One of the jewels in the crown of Cadiz tourism, of acclaimed national and international interest, is the well-known Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos. A compendium of 20 municipalities nestled in the Sierra de Cádiz, famous -among many other reasons- for the immaculate white that the whitewash of their facades gives them; a characteristic sign of the buildings that gives the route its name.
Alcalá del Valle, Algar, Algodonales, Arcos de la Frontera, Benamahoma, Benaocaz, Bornos, El Bosque, El Gastor, Espera, Grazalema, Olvera, Prado del Rey, Puerto Serrano, Torre-Alháquime, Setenil de las Bodegas, Ubrique, Villaluenga del Rosario, Villamartín and Zahara de la Sierra form the cluster of towns that make up the Route.
This set of villas has witnessed the passage of different civilizations throughout history. From the first prehistoric settlements, through the Nasrid conquest and the subsequent Christian crusade, which have left important traces of these times scattered throughout the mountains of Cadiz. Historical remains that bring us closer to the life and customs of those who once considered the Pueblos Blancos as their home.
To the north of the Sierra de Cádiz is one of the most beautiful natural sites in the province, the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Considered the first Biosphere Reserve in Spain by UNESCO in 1977, this area has more than 50,000 hectares, a perfect setting for adventure sports such as hiking, different types of mountaineering, kayak routes or canyoning. This massif has become home to a wide diversity of fauna and vegetation, of which we can highlight tree species such as the Spanish fir. Being one of the great natural attractions, this unique pine species throughout the Peninsula has been able to adapt to the climate of the area and settle throughout the mountain geography.
Straddling Cádiz and Málaga, we find the Natural Park of Los Alcornocales, an extensive area of almost 170,000 hectares, considered one of the largest natural parks in Spain, which receives its name from the largest cork oak forest in the world. An enormous forest mass favored by its characteristic Mediterranean microclimate with Atlantic influences. The accumulation of archaeological remains, together with the plurality of species of fauna and flora, make Los Alcornocales a mandatory stop on our Route of White Towns.
The natural environment in which the different municipalities are installed fosters a unique gastronomic diversity. From tasty game meats, through the exquisite quality of its horticultural products, its renowned cheeses or its traditional sweets, the White Villages themselves make up an unbeatable gastronomic route suitable for all tastes and pockets.
Lovers of heritage tourism also find their place on this route thanks to the architectural diversity of the temples distributed throughout the 19 towns. The set of hermitages, churches and parishes that we can visit throughout the mountain geography drink from the different cultures that have resided throughout history in the different municipalities to which they belong. Thus, we can find religious buildings with Nasrid, Romanesque elements or with Gothic influences.