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5 Beautiful Villages Worth Visiting
06 March 2020 @ 19:15

Spain is full of stunning villages but here I have selected just a handful. Some may be well known, and others may be less well known, but all are breath-taking and well worth a visit. 

 

Grazalema (Cádiz) 


On the Grazalema mountain range’s white village route, this charming enclave dazzles in the glare of the southern sun, its white façades contrasting with the natural green landscape around it. Curiously, this is the wettest area of Spain, which would explain why it boasts one of the country’s biggest forests of ‘pinsapo’ (fir), which has all but disappeared in the rest of Western Europe. A town of 2,165 inhabitants, Grazalema has been part of a Biosphere Reserve since 1977, making it a hiker’s paradise.

 

 


Villanueva de los Infantes (Ciudad Real) 


This town of 5,500 residents in Campo de Montiel, in the region of Castilla–La Mancha, was declared a site of artistic and historical significance in 2004 thanks, among other things, to its 17th-century Plaza Mayor – the main square – and Santiago Hospital. But apart from the architecture, it’s fun just to wander along the medieval street of General Pérez Ballesteros or the upbeat Calle Cervantes. Villanueva de Los Infantes is one of the corners of La Mancha that may have been the subject of Cervantes’ famous opening line in ‘Don Quixote’: “A village in La Mancha whose name I do not wish to recall...”

 

 

 

Ujué (Navarre) 


The cobbled streets of this rugged medieval hamlet, 50 kilometres from Pamplona in the Olite district, lead up to the Santa Maria church–fortress that was built between the 12th and 14th centuries. Once you have made it up, you can enjoy panoramic views that stretch from the foothills of the Pyrenees and the plains of Ribera del Ebro to the mountain of Moncayo to the south. It is also worth just strolling through its labyrinthine streets, which are home to 200 people, as well as sampling the local delicacy, ‘migas de pastor’ (or shepherd’s breadcrumbs).

 

 


Chinchón (Madrid) 


The main square is the best place to start a sightseeing tour of this charming town of 5,447 inhabitants, some 44 kilometres southeast of Madrid. Recognized as one of the most beautiful squares in Spain, it is by no means all the town has to offer. There is also the 14th-century Torre del Reloj – or clock tower – which is the only vestige of the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church, the 15th-century Castillo de Los Condes – Castle of the Counts – which is fairly well preserved despite being ravaged by fires and wars, and the San Agustín Monastery, whose living quarters have been converted into an impressive Parador, or state-run luxury hotel.

 

 


Covarrubias (Burgos) 


Lying on the banks of the Arlanza River, Covarrubias has the only pre-11th century Castilian fortress in Spain – the Torreón de Fernán González, which was built in the Mozarabic style in the 10th century. Lately, there has been a surge of tourism to this community of 600 inhabitants, with visitors drawn by the tomb of Princess Christina of Norway in the cloister of the Church of San Cosme and San Damián. The daughter of King Haakon IV, Christina married Prince Felipe, the brother of Alfonso X the Wise in 1258 in Valladolid and was buried in Covarrubias following her death four years later. Legend has it that whoever touches the bell next to the tomb will find love. The Archivo del Adelantado de Castilla is also worth a look as are the numerous medieval-style dwellings that line the streets.



Like 1




3 Comments


Paul Tempany said:
07 March 2020 @ 17:26

Pleased that I've seen 3 of these lovely villages that you've carefully chosen. Unfortunately, I don't think your top photo is of Grazalema, which I've visited more times than I can remember. While Grazalema is a white village on a hill side, I don't recall ever seeing the two large stone buildings (upper right) or the stone wall running below them. Also, there would be nosky, just more mountain! Be nice to know where it is, though!


La Perla Blanca, Ronda said:
10 March 2020 @ 10:23

Replying to Paul.
Hi Paul, You are absolutely correct. I can confirm the first photo is the white village of Setenil De Las Bodegas approximately a 45-minute drive from Grazalema. It is unique in that many of the houses, bars and shops are built within the caves of the village. It is quite spectacular and well worth a visit.
Stewart


mac75 said:
10 March 2020 @ 16:02

Thanks for picking up on that, selected the wrong photo! Corrected now.


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