Andalusia - The Road Through White Villages

Jan 22, 2012

The next morning we said goodbye to Granada and hit the road again. We were both really excited about the drive, having so many interesting stops on our way before Seville. After Antequera we sticked to small roads only and made our first stop in Ronda, an adorable small town that’s split into two parts by a deep canyon (El Tajo) and is surrounded by mountainous landscape. We parked the car near the small downtown and took a stroll around the place, reaching the canyon in the end of the main strip. The scenario around the cliff was beautiful, and the bridge that took us to the other (older) side of the town was impressive in size and shape. After wandering around for a while we stumbled upon a small plaza with a tiny restaurant and terrace framed by a line of orange trees. Since the weather couldn’t be any better, we dined outside in all the peace and quiet…

But we still had a long way to go and a lot to see, so we had to get back to the car and navigate ahead. The route took us through the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, and many of its picturesque villages such as BenaojanMontejague, and Zahara and their endless olive groves. Shortly after Ronda we passed el Gato Cave, a large limestone cavern, typical for the area. From there on the route was pretty rural except for these little white mountainside villages lying on the rocky outcrops. As we drove past the Benaojan and Montejague, we pulled over to take some photos- unfortunately we had no time to do any actual hiking (which is quite popular thing to do in the area) and had to settle for what we saw from the road. After the villages the road got really narrow and followed a steep cliff for some time before reaching another plateau- really impressive changes of scenarios in such a short distance.  

Finally we arrived to a big lake called Embalse de Zahara, which is just below the town of Zahara. We climbed up the hill to get to the top of the town and then walked down its small streets. Thousands of orange- and lemon trees were lining up against the white stone houses, offering the windows shade on a hot summer day. It was no surprise the views again were magnificent, overlooking the lake and the rest of the surroundings. 

Soon after leaving Zahara the sun started to set and you could just see the mountainous landscape getting smaller and smaller in the review mirror the closer we got to the highway and Seville. By the time we got to the outskirts of the city, it was pitch dark already.



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