It doesn’t take much to work out why the pueblos blancos in the Andalucian region are so well loved. They are one of Spain’s major attractions, and their unique appearance has rooted them firmly into world perspective as an iconic part of Spanish culture.
Whether you are beholding them from within, or getting a panoramic view from a distance, they are impressive in their beauty and charm. Today, many of the white villages have maintained their original charm. Characterized by the whitewashed walls, the whole village gleams against the greenish-brown of the typical Spanish landscape.
The white villages were practical creations
The white villages were designed the way they are, with their whitewashed walls, back in the times for the Romans and Moors in order to deflect the intense heat; so local people would have a cool haven to rest in. Temperatures would reach fifty degrees Celsius, and air conditioning and fans were a long way off being created in those times. The white paint did well at reflecting the sun’s rays.
In order to get to the white villages, you usually have to travel along the winding, scenic mountain routes. The villages nestle in the valleys, the foothills of the mountains, or sometimes high up near the mountaintops. Each village has its own character and charm, as you might imagine.
The locations of the pueblos blancos means that they’re often surrounded by wild nature and wildlife, which makes them an even more attractive prospect for those who enjoy walking in nature. The crisp mountain air offers respite from the searing summer heat, and in the autumn and winter months the more chilled atmosphere makes for exhilarating walks and hikes, without the excessive sweating!
Modern Pueblo Blanco life
Today the villages are still peaceful havens away from the Spanish heat, and life is not so different to ancient times. Each village has something unique to offer in terms of experience for visitors, or even expats looking for a tranquil property on the Costa del Sol. Each population varies, and so do the interests of the inhabitants and the amenities on offer. Some are tourist attractions for their quaint beauty and the cultural experience offered by the local cafes, restaurants, shops and views.
In the majority of cases, the pueblos blancos consist of narrow and winding streets, all of which are well looked after; the inhabitants are usually very proud of their villages and will be well decorated with pretty flowers, plants and locally made ceramics. The food on offer is often traditionally Spanish, and cooked to perfection with time old recipes you’ll be sure to love.
There are so many white villages in and around the Sunshine Coast, but some are more famous than others; tour groups frequently make day trips for visitors to the region, ensuring that nobody misses out on any important aspects. Here are two that we think make for a memorable experience:
Casares is a truly beautiful pueblo blanco. This village is set on top of a hill, giving visitors and locals breathtaking views of neighbouring Gibraltar. The quintessential white village, Casares is home to two stunning churches; Iglesia de la Encarnación and Iglesia de San Sebastian. You don’t need to be religious to appreciate these awesome pieces of architecture.
You might also find some entertainment by whiling away a few hours in the village plaza, Plaza de España. Beach lovers won’t have to stray far from their sandy havens to get to Casares, which is very near to the Costa del Sol’s beaches. It’s just a short drive away, so you can book a tour or hire a car of your own to get to it.
Ronda is one of the most famous of the pueblos blancos in the Andalucian region. Ronda can be seen from great distances, and is known for being the place that started off bull fighting. It sports a bullring and also a museum full of bullfighting memorabilia. Although times have now changed – many would say for the better – it can be interesting to dip into the ancient history of the area for an insight into how they once lived.
The scenery here is nothing short of epic. Set above an enormous canyon, the views from Ronda are quite unbelievable and this alone makes Ronda worth a visit. Here you will find the three famous bridges, the ‘new’ bride and the ‘old’ one, or the Arab Bridge and the Roman bridge.
These are just two of many in Andalusia, so if you’re a fan, you’ll have plenty of options to keep you busy. The villages are so charming that many expats choose to take up permanent residence in them, if and when a property comes up for sale in the white villages.
If that slice of Spanish culture sounds up your street, you would be wise to have a chat with Paradise Marbella’s friendly team of agents about it. We have a wealth of advice to offer, and many first class properties on our books, so we’re bound to have something that meets all your needs. Welcome to Paradise!