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White Hill Town Help

Do you have some suggestions for an itinerary for exploring the white hill towns?

We are driving from Seville to Rhonda in one day and then have two nights and one full day in Rhonda.

I was thinking of

Day 1
Seville to Rhonda via Grazalema.

We would love to do a hike en route in the National Park.
However, would we have time to stop and explore AcRos de la Fonterra on this day? Or is that too ambitious?
Can you recommend a driving route?

Arrival to Rhonda

Day 2
Explore Rhonda
Pileta Cave
House of Guitar concert

Day 3
Leave for Córdoba
Hike the kings path.

Any recommendations would be a help!

Posted by
2660 posts

To me, the main attraction in Arcos de la Frontera is the up n the hill; the balcon de Pena Nueva. The last time I was there was 2011 and there was a small parking lot by the overlook. Be advised, the road up to the overlook is very narrow. Coming down, there are a couple 90 degree turns and the road is just as narrow. If you go there, consider taking the tram from the lower parking lot. If you were going to visit Arcos, it only makes sense to to it on your way to Ronda, otherwise you’d have to backtrack. If you were going to hike en route, that might be too much for one day.
For the Cueva de la Pileta, check to ensure you know when it offers tours since they didn’t used to be offered regularly.

Posted by
360 posts

In May, we also drove from Seville to Ronda for a two-night stay. Since we left by 9:30 a.m., we hit Arcos on the way down and had lunch there. There are a couple of cathedrals (we only went into one) and some tourist shops -- overall, we felt like we had a good feel for the town in a few hours, though we only spent time in the top/hill section, as the bottom wasn't as interesting to us. We also stopped and hiked up to the tower lookout outside of Zahara de la Sierra, and the view was amazing (turquoise man made lake), though we didn't go into the town itself. We arrived in Ronda just before 4 p.m. with all of that (though bear in mind that we consider ourselves somewhat faster in our touring than others).

On our full day in the area, we did the tour in the Pileta Caves at 11 a.m. and we were two of our people on the tour (even on a Saturday), which was amazing and pure luck because the tour coming in after us was full. Because I don't have an international plan, I made my reservation when we first arrived in Spain and got SIM cards, about 8 days prior to the tour day. One other pro-tip -- there are no bathrooms up near the parking lot or up near the caves, so take care of business before you get there. Also, do wear sturdy shoes, as the ground is a bit slippery from the water dropping and thousands of tourists that have worn down the ground. I had tennis shoes on, but had to brace myself on my husband in a few areas to avoid slipping.

One thing to call out, though is why you're going from Seville over to Ronda and then back over to Cordoba -- it's a bit of backtracking. We did Cordoba as a day trip from Seville (45 min. train ride each way).

Posted by
760 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
I don't say this often, but getting from Seville to Ronda is quick, under two hours. If you are well rested (not jet lagged) you can easily do several white hill towns on your way to Ronda.

I enjoyed the drives in the hills more than the hill towns. The building boom of the late 2000s really changed these places. Although they are still white and tucked into the hills.

Pileta Cave...now that is a trick to get a reservation. You should most definitely try. Seems the tourist info shop is not open when the cave people are taking reservations. The kind woman in the TI got us tickets. But she did roll her eyes when we asked for this help. She was quite kind. It seems once the operators are at the cave they stop using their phone. Of course they are in the cave. But keep giving it a try. The cave is well worth some frustration. We actually sat in the small car park waiting for the guide to get a reservation.
For food, get a reservation at the Santa Maria. It is two street south of the gorge. Fun place and the food was good.

wayne iNWI
I think your itinerary is excellent. Cordoba is an excellent place.

Posted by
1 posts

One thing we did find out is that the Moroccan restaurant in the book in Arcos doesn't exist anymore. There is a very good alternative call AlJibe.

Posted by
1 posts

Do you have any recommendations for private guides in the SE corner (Aleira or environs)? Would like hill tours along with attractions/hikes in the area

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

Here is what we did—we had a fantastic time! I’ve also included what I would do differently next time.

Day 1

We drove from Seville to Rhonda stopping in Zahara to check out the town and climb up to the castle. This was meant to be a full hiking day— but it was pouring rain so we skipped the hiking and arrived to Rhonda early, did some sight seeing and attended a concert at the Guitar House, which was wonderful.

Day 2

We had a reservation to visit the Pieta Caves— which was well worth the time and then drove to Grazalema to visit the town in the late afternoon.

Day 3

On our way to Córdoba we drove to and hiked the Caminito del Rey.

We spent two nights in Cordoba, we liked taking our time here, but if you are on a tight schedule, a day trip would be enough to see the main sights.

What I would do differently.

Day 1

Drive from Seville to Acros de la Frontera for a quick visit. Continue to Grazelama ( side trip to Zaraha if you have time) Spend two nights here to dedicate a day to hiking in the area.

Note: the roads in the area are narrow by North American standards and it can be nerve racking when anticipating on coming traffic around blind corners. It can be a bit daunting if you are not a confident driver.

Day 2

Visit the Pieta cave
Spend afternoon Sight seeing in Rhonda, guitar house concert.

Day 3

visit and hike the Caminito del Rey on way to Granada. (Visit Cordoba as a day trip from Seville).