Thinking about visiting some white villages in Spain? With their whitewashed houses, tiled roofs, and colorful pots of flowers, Spain’s pueblo blancos are the stuff of picture postcards. Any itinerary for Spain must include at least a few of its picturesque white villages!
While Andalusia, in the south of Spain, is known the world over for its plethora of spectacular white villages, you will find some gems in northeastern Spain as well, along the Costa Brava and the Costa Blanca.
We’ve visited several of Andalusia’s white villages, but not all of them…yet! For this article, we described some of our favorite white villages in Andalusia, but we also invited some of our fellow travel bloggers to chime in with their favorite pueblo blanco in Spain. Reading some of their suggestions made me want to pack and head to Spain right away!
While having your own wheels makes it a breeze to tour Spain’s white villages, you don’t have to give up on them if you do not want to drive. Many white villages in Spain are accessible via public transport, even if the journey takes a little longer. You can also join guided tours from cities to the popular villages.
Here, then, is our round-up of the white villages in Spain to put on your itinerary for your next visit to the country.
Ronda is one of the prettiest white villages you will see in Andalusia, in the south of Spain. Perched at the top of the El Tajo gorge, Ronda features panoramic views of the surrounding countryside below. Plus, it has a rich history and gorgeous architecture in its historical core.
In Ronda, admire the Puente Nuevo, the “new” bridge stretched out across the yawning chasm of El Tajo. Next, find the pathway that leads down into the gorge via a winding trail, for views of the bridge from below. This is a superb photo op, one you won’t want to miss!
Wander the squares of the Old Town to admire the beautiful buildings. Then take a break at an outside table at one of the many cafes lining the squares, to do a spot of people-watching and enjoy the sun.
Explore Ronda’s Arab baths, some of the best preserved in Spain. Tour beautiful Mondragon Palace, with its lovely gardens and tile work. Admire the old city walls and gate, and stop by the Palacio del Rey Moro y La Mina, where you can climb down a long staircase to the river.
Ronda is lovely almost any time of year, but visit in the spring to see trees in bloom and gardens at their best. You will see lots of wildflowers in the spring as well.
You can drive to Ronda if you have a car: the approach is beautiful! But you can also take a bus from Malaga or Seville. You can also visit Ronda from either city on a guided tour.
Located on Spain’s famed Costa del Sol, Nerja is one of the most stunning white villages in Spain. With its sunshine-soaked whitewashed homes, pretty flower pots overflowing with red or pink geraniums, and blue accents on doors and windows, Nerja looks exactly like a picture postcard.
While you can spend all your time in Nerja just wandering around, the pueblo blanco offers an interesting array of things to do as well. Take in the 180-degree views of the Mediterranean Sea from the photo-worthy Balcon de Europa. Spend some time at one of the many beaches, or walk down the waterfront path.
Enjoy lunch at one of the pretty squares, where you can sit outside under the shade of an umbrella and enjoy people-watching with your meal. Walk through the streets of the town, and browse the small gift shops along the way.
Visit the Caves of Nerja, not too far from the town. Discovered by accident by a group of young boys, the caves are today a huge tourist attraction, with large caverns where you can admire the stalactites and stalagmites. The Nerja Caves are home to one of the largest columns in the world. You can visit the caves independently by car or bus, or join a tour.
You can visit Nerja any time of year: it has a temperate climate since it is right on the water. Visit from late spring to early fall to enjoy the beaches. Spring and fall will likely see fewer crowds.
You can drive to Nerja if you have a car, or take the bus from Malaga: Nerja is one of the easiest day trips from Malaga you can do. You can also join a guided tour from Malaga.
The little white village of Casares looks exactly like a big stack of sugar cubes, piled in a picturesque heap on the hill. It is one of our favorite white villages in Spain, just for its sheer beauty. If you visit independently or on a private tour, you will want to pull over when you catch sight of the village from the road, to take photos!
Casares is located a short distance inland from Estepona on the Costa del Sol. In the village, walk up the steep path to the top of the hill. Here you will find the ruins of an old church, with spectacular views from its grounds. Hard to believe that people actually tossed their enemies over the wall into the gorge at one time!
Visit the beautiful old cemetery and wander the streets of the town. Enjoy some time in the main square at the bottom, where you will find a pretty fountain and a statue of Blas Infante, the Andalusian Nationalist leader. He was born here, and his birth place is now a little museum you can browse.
Spring and fall are ideal times to visit Casares, when daytime temperatures are pleasant. You may encounter sprinkles in the spring, so carry a rain jacket.
