White towns of Alicante and Malaga are a hallmark of rural Spain. How about a weekend getaway?
Narrow streets, wooden windows, flower pots on each balcony, nature, sun and lots, lots of white. White is present in many Spanish towns in the south and southeast of the country. Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol are the best examples.
But why so many white facades? The reason is simple: to avoid the buildup of heat. White reflects sunlight and keeps the walls cool. In addition, the lime used to paint them is also anti-bacterial and acts against parasites. That is why, in times of epidemics, it was used as a disinfectant. Hence, many churches in Andalusia that used to house the sick remain white inside.
Beyond their usefulness, white facades make these Spanish towns a spectacle of light and beauty. We have chosen some of our favorites. It’s your turn to keep on discovering!
Altea is the king of Alicante’s towns. Climbing to the top through Altea la Vella is a constant surprise. Be careful, photographers: you run the risk of losing yourself in its streets forever. Upon reaching the top, the church of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo gives the color note: its blue-tiled dome is a symbol of the Costa Blanca. And below, the town flows into an intense coloured Mediterranean.
Polop de la Marina
Not everything is coast and sea. Polop de la Marina hides among the mountains of Mount Ponoig, surrounded by slopes and rocky walls. Green shades are the ideal background for white facades, but also yellow, pinkish, ocher… Artist Gabriel Miró spent his childhood summers here, and Polop inspired part of his work. Climb the Muslim castle and look down to the valley. Can you ask for more?
Jávea has everything you would ask of a fishing village. Gravel beaches, coves, cliffs, promenades along the seashore… Painter Joaquin Sorolla wrote: “Xàbia has everything I want (…) Emotion still dominates me (…). It is the place I always dreamed of, sea and mountains, but what a sea!”. Without forgetting Gothic style bourgeois houses, stone walls… and the ubiquitous white.
The Moorish heritage of its streets makes Mijas a unique and peculiar town. Nestled in the hillside, Mijas looks like a white oasis among mountains. The best thing you can do is walking (get ready for the slopes!) or tour around the town on the famous donkey-taxis. Pots give touches of pink, yellow, violet … and the views of the Mediterranean from the Paseo de la Muralla will take your breath away.
Estepona is more like a city, but it deserves a place in this list for its 16 kilometers of pedestrian streets and 18 of coastal path. Walking is a pleasure. The restoration of its streets has turned it into a collage of bougainvillea, pots and white facades. Seville Street is our favorite, with the tower of the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios church in the background. To enjoy the sunset: the beach, always the beach.
Since 2014, its old town is a Historic Artistic Site. No wonder: it is so well preserved, it seems it was built yesterday. It is very popular among foreigners, which gives it a very curious cosmopolitan air. Flowered corners, hidden squares, terraces with views, small fountains … and our beloved white facades. For the sweet tooth: cane honey from Ingenio Nuestra Señora del Carmen – the only cane honey factory in Europe – is spectacular.