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Andalucia's White Hill Towns OR Las Alpujarras in the Sierra Nevada

Thanks in advance for advice!
My husband and I are travelling to Europe this month, in Spain for a month from 17 April. We would like advice on whether to go to Andalucia's White Hill Towns OR Las Alpujarras in the Sierra Nevada.
I appreciate that the White hill towns around Arcos are very different to the villages of Las Alpujarras, but would appreciate advice on where to spend 3-4 days in more rural Andalucia.
We are planning on taking public transport.

Posted by
9110 posts

Wow! The first interesting Andalucia question in years.

There's three okay white hill towns, all thronged with lemmings, that show up in guidebooks.

There must be four dozen villages in the Alpujarras - - all different, mini-eco systems, the national park, mountain goats, a different drop-your-jaw view around every bend, enough trails to hike your heart out, varied history for the whole area. Oh, yeah - - the villages in the area are sometimes called 'white hill towns' too - - odd that nobody gets the two areas confused.

Dunno, it's a close call.

Posted by
984 posts

'all thronged with lemmings, that show up in guidebooks.'
I am missing some education or we are divided by our common language, could I have this in English?

There are hundreds of white towns and villages all over Andalucia, but predominately Seville, Cadiz and Malaga provinces and, as Ed says, a small number which could be counted in the Alpujarra in Granada. Without knowing what you look for with your idea 'to spend 3-4 days in more rural Andalucia.' I will not commit to any small group of them. I will say, beware spending time in places which are simply attractive as a view from afar and where nothing happens.

Google anything you see on the map. See what interests (the images more so perhaps) and see if you can group a few together. Be warned that whilst public transport in the form of buses touches almost everywhere, it is not designed for you, the tourist, and may only enter and exit somewhere once or twice a day.

Try this as a resource -

Posted by
9110 posts

British translation: Arcos and Ronda without the hills are like Cheddar Gorge without the gorge. Las Alpujarras is like the dolmen in the middle of a sheep field outside of Beddgeret that's not in the literature and you had to slam on the brakes as you did a double-take and ripped your britches clambering over the barb wire fence so you could get out to it.

Basic rule: If Neil speaks, disregard anything anybody else has to say about southern Spain.

Posted by
16887 posts

There are several different bus companies around Spain; try as a starting point for finding service. But I would plan to re-confirm bus schedules as you go, the old-fashioned way, instead of necessarily expecting to find everything online.

Posted by
951 posts

We did both in 2012. Went to ronda for 2 nights. I enjoyed being a lemming there. Such gorgeous views and interesting history. We then spent 5 nights in berchules, a small white themed village, known for its hiking. We were part of a mountain bike holiday and biked all over the alpujarras. It was very rural. It was a very different experience than ronda. Apples and oranges. We had the time of our life mountain biking. It's not very touristy. It's more for when you want to escape it all, in my opinion. I can't wait to return.
We stayed at hotel berchules.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your considered responses. We are indeed looking to "escape it all", if only briefly. We intend to spend five days in Pampaniera. Thank you Laura for your advice on a bus service- great stuff!
Happy travels!