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Cadiz White villages
The northeast of the province of Cádiz, together with its neighbouring districts, Serranía de Ronda, with which it has much in common, is an area in Andalusia of singular charm, known today as the Route of the White Villages. Indeed, in Andalusia, where there is no shortage of lime, whiteness is the dominant feature in these mountain villages, isolated in the past and very welcoming today. Naturally, it is not the outstanding feature, and there are many others which will surprise the visitor. The varied landscapes are another prominent characteristic and it is in fact in this area that Grazalema Nature Reserve is situated, a humid, lush, green area since it has one of the highest levels of rainfall in all of Spain fir.
Villages and towns delight the visitor with the beauty of their urban configuration, very often featuring unusual designs, such as Setenil de las Bodegas, with its houses built into the rock, taking advantage of the course of the small River Guadalporcún; or Olvera, with its well-restored Castle and wooded rocks which emerge, like green islands, amongst the white, terraced village. On the outskirts of this village, there is one of the most significant Andalusian sanctuaries, that of Virgen de los Remedios, a perfect symbiosis of the colonial and Baroque styles and the scene of a pupolar pilgrimage festival. Grazalema itself, El Baroque, a trout fishing area, or the small Zahara de la Sierra are another stunning villages in a district where beauty is the norm. The visitor to be enchanted by the fragance of the plant carpets which are laid out as in Algodonales, for example.
There are small, inviting hotels, solid terra gastronomy and renovated roads which make a stay in the district a very pleasant proposition. We should not forget the wealth of local craftwork, from the blankets of Grazalema to the acclaimed leather goods of Ubrique, the latter a large twon almost toatlly dedicated to the production of leather goods and with a wide range of fascinanting caves and fiestas, some of which are celebrations reconstructing the battles between the Moors and the Christians, such as the one in Benamahoma, or on of many versions of the "toro embolao", a fiesta involving bulls with protective wooden balls placed on their horns.
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