White Towns of Andalusia
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The White Towns of Andalusia, or Pueblos Blancos, are a series of towns and large villages in the northern part of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga in southern Spain, mostly within the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
The area has been settled since prehistoric times, and some of the local caves have ancient rock paintings. The towns were previously inhabited during Al Andalus, as is evident from many of the names.
The reasons for the white color has been postulated to be a chemical result of the limestone used, or a political mandate by a 20th-century dictator.
The climate is mild and the surrounding countryside is green and pleasant. Tourist activities available include hiking, rock-climbing, pot-holing, cycling, horseback riding, and just ambling about, enjoying nature and the local food.
The main towns, villages and other interesting places to visit include:
- Zahara de la Sierra - next to a reservoir - typical Cádiz town
- Garganta Verde and Ermita de la Garganta - caves with stalactites and stalagmites
- Puerto de las Palomas - splendid views
- Grazalema - one of the main towns
- Villaluenga del Rosario - highest of the White Towns and one of the prettiest
- Benaocaz - an Arab town with remains of a fortress
- Ubrique - largest of the White Towns
- Benamahoma - contains the Fuente de Nacimiento of Majaceite river
- El Bosque - trout fishing and hang gliding from here
- Prado del Rey - a more modern village
- Puerto Serrano - nice quiet town
- Algodonales - 16th-century town with some Roman ruins
- El Gastor - Balcón de los Pueblos Blancos with an interesting church
- Setenil de las Bodegas - village built into the rocks - Arab fortress
- Alcalá del Valle - pretty town - megalithic standing stones nearby
- Torre Alhaquime - good holiday village
- Olvera - main town of the area
- Arcos de la Frontera - perched on a cliff - Baroque churches
- Algar - up a mountain road
- Espera - panoramic views
- Bornos and Villamartín - reservoir, Roman ruins
- Vejer de la Frontera
- Frigiliana - musk wine and olive oil