Southern Spain is known for its charming Pueblos Blancos, "white villages," or "white cities." Often surrounded by mountains or forests or set atop dramatic hills, these hamlets are not only scenic but also full of unique history, culture, art, and gastronomy. Though Spain's official Pueblos Blancos route highlights 19 popular and picturesque villages, there are over 30 options, and this guide helps you choose the right village for you, your crew, and your interests.
Ronda
White coastal village of Nerja

Andalusia, Spain's southern region, is synonymous with Pueblos Blancos, the country's famed white villages. During the Roman era, these towns began painting some of their buildings white, a practical solution to stave off the region's heat, as white reflects light. But it wasn't until the 14th century, when the plague hit the area, that residents painted all the buildings' exteriors and interiors white, believing it would ward off disease. 

Today, these villages are a huge attraction for travelers worldwide, offering unique history and geology, plus vistas across Andalusia's mountain ranges and seaside. Many of these towns feature Roman, Visigoth, and Berber influences and relics of the past, such as dramatic rock formations, cave-like homes, and stone paintings.

The official Pueblos Blancos route twists through 19 of these charming villages, which you can visit on an epic road trip. But the entire province is home to nearly double that number, so choosing the right spot can be tricky. Famous villages include Ronda and Arcos de La Frontera, but you'll find a few less visited towns on our list, such as Frigiliana and Olvera.

Read on to discover kimkim's picks for the top white villages in Andalusia and their key differences, plus what you need to know to choose the best option.

Ronda

Puente Nuevo in Ronda at sunset

Ronda may very well be Spain's most famous and popular white village. Though you might feel hesitant to visit such a hot spot, don't let the crowds stop you from enjoying this city, set atop a dramatic cliff and gorge with sprawling views of the surrounding valleys and mountain ranges.

Ronda is known for its unique setting on top of a long cliffside where the Guadalevín River snakes its way through El Tajo Gorge, cutting the town into two parts. The city also has an exciting history with Roman, Berber, and Catholic influences. However, Ronda was initially a refuge for Muslims fleeing the more significant towns after the Spanish Inquisition in 1492.

During the 19th century, the city became known for its bandits, prompting artists like Washington Irving and Richard Ford to reflect the region's fascinating landscape with its risky travel. This appealed to romantics, and the rest is history, as Ronda became a place of allure despite its danger. Soon women were making the journey with the help of guards, plus famous creatives like Orson Welles and Hemmingway declared Ronda a dream city.

Ronda is a top pick because you can easily spend an entire day here—or, better yet, spend the night. Some of the best boutique hotels in Ronda sit right along the gorge, meaning you can enjoy the town and scenery even after the tourist busses leave. And some of the best things to do in Ronda include walking down to the many viewpoints of the El Tajo Gorge and visiting all three of the bridges: Puente Nuevo, Puente Viejo, and Puente Romano. Strolling along the cliffs, you'll pass sites like the Alameda del Tajo Park, the Mirador del Ronda, and the Bullring of the Royal Cavalry of Ronda.

How to Get There: Ronda is easily accessible by car from many Andalusian cities, including Seville, Málaga, and Cádiz. 

  • From Seville, the journey by car takes a little under two hours if traveling via the A-375 and A-374 highways. Simply head south or east of the city via SE-40 or A-4, respectively, and connect to A-375. You'll eventually transition to A-374, which takes you straight to Ronda.
  • From Málaga, plan for 1.5 hours by heading northwest via A-357 and connecting to A-364 near the turnoff for the Caminito del Rey gorge hiking trail.
  • From Cádiz, just a little over 1.5 hours will take you northeast along E-5 through Jerez de la Frontera (an excellent stopping point) and then east via A-384 and A-374. 

Where to Park: If you're staying in Ronda overnight, look for accommodation with parking included or plan to pay for parking at one of the town's lots or garages. The streets are narrow (though wider than most white villages), so you might prefer to park at the edge of town and walk in.

