The White Villages Of
Cadiz - An Archaeological Route by Rudi Van Der Zalm
Sierra de Cadiz, constituted by 19 townships, is a region full of natural,
environmental, cultural, historical, and anthropological resources. The
so-called White Villages offer us a wide range of unparalleled tourist
possibilities. The colour of its rough geography, the whiteness and brightness
of its streets, the greenness of its natural spaces, the location of its
towns and the history transmitted through every spot and its most prized
The Sierra de Cadiz has been
inhabited and visited from the most distant times and it has contemplated
the passing of numerous peoples, cultures and different ways of living
and thinking. From the Palaeolithic to the present day la sierra has welcomed
amidst its striking geographic and environmental resources, all those who
have chosen it as a home, dwelling, refuge or frontier. That's why such
a beautiful and spectacular landscape hides a treasure, the traces of our
ancestors, our historical memory.
Remains of towns, settlements,
cities, strongholds, villages, roads and paths exhibit nowadays a huge
and rich cultural legacy represented in a substantial number of archaeological
sites spread all around the regional geography. The archaeological route
of the white villages is addressed to a public that is respectful to the
patrimony and thirsty for knowledge and discoveries.
In the district of El Bosque,
entrance to the Natural Park of Sierra de Grazalema, you can visit the
Centre of Interpretation of the Archaeological Route of the White Villages.
The Archaeological Route is divided in three sub-routes based on the three
periods in which la Sierra enjoyed its most considerable historic prominence:
The Prehistoric Period, the Roman-Iberian Period and the Medieval Period.
Prehistoric Route is formed by the visits to the funeral assemblages dated
between the fourth and the second Millennium B.C., between the end of the
Neolithic and the beginnings of the Bronce Ages, such as the Alberite Dolmen
in Villamarin, the El Charcon Dolmen in El Gastor, Tomillos Dolmens in
Alcala del Valle and the Prehistoric Necropolis of Fuente de Ramos in Puerto
In the Roman-Iberian route
we can visit the city of Sierra de Aznar in Arcos de la Frontera with its
striking "Castellum Aquae", the Roman-Iberian cities of Ocuri in Ubrique,
Carissa Aurelia in Espera and Saepo in the so-called Cerro de la Botinera
The Medieval route includes
many villages of the Frontier between Christians and Muslims, like the
medieval village of Zahara de la Sierra, Olvera's stronghold, the Great
Wall of Torre-Alhaquime, the Barrio Nazari in Benaocaz and the paved roads
on Villaluega del Rosario and Grazalema. Apart from the archaeological
resources the area also offers two extraordinary Natural Parks: Grazalema
and Los Alcornocales.
The Sierra de Grazalema is
located between the Andalusian provinces of Cadiz and Malaga and it houses
an important relict wooded-patch of Spanish fir, a tree that has become
a symbol of these mountains. The entire territory of the Sierra de Grazalema
Nature Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977.
And Between the Sierra de
Grazalema and Punta de Tarifa, stand a series of middle-sized mountains
whose interior houses Natural Park Los Alcornocales, the 'kingdom of the
cork oak' which is the most important formation on the Iberian Peninsula.
About the Author - With more
than 20 years of experience in the travel industry Rudi van der Zalm is
the founder of one of Europe's most popular websites for holiday homes
in rural Spain. A wide selection of country houses and lodgings can be
found at www.rural-tour.com.