Andalusia, City breaks, On the Road

White Villages of Andalusia: 7 Pueblos Blancos where I decided to stop

There is a road in the south of Spain, which winds between the mountains of Andalusia to link lovely charming little white towns. It is the Ruta de Los Pueblos Blancos, and it is one of the most beautiful Spanish drives. Pueblos Bancos, which literally means “white villages”, is the worldwide recognise nickname of the towns clustered around the Sierra de Grazalema and the Sierra Nevada, characterised by whitewashed facades and brown roofs.

A stop in some (or all) of the Pueblos Blancos is a must to appreciate the extraordinary architectural and ecological heritage of these places and try the typical delicious gastronomy.

Los Pueblos Blancos
Los Pueblos Blancos

Here is the list of the 7 Pueblos Blancos I decided to visit, from my favourite to the least favourite.

Read more: Are you planning a trip to Andalusia? Click here to read all my posts about this amazing Spanish region.

Ronda

If there is a white village that you really cannot miss, that is Ronda, famous for the spectacular bridge Puente Nuevo.

This charming town has been an inspiration for many writers and artists in the past. For example, Hemingway spent many summers here. He said that Ronda “is where you should go if you ever go to Spain on a honeymoon or if you ever bolt with anyone. The entire town and as far as you can see in any direction is romantic background.”

Sure enough, this town will conquer you too!

Ronda Bridge View Point
Ronda Bridge View Point

Ronda is the perfect size for a day-trip, but it is also perfect if you want to spend more days hiking around the gorge or just relaxing drinking wine with an amazing view.

Read more: 10 must-stop viewpoints in Ronda

Ronda from Puente Nuevo
Ronda from Puente Nuevo

Zahara de la Sierra

Not as famous as Ronda, but without doubt one of the most picturesque of all the Pueblos Blancos of Andalucia, Zahara de la Sierra is a place that will leave you speechless.

Zahara de la Sierra
Zahara de la Sierra

Sited on top of a hill, this town is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Zahara-el Gastor reservoir, while above the village there are the remains of a Moorish castle. This caste, which is open to the public, is not really special, but the views from the top of the hill are amazing.

Zahara de la Sierra
Zahara-el Gastor reservoir view from the Moorish castle

The reservoir is also a perfect place to swim in the heart of the Sierra de Cadiz. The colour of the water is an indescribable shade of greeny blue and it is pleasantly refreshing, especially during the warmer months.

Zahara de la Sierra
Zahara de la Sierra skyline

If you are short on time and you are wondering which villages are really worth a stop, then look no further! Zahara is the picturesque and lovely place you were looking for. You really cannot miss it!

Zahara de la Sierra
Zahara de la Sierra – Main square

Gaucin

Gaucin is another beautiful and charming mountain village, spread over two hills and the adjoining land between them.

The main attraction of the town is the Castillo del Aguila (Eagles Castle), perched on the top of the village. This castle is open to visitors most days, and it can be reached after a short hike from the village centre.

Gaucin
Gaucin

When I was there it was really cloudy, but apparently, Gibraltar is usually visible from the top of the hill where the castle is. And, if you are lucky, you can also see the Rif mountains of Morocco and the lights of the port of Tangier.

Gaucin
Gaucin

Olvera

Among woody hills and olive fields, there is Olvera. This town is easily recognisable thanks to two buildings which stand from a distance: the old Arab castle and the neoclassical Encarnación Church.

Olvera
Olvera

From the top of the rock where the church is the views of the surrounding mountains are stunning! Plus, you can also enjoy the view of the castle rising up to the sky.

Arab castle of Olvera
Arab castle of Olvera

Cortes de la Frontera

While all the other towns are on the way from Gibraltar to Cordoba, Cortes de la Frontera is one of the furthest inland villages, where you have to go on purpose.

To be honest, I was there just because I found a bed in an albergue for just one euro, but I am so glad I went because I loved it so much! I was the only tourist in town and during my morning walk, I could see locals were quite surprised to see me wandering around.

Rural Andalucia
Rural Andalucia

This town is located between two natural paradises: the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and the Los Alcornocales Natural Park. These parks are the perfect settings for amazing hikes.

Fun fact: Cortes de la Frontera used to be one of the richest Pueblos Blancos because of cork production. In the Los Alcornocales Natural Park there is indeed the largest cork oak forest of Spain.

Cortes de la Frontera
Cortes de la Frontera

Algatocin

Algatocin is a tiny white village with less than 1.000 inhabitants. It is visible from the Mirador del General, which is only a kilometre outside of the centre of the town.

This viewpoint, which overlooks the valley, offers a beautiful panorama and it was one of my favourite Mirador on my route of Pueblos Blancos.

Algatocin from the Mirador de General
Algatocin from the Mirador de General

Benadalid

Benadalid is one of the smallest white villages, with only 260 inhabitants. The main attraction of the town is the Moorish castle that is situated on the edge of the town’s centre.

Benadalid is visible from the Mirador the Los Castañares, which is a nice place to stop on the Ruta de Los Pueblos Blancos.

Benadalid from the Mirador de Los Castañares
Benadalid from the Mirador de Los Castañares

Here you can find a map of the 7 white villages that I visited in Andalusia.

Read more: Are you planning a trip to Andalusia? Click here to read all my posts about this amazing Spanish region.

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