Naming Spain’s most picturesque villages is a daunting task, given the size of the country and all the amazing little places there are to see.
Instead, I’ve given myself the (still difficult) task of listing some of the most beautiful villages in Andalucía, and the best to visit!
Many of these are the famous “white villages of Andalucia”, known for their whitewashed buildings perched on top of hills and cascading down hillsides, with narrow winding streets that open up to beautiful views.
During my year living in Almería in the south of Spain, I was lucky enough to travel much of the region and visit many of Andalucía’s most beautiful villages, from beachside towns to mountain hamlets.
There are so many beautiful places in Spain and this area, especially Granada and Seville, but I find myself drawn to the Andalucían villages more often than the big cities.
Here’s my list of the best villages to visit in Andalucía!
Tucked away on the Southern side of the Sierra Nevada are the Alpujarras of Granada.
These white villages near Granada city have retained their Moorish influences, and I think that Pampaneira is one of the best villages to visit in the Alpujarras.
It’s the first of a trio of the most popular villages in the Alpujarras to visit, with Bubión and Capileira hugging the slopes further above.
You can actually walk between all three, but Pampaneira is by far my favourite thanks to the mountain water still running down through ditches in the middle of some streets as it used to, and the sunny main square.
This is how I imagined mountainous Spanish villages to be before I moved to Spain!
Mojácar is probably the most well-known village in the province of Almería, where I lived, as it’s near popular resorts and not too far from the beautiful area of Cabo de Gata Natural Park.
This white village in Almería province is built on a hill and it makes it look like the whole village is the hill! It’s one of the most impressive of these beautiful villages to see from a distance.
Often people stay in the nearby beach resorts but I prefer the village itself. Winding narrow lanes with plant pots give way to wide-open spaces with views for miles around, from the nearby sea to the mountains in the distance.
My expectations weren’t too high for this little village just north of Nerja, but since it’s ended up amongst the best villages to visit in Andalucía you can probably guess that it ended up being a favourite!
It’s one of the traditional white villages of Spain that is near the coast but it makes you feel like you could be somewhere deep in the mountains… if it weren’t for the sea view in the distance!
Due to its proximity to Malaga and the Costa del Sol it’s amongst one of the most touristy Spanish villages in Andalucía.
Although there are many beautiful villages near Malaga, this is popular, and it’s one of my favourites despite its popularity.
Head to higher areas away from the main square to see the narrow cobblestone streets, overflowing with pot plants and dotted with colourful doors and with fewer people about.
I sipped coffee under a lemon tree, with views out to the Mediterranean and I couldn’t have been happier.
The gateway to the Alpujarras, Lanjarón is one of the bigger villages in Andalucia on this must-see list, and one of the more famous although you might not have realised it. All over Spain, you can buy “Lanjarón” mineral water which comes from here.
Lanjaron is a spa town where you can indulge in treatments, enjoy the surrounding nature and explore the ruined castle perched on an outcropping, providing beautiful views of nearby hills and the town itself.
It’s a great spot if you want to visit Andalucía and get out of the big cities, especially since it’s within easy reach of Granada or Malaga.
Salobreña has a history stretching back 6000 years. This whitewashed village is another that covers most of a hill and is crowned with a Moorish castle.
This small town is very popular with expats, especially in the summer when its population more than doubles in size.
It’s easy to see why when it’s so picturesque and Granada and Malaga are within easy driving or public transport distance, as are plenty of beaches along the Costa Tropical and the Costa del Sol.
Sometimes it’s the small towns in Spain that are the most popular and this beautiful village in Andalucia is no exception!
I couldn’t leave out this village, even though I’ve already named two in the Alpujarras as some of the most beautiful villages in Andalucia (and I could have named many more!).
Trevélez is the highest village in mainland Spain at 1,476m, and it’s perched steeply on the side of a mountain.
I visited in January after there had been some snowfall, and it didn’t feel like being in the south of Spain, but rather like a European mountain village much further north… apart from the cured ham shops every 100 metres that is!
Many people discount Spain as a cold winter destination, but there are actually some amazing places to visit in the winter, not just for the winter sun!
The clear mountain air is perfect for curing ham, which is the main industry here, and you can enjoy it in any of Trevélez’s 3 neighbourhoods, Bajo, Medio and Alto (low, middle and high), although Bajo is where the most touristy shops are.
Ronda is the town of romantics, and quotes by famous Romantic era personalities about Ronda are even displayed prominently near the famous bridge.
I already wrote about how Ronda is Spain’s most beautiful village here, and although it’s a hard decision I have to stand by it (I think… it’s so hard to decide!).
Ronda isn’t a typical whitewashed and Andalucían village like other villages on the list. It has wider streets and plazas, and even a bullring (the first modern bullring in Spain). If you include all of it, it is probably considered to be more of a town or city.
The most captivating thing about Ronda and the reason it’s one of the most beautiful villages in Spain is the Puente Nuevo, a stone bridge spanning the gorge that separates the old and new town, and offering stunning views across the valley.
So there you are, seven of the most beautiful villages in Andalucía, just waiting for you to discover them!
