The southern part of Spain is dotted with lovely whitewashed villages and towns and you should definitely add more than one of them to your itinerary. They are a great part of this cultural corner of the country and played a big role in history.
While it can be hard to pick out which ones to see, I have done the research for you. Having lived in the region for around 10 years, I’ve traveled extensively and explored the majority.
I’ve hand-picked what I think are the best towns and white villages in Andalucia so you can visit them on your next trip. Some are popular tourist spots, while others depict unique spots off the beaten path in Andalucia.
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The most beautiful white villages in Andalucia Spain
Here are my favorite white villages in Andalucia that I’m sure you’ll love just as much as I do. Get ready to plan your itinerary!
Vejer de la Frontera, Cadiz
Are you ready to walk the love trail through one of the most beautiful white villages in Andalucia? You can do that in Vejer de la Frontera. Situated a short drive from Conil de la Frontera and Arcos de la Frontera, this hilltop village is full of medieval structures that you can see along the Ruta del Amor, the love trail.
Among the many things you can see on the love route are the Iglesia Parroquial del Divino Salvador, Convent of the Conceptionist Nuns, and the Castle of Vejer de la Frontera.
With mesmerizing countryside views, charming streets, historical buildings, a beautiful square, and plenty of restaurants and bars, this is a great village to stay a night or two. It’s also the perfect place to locate yourself if you want to explore the nearby villages and Cadiz beaches, among the most spectacular, Los Caños de Meca and Bolonia beach. It’s also one of the more popular day trips from Cadiz.
Mijas Pueblo, Malaga
Mijas Pueblo is one of the most popular white villages near Malaga and not without a reason. The hillside village overlooks the coastal town of Fuengirola as well as Mijas Costa.
There is a lot happening in the village at all times, and live concerts and markets are frequent, especially in the summer months. But there are a lot of other things to do in Mijas too.
There are multiple day hikes starting from above the village, the most challenging one being the hike to Pico de Mijas, the highest peak of 1150 meters, and the easiest one being an hour round trip.
However, these are not summer hikes as there are no natural water sources, the heat of the summer months gets way too exhausting for hiking these steep trails. If you visit Malaga in winter, however, you should definitely consider adding some of these to your bucket list.
Finally, make sure you don’t support the bullring or the donkey taxis in Mijas Pueblo. You can read more about why you shouldn’t ride a donkey here and more about ethical animal tourism here.
Overlooking the popular touristy coastal town of Nerja, Frigiliana is said to be not only the most beautiful white village in Costa del Sol but even in Spain.
Whether it is the most beautiful, or those saying so haven’t been to many others is not up to me to decide, but I’m not going to argue that it’s up there among the top!
There are a lot of wonderful things to do in Frigiliana. Whitewashed houses decorated with colorful pot plants, covering the steep hillside make it a bit of an exercise to walk around if you’re not in good shape, especially on a hot day.
Luckily, there are strategically placed benches everywhere and you can easily stop and enjoy the views whenever you need a break.
Frigiliana is an easy day trip from Malaga, but you could gladly spend a few days visiting the caves of Nerja, enjoying the beaches in Maro, or going hiking on one of the many nearby trails.
One of the most stunning villages in Andalucia is Rute in Cordoba. Sitting on the hillside of the Sierra Subbeticas, Rute is famous for its Anis production which you can learn more about (and have a taste of!) at the local Anis Museum and the nearby factory.
But Rute also hides some of the most beautiful award-winning patios in the entire Cordoba province. The owner of the Anis Museum owns one of the most stunning patios and offers visits all year round as part of the museum ticket. However, the others are usually only open to the public in springtime.
Rute is also a wonderful Christmas town holding Europe’s largest chocolate nativity scene and you can indulge in museums like the Turrón Museum, Chocolate Museum, and the Sugar Museum that are only open between October and until Reyes at the beginning of January.
For the adventurous and nature lovers, the town is perfectly situated for hiking and two of the town’s biggest attractions are set for a short hike up the hills.
The Moorish ruins of the defensive fortress, Rute el Viejo and the Torre del Canuto are only reached by foot and offer sweeping views of the valleys below. The latter overlooks Lake Iznajar on one side and Rute town on the other.
Aracena in the northern part of Huelva province is a totally underrated village in Andalucia that deserves a lot more attention being one of the towns near Seville that are easy to reach.
It’s popular among the Spanish for its impressive cave, Gruta de Las Maravillas, which is probably one of the most beautiful caves I’ve visited in Spain.
But the village is also beautifully overlooked by the Aracena Castle which sits on top of a hill and there is a lot to do in Aracena. There are plenty of churches and convents worth seeing in the village as well and you can easily spend a couple of days.
