White villages in Spain - itinerary and ideas to enjoy them White villages in Spain - itinerary and ideas to enjoy them

White villages in Spain

White villages in Andalusia

The white villages in Spain are located in Andalusia and are normally referred to as the “Pueblos blancos”. They are charming, white-washed, villages and towns with white walls and very special locations. The Pueblos blancos are perfect for a road-trip in Southern Spain and they make for one of the most romantic trips in Europe.

Pueblos blancos guide

Arcos De La Frontera, Cadiz

Views of Arcos de la Frontera, one of Spain´s whitel villages

Increasingly popular to tourists but still charming, Arcos de la frontera is one of the stars of the “Pueblos blancos” (white towns) Nearly all pueblos blancos are worth visiting. They are really great!… but time is limited. Arcos offers an easy access from both Cadiz and Seville and it possesses all that is to expected from an Andalusian white village, including its breath-taking location.

Arcos de la frontera is one of the jewels in the province of cadiz. It is a picturesque town on a rock on the North bank of the Rio Guadalete. From there it rises like a spectacular amphitheatre. Arcos de la Frontera was known as Medina Arkosh in Arab times, the name was changed after its seizure by Alfonso X in 1250. The Arab alcázar was succeeded by the castle of the Dukes of Arcos.

The Visigoth church of Santa María de la Asunción offers an imposing Plateresque façade and dominates the broad Plaza de España.

Inside the late Gothic parish church of San Pedro two Moorish banners testify to the struggle over Granada. You will also find here a beautiful Gothic retable behind the high altar, as well as paintings by Zurbarán and Pacheco.

The town Hall is a beautiful example of Mudejar architecture, with two lovely artesonados and a portrait attributed to Goya.

Where can you enjoy the best views of Arcos? Without a doubt these are located next to la Plaza del Cabildo from the terrace at the Parador .

Acros de la Frontera is located 45 minutes from Cadiz (1 hour and 15 minutes from Seville)

Setenil de las Bodegas

The first thing any tourist should do in Setenil de las Bodegas  is to walk around and enjoy Calle Cuevas del sol. As its name hints, the houses on this street are built on the rock and they receive sunlight most of the day. But this is not the only street worth seeing.

Setenil is located in the province of Cadiz and very close to the amazing city of Ronda

The best way to get to Setenil de las bodegas is by car. There is no train station and the closest bus station is located at 5 kilometers from Setenil.


Calle Cuevas del sol is located next to the river Trejo. The street is full of bars, some of with tables outside and noisy local atmosphere.

Once you have enjoyed your daily sun dose you can move to Calle de las Cuevas de Sombra. This street is very narrow and the rocks do not let the sun get in. Probably the lower temperatures in this street explain the presence of some grocery shops and cake shops.

Your itinerary can continue to Plaza de Andalucia and then to one of our favorite streets in Setenil: Calle Calcetas (great views from the stairs that lead to Calle Calcetas). Other interesting streets are, Calle Mina, Calle Herrería,  Calle Jabonería, Calle Cabreriza, Calle Triana.

The second most interesting thing to enjoy in Setenil are the views from some of the viewpoints in the town.  One of them is the tower of the old alcazar (from the almohade´s time – XII century) You will have to pay an entrance fee to enjoy its views. Other options are the viewpoints at the Church Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación (built where a mosque stood)  and the Lizón viewpoint. Another excellent viewpoints is from the road when you enter or leave Setenil de las bodegas.

History of Setenil de las bodegas

Setenil de las bodegas is a small white village in southern Spain located in the province of Cadiz. Its surname says a lot about Setenil. “De las bodegas” refers to the many caves in the rocks of this village. Some of its houses are literally built on the rocks and it is easy to imagine Neolithic caves that served as dwellings for hunting groups.

If its surname offers a good description of its “looks” it is its name that speaks about its history. Setenil derives from the latin septem nihil or seven times nothing. The village was sieged up to seven times before it was conquered by the catholic troops at the very end of the reconquering process that ended with the fall of Granada in 1492. In the case of Setenil the last siege took place on 1484.


Mijas, once unknown and then “over-visited”,  is yet one of Andalusia’s most spectacular “white village”. Adventurous travelers flock to the small village to experience the typical white Andalusian houses, the narrow cobblestone streets, the amazing views and to meet Mijas most famous residents: the burros (donkeys).  

Tucked away in the mountains just outside of Fuengirola, Mijas is a picturesque little “white village” that still uses donkeys as a mode of transportation, all be it out of nostalgia more than anything else.

White villages in Andalusia are know as such because of the practice of painting houses white to help keep them cool during the sweltering summer months

Mijas is a particularly gorgeous for a typical Andalusian white village, with small winding cobbled stone streets, colorful flowers hanging outside every window and a bar every so often where one can cool off and rest, but what makes Mijas unique is it’s setting: 400 meters above sea level and carved into the mountain side, which makes for a breath-taking sight.