I could have named so many more places along the coast in Cabo de Gata, more Spanish villages in the Alpujarras or places further to the west in Andalucía, but it’s so hard to narrow it down.
Spain is full of beautiful places to visit, but these villages should definitely be on your list when you’re in the south!
Planning a trip to Spain? Check out these posts:
- 27 Most Beautiful Places in Spain You Should Visit
- Spain in Winter: Why You Should Go + Best Places to Visit
- 13 Spanish Festivals That You Shouldn’t Miss
- What It’s Like Living in Spain
- 11 Best Day Trips From Madrid
- How to Teach English in Spain
- 33 Best things to Do in Costa Brava
- Why You Need to Visit the Fairytale Town of Besalu
- Girona: Game of Thrones Locations + Awesome Things to Do
- 5 Ways to Get Around Madrid
- Did I Miss the Point in Barcelona?
- Cordoba Patio Festival: How to Plan Your Visit
- Guide to One Day in Valencia
- Best Things to Do in Ronda
- Top 10 Things to Do in Almeria City
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54 thoughts on “7 of the Most Beautiful Villages in Andalucía, Spain”
I rented a car in Malaga and did a circuit of some of the ‘pueblos blancos’ between Ronda and Cadiz.
Highlights were Arcos de la Frontera, (high on a rocky outcrop, with views similar to Ronda) Olvera, Setenil de las Bodegas, (where houses are built deep into overhanging rocks) and Zahara de la Sierra, which has a ruined moorish castle perched high above the town. Fascinating part of the world.
It really is! There are so so many places it was hard for me to choose, and obviously even more that I haven’t made it to yet! Setenil de las Bodegas is beautiful too! I still want to go and see so much of Spain.
Wow – these pictures are so stunning. I haven’t spent too much time in Southern Spain, but Ronda and Trevélez stand out to me the most! Some friends and I were thinking about Spain later this year, so hopefully I can work these into the plans!
Thank you! I spent the most time in southern Spain haha. It’s such a big country with so much to see though! Hopefully you might make it to some of these 🙂
We are staying with family in Alhaurín de la Torre and yesterday drove to Mijas Pueblo. It’s a beautiful little village perched on a hillside with stunning views of the Mediterranean. Shopping was fun and we had a delicious lunch overlooking the sea.
Sounds lovely! I haven’t been myself but I’ll have to check it out.
Trevelez really isn’t too nice. It’s main fame is it’s height, but you already feel just as high up in other much prettier villages. (It’s other fane is ham. So if you’re obsessed with ham you might enjoy it).
I enjoyed it but there was also snow when we went so it added to the experience!
Gorgeous photos! I went to Spain for the first time this month but only to Madrid since we had limited time. I fell in love with the city and want to go back and explore more of the countryside. Your post is making me want to go back today!
I really liked Madrid! It still has a very Spanish feel despite being a big city. I hope you get to go back and explore more. I’m biased, but I love the south!
Everything that I have seen here makes me want to go Andalucia! The cliffs in Salobreña look so majestic. And walking between villages is my favourite thing:)
You would definitely love it then! Especially in the Alpujarras where you can walk all over between lots and lots of tiny villages. It’s a really magical place!
I recently had my first experience in Andalusia, so I mainly visited the bigger cities, but I really wanted to visit Pampaniera too as I heard great things. Now I see I did miss something, but there was already snow when I went. I go back again this year but decided on the southern western part of Andalusia for that trip. Maybe I’d have to rethink it again. Thanks for the new inspiration.
You’re welcome! I love the south of Spain, there’s just so much to see that I’m sure wherever you decide to go you’ll see beautiful things :).
Wooow these places look amazing! I spent a day in Barcelona a while ago thinking I could cross Spain off my list haha, clearly I was wrong. These cities seem to charming, I’d definitely spend a good few months in Ronda if I could.
Haha Spain is so huge and the areas are so diverse that despite spending a year in Andalucia I feel like I barely scratched the surface!
These villages are beautiful! My parents live in a small Spanish village about 30 mins from the coast in the Murcia region and I’ve always wondered if all mountain towns in Spain were as pretty as theirs – and you post answered my question – They are!
Wow that’s amazing your parents live there. That probably isn’t too far from some of these! I had such a hard time narrowing this list down and I obviously haven’t even been everywhere!
Perfect timing I am off to Salobrena in a few weeks and it is so nice to see it being written about. I am very lucky I get to spend 3 months in Spain travelling from Salobrena up to Almeria housesitting so I intend to hang onto your list and hit every place on it.
That’s great! I hope you have an amazing time there, I love that whole area so much. I have quite a lot of Almeria posts and ones about the surrounding area, and let me know if you need any tips!
OMG! All the places look impeccably beautiful!!! Esp, Trevelez and Ronda are just gorgeous! As I always say, the most beautiful places anywhere in world, as the tiny little villages where tourists don’t venture! 🙂
I totally agree! Some of these are getting more and more popular, but I always seem to fall more in love with little places than big cities!
Awesome, I’ve never been to Andalucia but your pics have opened my appetite for it 🙂
Thanks! I hope you get to go sometime, I love it there so much!
