June 17 - The Pueblos Blancos
We drove out of Ronda after a leisurely breakfast overlooking the gorge and watching the swallows flying around. We took the back roads instead of the highway so we could see the Pueblos Blancos - white-washed towns and villages, often on steep hillsides with ancient cathedrals and castles.
Setenil was our first stop. This town was unusual because some of the homes and shops were built right into the rocky cliffs. The streets in the village were extremely narrow - I’m glad we were driving a small car. Next we went to Olvera, with a castle and a surrounding cemetery at the very top of the hill. We got there in the mid-afternoon during siesta time - the town was like a ghost town.
The last Pueblos Blanco we visited was Zahara, situated along a lake-reservoir on a mountain ridge. Zahara was a stronghold against the kingdom of Granada during the Moorish occupation. We hiked up to the castle and had a spectacular view of the entire area. On our walk back we stopped at one of the local hangouts hugging the cliff. We got a snack and washed it down with a cerveza. Needless to say, the view was striking.