If starting from the north of Ronda, try the parking garage Parking Publico El Fuerte or Parking Martínez Astein if coming from the east. It's a bit tricker in the southern part of the city, as that's the most historic area. Instead, we recommended the two garages mentioned or parking in the underground lot in the city center at Plaza Del Socorro.

What to Do/See: An overnight stay is the best idea for Ronda, as there are plenty of attractions and experiences to enjoy, including:

  • Cross the three bridges and visit the 18th-century Fuente de los Ocho Caños with its eight significant spouts
  • Learn about the 19th century Romantic travelers at the Mirador de los Viajeros Románticos
  • Walk down the gorge day and night to enjoy views of Puente Nuevo
  • Sip local wine and enjoy regional tapas at Tabanco Los Arcos
  • Discover local history at one of the museums, including the Mondragon Palace, Museo Lara, or La Casa del Rey Moro
  • Savor the views from Paseo De Los Ingleses, Alameda del Tajo Park, and the Mirador del Ronda
  • Sip drinks from the rooftop bar at Hotel Catalonia, which overlooks the Bullring of the Royal Cavalry of Ronda
  • Visit one of the churches, such as the mosque-turned-cathedral Iglesia de Santa María la Mayo or the prominent Parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Socorro

How Long to Stay: Ronda makes an excellent hub if you want to explore more than one white village. One night in Ronda is enough to enjoy the town, but extend your stay to two or three nights to take day trips to nearby villages, hike the famous Caminito del Rey, or visit Grazalema de Sierra Natural Park.

Perfect For: Ronda can appeal to any traveler, including those with younger kids. The views, history, shops, and food will keep you busy, so it's best for overnight stays. 

Pairs Well With: Setenil del las Bodegas, Olvera, Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema

Let kimkim help you organize your visit to Ronda

Setenil de las Bodegas

Dine under the rocks in Setenil de las Bodegas

Another famous white village in Andalusia is Setenil de las Bodegas, thanks to its unique geology. A portion of the town sits under rocky overhangs, with many buildings and homes built right into dramatic boulders, cliffs, and caves. These rocks come from the village's location in the Rio Trejo Gorge and provide temperature control, naturally keeping homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

The town's residents live—quite literally—under rocks, surprising visitors with charming facades that line the caves. As you stroll along the streets, you can imagine what it's like to open your window to a giant boulder or keep cool during the summer. The town is relatively small, so it's best for a day trip. Still, if you're traveling during festive Spanish holidays, including Carnival, Easter, or the town's Feria in August, you'll find parades and plenty of festivities to enjoy. 

Setenil de las Bodegas has a long history dating before the Roman invasion, though its most influential occupation was the Moors, as the town's castle is from the 12th century. If you're a fan of local products, you can taste some of the region's best meats and produce in the town center, including chorizo sausage and pasteles (pastries). 

How to Get There: Setenil de las Bodegas is sandwiched between two other white villages, Ronda and Olvera. If you're staying in Ronda, it's a 30-minute scenic drive north, but you can also get there from bigger cities, including Seville, Málaga, and Cádiz. 

  • From Seville, head south and east via A-376/75 and A-384 for about one hour and 45 minutes.
  • From Málaga, the journey takes just under 1.5 hours and follows A-357 west out of the city, turning north at highway A-357 and west again at A-367.
  • From Cádiz, plan for a little over 1.5 hours, following E-5 out of the city and past Jerez de la Frontera, then turning northeast via A-384.

Where to Park: Because the streets are pretty narrow and compact, we recommend parking at one of the lots on the edge of town and strolling into the city. This is a popular village, so you'll find free spots along the twisting streets leading into town (CA-4223 being the largest). There's also free designated parking on Calle Jaboneria or, to play it completely safe, a lot next to the town's football stadium. 

