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White Villages – So Many Hidden Gems

Spain’s Costas are renowned for the stunning coastline: fabulous sun-drenched beaches generously dotted with an abundance of beach bars designed to tempt you with their promise of sun tans and amazing fresh food. But Andalucía has so much more to offer its visitors. Take a trip away from the coast, head inland for no more than a few kilometres and it won’t be long until you reach one of the many picturesque towns and villages. You can even follow a tourist route of these white villages, which spreads from la Sierra, in the province of Cadiz to the Serrania de Ronda, in the province of Málaga. These delightful little enclaves are impressive historical monuments in their own right and are the hidden jewels of Andalucía.

Many of the inhabitants of these whitewashed villages still live according to age-old traditions inherited from their forefathers of Iberian, Roman and Moorish times. Some villages near the coast have become quite fashionable resorts, whilst others a little further away, have held on to their ancient appeal and tempt visitors with their local produce such olive oil, fruit and vegetables and goat’s milk.

There is a strong Muslim influence in the architecture of steep, narrow, winding streets, alleyways allowing access into the houses and patios. Many of the villages include ‘…de la Frontera’ (of the frontier) after their name which was due to the ever-moving frontiers brought about by constant clashes between the Moorish and Christian faiths. However, their status as a ‘fortress’ no longer a requirement, has seen many of the towns dropping the ‘de la Frontera’ to be known simply as Vejer or Arcos for example.

If spending some time away from the coast is for you, then have a look at some of our stunning mountain properties. I’m sure we can find you the perfect mountain retreat hidden amongst one of these little white villages.

One of the prettiest villages, in our view, is Casares which is only 15km from the coast. Nestled within the winding streets you can stay in fabulous 2-bed townhouse. If you park at the top of the village you get the best view of its medieval fortress which sits proudly on the top of the hill. This view is best in the afternoon sun and is an ideal spot to climb down one of the steep, but well maintained, footpaths that lead into the village square called Plaza de España.

If you are looking for a larger property, this stunning 7-bed villa could be just what you are looking for. Situated in Ojen, just 10 minutes’ drive from the town and beaches of Marbella. Visitors can stroll through the town centre to view the Fountain of Chorros, a drinking water fountain which dates back to 1905. Also worth a visit are the Oil Mill Museum, Wine Museum and the Caves of Ojen.

Another of our popular rural property rentals features two adjacent properties situated on the mountainside just outside Coin, near Malaga. The first is a 2-bed villa ‘Casa Maria’ and the second, a 4-bed villa ‘Finca Tropical’. Both properties offer spectacular mountain views, abundant orchards, BBQ areas and private pools (which can be heated if required).

We have many more holiday rental properties with beautiful views across the province. Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, our holiday rental experts are on hand to help you find the perfect property for your next vacation.

Why visit Casares in 2018

Why visit Casares in 2018

Casares is a stunning white village in the hills inland from the Costa del Sol. It is a wonderful place to visit and a village that we really love, here are five reasons why you should be planning your next holiday to Casares.

  1. It is charming and pretty with an old fashioned Spanish vibe – It is just a short car ride from the bustling town of Estepona, but arriving in Casares is like stepping back into time. The beautiful village is built around and on a rocky outcrop, with the houses clinging onto the rock and steep paths winding up the hill. People looking for the “real Spain” but within easy reach of the coast’s facilities will love it here.
  2. The countryside is gorgeous and it is ideal for hiking and birdwatching – Nature lovers will be delighted by the unspoilt countryside all around Casares. The village sits in the Sierra Bermeja natural park with volcanic mountains (now extinct), unique flora and fauna and native pine forests which are not found anywhere else in the world. The area is protected and perfect for hiking and spotting amazing birds of prey, which nest in this natural paradise. It has varied countryside with rocky outcrops, rolling plains, valleys and rivers, so it is a great base for a walking holiday.
  3. There are lots of sites to visit – Within the village itself you can visit ruins of an impressive Medieval castle perched high on the rock, a lovely church and chapel, the birthplace of the father of Andalusian nationalism Blas Infante and the cultural centre which has been named after Casares’ famous son. In the surrounding countryside you can visit Roman baths and see an impressive aqueduct dating back to this period. History and nature lovers can also visit the ruins of the Roman city of LACIPO founded in the 2nd century BC, admire the impressive town walls and admire stunning views across the countryside.
  4. The restaurants are amazing – In recent years, Casares has established itself as a gourmet destination, with lots of amazing restaurants popping up in a small area. There are many different ones to choose from, but we particularly like Arroyo Hondo, The Forge and Venta Garcia.
  5. You can try out the new zipline – Thrill seekers must try the newly opened zipline, which connects the El Chaparral viewpoint with the village below. The zipline runs for 300 meters above the valley and gives you a 30 second adrenaline filled aerial tour of Casares. It is now open to the public at the weekends and costs 12€. Find out more

If Casares sounds like the perfect holiday destination for you, we have a great holiday rental property for you. This 3 bedroom townhouse in Casares has 3 bathrooms, a spacious and well equipped kitchen, dining and living area and a terrace with panoramic views. It is situated in a charming urbanisation, inspired by the traditional style of the Andalusian white village, which boasts a shared swimming pool and underground parking. All of the bedrooms are ensuite, so this is a great property for a group holiday.

Please contact us if you have any questions about where to spend your next holiday, the Costa del Sol really has something for everyone!

Living inland from the Costa del Sol

mijasIf you are looking to base yourself in Spain and want a Spanish lifestyle but the convenience and safety-net of an International community a short drive away, then living just inland from the Costa del Sol is a great option. There are some lovely white villages with gorgeous views and a traditional way of life such as Casares, Mijas, Benahavis and Ojen but which are less than 30 minutes drive from all the amenities on the coast.

Read the story of Susan who is happy close to the Costa del Sol but far enough to feel like she’s experiencing the “real Spain” without the stress of being totally out of her comfort zone! Click here to read her story.

If you’d like to try out living in Southern Spain for yourself, why not consider renting long-term to see where suits you the best. We have a fantastic range of long-term rental accommodation in and around the Costa del Sol. Visit our website to search or email for advice and suggestions of where would suit your needs.

Gaucin receives rave reviews from The Telegraph

In August the travel writer Tim Jepson of the Telegraph Travel overcame his negativity about the south of Spain and experienced the beautiful white village of Gaucin, just inland of the Costa del Sol. He was blown away by this beautiful village and spent a long weekend relaxing in the sleepy, romantic atmosphere and exploring the stunning surrounding countryside.

“Even from afar, the location is astounding, white houses ranged along a lofty ridge, framed by craggy peaks, vultures wheeling overhead and surrounded by miles of sun-drilled hills dotted with carob, cork oak and shimmering fields of wheat.” To read the full article click here 

It’s great to see some positive press on this varied area and amazing to think that these stunning villages are within easy reach of the modern and cosmopolitan Costa del Sol. You can easily rent self-catering accommodation on the Costa del Sol, hire a car and take day trips out to the white villages, national parks and nearby towns if a simple beach holiday isn’t for you. 

Casares near Marbella

Another stunning white village to visit is Casares, which has the reputation for being the most picturesque of all!

In Casares the village is huddled around an ancient Muslim fort which offers stunning views and a lovely old-fashioned atmosphere.

We have a fantastic range of Casares holiday rentals for you to enjoy whist you explore the village, the stunning surrounding countryside and perhaps the nearby golf courses.