Setenil de Bodegas is a small Spanish ‘cave town’ located in the heart of Andalucia, near Ronda. This sleepy pueblo blanco is located deep in a river gorge and it’s famous for unique houses which are built into the rock.
It’s worth to walk all around this white village, up and down, as different viewing points allow to see the curious dwellings and rock formations in a different way and then to take most incredible photos.
This small forgotten village is also famous for chorizo sausage. There are a couple of nice restaurants and bars in the village and the inhabitants are very friendly and helpful.
We do not recommend driving to the very centre of Setenil de Bodegas as the streets might be too narrow for your car to turn, and reversing on those narrow steep streets often turns into a real nightmare! Setenil is recommended for half day trip – well-worth a detour when visiting Ronda.
Located in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra de Ronda, Gaucin is a must see for anyone interested in “white villages.” It’s located not far away from another whitewashed village, Casares, so it might be a good idea to visit both on the same day.
Gaucin’s top attraction is the Moorish Castillo del Aguila, perched right above the village. It sits 626 metres above sea level, so spectacular views of Gibraltar and the Moroccan mountains are guaranteed on a clear day.
Gaucin tends to be very quiet all year round, as not many tourists remember about this beautiful place. Artists, birdwatchers and hikers visit Gaucin most often. There are hundreds of kilometres of pathways, some of them signposted some of them wild, that lead through varied magical landscape.
If you are looking for a remote romantic getaway, want to esacpe the hustle and bustle of the busy city life, or simply get closer to nature, make sure to visit Gaucin.
Magical, enchanting and unique. One of the most idyllic places in Andalucia, Casares is a small forgotten village located between Estepona and Manilva. Casares’ iconic centuries-old white-washed houses clinging to a steep hillside draw thousands of photographers every year.
Whether you approach Casares from the East or from the West, the views of the village are equally sensational. Once you arrive at the spot, one of the many winding streets will get you to the centre of Casares. Find a sign that shows the way uphill to the castle. Words can’t describe the panorama that streteches from the 11-th cenutry fortress. On a sunny day, you will be able to see a vast stretch of Costa del Sol as well as the distant Rock of Gibraltar and Africa.
Since Casares lies at the border of the incredible Sierra Crestelina, it is a great place for hikers. There are more than 200 km of versatile footpaths surrounding and crossing the village. This historic rural place is also recommended by Best Andalucia to families for a one day trip just to escape the busy Costa del Sol and get close to nature, or for a romantic weekend for couples. Apart from the ruins of the castle, a church and a museum, Casares doesn’t hold other attractions. However, there are some good local restaurants and ventas.
Find all the practical information, helpful tips and opinions on holidays in Casares, Spain. Check out Casares’s top attractions, recommended places to stay and best things to do. Read about the best restaurants in Casares, Andalucia. Plan and book your vacations today with Best Andalucia guide. Casares can be a perfect place for romantic retreat holidays.
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Just 25 kilometres from Gibraltar lies the wonderful Castellar with an atmospheric medieval castle perched on the peak of the hill. Within the walls of the old fortress lies the old village full of colourful flowers and trees. Read More…
The gateway to the Route of the White Villages, Arcos de la Frontera is a good starting point for anyone who wants to explore the famous pueblos blancos. Arcos is the the westernmost of the white villages, located on the way between Jerez and Ronda.
Make sure you don’t miss Plaza de Espana when you visit Arcos. One side of the square called Miardor de la Pena Nueva serves as a balcony offering great views of the Guadalete Valley. There are some birds displays a couple of times a day there. Directly across the square you will find the impressive church of Santa María de la Asunción which represents a mix of different architectural styles: Romanesque and Renaissance from the outside and Gothic from the inside. Another attraction in Arcos is the castle, a large 11-th century Arab fortress. However, it is impossible to visit it. Next to Arcos there is a large reservoir, very popular place for kayaking, sailing and water skiing in summer.
Beautiful Arcos de la Frontera can be a nice side stop along the way to Jerez, Ronda, Cadiz or Seville.
Ronda was an important Muslim fortress until late 15th century when it surrendered to the Catholic monarchs. Today, this beautiful small rural city is known for its romantic atmosphere. Ronda is a top honeymoon destination, ideal for a romantic getaway!
