The stunning white light of Andalucía becomes even brighter in its many white villages, or pueblos blancos, each with unique character and attractions. If you’re looking for traditions, authentic tastes, street layouts and historical sites that date back to Roman or Moorish times, as well as for a direct connection with the beautiful nature to be found not far away from the shores of Costa del Sol, then we invite you to add the following places to your trip.
Ronda is probably the most famous of Andalucia’s white villages, known for its incredible canyon and as the favourite holiday destination of Ernest Hemingway the author of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. This beautiful town, about 100km from Málaga, is the 3rd most visited destination in Andalucía. Ronda is also known as one of the birthplaces for bull fighting and there’s a small bull ring to visit in town. A tour around should also include the Palace of Mondragón, constructed in 1314 by King Abomelik and later used as one of the homes for the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Ferdinand, and the museum of the history of Ronda with its beautiful gardens. The area is a great wine destination, and also famous for the local desserts, such as pestiños, yemas del Tajo or the rosquillas de Ronda.
Rich in historical sites, with both a hilltop Moorish castle and nearby Roman sulphur baths, which are said to have been visited by Caesar himself, hence the name of the place, Casares offers one of the most iconic views of vertiginous cliff side white village. It is also the birthplace of Blas Infante, “the father of Andalucia” who fought for the area to become a self-governing autonomous region. A walk through the cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses which seem to jostle for space or the town square will give you a glimpse at the real Spain where the pace of life is much slower. Among the typical dishes from Casares, gazpacho casareño and the artisanal goat cheese from the region of the Sierra Crestellina are among the top choices.
Located east of Málaga and only a ten minute drive from the coastal town of Nerja, Frigiliana was voted the beautiful village in of Andalucía for several years running. The picturesque cobbled streets of Frigiliana gently wind up through the bright white houses of the old town, contrasting with the splashes of vibrant colours of flowers growing everywhere, on the balconies, on the doorsteps, on the walls. The houses are painted every year and it is traditionally the women of the village who carry out this work. With many shops, bars and fabulous restaurants, several hotels and a working molasses factory right in the centre of town, Frigiliana has a lot to offer. It also hosts a famous event, Festival de las Tres Culturas, celebrated at the end of August each year, drawing crowds of hundreds to watch concerts and many festivities. Other fiestas throughout the year include Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of Frigiliana, celebrated in January, and the annual Frigiliana feria, in June.
Cover photo credit: Ronda, Puente Nuevo, image by TheBoxagon (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons