The white villages (“pueblos blancos”). Cádiz and Málaga

white villageSituated on an arc which extends from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, in an area characterised by the last foothills of the Bético system (the Sierras of Cadiz and Ronda), the White Villages constitute one of the archetypal routes of popular Andalusian architecture. The omnipresent lime and their commanding positions – on hills and mountainsides or in gorges – make these villages appear as round white blotches on a landscape dominated by pine trees, holm oaks, cork oaks and, a true botanical rarity, Spanish firs.

The fact that they were “frontier villages” in the secular struggle between Moors and Christians explains the profusion of castles and the Muslim influence. This, together with their characteristics as mountain villages, marks many features of their popular architecture: steep, narrow, winding streets, alleyways affording access to the houses or patios, arches across the narrow roads propping up the facades. There is also a predominance of tiled roofs.

Hotels in this area

Villas in this area

Tourism in Nerja (Axarquia, Malaga coast)

NerjaNerja is on the seashore some 50 kilometres from Málaga on the N340 coastal highway, and marks the eastern tip of Málaga’s Costa del Sol. Once a sleepy fishing village, the town now has a population of over 12,000.

Nerja boasts 16 kilometres of beaches with powdery sand and sparkling clear water. All major water sports are available here, including water skiing, scuba diving and sailing.

Flanked by a dramatic mountain range, Sierra Almijara, to the east, the town has, fortunately, managed to avoid being blighted by the concrete high-rise scenario which has been the inevitable result of the tourist boom in some of the coastal resorts. The old quarter of the town is still virtually unchanged with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses with wrought iron terraces overflowing with geraniums, on which a canary can sometimes be heard singing…

However, the heart of Nerja is its spectacular Balcón de Europa, the “Balcony of Europe”, a magnificent promenade along the edge of a towering cliff, once the site of the great Moorish castle, with sweeping panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the small coves and beaches below, against an awesome backdrop of hazy blue mountains.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes here to choose from, and the visitor can hire a horse-drawn carriage to explore the most romantic corner of the town.
The town’s monuments include the 17th century Church of El Salvador, in a style which is a charming mixture of baroque and Moorish, or mudéjar, and the beautiful Gardens of Capistrano Playa, which descend to Burriana Beach.

However, Nerja’s most spectacular attraction is undoubtedly its fascinating caves, located just three kilometres from the centre of town. They include archaeological treasures such as paintings over 20,000 years old and other pre-historic remains. One of the enormous natural caverns has been transformed into a concert hall, where many performances are staged during the summer. This year Nerja is celebrating the 38th International Cave Festival, with the participation of many top international entertainers.

Nerja cuisine includes several specialities including De La Doncella (red mullet) and pescaito frito (fried fish) and ranging from top international cuisine to the ubiquitous sausage, eggs and chips!

Nerja is 50 km from Málaga. It is connected to the western end of the Costa del Sol by a dual carriage motorway. The journey from Marbella takes about an hour, while travelling from Málaga takes around half an hour.

Accommodation in Nerja:

Villas in Nerja

Hotels in Nerja

The Axarquia Region (Malaga): mountain, wine and whitewashed villages

Typical pots in Frigiliana, Axarqu�a Until around a decade ago the Axarquía region of Andalucía was little known. Then, northern European expatriates discovered the pretty hilltop village of Cómpeta, started buying up some of the run-down ‘fincas’ and farmhouses in the area and putting it on the map.

Today, rural tourism comprises a large part of the local economy. However, the area is still breathtakingly beautiful and has not been spoilt by the interest and influx of foreigners. The main attractions are the area’s dramatic hill and mountain scenery, its unspoilt, white washed villages and the strong sweet wine that is made from sun dried grapes. Because of the region’s sub-tropical climate, this is also a region where some of the more tropical fruits, such as mango and kiwi are grown.

Horse trekking is very popular here. The landscape is riven by deep valleys lined with terraces and irrigation channels that date back to Muslim times.

Nearly all the villages that dot the olive, almond and vine planted hillsides are of Muslim origin with narrow, windy streets. La Axarquía joined the 1569 Morisco rebellion and afterwards its inhabitants were replaced with Christians from farther north.

Signposted routes with names like Ruta del Vino link groups of villages in one-day drives along the snaking mountain roads. The highest mountains in the area stretch east from the Boquete de Zafarraya. The abovementioned Cómpeta makes a good base for a stay. There is a “Museo de Vino” here where you can taste the locally made wine and which also sells locally made ceramics and has a good restaurant serving traditional local dishes. A few kilometres down the valley from Cómpeta there is an exquisite Almohad-style minaret next to the church. A scenic road winds west through the villages of Salares, Sedella and Canillas de Aceituna eventually linking up with the A 335 north of Velez Malaga which links up with the new highway to Malaga and beyond.

The village of Comares in one of the highest in Andalucía it can be spied for miles around, rising high above the surrounding countryside. Frigiliana is said by many to be one of the prettiest in Andalucia. Nearby Torrox is the lesser visited of the two.

The drive inland from Malaga city, in the Antequera/Granada direction, takes you on a journey to the real Andalucia. Colmenar is one of the most important villages in this area, being the Capital of the Malaga Mountain villages. It is just 35 kilometers inland from Malaga, on the “Carretera de Colmenar”, a road that cuts and winds up through the Malaga Mountains, until you reach the village at 696 meters above sea level.

More information about Axarquia, its villages and accommodation

Tourism in Almeria coast: Mojácar

MojácarThis spectacular Moorish fortress town stands on a towering crag overlooking a shore graced by pristine beaches and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, which has a curious distinction all of its own: American cartoonist Walt Disney is said to have been born here, before emigrating with his parents to the United States.

