When visiting Spain's Andalusia region, one of the top things you must include in your itinerary plans are to visit a few of Andalusia's famous 'White-Washed Villages'. Numerous 'pueblos blancos' or white villages are found throughout Andalusia and it's hard to narrow down exactly which ones to visit - for us, we choose to visit Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegas and Zahara de la Sierra, each which offered something different and provided for some memorable days exploring this beautiful area of Spain. In addition, if you have the time - make a quick stop at the ancient Roman ruins of Acinipo, which can be combined into a day trip with any of the mentioned White-Washed Villages and is well worth your time!
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Ronda, Spain should be on the top of your list when selecting which 'White-Washed Village' you should visit. Located in the south of Spain, Ronda makes a perfect day trip if you are visiting from Malaga, Seville or anywhere along the Costa del Sol. Dramatically perched high above the El Tajo Gorge, this mountaintop village is split into two - Old Town and New Town and is known for it's scenic cliff-side views and stunning bridges. Ronda is one of the oldest villages in Spain, dating back to the 6th century and over time has been controlled by numerous groups including the Celts, Phoenicians, Romans, Berbers & Christians. It was in the 8th century when the Berbers were in control, that the area was named Hisn-Ar Rundah (Castle of Rundah) - which led to it's present day name of Ronda. To read more on how to spend a day in Ronda, Click Here.
SETENIL DE LAS BODEGAS
Separating itself as one of the most unique white-washed villages is the fact that Setenil de las Bodegas is actually built right into the rock caves and overhangs. The natural rock caves that line this town have been used since pre-historic times and are actually quite practical in helping to keep the buildings cooler during the the hot Analusian summers and warmer in the winters. In line with Setenil de las Bodegas rock formations, the village itself was 'strong as a rock' defensively and was one of the last strongholds for the Moors before the Christians were able to conquer the area. 'Setenil' derives from the Latin term 'Septem nihil' which means 'seven times no' and it actually took 7 attempts before the Christians were successful in taking the village in 1484. Spend the day just wandering the stunning streets of Setenil de las Bodegas and you will fall in love with this unique rock covered town! To read our complete guide to visiting Setenil de las Bodegas, Click Here.
ZAHARA DE LA SIERRA
Make sure and include a stop at Zahara de la Sierra located in Spain's Grazalema Mountains. This picturesque hilltop village is dominated by an ancient castle and overlooks the stunning turquoise blue waters of Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir below, creating for one of the most beautiful 'White-Washed Villages' you will find anywhere in Spain. Exploring this stunning medieval village will make you feel as though you have stepped into a fairy-tale! To read more about visiting Zahara de la Sierra, Click Here.
ROMAN RUINS OF ACINIPO
A perfect addition to exploring the 'White-Washed Villages' of Spain's Andalusia region is to include a stop at the ancient Roman ruins of Acinipo. For anyone staying along the Costa del Sol or even in Seville, a stop at Acinipo can easily be included in your plans for exploring the area. Archeological evidence suggests that settlements have existed on this site dating back to the Bronze Age between 1100 BC to 750 BC, but the most recent history that can be seen today dates from the Roman Era. It is believed that Acinipo was created after the Battle of Munda in 45 BC when the armies of Julius Ceasar battled the army of Gnaeus and Sextus who were Pompey's two sons. Acinipo was then created as a place for Ceasar's retired veterans. By the 1st century, over 5,000 people are believed to have lived here in a thriving community that even minted it's own coinage - which was sign of wealth and prestige in Roman times. Over time though - nearby Ronda grew in importance, probably because it was easier to defend and eventually Acinipo fell into despair and was abandoned by the 6th century. To read more about Acinipo, Click Here.
Interested in planning your own trip to Andalusia's White-Washed Villages? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!
Mix and match the above villages to fit your preferences! We spent two days visiting the four sights listed above. Ronda works well as it's own day as there is so much to do and see in this lovely town. We then combined Setenil de las Bodegas, Acinipo and Zahara de la Sierra into a single day - this provides for a super full day but it can be done! Just get an early start and let the exploring begin!