They say there’s more to life than sitting around a pool. Well, that’s easy to say, but most people find it very hard to tear themselves away from the pool at their holiday villa, especially when the Costa del Sol sunshine is beating down on them. Who can blame them really? The Costa climate is perfect for lazing around in and relaxing. Then again, it’s good to ring the changes and do something different occasionally. If you intersperse your holiday with the odd day out, then you’ll more than likely find that you appreciate the pool even more when you next sit beside it. So, if you’re looking for a complete change of scene, then why not visit one of Andalusia’s white villages and get a taste of old school Spanish life.
Most of the white villages are beautiful in one way or another, but Casares is definitely one of the most special. To call it beautiful, in fact, is a bit of an understatement. Sitting in a dramatic position on the edge of a cliff, Casares is an ancient village which has been shaped by the hands of many civilisations, most notably, the Romans and the Moors. It is the quintessential “pueblos blancos”. It’s actually hard to believe that this hidden gem is only a 9 mile drive from the hustle and bustle of the coast. Best approached by the coast road (N340/A7) that runs between Estepona and Sabinilas, Casares can be reached by heading inland from Torre de la Sal. Your first glimpse of this spectacular village with its medieval fortress is one you won’t forget in a hurry.
The nerve centre of Casares is the Plaza de España, a community hub and the place where all the principal streets seem to lead. Well worthy of a visit are the Iber-Roman fortress of Lacipo and the famous Baths de la Hedioda. Casares is well known for its fiestas, particularly the Virgin del Rosario fiesta which is named after the village’s patron saint, and is celebrated during the first week of September. The whole town celebrates this fiesta with wine, singing and the dancing of the wonderfully distinctive ‘casareno’ folk dance which is unique to this part of Andalusia.
However, what makes Casares such a special place however, is the natural beauty of the surrounding area; an area that is protected and sheltered by the Sierra Bermeja, Crestallina and de Utrera. Whether you’re interested in botany, ornithology, history or archaeology, Casares has something for everyone.