Like many other villages in south-eastern Spain, in the 1960’s Mojácar had become a ghost town, since most of its active inhabitants had moved north to find work in the factories of the Barcelona region, and further afield. To attract new residents, the town’s mayor gave land away to anyone who promised to build, and within a year picturesque Mojacar had become a thriving art colony. Mainstream tourists and holidaymakers were also later attracted by the beauty and charm of the place and the following decades saw the development of its shoreline, with the construction of hotels and villas.

Fortunately, the village has still retained much of its original character, with its Moorish fortress called El Torreón and the Arch of Luciana, as well as the honeycomb of whitewashed, winding streets, each of which seems to lead the traveller to a lookout over the sparkling Mediterranean.

Mojácar is located in the southeastern corner of Spain, in Cabo de Gata-Níjar, Andalucia’s largest coastal protected area, a wild and isolated landscape with some of Europe’s most original geological features. The eponymous mountain range is Spain’s largest volcanic rock formation with sharp peaks and crags in ochre-hues. It falls steeply to the sea creating jagged 100m-high cliffs, which are riven by gullies leading to hidden coves with white sandy beaches, some of the most beautiful in Andalucía.

Holiday Villas in Mojácar

Tourism in Alpujarra (Granada): Trevélez

Trevélez panoramic viewThe highest level of the Granada’s Alpujarra is located in Trevélez, that it is also the highest town of Spain, since it is located 1,476 meters over sea level, measured at the in the Church’s square (Medium neighbourhood), with a difference in height between its three neighbourhoods – High, Medium and Low – of 200 meters.The hotel industry and gastronomy offer of Trevélez can be considered in equal terms with the fame of the town, which trespass in its day the national borders thanks to its matchless jams, recognized with their own Trade Mark. Some of their dry warehouses can be visited to know the craftsman treatment process of the jams.
But in addition to these tourist attractions, the town centre of the town is of remarkable interest: a peculiar framework that conserves the typical Alpujarra’s architecture, of steep streets, small white houses with flat roof, chimneys with hat and tinaos.Although the main wealth of this locality is the landscaping one. Huge natural places abound here, in slopes of Sierra Nevada, such as Seven Lagoons, the Tip of the King, the Fortress, You will be vacant, Pelao Hill and until the very same Mulhacén, the ceiling of the Iberian Peninsula. This one is an ideal corner to practice trekking and other sports related to the nature, among them the fishing, by the abundance of trouts in the Trevélez river.In its calendar of celebrations the one of the Virgen de las Nieves, the 5th of August, stands out. This day, the neighbours of Trevélez carry out a romería to the Mulhacén. The ascent from the town is made during the night with the purpose of contemplating the dawn from the highest peak of Sierra Nevada.

History

But in addition to these tourist attractions, the town centre of the town is of remarkable interest: a peculiar framework that conserves the typical Alpujarra’s architecture, of steep streets, small white houses with flat roof, chimneys with hat and tinaos.

Although the main wealth of this locality is the landscaping one. Huge natural places abound here, in slopes of Sierra Nevada, such as Seven Lagoons, the Tip of the King, the Fortress, You will be vacant, Pelao Hill and until the very same Mulhacén, the ceiling of the Iberian Peninsula. This one is an ideal corner to practice trekking and other sports related to the nature, among them the fishing, by the abundance of trouts in the Trevélez river.

In its calendar of celebrations the one of the Virgen de las Nieves, the 5th of August, stands out. This day, the neighbours of Trevélez carry out a romería to the Mulhacén. The ascent from the town is made during the night with the purpose of contemplating the dawn from the highest peak of Sierra Nevada.

Gastronomy

The jam is the main product of Trevélez, being the trouts with jam the genuine dish of the local cuisine. The migas de pastor, the papas a lo pobre with sausage and fried eggs, the pot of papas and matanza and the choto al ajillo occupy also a fundamental place in the gastronomy of Trevelez. The royal cake or the chestnuts stews are other specialties worth of praise.

Museums and monuments

Ermita de San Antonio: It was built in the Medium neighbourhood; it houses the carvings of the Virgen de las Nieves and San Antonio.

Parrochial Church of San Benito: It is located in the Low neighbourhood and it was raised in the XVI century over a previous mosque. It was restored after the Civil War. It keeps in its interior interesting carvings.

Villas in Granada

Information about the city of Cádiz

The city of Cádiz, which practically accounts for the whole of the municipal area which could be described as half island, half peninsula, connected to the mainland by a slender, sandy strip.
Iglesia de Santiago

Its situation is responsible for its obvious maritime tendencies, and it has been totally dedicated to seafaring pursuits since its foundation. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs all passed through zwhat is believed to be the western world’s oldest city, and it was here that Spain’s first democratic Constitution was drawn up.Despite its essentially urban nature, it also boasts areas of natural interest, such as the beaches of La Cortadura and El Chato, as well as Santibañez Mud Flats, which are part of Cadiz Bay Natural Park.
Cathedral The city, popularly known as “La Tacita de Plata” (The Silver Cup), has an unmistakable marine flavour, and its people are famous for their good humour and hospitality, as witnessed by the famous carnival; it boasts monuments of great interest, such as the Cathedral, the city walls, Holy Cross Parish Church, the Genoese Park, Puerta de la Caleta, etc. All places of indubitable charm, to which we must add the city’s cuisine and beaches, famous for their beauty, such as La Caleta, Santa Maria del Mar and La Victoria.