Mijas is a popular tourist destination on Costa del Sol, located just a few kilometres inland from Fuengirola, and only 25 minutes drive from Malaga. This charming traditional Spanish town is situated 428 meters above sea level, in the foothills of the Sierra de Mijas in a spectacular setting of leafy pine forests and green slopes. Read More…
Located at a height of 800m, Grazalema is a small white village situated in the foothills of the craggy Sierra del Pinar mountain range, only 15 km south of the beautiful Zahara de la Sierra.
The village is located in the middle of Sierra de Grazalema national park, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Spain. It’s a real unspoilt mountainous paradise for hikers, climbers, photographers and bird watchers. Since 1977, the park is UNESCO’s “Biosphere Reserve” UNESCO due to the exceptional variety and wealth of its fauna and flora. Griffon vultures, four species of easgles, more than 80 butterfly species and over thirty species of orchids can be found in the park.
The area between Grazalema and Zahara is full ofwalking trails of varying length and degrees of dicciculty. If you want to explore it on foot, Grazalema is the right place to stay. Best time to come: spring and autumn (October, November)
The summit of Simancon at 1560 m – climbing the seconf highest peak in the region can be a challge but worth rhe effort, beautiful forests, bretataking panoramic views from the top
Puerto de Boyar (Boyar Pass) at 1264 m – 9,5 km long, amazing limestone rock formations, rich flora
Garganta Verde – 5 km both ways, spectacular views of the famous deep gorge, different species of birds including griffon vulture the trail is located in the reservation area, a permission from park offices in El Bosque or information centre in Grazalema is always required to access
The famous white towns perched in the hills and mountains of Spanish Andalucia are rich in charm and history. Peaceful, idyllic unspoilt by tourism, pueblos blancos are perfect getaway from hustle and bustle of the Spanish coast. Have a look at our ranking of white villages which deserve your visit.
Most popular white towns in Andalucia
1. ZAHARA DE LA SIERRA – this beautiful tranquil town sits at the foot of the Sierra del Jaral, in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. This fairy white village overlooks turquoise gleaming lake providing spectacular views. Remains of a Morrish castle tower over the town. Perfect for those seeking peace – all day long you can hear sounds of birds and wind. In our opinion, the nicest pueblo blanco in Andalucia.
2. CASARES – breath-taking white “hanging” village located between Campo de Gibraltar and Serrania de Ronda. Frequently visited by photographers, painters and poets. There is a 12th century Arab castle on top. Near Casares, there are famous Roman Sulphur baths of Hedionda where Julius Caesar is said to have cured his skin infection.
3. MIJAS – a very popular white village located only 30 km away from Malaga. Perched high on the mountainside, the village boasts spectacular panoramic views of Costa del Sol. In the very centre of Mijas there is large multi-storey parking which tourists use as a starting point to explore the village. Just next to it there is a donkey taxi, but we recommend to walk round Mijas on foot!
The village is famous for charming cobbled streets decorated with colourful decorative vases, bowls and plates. There are some excellent craft shops in Mijas as well with beautiful tile paintings and fancy traditional Spanish dresses. One of the streets will lead you to a small but beautiful bull ring which you can enter for a small fee. Other tourist attractions in the centre include a small church set in a cave Ermita de la Virgende la Pena and the El Compas viewpoint overlooking some spectacular gorges.
4. VEJER DE LA FRONTERA – a real gem on Costa de la Luz, located between Barbate and Conil de la Frontera. Once you arrive at the top on a sunny day, you will be able to enjoy excellent views of Spanish Coast of the Light and even of Morocco. Vejer makes up a fascinating labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets. Recommended some good tapas in the centre.
5. CASTELLAR DE LA FRONTERA – old fortress village perched very high on a hilltop. From the south direction, Castellar can be reached by a picturesque winding road. Among beautiful narrow cobbled streets full of ornaments and flowers, you will find the Balcony of Lovers which provides amazing views of the lake beneath. Best to visit during sunset! There is a quaint souvenir and local art shop at the catle entrance.
6. ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA – definitely most dramatically positioned pueblo blanco in southern Spain. Situated on the edge of precipice, The Parador de Arcos offers sensational views over the green plains below and of the River Guadalete. This white washed town, which was declared a national historic monument in 1962, boasts a twelfth century Arab fortress and very atmospheric old town. It’s probably the biggest of all the pueblos blancos.