Manilva, Casares and white washed Andalucian Villages


Casares Village
Casares Village

Dotted around the Andalucian hills, merely a short distance from the hustle and
bustle of the beaches of the Costa del Sol, lie a multitude of quiet and scenic towns
and villages all the buildings and structures of which are painted white to reflect the
unforgiving rays of the hot summer sun.

Standing out against the greens and browns of the hills and surrounding countryside
they are often little havens of peace where the pace of life seems to have slowed
to a gentle stroll. But it has always been this way. No one ever rushed – or even
now rushes – in a frenzy here. Nature still moves at its customary dawdle out in the
surrounding fields. The grapes still ripen slowly on the vine. The fruit and vegetables
bask lazily in the sunshine, in no hurry to get to market. They’ll get there when
they’re ready, all in their own sweet time…

Cars now cautiously navigate the narrow streets on cobbled roads originally built for
ox and donkey carts, and tourist coaches stand empty on the outskirts while their
occupants visit the local bars and restaurants. Historically these places survived due
to their agricultural industry but now tourism in the form of the “white villages tour”
has also become a mainstay of the local economy.

Two such “havens” are Manilva and Casares. Both are just a short drive inland from
the N340 coast road and at weekends both are very popular with the locals who drive
up to eat lunch at their many restaurants and “Ventas” (often cheap but extremely
good roadside eateries).

When Hamilton Homes asked me to drive up in the heat to record some stock
footage of Manilva and Casares I have to say at first I was a bit sceptical. To date I
had mostly captured individual properties and urbanizations with my video camera,
as these are what prospective buyers are most interested in. Showing villas and
apartments in their immediate surroundings at first glance seems to be enough but
Hamilton’s are right: the more discerning punter would no doubt also like to know
what places of interest lie further afield.

And when I arrived at Manilva, my first port of call, I was pleasantly surprised to find
much to inspire my photographic “eye”. It was extremely hot but I didn’t care. There
are many interesting “nooks and crannies” down its narrow streets and the view of
the coast from its outskirts is quite stunning.

Then it was on to Casares and the delights continued and became, well, even more

Casares is built on the side of a hill, its glowing white buildings cascade down into a
valley. The whole panorama can be captured from a viewing point on the top of the
hill opposite on which – oddly – someone had erected a cross made of iron bars. I
was so inspired I found it hard to tear myself away – I just wanted to record every
building, every narrow street.

I hope my camera did justice to both these places. I had a great time filming them
and it certainly made a welcome change from filming apartments and urbanizations!