The route through the Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) in Andalusia is probably one of the most scenic routes you can do in Southern Spain.

The Pueblos Blancos are a series of whitewashed towns and villages with 2 things in common: They are white and they are gorgeous.

From old cities perched on cliffs to houses carved on rocks in the mountain, and the most beautiful landscape around them.

Do you want to explore them? Then keep reading because we are going to show you a route through the most beautiful Pueblos Blancos.

exploring the Pueblos Blancos

Where are the Pueblos Blancos?

The Pueblos Blancos are located in the northern part of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga in southern Spain. Most of them are located in an area called the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.

Below, there is a map with the Pueblos Blancos marked in brown. In blue, is the route we did and the one we are going to explain in this post.

How to get to the Pueblos Blancos

Getting to the Pueblos Blancos is easy if you come either from Seville or Malaga. But you are going to need to rent a car either way.

It is the easiest and most convenient way to explore them with no doubt.

How to get to Pueblos Blancos from Malaga?

If you fly to the international airport of Malaga, your first stop could be either Setenil de las Bodegas or Ronda. Both about 1h15min far.

How to get to Pueblos Blancos from Seville?

If you fly to Seville, then we suggest you drive to Arcos de la Frontera. It should take also about 1h15min.

Route through the most beautiful Pueblos Blancos

There are 19 Pueblos Blancos in total, so planning a route is a must-do.

Our Pueblos Blancos route includes:

  • Arcos de la Frontera
  • El Bosque
  • Grazalema
  • Zahara de la Sierra
  • Setenil de las Bodegas
  • Ronda

For this trip we rented a car in Seville.

There are a couple of ways you could make this trip:

  1. You could do overnight as you go along your route
  2. You could choose a central destination and use it as a base to move around. This is the option we chose.

In any case, this will be conditioned but how many days you have and the places you’d like to visit.

So for now, we are going to tell you how we did it so you can choose if you want to it the same way or not.

Day 1: Seville- Arcos de la Frontera – Grazalema.

Pueblos Blancos day one route

Our flight arrived in Seville in the morning. So we would have the whole day to start our road trip through Los Pueblos Blancos.

As we said before, renting a car is the best way to move around the Pueblos Blancos in Andalusia. So as soon as we took our car, we made our way towards Arcos de la Frontera. Our first stop on this epic route.

The best way to explore any of the Pueblos Blancos is to find parking in the town/village center and walk. So that is what we did.

Arcos de la Frontera.

Arcos de la Frontera, pueblo blanco in Andalusia

When you first arrive and see Arcos de la Frontera in front of you located at the edge of a cliff, you start to realize that this is going to be even better than you expected.

The most beautiful part to explore in Arcos is the old town which is located near the church by the cliff. We walked around and explore all the little alleys we found. Some of them, just ended by the edge with impressive views of the mountains in front.

Once we explored around and where happy with our pictures, we looked for a good place where to have lunch, and we found “La Carcel”. A great place with very nice tapas.

Once we finished, we went for a coffee and back to the car to our next destination, which we’ll use as a base: Grazalema.

The good thing about the Pueblos Blancos is that you can visit most of them in just half a day, some even faster.

Grazalema.

Grazalema, Cadiz

The ride from Arcos to Grazalema takes roughly one hour.

Located at the heart of the natural park, Grazalema is probably the best place to use as a base.

We choose to go to what would be our hotel for the next couple of days: Hotel Fuerte Grazalema.

A gorgeous hotel with wonderful views all around. Probably one of the best hotels you can find in this area, yet with reasonable prices for the quality of the room and services.

After checking in, we leave our stuff and head to the town center for a quiet walk and to look something for dinner. Even though is almost nigh, the walk by the main square and the labyrinthic streets is gorgeous. You pretty much have a view regardless of where you are.

One of the reasons we loved these white villages, is because off-season is very quiet.

It is not hard to find good restaurants and bars in Grazalema. Not only because is bigger than most of the other villages but also because receives more local tourism. After asking locals for suggestions, we chose Gastrobar la Maroma. With an offer a bit different from the rest and with excellent quality.

Full and tired, we headed to the hotel to rest, since there is a bit of adventure planned for tomorrow.

Day 2: Grazalema – El Bosque – Zahara de la Sierra – Grazalema

Pueblos Blancos day two route

On the second day of our trip, we planned a bit more action.

We woke up early and headed to El Bosque for a hike.

El Bosque.

trekking el bosque, an easy hike in the Pueblos Blancos

El Bosque is about 30 minutes drive from Grazalema.

The reason we visited El Bosque, is because we wanted to hike the route known as “Majaceite“. It is an easy but very scenic hike that leads to Benamahoma. It is a linear route which takes about 2 hours.

So we parked our car in the parking area and started the hike early. And we have to say that the hike is absolutely gorgeous from minute one. The lush forest leads us to a humid environment where the smell of fern invites us to breathe clean air. On the trail, we find small waterfalls, dense areas but also wide green fields.