Spain is making all the right noises off late, especially in my country India. After a Bollywood movie was shot in Spain, more and more people in India are interested in visiting Spain. The villages you mentioned here seem great.
That’s really interesting to know! Spain is such an amazing place and it’s so diverse. There really is something for everyone there!
Really nice places, I know a few of them…
Have you been to Ohanes? (45 minutes from almeria city) For me, it deserves to be in this list!
By the way… I’m going to New Zealand next week… Any advice or tips?
I actually thought so so hard about including Ohanes on this list! I went there briefly and it was really lovely, but I was trying to keep the numbers low. There are so many great places! I could endlessly go on about New Zealand haha, it really depends where you’re going and for how long! Make sure you try proper local fish and chips 🙂
A great choice of villages and there are so many! I’m still exploring.
I love them all and even more but I was trying to keep it short! There are so many amazing little hidden places in Spain :).
amazing structures. i love your descriptions and photos of the villages. 🙂
Thank you! They are beautiful little places!
Wow, I have only been to Barcelona and Seville but this post has inspired me to see more of Spain!
Thats great! Hopefully you get to see some more of Southern Spain 🙂
I like the White Villages in central Andalucia which seem to almost defy gravity in places ! Particularly lovely villages include Grazalema, Vejer de la Frontera and Arcos de la Frontera. I discovered their charm, and the narrow streets, whitewashed houses, pretty old churches and flower-strewn squares have been restored 🙂
They really know how to make beautiful little villages in Spain :). Especially when they add flowers!
What a great article! I am actually going to Andalusia soon, so this comes in really handy. I already knew Ronda, but I had never heard of the other places!
Thank you! Hopefully you make it to some of the others, and there are plenty more!
I spent four months at different times in the past year exploring Spain for the first time, and also found it so diverse too. Loving Spain so much and hope to return some time. I have been to most of these villages and agree they are very beautiful to explore too. Also enjoyed another couple close to Madrid, northwest is Segovia and south east of Madrid is Cuenca which are picturesque.
Thanks! There really is so much to see in Spain. I loved some of the villages near Madrid too, but I decided I had to limit this post to Andalucia! More on those coming 😀
Just yesterday my boyfriend and I decided that we’d travel to Andalucia next year, as his family has a holiday flat out there! Your post comes in very handy indeed – can’t wait for our trip!
That’s exciting! Where is the flat? It’s such a lovely place and despite the huge amount of tourism there really are some hidden places 🙂
I have not been. I really do want to explore more of Spain that is off the typical tourist track and these towns look so picturesque. Pinning this for planning a future trip.
They are beautiful an despite Spain being a popular tourist destination you can definitely find places that aren’t overrun! Hope you make it soon 🙂
One village that is 100% worth visiting is Cazorla, just come back from a weekend away there with friends and family – not only beautiful but there are also many activities to take part in such as horse riding, trekking, wildlife parks, sampling the local tapas (as you do every where in Spain!).
Thanks for the recommendation! I haven’t been so I’ll add it to the list for next time I’m in the area 🙂
Thank you for doing this. So many people that travel to Spain don’t know how beautiful Andalucía is. I’m from Sevilla, but I’ve been living in the US for 22 years. Most people when I mention I’m originally from Spain assumed I’m from Barcelona or Madrid. Like you said, there’s so much to see in my country . The experience you get from visiting Asturias will be totally different from the one at Granada, one has Celtic heritage the other Moorish, but just sighing the same country ?. I agree with Domus about Cazorla, there’s so much to do there and still has the Andalusian charm.
Again thank you so much for this post.
You’re so welcome! Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂 🙂
Going back to this older post. We are heading over in Feb to Spain and intent to spend 3-4 weeks in the Andulusia area. While my husband is working on a project, I’ll be wanting to travel & explore.
I’ll have a car but would like to be in a large enough town/village with a farmers market, cafe’s for sitting and people watching, preferably with historic places nearby and prefer water to the mountains.
Which area or town would you recommend for staying at least a week without getting bored?
You’ll love the South Island of NZ. Beautiful, diverse landscape, really friendly people.
Hi! Sorry I’m just replying to this now. It really depends I suppose! You could choose somewhere like Lanjaron as it’s a bigger town and it’s close to Granada and the coast, and you could make day trips further afield as well as to all the smaller villages of the Alpujarras. It’s also where the Lanjaron water comes from :D. Otherwise maybe Ronda as that’s also close to other places that would be great to explore.
Mojacar or Frigiliana? if you had to choose?
Oooh tough one! I would probably go Mojacar, just because oh the beach and proximity to other places I also like, but Frigiliana is very close to Nijar and Malaga which means it’s probably more accessible!
Hi We are thinking of retiring to Spain from the UK and want to live in a village. We want restaurants/bars in walking distance coast within 30 mins. Can you please recommend any villages?
Look forward to your reply.
Hi Barry, There are so many that would fit your description it would be impossible to start listing them all, unfortunately! You could start with many of the places on this list and then look at nearby areas. For example though, do you want to be close to a major airport like Malaga or Alicante? Do you want to be somewhere with an expat community? For example many people live in Nerja or the surrounds, or Mojacar and the surrounds. You could start by checking those out!