A little history of the Andalusian white villages
Historically, Andalusians chose to live in fortified hilltop villages called ‘Pueblos Blancos’, or white villages. These whitewashed towns were originally designed to escape preying bandits. However, these days they usually function as agricultural towns and tourist attractions. So even though you came to stay at your luxury villa with it’s private pool and spa, remember that you are surrounded by deep history well worth checking out!
Each white village has it’s own character and charm, but they also have a lot in common with one another. Each village has a main square and church, which make great starting points. You will also find an information office in most villages that are great for learning more about where you are.
Keep in mind that most of these villages are located in hilly areas. Getting there often involves a lot of twists and turns – so drive carefully. Though they might seem nearby on the map, we always recommend allowing a little extra time getting to them. This way you can soak up the scenery while driving at a safe speed (which suits those of us with motion sickness too).
So, which white villages are worth leaving my luxury retreat for?
Arguably the best known white village of them all! Ronda is a quick and direct 45 minutes from Villa la Sorpresa and it features one of the oldest bull rings in Spain. To add to it’s allure and charm, Hemingway loved Ronda and pieces of him can be felt all around town.
40 minutes from Villa la Sorpresa and under an hour from Marbella, Carsares sits perched atop a steep hill. Seemingly defying the laws of gravity, Casares is famous for is quaint streets and being the birthplace of Blas Infante.
Mijas is a white village known for it’s donkeys and it’s Mediterranean view! A mere 40 minutes from Villa la Sorpresa, and even less from Marbella, this popular white village is a very convenient option. There is a very popular street market (‘el barratillo’) every Wednesday and Saturday from around 09:00 – 14:30.
One of the closest white villages to your favourite luxury Spanish villa is Ojen. Go to Ojen for the sweeping views of the valley below, but also for it’s very own liqueur. This liqueur, which shares the town’s name, is an anise-based drink and once played a major part in the town’s economy.