Route of the White Villages, Spain
This scenic Route of the White Villages drive through Andalusia takes visitors on an unforgettable journey for just under 300km from Arcos to Castellar de la Frontera. This route steers clear of the big city life and, instead, offers the charm of quaint villages located in the provinces of Malaga and Cadiz. The most notable feature of all being the superb nature that keeps you company along the way.
This route can easily be enjoyed over a period of 3 days but, if you are able to spend a week here, you won't regret it! Should your main concern be the cost of accommodation, you can save money and enjoy the drive in style by picking up an RV, campervan or motorhome.
Starting in Arcos to Ronda
Your magnificent journey will begin in Arcos which is located on a mountain range situated 160 meters above the Guadalete River. This is indeed one of the most spectacular villages in the region.
Your first main stop will be after just a few kilometres in Espera. This old settlement is home to the Santa Maria de Gracia Church as well as an Arab Castle.
Bornos is your next main stop and, here you will find Castel del Fontanal, the Santo Domingo de Guzam Church and other sights of historic and religious significance.
Villamartin is an agricultural village which will lead you to the Ruins of Parajete on your way to your next main stop in Prado del Ray. The Nuestra Senora del Carmen Church is a popular attraction as are the Roman ruins just a few kilometres away.
The Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park is a superb place to visit when you are in El Bosque and it's the ideal place to stretch your legs – particularly if you're the driver!
Ubrique and Benaocaz are two more places you may enjoy visiting along the next portion of your drive. They are both home to historic churches and the town hall in Benaocaz is a fine example of Baroque architecture.
The bullring built in the mountain at Villaluenga de Rosario attracts numerous tourist each year as are the ancient castle remains in Zahara de la Sierra.
The olive groves and vegetable fields in Algodonales and the Arab fortress in Olvera are not too far from one another and are both notable sights along this part of the route.
Your next main stop will be in Setenil de las Bodegas where you can see the fascinating fortified castle, cave houses carved inside the rocks above the river and the local Gothic church.
Ronda to Castellar de la Frontera
Ronda is one of the top stops along the way and is the main town of this region so feel free to enjoy some extra time here.
The Cueva de la Pileta and Cueva del Gato caves are both top sights in Benaojan and they boast some fascinating ancient cave paintings.
The Roman-Moorish Castle in Jimera de Libar is the main attraction here before you drive on teo visit the old settlement of Atajate.
Benadalid is home to the region's oldest fortress and the view point at Gaucin is exquisite!
Casares was founded by the Romans during the time of Julius Caesar. There are a number of significant historic sites here as well as archaeological excavations.
Jimena de la Frontera is located in the los Alcornacales Natural Park. Other sights here include an ancient castle, the La Laja Alta cave nearby and the Gothic church that has been magnificently restored.
Finally, you will reach Castellar de la Fontera where you can visit the 13th century Moorish fortress village. From here, you can even see the coast of Africa! A number of the stops along the way offer optional activities such as horse riding, hiking, paragliding and even hunting. Remember to allow time for such activities when planning your trip.