There are many “pueblos blancos” located throughout the province of Málaga. These traditional and picturesque “white villages” are made up of old houses squashed together with narrow little streets. Many of these villages and small towns have become established on the tourist scene, but have still managed to retain their rural Andalusian character. Below are six recommended villages to visit.
If it weren’t for the fact that it’s perched on two sides of a 330-foot-deep gorge, the beautiful country village of Ronda would probably go unnoticed by many visitors to Málaga. But because of its beautiful and slightly terrifying New Bridge, built in the 18th century to connect Ronda’s two halves, this quiet little town is the third most visited destination in Andalusia.
The streets in the old Moorish quarter of the town, La Ciudad, and the newer part called El Mercadillo, which are on either side of the El Tajo canyon, are full of elegant houses with yellow doors and windows and pots of bright geraniums hanging from them. Ronda is also where modern bullfighting started, and its stately 18th century bullring is another important thing to see there.
Setenil de las Bodegas
A village in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia. It is famous for its cave houses, built into the sandstone rock face along the Rio Guadalporcún. The original inhabitants were cave-dwelling Moors who sought refuge here after they were forced out of their homes by the Christian reconquest of Spain. Many of these caves have been converted into homes and businesses, and the village has become a popular tourist destination.
Mijas is made up of two different areas: Mijas Costa is a seven-mile stretch of beautiful beaches and coastal resorts, while Mijas Pueblo, tucked between verdant hills several miles inland, is one of Andalusia’s most popular whitewashed villages. Its elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level means you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea and surrounding mountains from its many pretty terraces.
If you would rather not explore on foot during the hot Andalusian summer, you can take one of the donkey taxis for which the town has become famous. These are the hallmarks of a rural way of life that, without the hordes of tourists that now come to this town every summer, would remain much as it was a hundred years ago.
One of the most beautiful white villages in Andalusia is located on top of a 1,427 foot-high cliff about 10 miles inland from Estepona. Despite its vertiginous location and the attractiveness of its crunched-together white houses, Casares remains something of an underdog on the Málaga tourist scene.
The classic pueblo blanco offering of small streets lined with white houses, a 12th century Moorish fort, charming squares, and terraces is taken to new heights (literally) in Casares due to its high elevation and stunning views of the surrounding area.
Villanueva de la Concepción
When approaching Villanueva de la Concepción from Málaga to the south, you’ll witness some of Andalusia’s most gorgeous scenery. This village enjoys a stunning location, looking like a patch of snow that has fallen among olive groves and hills.
The town is situated near the El Torcal national park, which is home to some strange and wonderful karst rock formations.
Some of the more courageous expats and travelers go out to Villanueva, but it is primarily an immaculate, functioning agricultural village in the typical whitewashed Andalusian style. From the mirador at its eastern end, near the extraordinary Meson Torfa bar, is a breathtaking lookout from which, on a sunny day (and there are a lot of them in Villanueva) you can see across the mildly undulating countryside all the way down to Málaga and the Mediterranean beyond.
Estepona is often not as famous as its more famous coastal neighbor, Marbella. Yet, it combines the traditional prettiness of an Andalusian pueblo blanco with some of the best beaches and sea views on the Costa del Sol. And while brightly-colored teracotta pots overflowing with scarlet geraniums are a staple of any white village or town in Andalusia, they are particularly abundant in Estepona. The streets surrounding the Plaza de Flores are some of the most beautiful you’ll see in Málaga province.
To completely take in Estepona’s bewitching atmosphere, idly stroll around its vivid streets on a balmy summer evening, then go to La Rada beach for the sunset. If that doesn’t make you want to instantly cancel your flight home and stay on forever in Andalusia, nothing will.
Nestled in the heart of Andalusia, Antequera is a beautiful pueblo blanco renowned for its central location and proximity to major cities such as Málaga, Granada, Cordoba and Seville. Despite its considerable size, Antequera has managed to preserve its unique atmosphere, characterized by its 14th century Moorish Alcazaba – resembling a mini-Alhambra – which looms over the historic center’s tightly-packed white houses and beautiful old churches.
Antequera is a hidden gem in Andalusia that has managed to avoid being overrun by tourists like some other destinations on the Costa del Sol. It’s only a 20-minute drive from Villanueva de la Concepción, on the other side of the El Torcal nature reserve. The town has kept its traditional Andalusian charm and atmosphere.
This area is also home to some of the most historical monuments in southern Spain – the Menga and Viera dolmens and the Tholos of El Romeral. These Neolithic and Bronze age tombs are some of the most significant surviving examples of European Megalithism.
Why is Andalucia so attractive for tourists?
Andalucia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. It is renowned for its stunning scenery, its rich history and culture, and its friendly people. The region has something to offer everyone, from the lively cities of Seville and Granada to the quieter coastal towns and villages. Andalucia is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, with its many parks and gardens, as well as its beautiful beaches.
Is Andalucia worth visiting?
Yes, Andalucia is definitely worth visiting! I mean, where else can you find such stunning architecture and natural beauty all in one place? The food is amazing too- tapas, anyone?- and the people are so friendly. Not to mention there are plenty of things to do and see, from exploring the Alhambra Palace to relaxing on the beach. So whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or a chance to just kick back and relax, Andalucia has it all.
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