Pueblos Blancos

 

Olvera is a municipality located in the northeast of the Sierra of Cadiz, bordering the provinces of Seville and Malaga. The town forms part of the Pueblos Blancos. It obtained the title of town in 1877, granted by Alfonso XII.

A town with Moorish roots, it was conquered by Alfonso XI in 1327, annexing it into the kingdom of Castile. Repopulation by the Christians was carried out by means of a Town Charter. During the War of Independence, Olvera was the headquarters of a French detachment.

The town has been declared a historic-artistic site since 1983, with several civil and religious monuments of great artistic and architectural value. It also has several festivals declared to be of Tourist Interest, such as Holy Week and the Quasimodo Monday, the oldest pilgrimage in the province of Cadiz.

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GASTRONOMY

LOCAL FESTIVITIES

ROUTES
HISTORIC HERITAGE

Historic Heritage

Olvera City Wall

The Olvera City Wall is made up of towers and fragments of a stone fortress that has survived from the Middle Ages. Inside it the life of its citizens was lived, who were protected by the wall, which surrounded from the south side of the castle and bordered the current district of La Villa.

Arciprestal Church

The Arciprestal Church is a neoclassical temple dating from 1843, built under the foundations of the old main church, which still conserves its apse. Inside there are altarpieces that were previously found in other churches in Olvera.

Church of El Socorro

The Church of El Socorro, in Gothic-Mudejar style, was built in 1945, after a lightning strike collapsed a temple that stood on the same site and was built in honor of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación. It currently houses the images of Jesús Cautivo and the Virgen del Socorro.

Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios

The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios is another of the town’s religious buildings. Erected in the 18th century, it is the place of worship of the Virgen de los Remedios, patron saint of the municipality. The Pilgrimage of Quasimodo Monday is held in the vicinity of the church.

Lavadero de Pino

The Lavadero de Pino was used as a washing place by the inhabitants of the area. Although its main activity took place between 1685 and 1750, its use lasted until the middle of the 20th century. It is accessed through a courtyard and to the left of it is the area where the water came in.

Ayamonte, Carasta or Vallehermoso Castle

The Ayamonte, Carasta or Vallehermoso Castle is a fortress built in the vicinity of the Antequera Road, which links Olvera with Almargen. Located a few kilometers from the town, it stands on a limestone ridge. The castle is accessible only by an incline that leads to the building. A construction and an elongated tower are preserved inside the enclosure. The keep served as a defense for the entrance gate and in its lower part there is a cistern. The area has been used as a livestock pen until recently.

Church of Saint José

One of the town’s religious temples is the Church of Saint José, a small building dating from the middle of the last century. It was erected thanks to donations from the residents of the municipality and, since then, it has been progressively enlarged. It is located in the La Peña neighborhood and its façade features an image of Saint José, patron saint of Olvera.

Cilla Cultural Center

The Cilla Cultural Center is located in the namesake house, which was built under the rule of the House of Osuna. Although the date of its construction is unknown, it is known that the first use it was given was to store grain, fruit and harvest products. The House of the Cilla has undergone various modifications and it was not until the middle of the last century that the successors of the House of Osuna ceded its use to the Town Council, which used it as a municipal prison. In its last renovation, it was transformed into a wine cellar and currently houses the Cultural Center, the Municipal Tourist Office, an archaeological exhibition and the Greenway of the Sierra Interpretation Center.

Olvera Town Hall

The Olvera Town Hall was built in 1783, being the first construction with institutional functions in the town. Architecturally, it is austere and classical, and has undergone various modifications until the current layout in 1968. The first floor houses the municipal archive.

Arabic Castle

The Arabic castle, built at the end of the 12th century, formed part of the defense of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada until its occupation by the Christians in 1327. Its strategic location made it possible to spot the borders of the castles that separated the Muslim and Christian areas.

Quarter of the Villa

The Quarter of the Villa is known for being part of the city center in the Nasrid period, together with the Church Square and the castle. This area is organized on the basis of the irregularities of the terrain, resulting in a total of 13 narrow streets, uneven houses and albarradillas. Del Pan Tower or De los Olivillos Tower, buildings that highlight the Arab past of the municipality, can be found in the neighborhood.

