Whitewashed houses in the middle of a spectacular landscape: Andalusia’s white villages are usually quite an eye-catcher from afar. Some of the most famous white villages in Andalusia are located along the so-called Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, the White Villages Route.
In this blog article we will show you our most beautiful stops along the white villages road. Which villages are particularly worth seeing and which highlights should I not miss? Here are our tips for your trip to the most beautiful Pueblos Blancos in Andalusia.
1. Road of the White Villages: Interesting Facts & What to Expect White Villages. Or: Andalusia’s postcard motifs. Thanks to the glowing house facades, the white villages are usually visible from afar. Many villages are located in the hinterland, almost perfectly embedded in the sometimes barren and rugged, beautiful landscape of Andalusia.
Most of the villages date from the Epoch of the Moors and are many centuries old. The history of the villages can be felt immediately when you enter the town centre. In the midst of the narrow, winding streets you immediately feel like you are in another time.
What is the White Villages Road exactly? White villages can be found all over Andalusia. However, some of the most beautiful and well-known are on the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, in German called the White Villages Road. It meanders through the mountainous hinterland of the province of Cádiz in western Andalusia, above all through the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
Total 19 Villages to the Ruta de Los Pueblos Blancos. Incidentally, the famous town of Ronda is not officially one of them, but it is very close by. You can find an overview map at the end of the article.
You cannot imagine the road of the white villages as a linear route from A to B, but rather it also branches off in different directions. Depending on which villages you are interested in, you can put together your personal itinerary to the white villages.
How much time should I allow for the White Villages Road? The road of the white villages is on the way from Malaga to Cadiz, in the mountainous hinterland of Andalusia. Without stopping you need for that route from Malaga 5 hours to Cádiz. As you can see, one day is far too short if you don’t want to rush it.
Many villages can be explored quickly and of course you can only make a short stopover, but we do really don’t recommend it. In addition, Ronda is also on the route – you should plan several hours for this alone.
Our recommendation is: Plan at least one stopover on the way from Malaga to Cadiz. For example, you could stay in Ronda. Ronda is at the beginning of the White Villages road (coming from Malaga).
If you leave Ronda early in the morning you will have a full day to drive to Cádiz ( driving time: a little under 4 hours) and exploring some of the White Villages along the way. Then there’s still a pretty tight program waiting for you, but it’s doable. If you want to take it easy, we would plan another stopover.
Our hotel tip for Ronda: Catalonia Ronda
2. The most beautiful stops along the road of the white villages In this chapter we will show you which white villages we visit visited Andalusia. We ourselves have visited the road of the white villages on the way from Málaga to Cádiz. The villages are therefore listed in that order. Of course, there is nothing wrong with visiting them in reverse order.
Setenil de las Bodegas The rock village Setenil de las Bodegas is one of the most special white villages. Unlike most white villages, it is not built on a hill, but in a kind of gorge. Many houses are built directly into the rock – a really surreal sight.
If you are looking for the most famous photo motifs in Setenil de las Bodegas, then it is best to go into the two alleys Cuevas del Sol and Cuevas de la Sombra. There are those houses that are partially or even completely covered by rocks.
A walk through the romantic Calle Herrería is also worthwhile. Lovers can take a picture of themselves there at the photo spot. You can recognize the photo spot by the sign (“Bésame en este rincón” – in English “Kiss me in this corner”).
Setenil de las Bodegas was, by the way, one of the most popular villages in our opinion. Because it’s not very big, it quickly becomes overcrowded. The best thing to do is to plan your visit on a weekday or come as early as possible.
Information on arrival and parking From Ronda you can reach Setenil de las Bodegas after about 30 minutes travel time. Good to know: Please do not attempt to drive to the center of Setenil de las Bodegas by car. The streets are incredibly narrow and you will hardly find a parking space. You can park, for example, in the parking garage called Parking CP Plus. From there you can walk to the town center in a few minutes.
Olvera Pretty Olvera is one our personal favourites. Even from a distance you can see the hill with the church and castle towering up – a village like in a picture book.
The two most important sights in Olvera are the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación and the adjacent Arab fortress called Castillo de Olvera. It is best to head straight for the square in front of the church. From there you already have a great view of the landscape around Olvera. The whole thing is topped by the view that you can enjoy from the Castillo de Olvera. A few steps lead you up to a kind of viewing platform from which you can look in all directions. Admission to the Castillo is 2 euros per person.
You also have a nice view of Olvera from the vantage point at the Monumento al Sagrado Corazón. You you can reach it in a few minutes via a staircase that starts at Plaza Andalucía.
Information on arrival and parking From Setenil de las Bodegas you can reach Olvera in about 25 minutes. Street parking seemed a bit easier to us in Olvera than in other villages. However, we would not recommend driving too far into the historic town center here either, but rather parking a few minutes outside. We easily found a free parking space on Calle Mercado.