You can drive to Casares and park in the lot at the bottom of the hill before exploring the village on foot. There is a bus from Estepona, but service is limited so check timings ahead of your visit.
Calella de Palafrugell
Stretching out from the northern tip of Barcelona city all the way to France, the Costa Brava (or ‘Brave Coast’) is a winding paradise of craggy cliffs and crystalline waters.
You could spend a lifetime exploring its many secluded coves and beach towns, but for the ultimate “little white fishing village” experience, you’d be wise to head straight to Calella de Palafrugell.
This coastal beauty is unquestionably one of the most dazzling jewels of Catalonia, but it’s the classic “Mediterranean way of life” it offers that truly makes visiting here so rewarding.
Stroll the sun-kissed waterfront, seeking shade and cold cerveza under the porticoed cafe terraces. Explore the little shops and makeshift stalls in search of trinkets and treasures inspired by the Mediterranean Sea – and be sure to take a dip if/when the heat gets too much.
As lunchtime looms, park yourself on one of the many seafront restaurant terraces and prepare for a feast of fish and seafood paella. Linger as long as possible with a carajillo (coffee with brandy), or order another bottle of vino for dessert.
This serene seaside utopia is sure to delight at any time of year, but try to visit in spring or even early autumn, when the weather is still beautiful but the crowds more manageable.
Oh, and you’ll also want your own rental car to get to this off-the-tourist-map beauty spot – or perhaps a scooter if you’re feeling adventurous?
Contributed by Ben from Driftwood Journals
Frigiliana is a very popular holiday town in Andalusia in the south of Spain. It is known for its narrow alleyways, authentic Spanish lifestyle, and, of course, the famous white buildings that make this village stand out from the surrounding landscape.
Frigiliana is an absolute must-visit because life here is so laid back and perfect for a trip with the entire family. This is the perfect place to go hiking or mountain biking or simply sit in one of the many cafes and restaurants and enjoy some traditional Spanish tapas.
You can visit Frigiliana year-round but the most popular time for tourism is definitely from June to September. The weather will be hot and dry during this time and it’s perfect for going to the beach which lies just a quick 15-minute drive from the town.
After a day by the beach, you should make sure to walk through the old town of Frigiliana and learn more about its incredible history. Go shopping in one of the many souvenir shops and artisanal stores and have a nice dinner with an incredible view of the mountains.
Frigiliana is easy to reach via bus which leaves from the nearby beach town of Nerja. The bus only costs a few euros and leaves multiple times per day. You can, of course, drive here as well.
Contributed by Victoria from Guide Your Travel
Zahara de la Sierra
Located in the Andalusian hills in the southern province of Cadiz, Zahara de la Sierra has a spectacular setting overlooking a valley and a man-made lake. The old fortress sits on the very top of the hill, with the whitewashed houses of the village nestled at its base on both sides of the hill.
Stroll Plaza Mayor, the main square in the village, where you can admire the Church of Santa María de la Meza and the Town Hall. Take in the views from the Mirador: the views, over the countryside and the lake, are just superb. Snap a photo of the stone fountain in the center of the square.
Walk the cobblestone alleys, savoring the serenity. Admire the remnants of the Puerta de la Villa, the gate to the village. Then walk up the wide path up to the castle. In season, it is lined with wildflowers. There are almond trees that look beautiful when in bloom.
Along the way you can view the Iglesia Major, built in the early 15th century. The Torre del Homenaje (the Homage Tower) is the building at the very top of the hill. It is a square structure, and served as both a lookout and a defensive refuge.
Visit Zahara de la Sierra in the spring or fall for pleasant temperatures and lower crowds. Summer isn’t too hot: highs can get into the low 80s, so summer is also a popular time to visit.
You can drive to Zahara de la Sierra if you are on a road trip through Andalusia. You can take a a bus from Ronda, but service is limited, so research schedules prior to your visit if you want to take the bus. You can also visit on a guided tour from Seville: Zahara de la Sierra makes for a great day trip from Seville in conjunction with Grazalema.
Most people associate Andalusia with white villages, but did you know you can find some really beautiful ones all over Spain, even in Catalunya?
One of the prettiest white villages in Spain is definitely Cadaques, a whitewashed village set in the heart of the Cap de Creus peninsula, not far from the French border. There are plenty of fun things to do in Cadaques, both in the village and around.
Over the 20th century, the region was home to many artists, including the famous Salvador Dalì. You can still visit his house in Port Lligat, a short walk from the center of Cadaques, and all over the village you’ll find reproductions of Dali’s paintings next to places where the great artist went in real life to get inspired.