Burros. Because of this mountainous setting and the steep hills the villagers had to navigate, the use of donkeys as a means of transportation was common place. To this day, visitors and villagers alike can hitch a ride on these small and sturdy burros and explore the village.
La Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña is a tiny 16th century church that was carved into the side of the mountain by catholic monks. Right next to the church is the Mirador del Compás that offers the most spectacular views of the town bellow.
You can also visit the Bullfighting ring of Mijas, built in 1900. For just 4€ you can explore the beautiful bull ring and learn about its history.
The Castillo de las Murallas, or Castle of Mijas is also worth a visit. There isn’t much left of the castle but the remains of this XVII century fortification are still impressive.  You can still visit the main tower and a good chunk of the original wall is still standing.
Church of the immaculate conception.
Saving the best for last, the Church of the immaculate conception, built in the XVI century on the remains of what was once an ancient Arab Mosque, is one of Mijas’s main attractions. The church has three separate arches supported on Tuscan columns, and two side chapels under which lie several graves. In the interior of the church there are several well-preserved Baroque frescoes.


Frigiliana Spain

Frigiliana is located in Malaga, Spain. Frigiliana is a stunning white village near the beautiful sierra de Tejada, which is a natural park. 

Romans and phoenicians founded the “Frexinius” villa. It was the Muslims who set the creation of Frigiliana when they conquered Spain and in the Xth century a castle, no longer existing today, was built. Even after the Catholic Kings took it back, the population of Frigiliana remained to have Muslim habits.

Frigiliana is located at 50 minutes drive from Malaga and it is a perfect stop on the way to Granada from Malaga.

“El Ingenio”: It used to b a factory dedicated to the production of honey. Today, after being refurbished, it is used to produce cane, honey. It is the only cane honey factory in Europe.

The old fountain, known as “Fuente Vieja” was built in 1640. This marvelous Ancient piece of art is worth seeing

The San Antonio church is a church mostly built is the Renaissance style. It is really small in its interior but impressive at the time.

The location counts with a total of 42 restaurants so that you will be sure to find the one for you. 


Landscape in the Sierra near Pampaneira

Pampaneira is one of the most charming villages in Las Alpujarras, and one of the highest.

With its 2 sisters, Capileria and Bubión, they shape a beautiful landscape of white villages in the Sierra.  The charm comes at a price, and this merit has also brought along an increasing number of visitors. Las Alpujarras is a land of white villages south of Granada and the Sierra Nevada. These are high lands, with an average of 1,200 meters above sea level, so get ready to drive in winding, small roads. Many people consider the Alpujarras as part of Granada, but they extend to Almería.

Pampaneira has a vibrant artisan community, and one of the best things to do in Pampaneira is shopping textiles, ceramics, rugs or specialties from local food producers.

Where is Pampaneira?

Pampaneira is located at more than 1,000 meters above sea level, and, along with Bubión and Capileria, they shape the Poqueira Gorge. These villages are located under the Mulhacen and Veleta, two of Spain´s highest peaks.

Located at one hour and thirty minutes drive from Granada and seventy kilometers of windy roads. 

Where to stay in Pampaneira?

Pampaneira offers good quality accommodation and unless you visit on peak season you should be able to find affordable prices. Some of the hostels and apartments are located in buildings with local style architecture and others offer fantastic views. A few of them offer both. Our favourite options to stay in Pampaneira are the Dreams Alpujarra flats and the hotel  Estrella de las Nieves. Fantastic options in both cases. 

Things to do in Pampaneira

Pampaneira, Bubión, and Capileira are all located at a ravine (the Porqueira gorge) which made the area rather inaccessible. Pampaneira has been included in many of the lists that local Spanish newspapers put together with the prettiest villages in Spain.  We have our own list, and as you have rightly guessed, Pampaneira is in our list too!

There are a good number of reasons why Pampaneira is today amongst the top tourist attractions in Granada and Andalucía.


Pampeneira is nested in the mountain and it offers fantastic views of both the valley below and the mountain peaks above.

Berber architecture

As you will read when we cover the history of Pampaneira, the initial settlers were Berbers that left the city of Granada when the city was conquered. The Berbers used to occupy the beautiful Albaicin district in Granada, with narrow white streets and amazing views over the Alhambra Palace. The Berbers made use of the same architecture when they developed Pampaneira they used similar white houses with flat roofs chimneys and narrow streets where white arches locally known as tinaos. The streets are covered with flowers that offer a beautiful contrast with the white walls.


The area near Pampaneira offers fantastic hiking opportunities. The trail between Pampaneira and Capileira is just 2 kilometers apart is one of the most frequently used hiking trails. But there are many more trails where you will be able to enjoy the Poquiera Gorge area and its ravines, waterfalls, and bridges.

Top sights in Pampaneira

The most important sights in Pampaneira include the church of Santa Cruz and la Plaza de la Libertad Freedom square.  The church is of Mudejar style and dates back to the 16th century. The square is where you will find most action in Pampaneira and shops, bars and restaurants gathered there. We love two items near the square. One is the old laundry house, overlooking the church,  which perfectly illustrates the hard work and life of ancient days. Right next to the church.


Most visitors will arrive to Pampaneira in spring or summer and get a wrong impression about the area. Winters are very cold here, and despite the blue skies, traditional local gastronomy has consisted of warm hearty dishes. The Alpujarras platter is a potato dish with vegetables and sausages which is perfect for a long hiking day.

Tours to Pampaneira

If you stay in Granada and would like to visit the area of Las Alpujarras and Pampaneira just in one day you may want to consider joining an organized tour instead of driving. If you have more than one day our recommendation is to book a car and drive to las Alpujarras to be able to enjoy different villages, get to Lanjaron, Trevelez, famous for its Iberian hamsBut if you have just one day to dedicate to the area of Las Alpujarras during your trip itinerary in Granada, then a day tour is probably the best option. You can find two interesting options below. 

White villages map from Seville to Granada

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