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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Spanish Summer 2018 - Andalucia, Cadiz & Malaga - whitewashed towns

SPAIN | Friday, 10 August 2018 | Views [62]



Andalucia, Cadiz & Malaga - Olvera, Setenil de Las Bodegas, Torre Alhaquime, Ronda, El Gastor, Montecorto, Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Puerto de Santa Maria, Jerez de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera, Bornos, Villamartin, Algodonales & Zafra: exploring "la Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos" (Route of the Whitewashed Towns) and surroundings

After a three hour drive from Granada, we reach the incredible whitewashed village of Olvera. Olvera is part of the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, 19 whitewashed Andalucian towns but all with its own beauty and character. We've seen one of them already, Salobrena, and Olvera is our second. We'll have time to explore this incredibly gorgeous medieval town and surrounding places as we're going to stay here for 32 days. Taking out that list of places I spent so much time preparing over the years! The flat is welcoming and nicely decorated and we love it but for the narrow stairs. We're always up or down the bloody stairs, so cheers to an extra bit of legwork! Olvera is also not as hot as Murcia or Granada, so cheers to that too!

For the first week, we just hang around Olvera and the town is so beautiful and completely white, it almost hurts your eyes. We walk up to the beautiful castle and the church, on top of the hill and we also walk around the endless cobblestoned alleyways and lanes full of rows and rows of amazing medieval white houses. The houses are, painted white as a way to help combat the incredible heat of the summer in this region. We also walk to the Ermita de Los Remedios, a church 2 kms from the town for the fiesta, as Nuestra Senora de los remedios the patron saint of Olvera. I have to say that this for me is a dream come true as I've always wanted to live in a Spanish whitewashed, medieval town to improve my Spanish as well as to learn more about Spanish food, culture, wine, beer and tapas, now I can tick this one off.

The second week we begin exploring the surrounding area. First up, Torre Alhaquime, a tiny, lovely white village very close to Olvera. Next stop is Setenil de la Bodega, famous for the houses built into caves and against rocks. The village itself is really fantastic and we walk around marvelling at the peculiar way the houses are built, it's really amazing. The stunning medieval city of Ronda is next. Ronda has been on our list for a while and it doesn't disappoint, apart from the large hordes of tourists, which we hadn't encountered on this trip yet. It's beautiful, imposing, very well preserved and with lots of history. Would love to come back in the winter, when it's hopefully too cold for overtourism.

Well, now it's time for the Real Feria. The Royal Fair is one of Olvera’s most important celebrations, it goes for 5 nights and there are plenty of attractions on top of the cold beer, local wine and food, of course. Some of the dancing and concerts begin at 1.30 AM and the fireworks are on at 3 AM, we are morning people but somehow we still manage to check out the Fair precinct, rows of private tents for people in their fraternidades (brotherhoods or "societies) and 4 open to the public including the local council one. Beer and wine at 1 euro, what is not to love?

The following week we explore the gorgeous town of El Gastor, another lovely white town, with potted flowers everywhere. Then to Montecorto, another beautiful smaller whitewashed village. Then it's time to the stunning city of Grazalema, considered the third prettiest city in Spain, it really doesn't disappoint. It's so beautiful, so white, gleaming under the blazing Andalucian sunshine. Last stop for this week, the lovely village of Zahara de la Sierra, a small village with just enough tourists and lovely local bars. After exploring the historic trails, we stop for a well deserved cold glass of caña (draft beer) or two. You can check out the beauty of theses villages as we took some great pics for you.

Week 3, it's time to visit the towns of Sanlucar de Barrameda, Puerto de Santa Maria, Jerez de la Frontera. Sanlucar is a little gem, situated near the coast and the river, the historic town is well preserved without being too pristine for tourists. The moorish influences are everywhere and so are the bodegas, producers and sellers of the famous Jerez wine (Sherry). The town is seriously gorgeous and has also an important historic role during the exploration and settlement of the New World, which can be seen in many points during our walks. Certainly one of our favourites so far, so we walk along the narrow streets and plazas to take it all in. Next stop, Puerto de Santa Maria, also a lovely place to visit, however not as enchanting as Sanlucar. Jerez de la Frontera is next, a much bigger city with a lot to see and explore. Lots of people-watching happening at the bars and cafes and a lot of history and culture to take in.

During our last week, in between tapas, beer and rosé wine, we find the time to visit the stunning city of Arcos de la Frontera, definitely worth a visit and a longer stay. We fall in love immediately. Next it’s on to the beautiful Bornos, followed by Villamartin and Algodonales, still following the route of the Pueblos Blancos de Andalucia. We absolutely loved our time in Olvera and we used the opportunity to explore the Andalucia region a bit more. It's now time to go back home to Portugal, just a 7 hour drive from Olvera. If you follow us you’ll know that, of course, we've found some places to see on the way back home. First stop, the quaint city of Zafra, in the Extremadura region of Spain quickly followed by the enchanting historic town of Campo Maior, already in the portuguese Alentejo region. Well, that's all for now, will be back soon on our next trip, cheers.


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