Walking all around Cadaques is fun, as there are plenty of cute shops and excellent restaurants like Compartir, a Michelin-starred eatery opened by chefs that used to work at El Bulli, and offering a creative tapas-style menu that is meant to be shared – ‘compartir’ means ‘sharing’ in Spanish!
If you love going for walks or hikes, there are plenty of options from Cadaques. The easiest one is the Cala Nans lighthouse, only half an hour from the village along a scenic coastal path, or you can opt for longer outings around the Paratge de Tudela nature reserve, home to stunning coves and coastal scenery.
Due to the village’s location right in the heart of Cap de Creus Peninsula, driving is the best way to get there. If you have no car, you can take a train from Girona or Barcelona to Llançà or Figueres, and then catch a bus to Cadaques.
Contributed by Margherita from The Crowded Planet
Mijas Pueblo is a charming Andalusian white village. Up in the mountains not too far from Fuengirola lies this stunning little mountain village overlooking the ocean with views of Africa in the distance. Every street you walk down feels just as pretty as the next with these blue flower pots hanging from so many doors and walls contrast beautifully with all the white buildings.
You can easily do a day trip from Fuengirola during the spring and have absolutely lovely weather. The spring usually isn’t too hot or cold up in the mountains although you’re exposed directly to the sun. The spring weather is perfect for a nice day exploring Mijas Pueblo.
It is highly recommended that you walk along the trail that takes you on the outskirts of the village overlooking the towns below and the ocean to the north. It’s a peaceful walk where you’ll have locals playing music and tourists enjoying the jaw-dropping views!
One thing that is great about visiting Mijas Pueblo from Fuengirola is the fact that it was so easy to get there by bus. If you’re staying close to downtown Fuengirola then you can take M122 from the central station. It will drop you off right in Mijas Pueblo and the ticket will cost you only $1.55.
Make a nice day trip out of it or spend the night there. There are tons of cute cafes and restaurants too so once you’ve explored all the narrow white streets of Mijas you can stop at one of the cute cafes or restaurants before heading back to Fuengirola or your next destination.
Contributed by Josefine from Red white Adventures
Set on a rocky ledge, Grazalema is a small white village in Spain, completely surrounded by towering craggy mountains. Deep in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, it’s dwarfed by nature, powered by unassuming tapas bars and oozing with the relaxed, local charm of a classic pueblo blanco.
There is no better way to savor the scene than by grabbing a seat in its main square and watching the world go by. Although Grazalema is a beautifully set white village, this is a regular town. Watch the slow pace of village life unfold from behind a glass of local red, taking in the white houses with their repeating red tiled roofs.
After getting a feel for the town, visit the stunning 18th-century Iglesia de la Aurora and the nearby medieval fountain. Stop by the many viewpoints overlooking the town, including the Mirador de Grazalema. Then visit the Textile Handicraft Museum, a fundamental industry for the town.
Grazalema holds the title of being the rainiest town in Spain. So the dryer months of May through October are the best times to visit. This is also when summer meadows in the area are at their most beautiful and the hiking in Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park at its finest.
There is no train station in Grazalema and limited bus services, so the best way to arrive is by car. Grazalema is 20.5 miles from Ronda.
Contributed by Paul from Anywhere We Roam
Veher de la Frontera
Located in the south of Spain on the road that connects Tarifa, the southernmost point in the country, with Cadiz, the dazzling white village of Veher de la Frontera lies in a valley between two hills, and is well worth a visit!
With a castle at the top dominating the skyline, Vejer de la Frontera still has some of its walls from Moorish times. While wandering around the beautiful town should definitely be at the top of your itinerary, there are a few sights to enjoy.
Visit the Iglesia del Divino Salvador, the major church, located right behind the tourist information center. The church is a blend of several architectural styles, including Romanesque, Mudéjar, and Gothic. Walk up to the Castillo Moro for panoramic views. The castle served as a lookout in times past.
The main plaza, Plaza de Espana, features a gorgeous fountain with tile work. Here you will find numerous cafes and bars if you want to stop and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. If you are up for an adventure, you can climb up onto the city walls at some points. There are some beautiful arches to photograph as well.
Vejer is also known for its gastronomic offerings, so be sure to sample the cuisine while you are here, from fried fish to snails and even Moroccan food. You can taste a number of sherries here as well.
You can visit Vejer de la Frontera any time of the year. If you have a car, you can drive to Vejer. Buses connect Vejer de la Frontera with both Cadiz and Jerez.
