My wife and I recently completed a trip following Joan of Arc's epic route of 1429 through Burgundy and the Loire River Valley's in France. It was ravishingly beautiful, with nary a town of more than 20,000 inhabitants the entire trip. I see the White Villages possess a similar beauty. They seem to offer the same appeal as the near incomparable French villages. So in perusing this forum basically all I see are visits to cities and museums and the like. Not that that is a bad thing, I like this as well. But has anyone here ever done primarily drives through the small villages? Or is this basically just for the main highlights in the bigger cities? Surely there are others who have forgone some of the big cities for adventures through the heart of Andalusia? Appreciate what it is like driving through the White Villages.....best. ken and karen
Rick has this article online about the White Hill Towns and more detail in his Spain guidebook. I'd say these towns are fairly frequently mentioned in this Spain forum, but you might have to search by various terms, such as Andalusia, White Hill Towns, or White Villages, to find the older posts. They can also be under threads with titles such as "driving from Granada to Sevilla."
Driving through Andalusia rewards visitors with charming towns like Ronda, Grazalema, and Arcos de la Frontera, with the added excitement of some narrow streets through town, and some hairy, curvy mountain roads. Be prepared to fold in your rental car's side view mirrors.
We will be staying in Granada,Seville and Ronda,your answers will be helpful tour trip as well.
Ronda has enough sights to fill up at least one whole day, and the views are gorgeous. I used Ronda as a base to explore some of the other pueblos blancos - each has its own charm but none seemed worth more than a short visit. Driving through the hills was easy and very scenic. Arcos is worth a full day, some say an overnight. I went as a day trip from Jerez by bus.
One's I'd consider are small towns in Catalon, north of Barcelona - you could pretty much wander and find great places.
St. Jean Pied de Port (?) near Pamplona is another worth seeing.
I'd suggest Aranjuez and Cuenca if you're around Madrid (and, of course Toledo, Avila and Segovia).
Heading south I liked Belmonte Castle area, Valdepenas (not really small but very non-touristy), and Baeza and/or Ubeda. Antequera has great neolithic tombs (and some cave paintings nearby). Tarifa is a nice beach town near Gibraltar.
Although they are somewhat larger than 20,00 population, I spent a week last month in the small cities of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, The cathedrals in Burgos and Leon are awesome!
Are you looking specifically for small towns in Andalucía? Your post gave that impression but you're getting some answers for towns elsewhere. If you want ideas outside of Andalucía, let us know what regions and many of us can give you some ideas.
Doug, yes, Andalusia is where we are looking. We also will be visiting some of the coastal cities from whence Columbus launched his four voyages to America and are interested in "all things Columbus-related" as well. Thanks for being specific on my behalf....Ken and Karen Glen Ellyn, IL