Plaza de Abastos (Market)

The Plaza de Abastos, located in Mercado Street, is one of the busiest places in Olvera. In addition to its use as a commercial space, it houses a permanent exhibition on the earth harvests carried out between 1986 and 2019.

Art Chapel

Another of the religious buildings to be found in Olvera is the Art Chapel, a 17th century Baroque temple built between the limits of the municipality and Torre-Alháquime.

Parish Cemetery

The Parish Cemetery is the local graveyard, whose structure dates back to the 19th century, when the first vaults and tombs began to be built on the outskirts of the castle. The cemetery is guarded by the medieval fortress and the hill on which it is built. It offers unbeatable views of the region.

Rock of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Rock of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a site in Olvera that stands out for the beauty of its landscapes. It was originally a Christian settlement in its conflict with the Nasrid people. The enclave served as a lookout post for Muslim activity, as well as a place of protection due to its dense vegetation. Nowadays, this recreational area has abundant flora and vegetation and terraces of different accesses thanks to the staircases provided. In 1929, the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was placed on top of this rock formation.

Routes

Life on the Nasrid Frontier Route

The Life on the Nasrid Frontier Route is a tour of all the key points in Olvera where you can find remains of the ancient Muslim civilization that lived in the town. The highlights are the Quarter of la Villa, the Moorish castle, the Cilla and the towers of Del Pan and Los Olivillos. There are wineries owned by local families that produce a high quality must, which has earned the recognition of the whole region.

Green Route of the Sierra

The Green Route of the Sierra makes up a route of almost 40 kilometers between Olvera and Puerto Serrano. It runs along the old Jerez-Almargen roads. The route includes the Zaframagón Rock Nature Reserve and the Chaparro de la Vega Natural Monument. The route has 30 tunnels and 4 viaducts, being the only Route of Tourist Interest in Andalusia.

Zaframagón Rock Nature Reserve

The Zaframagón Rock Nature Reserve is located on the Greenway of the Sierra and borders between Cadiz and Seville. Classified as a Nature Reserve in 1989, it is a unique enclave with views of great beauty. It is 584 meters high and is crossed by the Guadalporcún river through the Estrechón Gorge, a canyon naturally excavated by the river. El Peñón is home to birds such as griffon vultures, eagle owls, Bonelli’s eagles and other species.

Modern Age Route

The Modern Age Route in Olvera is an itinerary of buildings, streets and emblematic places in the town from the second half of the 18th century to the beginning of the last century. The stops on this Route are the Arciprestal Church of Nuestra Señora de La Encarnación and Glorioso Patriarca Saint José, the Parish Cemetery, the Church of El Socorro, the Rock of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the stately homes in Llana Street, the Town Hall and the Greenway of the Sierra.

Hill Route of Saint James

The Hill Route of Saint James is the road that links Gibraltar with Seville and crosses, among other municipalities, Setenil, Torre Alháquime and Olvera. Linked to the Augusta Road, the route connects with the Silver Route to Santiago de Compostela. The section that Olvera occupies begins at the Remedios Hermitage and crosses the town to the Greenway, where geological landmarks such as the Guadalporcún Valley, the Zaframagón Rock and the northern slopes of the Sierra of Líjar can be found.

Cultural Route to the Sanctuary of Los Remedios

The Cultural Route to the Sanctuary of Los Remedios is an itinerary that runs along the old path of the municipality to the De los Remedios Hermitage. On our way we will come across the Lavadero de Pino, an enclave of great tradition in Olvera that was used until the middle of the 20th century. In the Hermitage the patron saint of the town, the Virgen de los Remedios, is venerated, and her sanctuary is located in front of the Herriza de los Remedios, where the Pilgrimage of Quasimodo Monday is held.

Cerretillo Rock

The Cerretillo Rock is located on Victoria Street and is a green area created in 2010. This site has views that reach as far as the expansion district of the municipality, as well as the Sierra of Grazalema and the Serranía of Ronda.

Local Festivities

Corpus Christi

The celebration of Corpus Christi in Olvera dates back to the 13th century, although in recent years it has gained special prominence. The streets and corners of the town are decorated for this festivity, and altars are set up for the imagery that traverses the town center of Olvera.