Just enjoying the cobblestoned streets lined with white houses with colorful flowers from balconies and seeing the main attractions.
But if you like to get out on the hiking trails, the natural park is jam-packed with beautiful trails where you can walk from village to village through oak forests to mesmerizing views of rolling green hills.
No list of the best white villages in Andalucia is complete without a mention of the kitesurfing capital of the south, Tarifa. But there are a lot of cool things to do in Tarifa other than watersports too.
Stroll through the enchanting cobblestoned streets lined with orange trees, indulge in healthy food and fruit juices, and get lost between Moorish architecture.
Make sure you visit the Castle of Guzman el Bueno, take in the views from Castillo de Santa Catalina, and walk the causeway to Isla de las Palomas where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet.
If you stay in Tarifa for a while, you have a golden chance to take a day trip to Morocco. The ferry port is centrally in Tarifa and it only takes an hour to reach Tanger city where you can get a wonderful taste of northern Morocco.
Iznájar is one of the most underrated pueblos blancos in Andalucia. Sitting on a hilltop overlooking Iznajar Lake, the village boasts spectacular views and the steep, narrow cobbled streets take you through cute neighborhoods and picturesque squares like Patio de la Comedia and Plaza de la Torre that are carefully decorated with a myriad of pot plants.
Looming above the village is the medieval Iznájar Castle bordered by the Santiago Apostol church and the cozy Plaza Rafael Alberti where you find one of the poet’s own poems, Torre de Iznájar.
There are so many amazing things to do in Iznájar, yet, make sure you get time to visit the Iznájar Reservoir, the Valdearenas beach, and go for a hike to nearby Cueva Belda and Cueva Nueva from Cuevas de San Marcos. If you continue the hike up to Medina Belda and the cross, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the lake and Cuevas de San Marcos town.
Linares de la Sierra, Huelva
Linares de la Sierra is one of the cutest villages in Andalucia, situated in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos Aroche Natural Park only a short walk from Aracena, this is a true gem.
There are a few bars and restaurants but the best thing to do is just to get lost in the narrow cobbled streets with grass growing. It really gives a feel of going back in time. Make note of the doorsteps with stone mosaics in front of them.
The most prominent attraction is the church in the center of the village with beautiful gardens and stunning views of the whitewashed houses and surrounding hills. Make sure you see the old fashion outdoor laundry area too.
Linares gets pretty busy on the weekends and public holidays, but on the weekdays it’s super relaxed and quiet.
Arcos de la Frontera, Cadiz
Arcos de la Frontera is situated on a steep cliff overlooking the surrounding countryside. Definitely one of my favorite villages in Andalucia for its beauty, but there are also lots of things to do in Arcos.
On the main square, Plaza del Cabildo, you find the national monument, Minor Basilica of Santa María de la Asunción, the Town Hall, the Ducal Castle, and the Plaza del Cabildo Viewpoint.
From here you can walk around the village to see the rest of the attractions like the Convent of the Barefoot Mercedarian Order and the Abades Viewpoint which also boasts astounding countryside views.
Arcos de la Frontera is a wonderful little village to get lost in the streets, eat local tapas, and drink refreshing drinks in the shade on a hot day.
Baños de la Encina, Jaen
Nestled in a corner of the Jaen province you’ll find one of the most stunning white villages in Andalucia, the lesser-known Baños de la Encina.
The main draw is no doubt the medieval fortress dominating the village. The walls are extremely well preserved and the inside gives you a good idea of how grand this must have been in its times.
When wandering the streets of Baños de la Encina you’ll come over charming squares, churches, and an old windmill. It’s simply impossible not to fall in love with this old village.
Setenil de las Bodegas, Cadiz
Setenil de Las Bodegas is one of the most unique white villages of Andalucia with its streets and houses built inside the rock side. The village is super small and you can easily spend an hour walking through it and around the streets above for rooftop views.
Yet the village is a great place to have lunch or to base yourself if you want to visit more of the white villages in the area. This is truly one of the most amazing Spanish villages that you should add to your bucket list.
You can read about all my favorite day trips from Malaga here.
No doubt one of the most stunning white villages Spain has to showcase. Nestled in a valley in the outskirts of Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas Natural Park, Cazorla is surrounded by castles, hiking trails, and hermitages. The views from the surrounding mountains are breathtaking.
The tourist office is situated in the ruins of Iglesia de Santa Maria where you can climb the watchtower for village views or join an underground guided tour under the church.
Above the village, you can tour the Castillo de la Yedra, the big fortress overlooking the village. They run regular free guided tours throughout the day. From there you can walk the steep trail up to the ruins of Castillo de las Cinco Esquinas where you can enjoy views of never-ending olive groves.
Make time to get lost in the narrow streets to enjoy the village life, stop for tapas and drinks, and walk up to a hermitage for more views.
Cazorla has been nominated as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain more than once and you’ll see why when you get there.
Istan is one of the hidden gems in Malaga province. Situated in the Sierra de Las Nieves Natural Park above Marbella, Istan is a pleasant surprise.
The village boasts a delightful local atmosphere with radiant input from hikers heading for the many trails heading straight out of the village itself.
There are nice bars and restaurants and the streets are a little labyrinth taking you through the charming white houses.
On top of the rich, natural environment surrounding Istan, you can also enjoy the many natural water sources the village has to offer. There are places where you can get tasty and refreshing natural drinking water, or you can go chill at Istan Lake.
This lesser-known village in the mountains of Granada province is a true gem. I totally fell in love with the charm of Castril and there is no doubt it’s up there with the top white villages in Spain.
The tiny village is situated on a steep cliff surrounded by an astounding nature scene bordering Sierra de Castril Natural Park.
In fact, one of the biggest tourist magnets of Castril is the amusing gorge walk, Sendero de la Cerrada del Rio Castril. Following the river on a boardwalk along the gorge wall, this short walk takes you across a hanging bridge and through a cave.
But there are endless hiking opportunities in the natural park for all levels. Not bad for one of the best Andalucian villages.
Overlooking the village, Castril Castle is perfectly balancing on top of the highest rock. Right beneath it, you find the other highlight in the village, the Parish Church Our Lady of the Angels.
Zahara de la Sierra, Cadiz
Zahara de la Sierra is without a doubt one of the best villages to visit in Andalucia. Set on a hillside with some of the most picturesque views in the Serrania de Ronda, you can gaze out at the turquoise lakes that break up the landscape.
The most popular attraction is the old castle ruins that overlook the tiny village and the lakes. The short walk up is definitely worth it as the views are breathtaking.
The main square in the village, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by bars and restaurants. You also find the main village church of Santa María de la Meza here.
There is not much more to do in the village, but already entering the city gate, I promise you’ll be mesmerized!
Ojén might just be one of the most underrated white villages in Andalucia, but one of my favorites. It’s situated only a 15-minute drive from Marbella, yet it’s an off the beaten path destination in Spain. It’s a steep hillside village where you’ll definitely feel your heart pumping.
The main square is super cute with the village church decorated with flat-trimmed lemon trees looking like live paintings on its exterior. In fact, Ojén is locally known as the village of lemons for its many lemon trees.
There is also a nice walk alongside the village with caves carved under the whitewashed houses above and you can continue up a set of stairs to a small cave overlooking the village and the breathtaking sea views.
Ojén is also a perfect place to base yourself if you plan on hiking in the surrounding Sierra Blanca. But there are also short walks around the village like Charco Las Viñas which is a refreshing local waterhole along the Rio Real river.
Most beautiful towns in Andalucia
Some of the white towns in Andalucia also need a shoutout as they’re definitely worth visiting. With plenty of things to do and see you’ll regret skipping these on your southern Spain itinerary.
Carmona is one of the greatest white towns in Andalucia with a lot of history. The town has two remaining Roman entrance gates whereof you should park outside Puerta de Cordoba, as it’s worth seeing, and walk through the village to Puerta de Sevilla which is the greatest one. The latter is also part of the Alcázar and you can climb to the top for amazing village views.
Among the best things to do in Carmona is seeing the astounding 16th century gothic church, Iglesia de Santa María de la Asunción. But there are a lot of stunning churches and convents worth seeing.
Take some time getting lost in the streets and you’ll explore quite a few of them. Make sure you don’t overlook the Plaza de Abastos square and the Roman amphitheater.
Carmona makes the perfect day trip from Seville. You can read my whole list of day trips from Seville here.
Salobreña is without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Andalucia and one of my absolute favorite coastal towns in southern Spain. Situated on the staggering Costa Tropical of Granada, the hilltop town is crowned by a fortress looking down on the beach.
This is a popular beach destination, though not so much among foreign tourists as with the Spanish. The rock formation going out in the sea, locally called the Peñon, is popular for snorkeling and cliff jumping.
But go for a walk in the delightful streets of the village, stroking past cascading pot plants and through bright pink rhododendron arches.
Have an ice cream at one of the small squares on the way up to the castle where you can enjoy stupefying views before entering the medieval remains.
Priego de Cordoba, Cordoba
One of the most spectacular Pueblos Blancos in southern Spain is the astounding Priego de Cordoba in the province of Cordoba.
