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Excursions and toursA few kilometres from the Costa del Sol in Malaga, visitors can discover the most traditional villages of the province that have maintained over the centuries a typical traces of the Moorish era of Al-Andalus; small white jewels located in a magnificent geography certainly worth to be discovered: Villages with whitewashed houses, most with remains of castles or fortresses, set in mountain areas and a really different vital spirit.

As a common element, the name of the group of municipalities who join this route it is given by the dazzling white of the lime of the walls, a heritage of the Arabic-Mediterranean civil architecture. It is easy to recognize the Muslim heritage in the narrow streets, winding and steep slopes, showing extraordinary corners at every turn.

In the villages, every space can be a pleasure for the senses, strolling along windows and balconies full of flowers that contrast with the white walls, along with a mild climate that keeps the hills and fields green. Another common denominator is the character of its people, open and hospitable, and the flow of life, with squares and corners where the elderly are spending time; bars and taverns and simple and authentic local cuisine.

Here we mention only some of the villages of the province of Malaga, as the full Route of the white villages is extending into the province of Cadiz; a route that every visitor can prepare and determine according to their liking and time. The route of the white villages requires imagination and determination by the traveller. It means that, given its size and topography, it would be impossible to plan one single route, a standard tour.

The best time to do this tour from Malaga, or parts of it, is between February and late June. In summer, the heat during the day can be too stifling, and winter temperatures can be low in the interior, especially in some areas of the route.

In the west of the province of Malaga we find the following municipalities:

Ronda: This city located in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda is almost a must to the traveller, who discovers after a mountain road trip one of the architectural jewels of Andalusia.

Marbella to Ronda and Estepona

If we draw a triangle between the coastal towns of Marbella and Estepona and Ronda to the north-west, we find white villages which belong mostly to the Serrania de Ronda mountains and which is part of the more traditional route of the white villages, comprising more than twenty white villages of lime, such as

Benaojan, Montejaque, Jimera de Libar, Atajate, Algatocin, Gaucin and Casares.

North of Marbella is located the Natural Park Sierra de las Nieves, a beautiful natural environment, with the villages of Alozaina, Casarabonela, El Burgo, Guaro, Istan, Monda, Ojen, Tolox and Junquera.

Marbella to Ronda and Estepona

The least known part of the Costa del Sol is his entire eastern strip, east of Malaga city. Along this coast and inland lies the beautiful region of Axarquia. This area can be discovered in several ways; one is doing designed routes that have been declared of Tourist Interest in Andalusia.

One route, known as the Wine Route takes us through the villages of Algarrobo, Sayalonga, Competa, Canillas de Aceituno and Torrox, well known localities for the production of sweet wine.

Marbella to Nerja

Another route runs through the mountains of Malaga, with the typical beauty of the mountains and the picturesque villages Viñuela, Periana, Alfarnate, Alfarnatejo, Riogordo and Colmenar which are famous for their olive oil.

A highly recommended route is the Mudejar Route passing through small towns with narrow streets, courtyards filled with flowers and ancient castles and minarets. The villages of this route are Arenas, Archez, Salares, Sedella and Canillas de Aceituno.

And who wants to discover fields of vineyards can do the Raisin Route through the villages of Totalán, Comares, Cutar, El Borge, Almachar and Moclinejo, famous for producing excellent raisins from the time of the Arabs.

Marbella to Ronda and Estepona

Any of these beautiful routes is well worth it. It is an ideal day trip to enjoy the diverse scenery, local gastronomy and charming villages. And if at some point we're tired, nothing better than sitting down in one of the terraces and taste the exquisite cuisine of the mountains of Malaga and delicious wines.