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Arcos de la Frontera: a Pueblos Blancos from Andalusia

Arcos de la Frontera, a town of around 30,000 inhabitants, is located 60 km from Cadiz and 110 km from Seville. The ancient village stands on the right bank of the Guadalete river, at a height of 180 meters above sea level. Set on spectacular rocky walls, Arcos de la Frontera is a picturesque town in the province of Cadiz full of remains of Arab domination.

Arcos is a city considered among the most beautiful in Spain both for its position (on a cliff) and for the characteristic and typical monuments and urban layout of Andalusia. Arcos remained under Arab domination from 711 to 1264. It was in this period that the town acquired its characteristic urban structure.

WHAT TO SEE: THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA

The best panoramic point from which it is possible to admire the scenic silhouette of Arcos is from the road of Paterna and Alcalá de los Gazules towards the South. Excellent panoramic points are also those along the road of Algar and El Bosque towards the north-east and east, along the road towards Jerez de la Frontera to the west and along the ancient path of Bornos and the access towards the crag of Arcos to the north.

Castillo de Arcos, Arcos de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain. Author and Copyright Liliana Ramerini
Castillo de Arcos, Arcos de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain. Author and Copyright Liliana Ramerini

A HISTORICAL CENTER RICH IN MONUMENTS

The historic center houses important monuments, particularly in the area from the Cuesta de Belén to the Puerta Matrona, the latter being the only surviving gate of the Arab wall.

The Plaza del Cabildo is the central square, here are some of the main monuments of Arcos such as the Ajuntamiento (the seat of the municipality) in a seventeenth century building. Also in the square is the Castillo de los duques de Arcos, an Arab fortress rebuilt in the fifteenth century. Here are also some scenic spots.

Among the religious buildings are the Basilica of Santa María de la Asunción (XIII-XIV century), in Gothic-Plateresque style. The Church of San Pedro, in Baroque style. The Church of San Miguel. The Convento de la Encarnación (16th century). The Convent of La Caridad (18th century) and the Hospital and Church of San Juan de Dios (16th century). The remains of the medieval walls are very beautiful.

Arcos de la Frontera is an excellent base for visiting the other towns along the Pueblos Blancos road, such as Ubrique, Medina Sidonia, Vejer de la Frontera. The road through the Serranía de Ronda, and the natural parks of the Sierra de Grazalema and Los Alcornocales. Other places to visit in the area are Cadiz, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Jerez de la Frontera and the Doñana National Park (declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

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