Pampaneira, Capileira, and Bubion
Las Alpujarras are a region of white villages on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Pampaneira, Capileira, and Bubion are three pretty white villages that are located close together in the Poqueira Valley and easy to visit as a group.
Pampaneira is located at the bottom. Here you can wander the cobblestone alleys and check out the colorful shawls and other woven goods on display. We visited one of the shops and actually saw a weaver working at a traditional loom. The 16th century Mudéjar church, the Iglesia de Santa Cruz, is beautiful.
Also in Pampaneira is Albuela Ili, a little chocolate facory and shop you definitely must visit. So many delicious varieties, and generous sampling too! We picked up lots of chocolate to bring back home. The ice cream is amazing as well.
Bubion is the next village up the slope: it has an impressive square church tower in the main plaza, and several little alleys to wander, as well as little shops to browse. There are beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada along the way.
In Capileira, one of the highest villages in Spain, you can visit shops selling the local ham, as well as stores carrying local honey and cheeses. Capileira is a good base from which to go hiking in the mountains. The village features stunning views, and you will find mountain springs gushing by as you walk the streets.
Late spring through fall is the best time to visit the Alpujarras. Driving is the easiest way to get to this trio of villages. Alternatively, look for a tour from Granada.
Setenil de Las Bodegas
On the ‘route of the white villages of Andalucia’ near Cadiz stands an intriguing village that has a unique character. It is one of the most interesting white villages in Spain you can visit.
The caves in the cliffs at Setenil de las Bodegas has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Since then, the village has grown, with numerous houses built into and under the rock – but amazingly the rock has never been cut to accommodate a building.
The village was protected by a Moorish fort on top of the cliff and was impossible to invade. It took seven sieges (the last in 1484) for the Spanish monarchy to take control.
The name of the village comes from ‘Septem Nihil’ meaning ‘seven times nothing’ and ‘de la Bodegas’ meaning ‘of the vines,’ as the local wine is excellent.
The best time to visit is Easter or for the fiestas in May and August. Walking around the village is fascinating with churches, hermitages, and the houses under the rocks to see. There are also numerous hiking routes in the locality.
Enjoy a meal in the village! The famous dish is Sopa Cortijera, made with bread, olive oil, asparagus, and hard-boiled eggs. Other specialties include sweet potatoes with honey and scrambled eggs with fresh asparagus and the excellent local hams.
Contributed by Chrysoula from Greece Travel Ideas
Arcos de la Frontera
Balancing high on a vertical ridge, just above the Guadalete river, tiny Arcos de la Frontera makes the perfect hour-long stop en route between Sevilla and other Andalusian hill towns to the south. Its name is derived from its renown as the frontier of Spain’s battle with the Moors in the 13th century.
The best attraction here is the dramatic view of San Cristóbal Mountain and the sprawling Guadalete Valley from below. Be sure to visit Castillo de Arcos, a medieval Moorish castle dating from the 11th century and Basilica Menor de Santa Maria, a cathedral built on the site of a 13th century mosque.
With more time, step into Museu del Belen, a unique gem of a museum that recreates the nativity and key scenes in Jesus’ life through imaginative daytime and evening displays.
Driving is the easiest way to get to Arcos de la Frontera. Park in the lot at the bottom of the steep hill into town. Then make the steep trek up the hill into the village. Be aware there is no parking available in Arcos’ tiny narrow streets.
If you do not have a car, take the bus or train to Jerez de la Frontera, and then the bus from Jerez to Arcos. It is about a 35-minute bus ride.
Contributed by Chris from Explore Now or Never
Olvera is one of the charming white villages in Andalucia, often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors Ronda or Setenil de las Bodegas. This however makes it a perfect destination to visit if you want to enjoy the place without too many other tourists around.
There are plenty of things to do in Olvera, starting with the Moorish castle on top of the hill, which you can visit for only 2 euros. The castle was part of the defense system against the Kingdom of Castille, but it was conquered by it in the 13th century. Whilst the castle has been reinforced and many Christian elements have been added, it still maintains a lot of the Moorish architectural elements.
The castle also hosts the Cilla Museum, which showcases the history of the village through medieval times. In the past, this building used to be the women’s prison.
The church in Olvera is also a fantastic church, one of the biggest in the white villages around Andalucia. As Olvera is on a hill, there are several viewpoints around the castle and the church from where you can see a beautiful 360-degree panorama of the surrounding land.
There are quite a few tapas bars dotted about the narrow streets and piazzas of the village, among which Bar La Plaza which serves cheap but delicious local food such as boquerones en vinagre or carrillada.
