6 Glistening White-Washed Villages in Málaga

© Jean François/Flickr
© Jean François/Flickr | © Jean François/Flickr
Mark Nayler

Málaga province is scattered with “pueblos blancos” – the traditional, picturesque “white villages” of squashed-together old houses and narrow little streets that mark the landscape like snowflakes. Though many of these villages and small towns are firmly-established on the tourist scene, they have nevertheless retained their rural, Andalusian character, as you will see if you visit any of the six below.


Were it not perched on two sides of a 330-foot-deep gorge, the beautiful country village of Ronda would probably be overlooked by many visitors to Málaga. But its beautiful and slightly terrifying New Bridge, built in the 18th century to join up Ronda’s two halves, is an architectural masterpiece that has made this quiet little town the third most visited destination in Andalusia. The narrow streets of its old Moorish quarter, La Ciudad (“The Town”) and the newish part known as El Mercadillo (“The Little Market”) – which cling to the south and north sides of El Tajo canyon respectively – are lined with elegant townhouses adorned with yellow-framed doorways and windows, and hanging pots of bright geraniums. Ronda is also the birthplace of modern bullfighting, and its stately 18th century bullring is the town’s other key attraction.

Ronda is perched on either side of the EL Tajo gorge


Taxi rank in Mijas


One of the most ridiculously beautuiful of all Andalusia’s white villages is perched on top of a 1,427 foot-high cliff about 10 miles inland from Estepona (see below). Bizarrely, given its vertiginous location and the attractiveness of its crunched-together white houses – that seem to have been stacked on top of one another when you’re approaching from below – Casares remains something of an underdog on the Málaga tourist scene. The standard pueblo blanco offering – narrow little streets lined by the ubiqutous white houses, a 12th century Moorish fort, pretty squares and terraces – is elevated to a new level here (forgive the pun) because of Casares’ high altitude and truly humbling views of the surrounding landscape.

The beautiful village of Casares sits on the top of a cliff

Villanueva de la Concepción

The southern approach to Villanueva de la Concepción from Málaga, which takes you through some of Andalusia’s most dramatic scenery, gives a superb view of this lovely little village’s privileged location. Resembling a giant patch of snow that has somehow settled among the endless olive groves and hills, it hugs the foothills of the stunning El Torcal national park, with its bizarre and fascinating karst rock formations. Some of the more adventurous expats and holidaymakers make it out to Villanueva, but it is essentially an unspoilt, working agricultural village in the typical whitewashed Andalusian style. From the mirador at its eastern end, close to the superb Meson Torfa bar, is a beautiful lookout from which, on a clear day (and there are a lot of them in Villanueva) you can see across the gently undulating countryside right down to Málaga and the Mediterranean beyond.

Villanueva de la Concepción


Estepona is often somewhat overshadowed by Marbella, its more famous coastal neighbor, yet it combines the traditional prettiness of an Andalusian pueblo blanco with some of the best beaches and sea views on the Costa del Sol. And while brightly-colored teracotta pots overflowing with scarlet geraniums are a staple of any white village or town in Andalusia, they are particularly abundant in Estepona – especially on the streets surrounding the aptly-named Plaza de Flores, which are some of the most attractive you’ll see in Málaga province. To fully absorb Estepona’s enchanting ambience, simply wander aimlessly around its colorful streets on a warm summer evening, then head to La Rada beach for the sunset. If that doesn’t make you want to immediately cancel your flight home and stay on indefinitely in Andalusia, nothing will.

Estepona has some of the prettiest streets in Malaga


Known as “The Heart of Andalusia” due to its central location and proximity to major cities such as Málaga, Granada, Cordoba and Seville, Antequera has kept its pueblo blanco style and atmosphere despite its considerable size. Its 14th century Moorish Alcazaba – resembling a mini-Alhambra – sits at the top of the historic center’s tightly-packed white houses and beautiful old churches. Like Villanueva de la Concepción – which is only a 20-minute drive away, the other side of the El Torcal nature reserve – Antequera is never beseiged by tourists as some destinations on the Costa del Sol are, so it retains its traditional Andalusian character and ambience all year round. It also boasts a collection of southern Spain’s greatest historical monuments – the Menga and Viera dolmens and the Tholos of El Romeral. These Neolithic and Bronze age tombs are some of the most significant surviving instances of European Megalithism.

Whitewashed houses of Antequera
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article