What to Do/See: Setenil de las Bodegas is the perfect white village for lunch and a leisurely walk. The highlights of the town include:

  • Strolling through the rock-covered streets and taking lots of photos
  • Enjoying lunch or a snack at one of the cafés lining the famous Calle de las Cuevas
  • Visiting the Arab Castle, built in the 12th century during the Almohad Caliphate occupation
  • Stopping to admire a church or two, such as the Our Lady of the Incarnation (a mosque turned cathedral)
  • Discovering all the incredible viewpoints in the town, including the Mirador del Carmen, or from atop the castle tower

How Long to Stay: If you're visiting Setenil de las Bodegas on a day trip, a few hours to stroll around the village and eat lunch is all you need. But if you happen to be in the area during the Carnival, Easter, or Feria festivities, you might want to stay a little longer and arrive earlier in the day. These holidays feature parades and activities like horseback riding, Flamenco performances, street food, and lots of music and dancing.

Perfect For: Couples, friend groups, and solo travelers will enjoy Setenil de las Bodegas for a day trip or a quick stop for lunch. Because there's not a lot of entertainment outside of holidays, families might want to choose a different white village—though kids certainly like seeing the rocks and cave houses!

Pairs Well With: Ronda, Olvera, Zahara de la Sierra

Grazalema & Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara de la Sierra
The incredible castle sitting above the town of Zahara de la Sierra

If you visit Zahara de la Sierra, you might as well combine it with a stop in Grazalema and vice versa. These two white villages are pretty small, so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy them both, as it takes just about 30 minutes to drive between them. Where to start is up to you, but if you'd like to enjoy some hiking, we suggest stopping in Grazalema early in the morning and then heading to Zahara for lunch and views of the Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir.

Grazalema

You'll find Grazalema at about 2,600 feet (800 m) in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, surrounded by the foothills of the Sierra del Pinar mountains and overlooking a scenic valley. The town has gone through quite a few transitions over the centuries. It was once an essential Roman village, possibly called Lacidulerium, then under Arab rule, as Raisa lami Suli, changing to Zagrazalema under Christian control. One thing Grazalema had in common throughout the different occupations was its economy centered around forestry, agriculture, and textiles. 

The views alone are worth a trip to Grazalema, but hiking is another appeal. If you're interested in something easy and short, head up to Mirador Del Santo viewpoint and visit the ruins of Ermita del Calvario. For a slightly more challenging route, follow the Camino de los Charcones and enjoy views from the El Puerto del Boyar.

Zahara de la Sierra

This could easily be one of the most scenic white villages, as it sits at the base of its castle and overlooks the Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir. Once a Moorish outpost, the Arabs ruled Zahara de la Sierra until the early 15th century. You can still visit the remains of its Moorish castle, the town's biggest highlight, but it's also nice to simply wander the streets, check out the viewpoints, and eat lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the reservoir. 

How to Get There: If you're based in Ronda, it's easiest to drive to Grazalema first, then through the park to Zahara de la Sierra. Just head west out of Ronda via A-374 and connect to A-372 once in the park, which takes about 45 minutes. After your hike in Grazalema, follow CA-9104 north, which takes you straight to Zahara in roughly 30 minutes. The road passes a pullout at Puerto de Las Palomas for incredible views. 

You can also reach these white villages from Seville, Málaga, and Cádiz. 

  • From Seville, head south and east via A-376/5 and A-384 for about one hour and 45 minutes. To get to Grazalema, you'll pass Zahara de la Sierra, so you might want to reverse the order or just plan for another half hour between Grazalema and Zahara. 
  • From Málaga, plan for 1.5 hours by heading northwest via A-357 and connecting to A-364; add 30 minutes to continue to Zahara de la Sierra. 
  • From Cádiz, the drive is particularly scenic, as you'll take E-5 past Jerez de la Frontera and connect to A-382 at Arcos de la Frontera (another white village worth a stop). Then, you'll drive through Grazalema de Sierra Natural Park from the west, passing the town of El Bosque and several other hiking trailheads, plus the Puerto del Boyar viewpoint.