Zahara de la Sierra Another postcard motif: Zahara de la Sierra is enthroned on a hill, which in turn is located on the sparkling blue reservoir Embalse de Zahara-El Gastor. For many, Zahara de la Sierra is one of the most beautiful white villages in Andalusia.
The main attraction is the Castillo de Zahara de la Sierra. You reach it after about 15 minutes, sometimes a bit steep ascent. However, the effort is worth it: a fantastic view awaits you from the tower of the Castillo. Otherwise, the historic center is really worth seeing.
Information on arrival or Parking From Olvera to Zahara de la Sierra it is approximately 30 minutes travel time. You have a beautiful view of Zahara de la Sierra when you arrive, from the road (A-2300), which runs directly along the lake shore for a short time. There is a kind of vantage point there, but unfortunately there is no parking space.
For your city tour you can directly on the street in front of the entrance to the town (on the CA-9104) parking. For example, there are some parking spaces at the Mirador de Zahara de la Sierra and also a little further up (near the Al Lago restaurant). From there it is only a short walk uphill to the town centre.
Grazalema This white village nestles almost perfectly on the hills of the mountainous region Sierra de Grazalema . Grazalema is also considered one of the most beautiful villages in Andalusia – rightly so, in our opinion. Very exciting: It is said to rain more here than anywhere else in Spain. The landscape is therefore less barren than in other places.
In Grazalema, a very pretty historic town center awaits you. It is best to head straight for the main square, the Plaza de España. There is the most famous building in Grazalema, the Nuestra Señora de la Aurora church. It comes from the 18. Century.
Information on arrival or parking The stretch from Zahara de la Sierra to Grazalema is probably the most spectacular of the entire route. We would have liked to stop every hundred meters to take a picture. It is best to take the country road CA-9104. It leads you in serpentines up to the Pass Puerto de las Palomas. From there it goes downhill again in curves to Grazalema.
A nice view on Grazalema you have right at the entrance to the town. On Google Maps the view is called El Tajo. There is a parking lot right next to it where you can park your car and explore the town center on foot from there.
Arcos de la Frontera Arcos de la Frontera is not only one of the most famous white villages in the province of Cádiz, but also to a certain extent the western entrance gate to the road of the white villages. It is the village that is closest to Cádiz: It is only about to Cádiz minutes by car.
Although the scenery here is far less spectacular than it used to be, Arcos de la Frontera is in a very impressive location: It is enthroned on a steep cliff.
From the parking lot (more on that in a moment) an approx. 10 until 15-minute walk to Plaza del Cabildo, the main square in the old town of Arcos de la Frontera. Unfortunately, the parked cars spoil the beautiful cityscape quite a bit. There is also a small viewpoint in the plaza, as well as the most important church in Arcos, the Basílica de Santa María de la Asunción. The Castillo de Arcos is also located here, which unfortunately cannot be visited.
If you walk further east from the Plaza Cabildo through the town center, you will reach the viewpoint Mirador de Abades.
Information on arrival and parking From Grazalema you can reach Arcos de la Frontera nac h about an hour. The first part of the route to El Bosque takes you further through the spectacular Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Fantastic views await you along this section.
You can park your car in the underground car park at Plaza España. From there you can reach the historic center on foot in a few minutes. The streets in the center are sometimes terribly narrow, so we wouldn’t recommend driving in by car.
3. Book a rental car in Andalusia: Our tips One thing is certain: without a car, exploring the white villages is hardly (or very difficult). . only very cumbersome) possible. That’s why we bought a rental car for our entire trip to Andalusia.
We booked the car through Sunny Cars, as we do on all our trips. Sunny Cars acts as an intermediary and comparison platform. This means that Sunny Cars compares offers, you book directly on the Sunny Cars website and then pick up your car from one of the local car rental companies. (For us it was Europcar, but that may be different for you.)
The big advantage of Sunny Cars: You have all the necessary insurance included and in the event of damage, Sunny Cars will also reimburse you for the deductible. That’s quite reassuring in a country like Spain, whose residents aren’t exactly known for cautious driving. So if something happens, you’re on the safe side – regardless of whether it’s your fault or not.
You can search for cheap rental cars here: Sunny Cars
4. Map: The Road of the White Villages at a glance On this map we have marked all the stops that we along the White Villages Road. The route will definitely take you to some of the most beautiful white villages in Spain.
If you have more time, you might consider getting one from Grazalema Detour via the A-374 to Ubrique. This section of the route is also supposed to be very spectacular, but unfortunately we didn’t have time for it on the day of our trip.
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever been along the White Villages Road hazards? Which white village in Andalusia is your favorite? Please let us know your experiences and tips. We look forward to your comment!