkers aerobatic troupe .
6 February 2005 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   2005
Sub-zero temperatures hit coast
In the last few days southern Spain has been hit by quite exceptional winter weather - snow in the area around Almeria city has caused extensive damage to the vast polytunnel greenhouses. On the Costa Calida there has been lying snow on the beaches. At Vera Playa, which is normally the warmest place in Europe in the winter, things have not been quite so bad - but two nights of just sub-zero temperatures have caused damage to tender plants and inland, the low temperatures may well have damaged the almond blossom, with possibly serious implications for the 2005 almond crop, which last year also was hit by severe frost and declared a disaster by the Andalucian government. Today (Wednesday) the weather is heading back to what we expect in Vera Playa - brilliant sun and actually warm.
2 February 2005 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   2005
Winter swimmers frozen out at Vera Playa Only 3 of the 10 residencial estates in the Vera Playa naturist zone have covered and heated pools, but this winter it's effectively only 1 - the roof of Vera Natura's covered pool collapsed last autumn and is facing a total rebuild amid great controversy and acrimony - and a special surcharge on owners. Bahia de Vera's covered pool which is, theoretically, heated by both solar power and a heat pump is currently only 21 degrees C - too cold for any but the most hardy of swimmers. This is the second winter in which the Bahia de Vera covered pool has been cold. Only the swimmers at Torrema Natura are happy - their covered pool is a tropical 29 degrees C - lucky people!
Thursday 27 January 2005 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   2005
Snow shower at Vera Playa
Today the almost unprecedented happened - a brief snow shower at Vera Playa. After a lengthy period of dawn to dusk sun and daytime highs in the low 20s, tuesday started the cool-down and wednesday, with a night-time low of 3.8 and a daytime high of 11.8 and significant windchill from a raw north-east wind confirmed the hopefully brief arrival of winter weather in the capital of Spanish naturism.
Wednesday 26 January 2005 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   2005
Link to Garrucha getting closer
Council workmen are making good progress in constructing a new length of beach promenade coupled with a small park on the beach frontage by Playa de Baria 1. Soon it will be possible to walk or cycle all the way south to Garrucha (5 kms) with only one small break - where the normally dry rambla of the Rio Antas meets the beach.
Wednesday 26 January 2005 - news item www.VeraPlaya.info   2005
Close-up of the illegal sign - 5 Dec 2004 - copyright www.veraplaya.info
Vera Council's illegal beach sign - 5 Dec 2004 - copyright www.veraplaya.info Toothless Ombudsman?
Nearly 9 months after the Ombudsman for Andalucia delivered his verdict that Vera Council had exceeded its authority in declaring 2/3rds of the 3 kms naturist beach to be "textile" the Council's sign at Playa de Baria 2 is still in place. So that's how much authority the Ombudsman has, eh? Last year militant naturists or sympathisers destroyed a number of the Council's illegal signs even before the Ombudsman's verdict was known. Now, curiously, this one has survived even when it has been judged to be illegal! 7 Dec 2004- news item www.VeraPlaya.info   2005
More on the history of the Beach Protest
The new bar and restaurant Mayo de 2004 at Vera Playa - photo copyright 5 December 2004New bar/restaurant now open
Visitors to the more southerly apartment complexes at Vera Playa will be pleased to hear that a new bar/ cafe/ restaurant Mayo de 2004 which specialises in Hispano-Italian cuisine has now opened in the new Commercial Centre close to the main gates of Torremar Natura and Bahia de Vera. For a period last summer Mayo de 2004 was situated in Hotel Street. Also open this winter is the Buena Mesa restaurant on Hotel Street and the Atoda Vela tapas bar, opposite Mayo de 2004.


To access our archive of news from Vera Playa for other years, click on the appropriate year:
2006,  2004,  
2003,   2002,   2001

 


If you have news from, about or affecting Vera Playa it can appear on this page - please contact us - see homepage for contact information. Please give us as much information as possible, including the source of the news (otherwise we may not be able to publish it) and let us have any relevant photographs.

 

Home | Top of this page