Open-air dances

During the summer months, the town’s neighborhoods celebrate their Verbenas, among which of the Emigrant, held in the namesake square, and of the Socorro, with its traditional greasy pole, stand out. Live musical performances liven up the summer evenings at these open-air dances.

Holy Week

Holy Week in Olvera has become so important that it has been declared of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia. The fervor and devotion of the people of Olvera during this week is felt in the streets, accompanying the local brotherhoods in the procession of the local imagery.

Royal Festival and Festivities of Saint Agustín

During the last week of August, from the 27th to the 31st, the Royal Festival and Festivities of Saint Agustín take place. Originally it had a commercial and livestock character, however, over the years it has acquired a more recreational character. Recently the location has been moved to the fairgrounds, where these fiestas are now held, one of the most eagerly awaited by Olvera’s inhabitants and visitors alike.

Christmas

The Christmas season is a time of great excitement for children and adults in Olvera. The calendar of activities is full for the end of the year festivities. The Living Nativity Scene is held on a Saturday in December and the town of Olvera throws itself into recreating biblical scenes. Every year the town receives the visit of the Royal Postmen, who collect the letters from the children addressed to Their Majesties the Three Wise Men. The shops in the old town take their stalls out onto the streets, in an atmosphere of joy and celebration.

Virgen Nuestra Señora De los Remedios Festivity

On 15th August, the Virgen Nuestra. Sra. de los Remedios Festivity is celebrated in Olvera, in honor of the patron saint of the town. During the day, different masses are held for this Virgin, one of the few crowned as canonical in the whole province of Cadiz. On this day, the people of Olvera accompany the image of the Virgin from the municipality to the sanctuary, a pilgrimage that knows no weather conditions.

Carnival

The Olvera Carnival is celebrated the weekend before Ash Wednesday, normally during the month of February. During the 7 days it lasts, music, color and humor take to the streets of Olvera in the form of parades, which are accompanied by performances by ‘chirigotas’. During the weekend there is the Piñata Sunday, the grand finale to a week that attracts more and more people every year.

Pilgrimage of Quasimodo Monday

The second Monday after Easter Sunday is the Pilgrimage of Quasimodo Monday, a celebration that brings the whole town together at the Sanctuary of the Virgen de los Remedios to celebrate throughout the day. The Olvera Pilgrimage, as well as being declared of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia, is the oldest in the province of Cadiz, dating back more than 300 years. The origin of this festivity dates back to 1715, when it began to be celebrated as a way of giving thanks for the rains that put an end to a long drought. It is a tradition to taste typical local sweets such as the Quasimodo Monday flapjacks or the “hornazo”.

Gastronomy

GASTRONOMY

The local production of olive oil is one of the main ingredients of the local gastronomy. Amongst the typical dishes that make up the Olvera menu, we find the “pegás” soups – an old peasant’s sustenance – or tomato soups. Scrambled eggs, rabbit stews and “sangre encebollada” (blood with onions) complete the local gastronomy. Regarding confectionery, the most outstanding dishes are the oil sponge cakes, carnival omelettes, ‘hornazos’ and Quasimodo Monday cakes.

What to do

Olvera

Royal Festival and Festivities of Saint Agustín

During the last week of August, from the 27th to the 31st, the Royal Festival and Festivities of Saint Agustín take place. Originally it had a commercial and livestock character, however, over the years it has acquired a more recreational character. Recently the location has been moved to the fairgrounds, where these fiestas are now held, one of the most eagerly awaited by Olvera’s inhabitants and visitors alike.

Olvera

Virgen Nuestra Señora De los Remedios Festivity

On 15th August, the Virgen Nuestra. Sra. de los Remedios Festivity is celebrated in Olvera, in honor of the patron saint of the town. During the day, different masses are held for this Virgin, one of the few crowned as canonical in the whole province of Cadiz. On this day, the people of Olvera accompany the image of the Virgin from the municipality to the sanctuary, a pilgrimage that knows no weather conditions.

