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 The A to Z Of Rural Andalucia
ANDALUCIA is the most fascinating, exciting, vibrant and beautiful region in Spain. Take a trip with us through our links to learn about the history, people, culture and lifestyle in this stunning region of SPAIN.

BOREDOM is something you will never encounter as there is always plenty to see and do in ANDALUCIA like taking a trip to BAEZA... a town full of palaces and monuments in the Province of JAEN.

COTTAGES, CORTIJOS and CAVES... we at Images of Andalucia have many for sale, and the perfect one is waiting for you... to make it into your DREAM HOME. Also come and be completely seduced by the sheer splendour of the city of CORDOBA... or why not visit the delightful and enchanting coastal regions of Andalucia such as the COSTA TROPICAL... the COSTA DEL SOL... on the Mediterranean side and the beautiful wild open beaches of the COSTA DE LA LUZ... on the Atlantic side.

DISCOVERthe towns and countryside of inland ANDALUCIA and get to know the people, customs, traditions and culture of this region. For example visit DONA MENCIA... in the Subbetica in the Province of CORDOBA, famous for the wines produced in the area of MONTILLA-MORILES.

Visit the ENCHANTING PUEBLOS BLANCOS white villages tucked away in the valleys, hill-sides and at the foot of the mountains. Some are perched on hillsides with views of the sea, some nestle in fairy woodland, some are so hidden away that you still imagine bandits lying in wait as you drive along the empty country roads, but they are all without exception beautiful.

ALGATOCIN is a tiny village in the Serrania de Ronda of less than 1.000 inhabitants and survives on agriculture with a timber mill besides the Rio Genal and two pork processing factories in the village. The whole municipal district now only has 475 houses, some of these being in the old Salitire district.

The village is dominated by a limestone ridge, peaking at Sierrecilla at 1,071 metres above sea level. Visit the 16th century Parish Church of Ntra Sta del Rosario, the Hermitage of Santo Cristo, the Hermitage of Calvario plus a number of Archaeological sites in the surrounding countryside of Bemamahabu and Salitre and the old Canade Real road.

IGUALEJA is the largest pueblo of the Upper Genal strung along a gully and is not on a crest like other pueblos in the area. The harsh limestone scenery dominates the early sections of the road, but this soon gives way to the lower slopes covered in chestnut trees. Before entering the village by a small bridge, a small road leads down to the Nacimento Genal (source of the River Genal). The clear waters flow from a small cave and into a number of pools, before finally running into a stream.

The village itself is built on various levels, which explains its steep and winding streets. Apart from the obvious centre dominated by the church, it has two other smaller barrios. The houses are typically vernacular in style, strung along a typical medieval street pattern. The Church of Santa Rosa de Lima was originally built on the site of a mosque, as a small chapel.

Overlooking the village is a hill with a large cross. Known as the Cruz de la Fuentasanta, it can be reached via two cave entrances. Both Cueva de la Fuentasanta and Cueva la Excentrica are below the cross and some the reasoning for the place name remains obscure.

ISTAN is one of a number of villages of Moorish origin which owes its survival to its distance from the coast. After the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th Century, Arabs were barred from living within a league of the shoreline in order to prevent them from communicating with their kinsmen across the straits in Morocco. Istán, 15km inland, was allowed to remain while the coastal ARAB settlements were depopulated and frequently destroyed.

The village is tucked away beneath the SIERRA BLANCA at the head of the valley of the Rio Verde, close to the Serrania de Ronda hunting reserve. As with so many mountain villages, creations of a time and place in which the only practical means of transport was the mule and the pack horse, Istán's streets are narrow and unsuited to the motor car. The only sensible way to experience it is on foot.

Very little remains of MOORISH Istán, merely the crumbling remains of a tower hidden in a side street, but at least there is some, and the village still has the timeless air that outsiders find so appealing.

EL GASTOR and EL BOSQUE... in the Province of CADIZ, just to mention two.

FESTIVALS and FERIAS... are part of WHAT makes ANDALUCIA so SPECIAL, come, join with the locals, you will be more than welcome to share their special Saint's or Virgen's day with them.