Where to Park: In Grazalema, you'll find plenty of free and public parking on A-372, either at the start of the town from the east or as the road curves around the El Tajo viewpoint. For Zahara de la Sierra, the main road into town, CA-9104, is lined with free public parking spots overlooking the reservoir. 

What to Do/See: As both villages are in the national park, the appeals are the views and hiking trails. Some highlights in Grazalema include:

  • El Tajo viewpoint
  • Walking up to the Mirador Del Santo viewpoint and the ruins of Ermita del Calvario
  • Visiting the colorful Iglesia de San José
  • Checking out the town's most famous facade at Casa de los Cactus
  • Sipping coffee at Grazalema's main square, Plaza de España
  • Enjoying two other viewpoints, Mirador Los Peñascos Grazalema and Mirador de Los Asomaderos
  • Popping into one of the artisan shops or art galleries.

Besides strolling through the village and enjoying a meal, the highlight in Zahara de la Sierra is certainly the viewpoints. Some of the best include:

  • Puerta de la Villa
  • Viewpoint Zahara de la Sierra
  • Muralla Urbana de Zahara de la Sierra
  • Vistas Castillo de Zahara
  • Mirador Zahara de la Sierra

How Long to Stay: You can easily make an entire day of this perfect combination. Because of parking and summer crowds, we recommend starting in Grazalema in the morning to enjoy a hike during cooler hours. Grab a coffee and/or a snack in the square before heading down to Zahara de la Sierra for more views, lunch, and relaxation at the reservoir. To make the trip easier, plan to stay in the town of Ronda or at one of the boutique hotels outside of Ronda

Perfect For: Choose these two white villages if you're looking for adventure! Grazalema is ideal for hiking, and Zahara has some options for water sports at the reservoir during the summer months. Families might prefer Grazalema for its more accessible, kid-friendly walking and hiking options. 

Pairs Well With: Olvera, Setenil de las Bodegas, Ronda, Arcos de la Frontera

Plan your trip to Spain
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Arcos de La Frontera

Arcos de la Frontera
The dramatic landscape of Arcos de la Frontera

One look at Arcos de la Frontera, and you'll know why it's one of the best white villages to visit in Spain. Its four main monuments sit on separate hills atop sandstone cliffs that drop down into the Guadalete River. The scenery is remarkable, and you can enjoy it from a walkway along the top of the cliffs. Because this is such a narrow area, you'll get 360-degree views across the surrounding valleys, featuring the twisting Guadalete River, Arcos Reservoir, and mountain ranges. 

The town's history is just as fascinating as the scenery, which includes influences from prehistoric times to the Modern Era. The village's Castillo de Arcos de la Frontera was once a military fortress but now features renovations from the 14th and 15th centuries. You can admire the original archway, four towers, a cistern, and viewpoints with unmatched vistas of the agricultural valley and Guadalete River.

Iglesia de San Pedro is another landmark dominating the town's cliffside skyline. The church is an exceptional example of late-Gothic religious architecture from Andalusia, built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Though originally Gothic, you'll also notice some Renaissance and Baroque elements, such as its altarpiece, the oldest in the Cádiz province.

How to Get There: Arcos de la Frontera is just 40 minutes from Cádiz and not too far from Seville, but if you're coming from Málaga, we suggest pairing a visit with an overnight stay in a nearby town or city. Cádiz is a great option, but so is Ronda. 

  • From Cádiz, head northeast along E-5 and A-382, passing by Jerez de la Frontera. 
  • From Seville, you'll follow the E-5 highway south for a little over an hour, eventually transitioning to a local road (SE-5207) at the town of Las Cabezas de San Juan. 
  • From Málaga, the journey takes about 2.5 hours, so you might want to make your hub in Ronda or use Arcos de la Frontera as a stopping point on your way to Cádiz or Seville. You'll take A-357 and A-367 northwest, switching west on A-384. As you'll pass by a few other white villages, a road trip from Málaga to Cádiz is an excellent opportunity to tour the Pueblos Blancos!