Olvera

Carnival

The Olvera Carnival is celebrated the weekend before Ash Wednesday, normally during the month of February. During the 7 days it lasts, music, color and humor take to the streets of Olvera in the form of parades, which are accompanied by performances by ‘chirigotas’. During the weekend there is the Piñata Sunday, the grand finale to a week that attracts more and more people every year.

Olvera

Corpus Christi

The celebration of Corpus Christi in Olvera dates back to the 13th century, although in recent years it has gained special prominence. The streets and corners of the town are decorated for this festivity, and altars are set up for the imagery that traverses the town center of Olvera.

Olvera

Holy Week

Holy Week in Olvera has become so important that it has been declared of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia. The fervor and devotion of the people of Olvera during this week is felt in the streets, accompanying the local brotherhoods in the procession of the local imagery.

Olvera

Christmas

The Christmas season is a time of great excitement for children and adults in Olvera. The calendar of activities is full for the end of the year festivities. The Living Nativity Scene is held on a Saturday in December and the town of Olvera throws itself into recreating biblical scenes. Every year the town receives the visit of the Royal Postmen, who collect the letters from the children addressed to Their Majesties the Three Wise Men. The shops in the old town take their stalls out onto the streets, in an atmosphere of joy and celebration.

How to get there

The municipality of Olvera is located in the Sierra de Cádiz region, in the north-east of the province. It serves as a border between Seville and Malaga.

From Seville, the most recommended route is the A-92.

From Cádiz, the Carretera de Antequera or A-384 is the quickest route to reach the town. 

From Jerez de la Frontera, follow the A-382 and the Carretera de Antequera or A-384. 

From Malaga, take the A-357 to continue along the Carretera de Antequera Road or A-384.

From Ronda, the A-374 and the Carretera de Antequera or A-384 is the quickest way to reach Olvera

As for the intercity bus service, the company Comes has a bus service to Olvera from Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera and Ronda (Málaga). In turn, DAMAS has a route that reaches the municipality from Jerez de la Frontera, Malaga and Ronda. You can consult all the information about routes and timetables on their websites.

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Accomodations

ALOJAMIENTO RURAL EL PRADO Y LA ENCINA

APARTAMENTO TURÍSTICO EL FRENAZO

A-384

CAMPING PUEBLO BLANCO

Ctra. Nacional

CASA CAL Y SOL

C/ Peñón

CASA LAS HERRIZAS

CASA OLVERA CON GARAJE

C/ Puerto Hermoso

CASA OLVERA CON TERRAZA

C/ Sta. Rosa

CASA RURAL EL FRENAZO

A-384

CASA RURAL LA CASA DE LA VILLA

C/ Barriete

CASA RURAL PAQUITA

C/ Mercado

CASA RURAL VILLA FILOMENA

Lugar Los Baños

CASA VAGÓN VÍA VERDE

Vía Verde de la Sierra

FINCA LOS MELEROS

Lugar El Prado

HOSTAL MEDINA

C/ Sepúlveda

HOTEL FUENTE DEL PINO

Ctra. Jerez-Antequera

HOTEL SIERRA Y CAL

Avda. Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios

HOTEL VÍA VERDE

Vía Verde

LA PARRILLA

Lugar La Parrilla

LEMON TREE PATIO

C/ Garduñera

NO 31 BED & BREAKFAST

C/Maestro Amado

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

C/ Carnero

VILLA MEDINA BARROSO

Restaurants

BAMBÚ CAFÉ&COPAS

C/ Cordel

BODEGUITA MI PUEBLO

C/ Cañada Real

LA TARARA NEOTABERNA

Pza. Andalucía

Leaflets

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Via Verde de la Sierra

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Topografía Sierra de Cádiz

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Senderos Diputación

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Sendero La Muela – Nacimientos

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Senderos y Miradores de la provincia de Cádiz

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Rutas Gastronomía

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Ecoturismo Andalucía

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Guía turística Olvera

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Guía Pueblos Blancos

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Guía práctica zonas – Mapa Pueblos Blancos

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Turismo Ornitológico

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Sierra Lijar

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Peñon de Zaframagón

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Mapa y Guía Olvera

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Calendario Ornitológico de la provincia de Cádiz

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