Getting to Olvera is very easy if you have your own car. It takes around 1.5 hours from Malaga and 50 minutes from Ronda. There are plenty of parking spaces in Olvera as well, just outside of the center. There is bus service from Malaga, but it is sparse, so check the schedule before your visit.
Contributed by Joanna from Andalucia in My Pocket
Medina Sidonia is a picturesque white hilltop town considered by some historians to be the oldest town in Europe. From Medina Sidonia, you get fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean and all the way out to Morocco. It is a beautiful destination to include in your itinerary for Southern Spain!
The stunning Gothic-Renaissance style Iglesia Santa María Mayor is one of the top attractions in Medina Sidonia. Its beautiful interior is highlighted by a stunning altarpiece and a 17th-century Cristo del Perdón carving, both illustrating the deep art history of the village.
In the town center, you will find the archaeology museum, featuring four well-preserved cryptoporticus in addition to an impressive underground Roman sewer gallery. Another popular attraction of Medina Sidonia sits in the municipality section of the Los Alcornocales Natural Park. Here you will find the largest cork oak on the Iberian Peninsula.
The best time to visit Medina Sidonia for ideal weather is from mid-March to the end of November. Grab a bite to eat at Restaurante El Duque, a family-run eatery offering tapas-style dining to its guests. Another great choice is Venta La Duquesa, a highly rated restaurant for its delicious steak and Mediterranean-style cuisine.
Medina Sidonia is served by both the train and a bus service. Starting in Seville, catch a train or bus for around $20 into the white village. If you prefer driving a car, the drive from Seville is a little more than an hour.
Contributed by Ellie from Ellie’s Travel Tips
Rated one of the most beautiful white villages in Spain, Cazorla doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Being the gateway to one of the finest hiking destinations in the country, Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park, it’s also the country’s largest natural protected area.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to do in Cazorla for nature lovers – all year round. Walking from the village, among other trails, hike to Cazorla’s highest peak, Pico Gilillo, or walk the beautiful waterfall and riverwalk, Rio Cerezuelo.
You can also visit the old ruins of a castle overlooking the village. Not only are the views spectacular, the ruins are pretty awesome too. You can walk inside and high above your head there is a hole in the ceiling revealing a second floor. The stairs that were once there are destroyed, and today there are only mountain goats and bats finding their way up.
But there is a lot to see in the village itself too. Castillo de la Yedra is the most prominent landmark overlooking the village. It’s possible to visit at set times during the day on a free guided tour.
The tourist office in Cazorla is set in the old ruins of the Santa Maria church, where you can walk up the one standing tower for beautiful views. It’s also possible to book a guided underground tour at the church. On the same square as the church, you will find restaurants and bars.
You can drive to Cazorla, or take the bus from Jaén.
Contributed by Linn from Andalucia Hiking
Altea is a small white town on the Costa Blanca, near Alicante. This former fishing village, now home to 22,000 inhabitants, is considered a bohemian seaside resort. Even though Altea is far from Andalusia, it very much resembles a white Andalusian village.
Altea is a town of low-rise buildings with white walls and orange-tiled roofs. It is pleasant to wander through the cozy streets and admire the town’s beauty and fantastic atmosphere. It is noteworthy that even new modern buildings are white and have no more than four floors.
Artists choose the city to open their studios and galleries. It also attracts musicians and opera singers who come here to give concerts. Therefore, if you love art and culture, you will find exciting events in Altea.
The best thing to do in Altea is to visit the Old Town on the hill: it is the historical and cultural center of the town. Wander the narrow streets and enjoy the beautiful views. The church has a beautiful blue roof.
You can visit Alicante all year round, but the most comfortable weather is from February to June and in September. In July and August, it can be quite hot here.
The easiest way to get to Altea is by taking a bus from Alicante. Buses from the Alicante bus station leave approximately every hour. The trip takes around two hours, and the fare is 7-10 euros one way. You can also drive.
Contributed by Sasha from The Alternative Travel Guide
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO SPAIN
Granada: The Best Things to Do in Granada: A 3-Day Guide
Malaga: The Best Things to Do in Malaga
Cordoba: The 8 Best Things to Do in Cordoba
Seville: The Best Things to Do in Seville: A 3-Day Guide
Andalusia: The 5 Most Amazing Things to Do in Andalusia
Ronda: The Best Things to Do in Ronda, Spain, in One Day!
Seville: The Ultimate 1-Day in Seville Itinerary
Real Alcazar: Visiting Seville’s Royal Alcazar
Did you find this article informative? Pin it for later reference!