Arcos de la Frontera
Arcos de la Frontera
Nestled on an impressive rocky peak some sixty kilometres northeast of Cadiz, the town of Arcos de la Frontera is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages on the White Villages Road in the Sierra de Cadiz.
Transformed into a stronghold by the Muslims, it has kept a maze of cobbled alleys, often winding and very narrow, which sometimes lead back to the edge of the steep cliffs on which the city was built.
The Balcón de la Peña Nueva on the Plaza del Cabildo is the most famous of the many walks on offer. From there, overlooking all the surroundings, the view of the old Castillo, the Guadalete River, the valley and the lake formed by the Arcos dam, is impressive. And what about the sunsets or sunrises that its position and almost daily sunshine make it possible to admire at leisure.
Ancient Muslim fortress, the ducal castle of Arcos was renovated in the 15th century by the Dukes of Arcos, almost facing the Iglesía de Santa María de la Asunción. This basilica dating from the 13th century is interesting for its plateresque gothic facade and its neoclassical tower.
Although the arrival of many religious orders in the city from the 15th century onwards encouraged the construction of many buildings that were essential for amateurs, the palace of the Count of El Aguila, a 15th century manor house combining flamboyant Gothic and Mudéjar styles, is also worth a visit.
From Arcos de la Frontera, the road opens on the route of the “Pueblos Blancos”. This circuit leads through Ubrique through the Sierra de Grazelama Natural Park and Los Alcornocales Natural Park to the south.
Within a few kilometres of the city, the lakes formed by the reservoir of a dam offer many nautical activities and walks.
Access: from Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera via AP-4 and then the A-382.
Tourist Office. Calle Cuesta de Belén, 5.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 2pm and 3pm to 7.30pm, Sundays from 10am to 2pm. In addition, the Tourist Office, which also houses the Centro de Interpretación Ciudad De Arcos (the city’s historical museum), organises guided tours of the medieval city and has internet connections.
Contact: +34 (0)9 56 70 22 64.
Bus station: Calle Corregidores. In the lower town near the Plaza de España. Tel: +34 (0)9 56 70 49 77 / +34 (0)9 56 70 15 60.
Several bus companies serve Arcos de la Frontera.
COMES offers several daily flights to Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Ronda and Malaga.
The LOS AMARILLOS company offers trips to Cadiz, Seville and around fifteen daily departures during the week for Jerez, half of which take place on weekends.
ORGANIZED TOURS FOR ARCOS OF THE FRONTERA
Around Arcos de la Frontera
THE DISCOVERY OF “LOS PUEBLOS BLANCOS”
The white villages, los pueblos blancos, in the region of Cádiz are scattered in the north-east of the province in an environment of hills and medium mountains.
As an invitation to a visit, the winding and steep lanes of laced streets, squares decorated with fountains bordered by houses with intimate patios, whitewashed walls and flat roofs, remind us of the Maghreb origin of these old villages with their agricultural and pastoral past.
There are different routes to discover these charming villages typical of this part of Andalusia.
Considered as one of the most beautiful of these villages, perched on a rocky promontory, Arcos de la Frontera can be a pleasant starting point for the “Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos”.
A road which from Arcos goes up the course of the Guadalete along the lake formed by the dam on the river, Bornos, Villamartin, Algodonales… so many visits and surprising discoveries.
The Sierra de Cadix offers, depending on the altitude, landscapes of wheat fields, sunflowers, oaks and fir trees or olive trees.
To the east and then to the south of this route, Olvera and its Alcázar de la Almedina, the spectacular site of Zahara de la Sierra, the villages of Grazalema, Ubrique, El Bosque, each with their own peculiarities, embellish the small roads crossing the Natural Park of Grazalema.
Arcos de la Frontera, Spain: Queen of Andalucía