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Overview

The White Towns (Pueblos Blancos) of Andalusia are scattered through the mountainous region between Málaga, Seville, and the coast. Their bright, whitewashed houses hug the ridgetops and spill down the hillsides, gleaming in the sun and beckoning you to explore. Narrow, winding roads may lead to a sleepy square, a church, or a ruined castle, but often the only attraction is an atmospheric glimpse of local life. Towns like Vejer de la Frontera show their Arab origins in tiled roofs, twisting streets, and tiny squares. Among the largest are Arcos de la Frontera, perched high above a river with several Baroque churches, and Jimena de la ...

The White Towns (Pueblos Blancos) of Andalusia are scattered through the mountainous region between Málaga, Seville, and the coast. Their bright, whitewashed houses hug the ridgetops and spill down the hillsides, gleaming in the sun and beckoning you to explore. Narrow, winding roads may lead to a sleepy square, a church, or a ruined castle, but often the only attraction is an atmospheric glimpse of local life. Towns like Vejer de la Frontera show their Arab origins in tiled roofs, twisting streets, and tiny squares. Among the largest are Arcos de la Frontera, perched high above a river with several Baroque churches, and Jimena de la Frontera with its Moorish castle. It borders the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, home to Europe's largest cork oak forests. Two of the prettiest towns, Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra, have good bars and restaurants. Not to be missed is the mountain drive between them via the Puerto de las Palomas (Pass of the Doves), which affords breathtaking views over the surrounding Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.

Donna Dailey
About the Expert

Donna Dailey is the author of Thomas Cook’s Ireland driving guide, coauthor of DK’s Back Roads Ireland and several other titles, as well as the author of Thomas Cook’s HotSpots Costa Blanca and a contributor to AA Publishing’s Key Guide Spain.

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Donna Dailey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer and fall; late winter when the almonds are in bloom; Holy Week in Arcos de la Frontera.