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When You Go

  Arcos de la Frontera  

Arcos cliff

Getting There: Arcos de la Fronter is about 90 km south of Seville. Several bus trips a day connect Seville to Arcos. It is recommended to rent a car to best explore the region. Car rentals in Madrid, Seville, or Granada are available through Auto Europe, Europe-By-Car, and Hertz. The 1-800 phone numbers and web links for these firms are available in the Autos page. Be sure to have an excellent map, such as Michelin #990 (Spain and Portugal), or the regional map for the Pueblos Blancos, Michelin Map #446, available via the amazon.com ad link below. Some additional ideas for Pueblos Blancos routes can be found in the Web site links below.

The most popular gateway of Spain is Madrid, and Seville can be reached in a day of driving, or via the national train system. There is even a high-speed train option which makes the trip in just four hours. Depending on the U.S. departure city, flights are available to Madrid by American, TWA, and Delta. The 1-800 phone numbers and web links for these airlines are available in this magazine’s Airlines page.

If you are traveling elsewhere in Spain and/or Europe by train, you may want to consider a Spain or Eurail pass. These are available from Europe Through the Back Door, Inc., (206) 771-8303 and Europe by Eurail.

Spain map

Staying There: There are only a few lodging establishments in Arcos. The best choices are situated right on the Peņa Nueva cliff. Parador de Arcos de la Frontera (tel. 956 70 05 00, fax 956 70 11 16) is the most elegant establishment. But the best value is Hotel "El Convento," right around the back side of the Parador (tel. 956 70 23 33). For approximately half the price as the Parador, you can find rooms with a private terrace and the same great cliff and valley views.

Other lodging accommodations and eating establishments for Arcos and other Pueblos Blancos towns are described in Rick Steves Spain and Portugal. It also provides excellent travel information for other itinerary options which complement the Pueblos Blancos, including Seville and Granada. You may also find this magazine's recent article, Granada Showcases Spain's Moorish Past, of interest in planning your own itinerary in southern Spain. Guidebooks and maps are available via the amazon.com ad link below.

Fast Facts: The Pueblos Blancos are situated in the Cadiz Sierra range, which is surprisingly verdant, due to its proximity to the Atlantic. Since the Pueblos Blancos are not overrun with tourists, you can feel comfortable visiting virtually anytime in the spring, summer, or fall. The currency for Spain is the Spanish Peseta, with one US dollar equal to roughly 150 ESP. Spain’s national train system is the RENFE.

Useful WWW sites for the Pueblos Blancos are:

Welcome to the Andalucia White Villages: Overview and listing of Pueblos Blancos throughout southwest Spain

The White Villages: Routes through the Pueblos Blancos. Arcos de la Frontera in on the Western Route.

Guide to Spain: general map and information on major cities.

AmeriSpan: Spanish Immersion, Volunteer/Intern and Educational Travel programs

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