Try the local GASTRONOMY... and you will not be disappointed, every town and village has their own speciality, and in GRANADA... there are many restaurants offering local, delicious food.

ANDALUCIA is rich in HISTORY... and culture and has seen the passing of Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Muslims and the French.

You are INVITED to sample IBERICO JAMON... , in the village of JABUGO in the SIERRA DE ARACENA, in the Province of HUELVA, where the black pigs are reared to produce the best jamones in SPAIN.

JOURNEY through our stunningly beautiful countryside and have the experience of a lifetime. Visit the lovely City of JAEN... or JEREZ... just two of the many historic and interesting Moorish Cities in ANDALUCIA.

JUZCAR - White Griffon vultures and crag martins dominate the skyline in the Genal Valley south of Ronda. Juzcar is in many ways the same as other beautiful pueblos in the region with its quaint smattering of houses perched on the side of a mountain, surrounded by lush forest. Except for major difference – it isn’t white – it’s bright blue.

In 2011 the tiny village was painted Smurf blue by Sony Pictures to publicise the release of the new Smurfs movie. Although initially intended as a temporary change, Juzcar’s transformation into a blue village increased tourism to such an extent that residents declined to change it back.

Take a trip to EL CHORRO and walk the KING'S PATH..., if you dare!

LAKES... within ANDALUCIA, are full of them, from small lagoons full of wildfowl and birds, to the larger lakes for swimming, picnic and water sports, there is something for everyone. Now LEGENDS...

MALAGA, MOUNTAINS and the ANDALUCIA, they almost go together, so link on and find out all about them.

MONDA is situated in a mountain valley just 15 km away from Marbella. The village's dominant feature, which stands out for miles around, is the large stone building which stands atop the tree-covered hill above the village.

Although this resembles a fortification, it is in fact a superbly-located and traditionally-styled modern hotel, CASTILLO DE MONDA, built on the site of the Moorish CASTILLO DE AL-MUNDAT.

MONDA has a small central village square, Plaza de la Ermita, with the Monument to the Miner. Just outside the square is the preserved Fuente Lavadero de la Jaula and close to the village is the CALVARIO, ROMAN ROAD and olive oil mill.

You can access the SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES from Monda by taking the OJEN road for 2 km and then following an unmade track into the heart of the park.

NOWHERE in Spain is there a region as diverse with so much to do and see as in ANDALUCIA, where there are some of the stunningly lovely NATIONAL PARKS and NATURE RESERVES... abound with the rugged landscape, oak forests and wildlife.

OLIVE OIL and THE OIL TRAIN..., we have them in abundance, and in SEVILLE the heady scent of ORANGE BLOSSOM will capture you as you walk the old streets.

The PEOPLE are kind and friendly and will invite you into their homes and hearts, and in PAMPANEIRA... in Las Alpujarras the Moors have left a rich legacy in the charming squares and houses.

The white village of PUJERRA is one of the most isolated in the region, 11 km beyond IGUALEJA, is located at the top of the Valle del Genal and encapsulates all the charm of Andalusia together with the ecological riches of the Serranía de Ronda. Walking along its streets, you can feel centuries of history: old architecture, with steep vertical streets, and newer forms combine, taking you on a journey through the history of the province.

PUJERRA filled with trails through lush forests with chestnut trees as far as the eye can see in every direction. Every November the smell of roasting chestnuts seeps enticingly into every corner of Pujerra before floating out of the village and across the mountain. In the Mueso de la Castaña visitors can learn about objects and ways of life from the 18th century, as well as techniques and tools used for harvesting chestnuts.

A small Ermita de San Antonio can be seen on the approach to the village from Igualeja. This is at an interesting spot as it overlooks the deserted medieval village of Cenay, which was large enough to have its own church and was the seat of a very large rural parish.

As with other Pueblos Blancos, visitors should aim for the main Plaza. This is where the 16th century church of Espirito Santo can be found. Oddly, many of its white stone houses have typically Arabic tiled roofs, alongside tiles bearing Greek Christian symbols taken from 11th Century Christian tombs.

