Spain is full of many pretty white villages known as Pueblos Blancos meaning the “White Towns of Andalucia.” These villages are mostly unknown to tourists, a true hidden gem to explore. If you don’t fancy crowds then head over to the province of Cadiz and have these picturesque white villages all to yourself! There is also a lot of nature to admire in this region so if you love to hike then be sure to walk the many trails through the natural parks like the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Read on to learn about the best pueblos blancos in Andalucia, Spain.
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Getting around Andalucia
The beautiful pueblos blancos are scattered along the province of Cadiz, Spain. A car is a must to get around as public transportation is not super good. To rent a car, use Discover Cars which finds the cheapest price across different car rental companies. You can pick up the car from one of the larger towns, ideally from the airport. The closest airports to explore the region are either Jerez Airport or Seville Airport. If you can’t stand driving, then you can also take this private tour which will take you to some of the villages mentioned in this post.
The best Pueblos Blancos to explore in Andalucia
Olvera might be the prettiest village in Andalucia, or in fact, all of Spain! It is an unmissable stop for your pueblos blancos road trip. The Spanish government even declared Olvera as the center of “Artistic and Historic Importance.” This white village is characterized by its stunning cathedral, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación which finished being built in 1841. You will often find it as the focal point of any photo of this magnificent place due to its sheer size and placement.
The other major iconic spot is the Castle of Olvera which dates back to the 12th century. There is a small entry fee of €2 to enter and you will have access to the most amazing views you could imagine from here. The castle was built to defend the Nazari Kingdom of Granada. King Alfonso XI redesigned the castle after it was seized from the original Moorish builders and occupants.
Olvera is a small village and can be explored in less than a day’s time. Be sure to take your time wandering the pretty white-washed streets as it’s very photogenic. For one of the best views, head over to Monumento al Sagrado Corazón where you can see the cathedral, castle, and clustered white-washed buildings in the backdrop.
Why Visit: Olvera is one of the most picturesque Pueblos Blancos and the cathedral perched above the hilltop is stunning.
🏨 Where to stay: No 31 Bed & Breakfast is set in the heart of Olvera right near the Cathedral and you can witness stunning views of the castle.
⭐ You can read more about Olvera in my dedicated blog post here.
Another favorite pueblos blancos is the white village of Grazalema! This village is also situated in the province of Cadiz along a high valley over 800 meters in the Sierra del Endrinal.
There are many steep and beautiful pathways here waiting to be explored. Many plants and flowers adorn the pretty white-washed streets making this one of the most picturesque villages in Andalucia.
For a bite to eat, head over to the main square, Plaza de España. Here you will also find the Church of La Aurora which dates back to the 18th century. Nearby you will also find lovely views of the area.
Grazalema is one of the best bases for exploring the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park too. You can do a hike at El Pinsapar which is known for Spanish fir. It resembles a Christmas tree and is so nice to see all around. The hike is 4 hours long and 10 km so be prepared! If you don’t want to hike the whole way you can go up to the first viewpoint along the path which takes 45 minutes and head back down.
Why Visit: There are so many picturesque white-washed streets and it is a great base to explore the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
🏨 Where to stay: Stay in a traditional yet quiet home, Casa Rural en Grazalema is the perfect stay.
3. Zahara de la Sierra
Zahara de la Sierra is the only pueblos blancos in the Cadiz province of Andalusia that overlooks an incredible lake. The Zahara Castle is also a must-see place and can be spotted from a long distance away surrounded by several white houses all clustered below and the lake beneath.
When visiting, you’ll likely make your way across the Plaza Mayor situated in the town center numerous times. Here you will find the clock tower, Torre del Reloj, and more views of the lake. Also in the main square is the Church of Santa María de la Mesa. This square is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or a snack and enjoy time pass by.
One of the key viewpoints is located at the bottom of the town at Alameda de Lepanto. Another not obvious viewpoint is the one from my photo above. It is actually at an oil factory called Oleum Viride. This might be a highlight of any visit to learn about the production of oil with beautiful surroundings. You can even have lunch outdoors at their restaurant and partake in freshly made food tasting different olive oils. Did you know that this region of Spain produces oil that supplies more than 60% to Italy!