Nature as its best.

Without even realizing, we arrived in Benamahoma, the end of the trail. Now there are 2 options: either going back the same way or take a taxi back to our car through the road. We choose the first one. But first, we stop by the bar at the end of the route to have a deserved cold beer and some food.

Once we finished, we took the same way back, although this time we made it a bit faster with lesser stops.

Back in the car, we now go to our next destination: Zahara de la Sierra.

Zahara de la Sierra.

Zahara de la Sierra, one of the most beautiful Pueblos Blancos

The moment we saw Zahara de la Sierra from the road, we already got impressed.

Zahara is situated on top of a mountain, with a castle on top of it, and a majestic lake just beneath the village. The landscape here is breath-taking and we dare to say it is probably the most beautiful Pueblo Blanco we have seen.

We make all the way to the top, to park nearby the castle. From there, it is an easy hike to go to the top for a very rewarding view. Luckily, we made it on time for the sunrise. A splash of colours and tones with nothing to envy to the most beautiful sunsets we have seen before.

After the pleasant visit to the castle, we head down the village for a drink and some tapas. This really was an amazing day where we have seen some stunning landscapes and it feels so empowering.

From here, we drove back to the hotel to Grazalema, which takes about 35 minutes.

Day 3: Grazalema – Setenil de las Bodegas – Ronda – Grazalema

Pueblos Blancos day three route

The drive to Setenil de las Bodegas takes around 45 minutes.

So once we had breakfast, we headed to Setenil.

Setenil de las Bodegas.

Setenil de las bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas is unlike any other village you have seen before.

It’s known for its whitewashed houses built into the surrounding cliffs. The town’s hilltop castle was once an Arab fortress.

It is fairly small, so the visit won’t take long.

As in any other place, we parked our car and adventured into the village. We like to do this with no maps, so we actually get lost and find some places that might not even be in any tourist guide. There is no better way to get to know a place!

We felt really impressed by the street Cuevas de la Sombra. Here we walked through houses and bars built into the rock of the mountain. It was the perfect place for a pit stop, before heading to Ronda.

Ronda.

Ronda puente nuevo

Ronda is a mountaintop city in Malaga province that’s set dramatically above a deep gorge.

This town is probably the largest on the list and has many things to see and do.

We started by having lunch in a place nearby “El Balcon del Coño“. One of the most popular viewpoints of the city. It provides views of the gorge, the Puente Nuevo and the surrounding countryside.

Now we have some energy, we walked around the old city, admiring the beautiful architecture. Some interesting spots we found in our way and worth the visit are:

  • Plaza de Toros (The Bullring). The Real Maestranza bullring is one of the oldest and most picturesque in Spain.
  • Jardines de Cuenca. Located on the ledges of the Tajo and distributed across a series of terraces, they offer a magnificent view to the city.
  • Plaza Duquesa de Parcent. The most important square in Ronda.
  • The Arab Baths. These are said to be the best-preserved in Spain.
  • Mondragon Palace. Apart from the beautiful gardens, is home to the municipal museum.
  • Puente Nuevo. Last but not least, the iconic Puente Nuevo is probably the most impressive and well-known monument from all. The bridge joins the old Moorish town and the newer.

After visiting all these places, we felt amazed by the offer of Ronda. It was with no doubt one of the highlights of our road trip through the Pueblos Blancos.

Exhausted from the day, we headed back to our hotel to chill for a bit. The drive back to the hotel took us about 45 minutes.

We had no more plan for the day than spending our latest night enjoying the hotel and having dinner in its magnificent restaurant.

Day 4: Back Home

On the last day, our flight would leave from Seville. So we drove to Seville and spent some time exploring this beautiful city.

Although you need at least a full day to see Seville properly, it was not our first time there, so we already knew what we wanted to do.

If you only have a few hours, the best you can do is going to the old city, where there is a lot to see and do.

If you have more time

There are many stunning places to visit in this wonderful area.

And if you have some more time, we strongly recommend you to visit Vejer de la Frontera. This is probably our favourite destination in Andalusia.

If you want to find more information about Vejer, click the link below.

Resources

Here you can find all the resources you are going to need for your trip to Pueblos Blancos:

  • Rental Cars. Since you are going to need a car, we suggest you use this tool to find the best prices.
  • Travel Insurance. Get a FREE quote with the best travel insurance company out there. This will make things easier in case you have any issues during your trip.
  • Cadiz Turismo. The official website for the white villages route.
  • Activities and tours: Here you can find some more things to do and book tours in advance.
  • Accommodation. If you are going to spend in the area only a couple of days, then booking.com is our favorite option to find amazing rural hotels.

Hidden Content

Conclusion

No matter where you, it is hard to fail when it comes to visiting the Pueblos Blancos.

We recommend that you plan your trip, so you can visit as many places as you can without being in a rush.

If you need advice or have any questions, drop a comment below.

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