Famous for the Barrio de las Villas neighborhood featuring traditional whitewashed houses decorated with colorful pot plants. A walk through its narrow cobbled streets is a must when in Priego de Cordoba. Make sure you end at the Balcon del Adarve viewpoint.
Next to the castle, you can wander the lush Recreo de Castilla Gardens and visit the Carnicerias Reales, which used to be the slaughterhouse and market in the old days.
Yet one of the major tourist attractions in this enchanting town in Andalucia is the Fuente del Rey and Fuente de la Salud which are both situated in the Fuente del Rey park.
Osuna is one of those towns you drive past and just have to stop at. Its most prominent attraction, Colegiata de Santa María de la Asunción, is seen from afar as it sits above the whitewashed town. Even at night, it steals the show as it’s beautifully lit up.
But once you get to Osuna, you’ll be mesmerized by its charm and beauty. The narrow cobblestones streets hide treasures at every corner, from convents to churches. Especially the street of Calle San Pedro, which UNESCO has declared one of the most beautiful streets in Spain.
Make sure you don’t miss out on the Monasterio de la Encarnación while you wander around. There are also plenty of tapas bars and restaurants to have a taste of the local flavors.
And for any Game of Thrones fans, Osuna was among the filming sites and now houses its own Game of Thrones Museum.
The mesmerizing town of Gaucín is the gateway of Serrania de Ronda coming from the coast. It’ll catch your eyes as you drive by with the dramatic Castillo del Aguila (Castle of the Eagles) ruins towering above the whitewashed houses.
The strategic placement overlooking the coast, the old structure was once built for protection against intruders from Africa. Even today you can see Gibraltar and North Africa on a clear day. Despite being fairly ruined, this is one of the most spectacular castles near Malaga.
The town itself has been popular among artists for a long time, and it’s not hard to understand why with the picturesque surroundings. There are plenty of art exhibitions and shops on the narrow streets to check out.
For nature lovers, the surrounding mountains are jam-packed with hiking trails to discover.
Conil de la Frontera, Cadiz
Conil de la Frontera is a wonderful, underrated coastal town in the province of Cadiz. With some of the most beautiful beaches in Cadiz, there are a lot of things to do in Conil de la Frontera. Conil was originally built up around Torre de Guzmán and has a large history as a fishing village.
The town boasts with life in the summer months when seemingly the whole population of Seville comes on vacation. Other than numerous water sports, you can hike along the cliffside to mesmerizing views, walk around the old town, and have tapas and drinks in any of the tapas bars.
Conil de la Frontera is definitely one of the best summer towns in Andalucia!
Constantina is one of the most beautiful towns in Andalucia, about an hour north of Seville in Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park. Surrounded by natural beauty, this quaint town doesn’t lack things to keep you entertained.
Apart from endless hiking trails, Constantina is mostly known for its hilltop Moorish castle, but the village has Celtic and Roman history too. Make sure you head to the medieval Barrio de Morería covered in cobblestoned streets where you can still see Moorish constructions.
Make sure you see the Ermita de Nuestro Padre Jesús and Iglesia de San Juan de Dios, both baroque-style structures dating back to the 18th century. Also worth visiting is the Iglesia Parroquial de Santa María de la Encarnación.
There is often something happening in Constantina and there are a lot of bars and restaurants to try local food and drinks.
Finally, no visit to southern Spain is complete without a trip to the astounding town of Ronda. Situated on top of a ravine connected by one of Spain’s most famous bridges, this is a must-visit!
Ronda is one of the most epic towns in Malaga and is jam-packed with historic sites from the Puente Nuevo and Puente Viejo, the two bridges connecting the dramatic ravine the town is set upon, to the Arabic Baths.
Walk the Paseo de Hemingway walkway that gives breathtaking views of El Tajo gorge and follow the path down to the bottom of the ravine to see the waterfall from the front. You can even follow the path under the bridge.
There are a lot of great things to do in Ronda, like visiting the Arab Bath, the palaces, and churches, and climbing down to the bottom of the gorge from the Casa del Rey Moro. Most people visit Ronda in one day, but if you have the chance, there is so much more to this town than what you get covered with only a few hours.
Note! Avoid visiting the famous bullring even outside performances. The money goes straight into the unethical activity of bullfighting no matter what time you go. So until Ronda bans bullfights, let’s stand up for the animals and boycott this attraction.
When it comes to charming towns and white villages, Andalucia is incredible, no doubt. With a good blend of famous ones and lesser-known, this is a good starting point if you plan on exploring southern Spain.
If you go on a road trip in Andalucia or you’re motorcycling in Spain you’ll get the chance to see a lot of them and I hope that you’ve got an idea about which ones to focus on by now because you just got a peek at some of the best white villages in Andalucia!
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