While in Seville we decided to take a day trip to see the surrounding ‘Pueblos Blancos’ (white villages) that are famous in Southern Spain. These are a series of pretty whitewashed towns, scattered throughout the Andalusian countryside. They make a fantastic day trip out of the city and there are many to explore. Although somewhat difficult to get to, there are options for every budget. Some train and bus service is available to the larger villages such as Rhonda, but we chose to higher a private driver to tour some smaller villages.
With two of us travelling, it was cost-effective and efficient to hire a driver and we were able to see some incredible and remote villages. Most of the villages are so small that without a car you wouldn’t be able to visit them and the only place that seemed worthy of a longer visit or an overnight was Rhonda. Most of the stops are quick visits to explore on foot, take photos or stop for a coffee or lunch.
During our trip, we managed to visit Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema, Olvera, Setenil de las Bodegas and Rhonda, which made for a whirl-wind day but very enjoyable. Each village has its own charm and all are very different. Each has narrow alleyways, picturesque town centres, usually with a square, a church and beautiful views. Zahara de la Sierra was one of my favorites, perched on a mountain, overlooking a valley with stunning views of Southern Spain all around.
The countryside between the villages is also beautiful, with mountains, ancient forests and lakes. We were able to drive through Sierra de Grazalema National Park, for a glimpse at the 50,000+ hectare park. It was absolutely the highlight of Spain for me and our guide Paul was very knowledgable about the area and made it thoroughly enjoyable. I would highly recommend visiting this beautiful, hard to reach area in Southern Spain.