Andalucia´s Undiscovered White Villages

off the beaten track and far from the crowds

The undiscovered white villages of Andalucia are well worth visiting if you like to explore new territory, stay away from the tourist hordes, or aren´t interested in knick-knack international tat tourist shops.  The Alto Genal Valley, in southern Spain near the touristy town of Ronda, is a secret. Not even Condé Nast has discovered it! And it is home to seven undiscovered little pueblos blancos. 

It is a walker´s paradise as the seven pueblos blancos are interconnected with trails, created for the local farmers and not specifically for walkers.

These days there are seven little white mountain villages perched on the hillsides but interestingly, before the Inquisition, there were as many as 21.

ALPANDEIRE, undiscovered white village

Birthplace of Fray Leopoldo (1864-1956), a Capuchin monk famous for his miracles. 

Home to El Barbara, notorious bandit killed in a shootout in 1851.

The Catedral de la Serrania was built to house three times the population that has ever lived in the village.

CARTAJIMA, undiscovered pueblo blanco

At 846 metres, Cartajima is the highest village in Malaga province.

More people processed by the Inquisition than in any other village for shaving and washing.

There´s a Moorish treasure left by the retreating Arabs and yet to be found. They also say there is a Roman necropolis. There isn´t. It was an early confusion with Cartama that has been repeated in every subsequent guidebook.

FARAJAN, undiscovered white mountain village

Hemingway called it “a white swan on a pool of hope”. Nobody quite knows what he meant so if you have any ideas do let us know!

In Arabic, the name means “pleasant place”

There is a good restaurant in the village. Worth visiting!

IGUALEJA, undiscovered Andalucian village

Birthplace of the Rio Genal that gives its name to the valley.

After reconquest, the land was parcelled off equally so each family had enough. This stab at egalitarianism did not last long.

The only village with a Latin rather than Arabic name. 

It´s said that a grandparent of Antonio Banderas was from here. I invited the famous star to come and have coffee with the Cartajima Asociacion de Mujeres but he didn´t come.

JUZCAR, somewhat discovered blue white village!

Famous for the 18th century tin plate factory.

The only white village that is blue!

They have the tiniest Virgen, the size of a doll.

PARAUTA, undiscovered white village Andalucia

Look out for a large and rare pinsapo pine in the village.

18th century doors abound

Also look for a Moorish arch connecting two buildings.

PUJERRA, really undiscovered white village

King Wamba, a Visigoth, lived here before ascending the throne.

The most remote of the villages but once on the main route from coast to Ronda.

Rare 2nd century bracaris, tiles with Christian symbols were found here.

A peaceful escape

Hotel Los Castanos is a brilliant little hotel in a quiet little town outside Ronda. Di and John are brilliant hosts who made sure we had everything we needed for a stress free and enjoyable stay. Di's cooking is wonderful and they provided lots of useful information on the local area for hiking/sightseeing.
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