Why Visit: This unique village overlooks the Zahara lake and you can visit the famous oil factory to learn about the production of olive oil.
🏨 Where to stay: For amazing views of the lake straight from your balcony, stay at Al Lago.
Ubrique is the birthplace of famous bullfighters and is known for leather making, supplying leather to the most famous brands around the world. Think Louis Vuitton and Gucci! You can even pay a visit to the leather museum (Museo de la Piel) to see some of the beautiful leather goods and learn about the process of leather making. You will find everything there from shoes to bags, clothing, and more. Ubrique dates back to prehistoric times with leather being produced here even before the Romans arrived. After visiting the museum, stroll through the town center and you will find many shops selling leather goods.
You will likely run into the main town square in the Historic Center of Ubrique. Just steps away you will find The Church of Our Lady of the O which dates back to 1773. The architecture is unique and different in Ubrique. No wonder the Old Town was declared an asset of Cultural Interest.
Given that Ubrique is situated between the Natural Parks of Grazalema and Los Alcornocales Natural Park, you can also enjoy incredible hiking nearby.
Why Visit: Ubrique is famous for leather making and produces 75% of the leather goods made in Spain.
🏨 Where to stay: Ubrique Loft Royal is conveniently located and will make a great base for your trip around the Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia.
5. Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas is the most unique town and pueblos blancos in Andalusia. Many of the streets have giant rock formations you can spot above. They were naturally formed by water many years ago. In prehistoric times, cave dwellers (Troglodytes) were thought to live inside the caves of this village. If you would like to see in person one of the cave homes which is being resided in today, visit Calle Herrera as it’s open to the public with a small tip. This street is also very picturesque and a must-see as you can see a huge rock above (as pictured in the second image above).
The other main street in the town to not miss is Calle Cuevas del Sol which is built under an even more massive rock and is also near a small river. Here you can also find a plethora of restaurants and try some Spanish tapas.
There is also an incredible viewpoint where you can see all the white houses and the town beneath. That is located at Mirador del Carmen above the major road of Calle Cuevas del Sol.
Last but not least, make a visit to Nazari Castle, a Moorish ruined castle with even more views to see!
Why Visit: It is the most unique village in all of Andalusia as it’s got naturally formed rocks above many of the streets.
🏨 Where to stay: If you’re looking for a cozy stay moments away from all this town has to offer then try staying at Casa Nazarí.
Benaocaz is another spectacular pueblos blancos in Andalusia established in the 8th century by the Arabs. The town is protected by the Tavizna Castle and you can see the Roman Road from the village which joins the town to other nearby cities like Ubrique and Grazalema. If you’re into climbing, Benacaz is a great place for that. Just make your way to Monte Taillo for some great views of Sierra de Cadiz.
Iglesia Mayor is a historic church built in the 18th century and is located in the Iglesia Mayor Plaza. While here, don’t miss the Town Hall which was designed Baroque style.
For the best view, head up the hill at sunset – you might even see the Rock of Gibraltar on a clear day.
Why Visit: Benaocaz is famous for its vegetables and abundant water so while here try some traditional soups (ajo caliente) or local cheese.
🏨 Where to stay: Navazos Loft is a cozy country home in Grazalema mountain range!
Algar is one of the smallest white villages or pueblos blancos you will find in the region of Cadiz. It is between two of the most important natural parks in the area, Alcornocales and Grazalema. Make sure to visit the main square where you will find the beautiful cathedral, Santa María de Guadalup. There is an annual fair held in September which honors the patron saint. Other than that, this town is very quiet and you will mainly find locals around – only 1,644 inhabitants are in Algar.
Like all the other villages, discover the quaint white-washed streets. You will find what might be the prettiest street lined with flower pots on Calle Laura Gallego.
While you’re here, don’t miss a short hike to the Guadalacacin reservoir, where you can witness an amazing sunset with breathtaking views of the reservoir.
Why Visit: You will find one of the best views overlooking the Guadalacacin reservoir.
I hope you enjoyed learning about these beautiful hidden gems in Andalusia, Spain – my favorite pueblos blancos was Olvera. Let me know yours in the comments below!
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🏘️ A guide to Olvera – the hidden white village in Cadiz, Spain
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