Pujerra's relative isolation has left it a legacy of quite striking individuality, not least in the realms of gastronomy and music. Music, indeed, comes second only to the almighty chestnut as a badge of local pride. The village is said to have more top class traditional Bandas de Música than anywhere else in the Serranía de Ronda. Neither is that all. There is one venerable but still frequently performed folk dance, known as los fandangos de Pujerra, which is unique to the village, and found nowhere else.

As for the distinctive dishes of PUJERRA, probably the best place to sample its idiosyncratic mountain cuisine is at the Mesón Buxarra, a restaurant in Calle La Toma, in the heart of the village. Whether you stop by merely for a drink and a tapa, or stay for a full meal, you are unlikely to be disappointed as long as you don't mind being stared as though you have come from outer space by the old men propping up the bar. The atmosphere and the decoration are each as satisfyingly rustic as the fine, no nonsense food.

QUESTION yourself as to WHY you are not already living in ANDALUCIA, or to be more precise in QUESADA... in the Province of JAEN, undoubtedly one of the jewels in our crown.

ROMERIAS... or PILGRIMAGES were traditionally walked to Rome and were therefore known as Romeros. There are many ROMERIAS in ANDALUCIA, and here we give you just a taste of a few, as you will always be welcome to join in with the locals, and if it is cultural and history you want head inland and visit the famous and mystic tourist City of RONDA....

The SUN shines for over 300 days a year and if you want SNOW head for the SIERRA NEVADA... mountains near Granada or to the exciting city of SEVILLE... or check our SETENIL...

TRADITIONS... are very important to ANDALUCIANS and in some of the rural areas you will still see the girls chaperoned when on a date with the boyfriend.

ANDALUCIA is UNIQUE in SPAIN and probably in the world, come and see for yourself. It is an experience not to be missed, never forgotten and you will return time and time again to visit towns just like UBEDA... full of lovely palaces, mansions and so much character.

Come and listen to the VERDIALES... local folk-groups from the villages, or join them in the singing and dancing, you are sure to have lots of fun, especially here in the town of VILLA NUEVA DEL ROSARIO..., during first week of October when the locals honour their Patron Saint.

A five minutes drive from VILLANUEVA DEL ROSARIO is the town of VILLANUEVA DEL TRABUCO. First documented evidence of the town is in the Municipal Archives in Archidona dated 12th April 1620 and refers to a meadow called Trabuco, although some historians believe that the Romans had a settlement here. The urban centre grew in the early 1700s and the town gained its independence from Archidona in 1808.

The town is at the foot of the Gorda and San Jorge mountains and is very beautiful with winding streets and low white-washed houses decorated with window pots. Especially lovely is the Barrio de los Villares, the oldest barrio in the town.

The Plaza del Prado is the social and business centre and the Fuente de los Tres Canos flows all year even in times of drought. The Parish Church, dating from the end of the 18th century and restored in the middle of 20th century is interesting, especially the white tower which is visible from all parts of town.

In and around the town are various olive oil and flour mills that produce a high-quality product that can be purchased locally. The area is watered by the Guadalhorce and Higueral rivers and it is possible to walk along the banks which are signposted. One favourite route goes up to the Sierra de San Jorge mountains alongside the bed of the Los Chozas stream and up to the phenomenon of the CIEN CANOS.

The other end of the municipality is low hills and olive and cereal plantations with the occasional farmhouse. Two streams flow through the area from the mountain ranges and from the Gibalto to become the Guadalhorce River.

Taste the local >WINES... every village makes their own, but beware, it is not for the faint-hearted!

XCITING is ANDALUCIA... especially at NAVIDAD (CHRISTMAS-XMAS), one of the loveliest times to be in SPAIN, let us tell you about a traditional SPANISH XMAS.

YES, do come and visit us at IMAGES OF ANDALUCIA and YUNQUERA... with Arabic pasts retained in its steep, narrow streets is a must to see.

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