|Casares the most famous of the white villages|
The Costa del Sol is blessed with several traditional Spanish white villages, or Pueblos Blancos, each with its own unique atmosphere. However there is something about the village of Casares that just makes you stand and stare.
As you approach Casares up a steep winding slope it is difficult to prevent yourself from taking a sharp intake of breath and saying out loud: "wow!" Stop the car, climb out and admire the vista from a fantastic viewing point just on the edge of the village, looking down across the entire valley.
Hundreds of white -washed homes perch precariously across the hillside, below the battlements of an old Arabic castle. Hold onto your sunhat though because the viewing point can sometimes be a real wind trap!
From here take one of the many paths leading down into the village and experience a perfect day exploring the multitude of steep, winding streets and footpaths that make up the delightful village of Casares. For the most part it is traffic free, having been built in the days long before the motorcar when the only form of transport was the donkey.
Head first for the Plaza de España- the main square. Here you will discover the statue of Blas Infante, the Andalucian Nationalist leader who was born in Casares in 1885. There is also a fountain where you can refresh yourself with a drink of cold, clear, fresh mountain water. Blas Infante's birthplace has now been turned into a museum and tourist information centre.
From the centre take one of the roads leading onwards and upwards until you reach the old monastery and ruined church. The views from here towards the coast are spectacular and you look down a gully where it is reputed that Franco disposed of his enemies during the time of the civil war, there is a poignant iron cross commemorating those who perished. The base of the walls date back to the Moors as does one of the arches you may have passed through depending on your route up. Everything above shoulder height though is more likely to have been built after 1500. Just below the monastery you will find a museum with many old artefacts depicting life in and around Casares through the ages. Be sure to descend via a different route in order to see as much as possible.
Casares, as with any Spanish village, has its fair share of bars and restaurants so be sure to partake of some local tapas. The people are very friendly and welcoming and I am sure you will spend a memorable day in the town.
The 2 annual ferias are held on the first weekend in August and on the weekend closest to September 15th. They also celebrate a procession of the Three Kings on the evening of January 5th.
After exploring the village you may like to head up the Sierra Crestillina, which is a parque natural just on the outskirts of the village. You will find a signpost to it near to bar/restaurante Laura. A circular footpath has been put in right round the mountain and it is approximately a four hour walk. The scenery and views are fantastic but be sure to take some water with you as it can get quite hot. Good footwear is also essential as the descent towards the end of the trail can be quite tricky.
About The Author
Article submitted by Ruth Polak the owner of http://www.costadelsol-vacationrentals.com - a web site specializing in holiday villas and apartments on the Costa del Sol and in Rural Andalucia. You will also find lots of information about Spain and Andalucia, in particular.