Where to Park: You'll want to park your car in one of the lots near Calle Muñoz Vázquez. There's plenty of parking there, and it's easy to get your vehicle in and out, unlike the city's narrow streets. 

What to Do/See: There are quite a few sites in Arcos de la Frontera, but the town's highlights are undoubtedly the viewpoints. Some activities not to miss include:

  • Strolling to the Old Town via Calle Paseo de Boliches and enjoying the views
  • Admiring the facade of Palacio Del Conde Del Aguila
  • Walking through the charming and very narrow Calle Nuevo to the Ayuntamiento de Arcos de la Frontera
  • Visiting the castle and savoring the views from its observation deck
  • Popping into the Iglesia de San Pedro
  • Passing through the charming Bésame en este Arco to reach the 360-degree views at Mirador de Abades
  • Walking under the Puerta de Matrera and admiring the 18th-century Casa Palacio García de Veas 
  • Strolling along charming streets, such as Calle Mozárabes, Calle Mudéjares, and Calle Sefardíes
  • Hiking out to the reservoir and enjoying the views via Sendero Tajo de Arcos

How Long to Stay: Though this is one of the bigger white villages in Andalusia, it's still relatively compact, so you only need a few hours to see it all. Again, this is a great spot to include on a road trip between Cádiz and Málaga or while staying in Ronda. And because it's a bigger town, you'll find many cafés, bars, and restaurants to enjoy a meal. 

Perfect For: A road trip between Cádiz and Málaga could easily include stops at the Caminito del Rey hiking area, Ronda, Olvera, Zahara de la Sierra, and, of course, Arcos de la Frontera. Otherwise, the town is perfect for history buffs or as a standalone adventure if you can only pick one or two white villages to visit.  

Pairs Well With: Ronda, Olvera, Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema, Setenil de las Bodegas

Nerja & Frigiliana

The picturesque streets of Frigiliana

For a mix of coastal and forested mountains, you can combine the white villages of Nerja and Frigiliana, which sit just east of Málaga along the Costa del Sol. You can certainly spend an equal amount of time in both villages, but remember that Nerja is bigger and you might want to take advantage of the town's idyllic beaches. Frigiliana is a great place to hike, so perhaps you want to start with a morning trek or end your afternoon in the mountains. It's up to you!

Nerja

Nerja is one of the most beautiful and famous of Andalusia's famed white villages. Its setting is unique along the coast, meaning you'll get a dose of culture, history, and time to spend at the beach. The most popular activities in Nerja include visiting the numerous viewpoints, including the famous Balcón de Europa observation deck, and spending time at the beach. We recommend Playa Carabeillo, Playa de la Calahonda, El Salón Beach, or Playa la Caletilla. For shopping and eating, stroll along Calle Hernando de Carabeo, Calle Almirante Ferrándiz, Calle Pintada, and, of course, the narrow Calle de la Gloria.

Frigiliana

While Nerja is perfect for the beach, Frigiliana offers incredible views and a few hiking trails. Start with wandering the charming streets of the Old Town, stopping at art galleries and artisan shops, and admiring the historic architecture and viewpoints (you'll find some good ones along Calle Santo Cristo and Calle Real).

Frigiliana's two biggest draws are its 16th-century Molasses Factory and the remains of an Arab Castle. There are a few routes up to the archeological ruins with plenty of signage leading the way. The views are stunning, and Castillo Lízar was part of a complex water system built by the Moors, which ran several miles to bring drinkable water to the town, so you can witness impressive and historical engineering. 

You'll also find a few hikes to enjoy in the area, an easy option being the lower trail to the Higuerón River, a loop that takes about two hours to complete. A moderate route is a three-hour trek that follows the river bed and offers impressive views of Frigiliana. If you're after a challenging hike, consider the Cohorros Higuerón River Trail, but keep in mind that it requires about 6.5 hours to complete.

