As visitors to the Costa del Sol know, this part of southern Spain is renowned for its stunning white villages. The province of Malaga boasts a pretty array in the east around Nerja and an equally lovely selection in the west. In this blog post, we look at the latter and list our favourite white villages near Ronda.
Need to know about white villages near Ronda
The provinces of Malaga and Cadiz overlap on the western side of the Costa del Sol. As a result, the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos (white villages route) takes you in and out of the two provinces as you visit the 19 villages.
Visiting several of these villages is more than feasible on a Costa del Sol road trip – and we’d definitely recommend you do. Maybe all 19 could be too much on one trip, so to help you choose which to visit first, here are our favourites (in alphabetical order).
Algatocín – a white village with views
If you’re driving to Algatocín from Ronda, you’ll spot the blue-tiled church tower in this village on the other side of the River Genal valley. When you get there, stroll around the village streets to reach the viewing points where you’ll have possibly the best views in the area.
Atajate – the smallest white village near Ronda
And on the Costa del Sol too because fewer than 170 people live here. This tiny village sits in a valley in one of the quietest parts of southern Spain. While you’re soaking up the peace and quiet, don’t miss the 18th-century church whose Baroque tower dominates the village.
Cartajima – a white village in a forest of gold
Cartajima sits southwest of Ronda in a commanding position in the River Genal Valley. It’s surrounded by chestnut tree forests that turn golden in the autumn, one of the best times to visit. But you can take in the lovely old quarter, complete with modern murals at any time of year.
El Burgo – a white village in nature
This sleepy village sits on the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, not far from its highest peak, Torrecilla (1,919m). Don’t miss the walk along the River Turón or a stroll through the winding streets in the village.
Did you know? Ronda is one of the stops on all our Costa del Sol Road Trips and your stay in the town provides the perfect opportunity to discover these white villages.
Gaucín – a white village with art
At the far western end of Malaga province, not far from Casares, sits Gaucín on a mountain ridge providing 360-degree panoramic views. As well as spectacular vistas, this village is famous for its annual Art Festival. It takes place in May and June when the local artist community opens its studio doors.
Jimera de Libar – a white village in a valley
Another village with Moorish origins, Jimera de Líbar has two parts: the village proper on the mountainside and the district around the station in the valley below. Check out the Cruz de Ventura in the old village with stunning valley views and if you’re interested in history and heritage, make your way to Finca del Tesoro with Phoenician remains from 700BC.
Júzcar – not a white village at all
The arrival of Sony film crews in 2011 changed the destiny of this white village near Ronda forever. Since then, all the buildings are Smurf blue and you’ll find several nods to the Smurf family around the village, making this a great family destination on the Costa del Sol. The best times to visit Júzcar are spring and autumn when the surrounding chestnut tree forests turn white or golden.
Montejaque – a white village on a mountain
High up in the foothills of the Serranía de Ronda at the foot of the Monte Hacho peak, this white village has a sheltered, quiet position and amazing views of the River Guadiaro Valley. Get the best vistas from the mirador with remains of a Moorish fortress – follow the blue signs up through the village to get there.
Montejaque is also an excellent base for exploring some of the best caves on the Costa del Sol. See our Active Adventure Road Trip for inspiration.
Olvera – a white village with a fortress
North of Setenil de las Bodegas lies Olvera, just over the border in the province of Cadiz. You’ll spot this white village near Ronda from miles away because it shines bright on a hill. Make your way up to the Moorish fortress at the summit, where you’ll have amazing views of the surrounding countryside.
Setenil de las Bodegas – a white village with caves
This amazing village lies to the north of Ronda and, unlike other white villages in the area, doesn’t sit on the hill. Quite the opposite, in fact, because Setenil de las Bodegas lies in a gorge, made up of caves. The most famous are the Cuevas del Sol and Cuevas de la Sombra (sunny and shady caves, respectively). In the heart of the village, look out for the rocky outcrops over the streets and the houses carved into them.
Did you know? A guide to the perfectly planned Costa del Sol Road Trip costs just €4.95, but if you buy more than one, you get a generous discount.