The White Town Route, although not exactly a mapped route but a collection of towns, was established by the Spanish Tourist Board in the 1970s. The towns and villages not only here but in the majority of Andalucia have been white for a lot longer.
At the beginning of the XIX century the yellow fever, thought to have been brought back by the ships that returned from the Americas, became rampant. People fled the coast into the hills to try and escape but the infection spread rapidly. The King ordered that all houses were painted with cal or limewash, a disinfectant in Moorish times, to quell the disease. Since those days the villages and towns have been white. They all have a rich history from the Moors, Romans, Christian invasions and bandits.
The White Town List
Alcala del Valle
Arcos de La Frontera
|Arcos de la Frontera|
Prado del Rey
Setenil de las Bodegas
Villaluenga del Rosario
Zahara de la Sierra
Most of these towns lie within the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park in Cadiz province and some straggle over the border into Malaga province.
The White Town Route - Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos
Enjoy magnificent views, amazing history, decorated streets, courtyards and local food with natural ingredients. There are many beautiful white hill towns, 19, some of my favourites are Benaojan, El Gastor, Arcos de la Frontera, Grazalema, Setenil de las Bodegas and Zahara de la Sierra.
Arcos de la Frontera
Larger than most other towns, like a princess Arcos sits athrone a rocky ridge, spreading along the top. The lovely Plaza del Cabildo has the best views of the area looking across from its cliff top perch. These days it's two towns in one, the old and the new. Both are worth a wander and peak.
The last remaining convent still make and sells freshly baked cakes and biscuits. Ring the bell and some delicious goodies will appear on the tiny turntable for your appraisal
Another pretty hill town has a royal balcony for great views. It's very rural being in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Spain's wettest spot, but very often it doesn't reach the town.
|Zahara de la Sierra|
Zahara de la Sierra
The tiny town of Zahara has a magical Moorish castle which is well-worth the climb up for some spectacular views. Walk the cobbled streets and there is also a great olive oil mill to visit.
See my post about Setenil de las Bodegas or if you like castles - Castles in Cadiz Province