How to Get There: A visit to Nerja and Frigiliana is easiest if you stay in Ronda or Málaga. You can still reach the villages from Seville and Cádiz, but combining the visit with a road trip between the main cities is the better option.

  • From Málaga, head east along the A-7 highway for under one hour to reach Nerja. If you'd like to stop in Frigiliana first, you'll transition north via MA-5105 for just about 15 more minutes.
  • From Ronda, the journey takes a little over two hours, passing through Málaga. First, you'll head northeast via A-367 toward the Caminito del Rey hiking area, then transition south to Málaga along A-357 and continue along A-7 to Nerja. 

Where to Park: Unlike many other white villages, Nerja's streets aren't as challenging to navigate, so you'll find plenty of parking near the main sites. If there's space, we suggest grabbing a spot at the Carabeo lot, which is very large and easy to enter and exit. As for Frigiliana, you can park your car in the main garage in the town center.

What to Do/See: You really can't get bored by combining these two Pueblos Blancos. You might not be able to fit everything into one day trip, but a few highlights in Nerja include:

  • Spending time at the beach just relaxing or enjoying water sports
  • Walking out to the Balcón de Europa observation deck
  • Shopping for artisan goods along the charming streets
  • Listening to music and dancing at Plaza Tutti Frutti
  • Visiting historic sites like the 17th-century Parroquia El Salvador church and 16th-century Nuestra Senora de las Angustias Hermitage
  • Learning more about the town and region at the Museo de Nerja
  • Exploring the surroundings with a visit to El Acueducto del Águila, Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo, or Cueva de Nerja

For Frigiliana, you know that the views, hikes, and history are the appeal, so don't miss:

  • Touring the Molasses Factory housed in a 16th-century manor, the very last sugarcane factory still in operation in Europe
  • Exploring the twisting streets, corners, and alleyways to find all the incredible viewpoints
  • Visiting the La Fuente Vieja (The Old Fountain) with its three spouts representing the co-existence of three distinct cultures: Christian, Muslim, and Jewish
  • Popping into the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua and walking through the Santa Fiora Botanical Garden
  • Walking up to the Arab Castle remains at Castillo Lízar
  • Hiking along the Higuerón River
  • Attending the Festival de las Tres Culturas (Festival of the Three Cultures) at the end of August

How Long to Stay: Nerja and Frigiliana make an excellent day trip from Málaga, so we recommend staying in one of the boutique hotels in Málaga so you can spend an entire day in these two white villages. 

Perfect For: This combination is a good pick as an all-rounder, meaning there's something for everyone and many diverse activities. Families with kids can depend on entertainment from the Molasses Factory, hikes, beaches, water sports, museums, and observation decks. If you're looking for a bit of adventure, you can enjoy a morning hike in the mountains and an afternoon paddle boarding in the sea. 

Pairs Well With: Ronda, Olvera, Setenil de las Bodegas

Olvera

Olvera
View of Olvera and its church from the castle at sunset

Olvera doesn't get as much attention as the other white villages on our list, making it a quieter option. Despite its low-key vibe, it's one of the most beautiful white towns and offers truly incredible views of its surrounding valleys and mountain ranges. As a 700-year-old village, Olvera has a diverse history with several cultural influences. The village's original Moorish walls still enclose its Old Town, and the 12th-century Arab castle dominates its skyline, sitting at over 2,000 feet (623 m) to create the town's highest point. It's a remaining part of the old defensive system of the Emirate of Granada, and, though simple, the preservation of the monument and the views from the top are worth a visit. 

Next door to the castle is a 19th-century cathedral built upon the foundation of a Moorish church. The 19th-century church features a neoclassic style built on the foundation of an Arabic mosque. Inside, you can enjoy viewing frescoes and historical relics, though its impressive vistas are on the outside observation deck. 

How to Get There: Olvera is a perfect spot on a tour of Andalusia's white villages, as it's just north of Ronda, about 45 minutes north along A-374/84 (passing Zahara de la Sierra), or via the local routes that pass right through Setenil de las Bodegas. Olvera isn't far from the region's other major cities, requiring about 1.5 hours to reach the town.

  • From Seville, the drive takes you through some beautiful rural countryside along A-375/76.
  • From Cádiz, you'll follow the exact directions as if going to Ronda but continue on A-384 at the town of Algodonales.
  • From Málaga, again, you'll follow the same route as you would if traveling to Ronda but continue north after the Caminito del Rey turnoff to connect west on A-384. 

Where to Park: There are two free public parking lots at the base of the town, Vereda Ancha 1 and Vereda Ancha 2. Street parking is free, but you'll want to stick to the main roads. 

What to Do/See: Adorable Olvera offers just a few exciting things to do and see, including:

  • Strolling along the central Calle Lana and Calle Victoria to the historic Old Town (La Villa district)
  • Wandering the twisting streets at the top of the hill
  • Savoring the view from the Arab castle, Castillo de Olvera
  • Admiring the frescoes and relics in the Iglesia Parroquial Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
  • Standing atop the patio of the Moorish Wall
  • Listening to the fountain at Plaza La Alameda
  • Walking to the top of the Rock of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • Visiting the religious monuments in the area, including the 18th-century El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios and the 16th-century El Monasterio de Caño Santos

How Long to Stay: Plan for an hour or two in Olvera. This is a sleepy locals' town, so the two main attractions are all there is to see (but they're sure worth the stop).

Perfect For: Travelers who want a quieter, calmer, and more local experience might prefer visiting Olvera. There aren't many options for eateries, so we recommend using Olvera as a stopping point rather than a single destination.

Pairs Well With: Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegas, Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra

Additional Considerations

White Village of Genalguacil
Sunrise over one of the many white villages in Andalusia

When planning a trip to Spain's famed white villages, there are a few other details and FAQs to consider.

When should you visit?

The ideal time to travel to Spain's Pueblos Blancos will depend on which white village you visit. All are best in the spring, summer, or fall when the weather allows for outdoor exploration, especially for the towns with hiking or beaches. If you're traveling in the winter, you can still enjoy these hamlets, as Andalusia doesn't typically experience freezing temperatures. Just bring layers and prepare for any unexpected weather changes. 

During the high seasons (spring, summer, fall), it's best to arrive as early as possible. Of course, many shops and restaurants don't open until 9:00 or 10:00 am, but parking can be tricky and limited. And in the hot summer, early hours offer cooler temperatures for strolling around the towns.

If you want to experience some truly authentic Spanish culture, visit the villages during a holiday. Each town has its own website and will detail the dates and activities during holidays like Carnival (February or March), Easter (March or April), and ferias and fiestas, which occur a few times throughout the year.  

Should you rent a car?

You'll need a car to visit the bulk of Andalusia's white villages. Some more popular towns have train and bus stations, but we recommend a rental car to make the most of your time. Spain's highways and larger roads are well-maintained and smooth. Some roads into Grazalema de Sierra Natural Park or up to Frigiliana are a little more rural and narrow but certainly doable. Parking in these towns is almost always free (aside from Ronda), even in designated lots, but always check for signs indicating otherwise.

What should you bring?

As you may have noticed, these towns are pretty hilly, so it's best to wear sturdy walking shoes or bring hiking boots if you plan to tackle any treks. Though the weather isn't generally too temperamental, some villages sit at higher elevations, so layering will help you keep warm in the shade or wind—and it's always a good idea to bring rain gear just in case. You'll find shops and cafés in all the villages, but you might want to fill up your water bottles ahead of time or stock up on some snacks at the grocery store before starting the drive. Don't forget sun protection and your camera.