If you are staying in Sabinillas and fancy a day out to a place ‘with a difference’, I would recommend the village of Juzcar, near Ronda. Juzcar has turned from a tiny, anoymous well-hidden white washed village to a bright blue land and is now known as ‘smurf village’ as this is exactly where the Smurf Film (2011) was set. The inhabitants all painted their homes blue to make this the perfect setting. After the film had been made, the inhabitants voted to keep their homes blue. This has now become a world – reknowned village and a very special home to the ‘smurfs’.
The journey from Sabinillas
We left Sabinillas Centre at 10:29 and followed the coastal road (A-7), on a beautifully sunny day. We crossed over the Casares roundabout and admired the sparkling blue sea. We carried on straight on this road towards Estepona and continue ofver the Estepona roundabout onto the by-pass. We continued to drive along the A-7 towards San Pedro and pass Hospiten on our left hand-side. Carry on until you get to San Pedro and from there, follow the signs to Ronda taking the A-397 to Ronda. It was 10:55 when we joined this road and started our ascent up the A-397, road to Ronda. Beware! This road is quite windy and can make you queasy if you suffer from car- sickness. On the way down, some people find this road hard to stomach too as there is a sheer drop – so probably not the best journey for anyone who doesn’t like heights.
The above pushed aside, the journey is quite beautiful and as you go up, you can take in the change in vegetation. A one stage we were surrounded by pine trees. Then the surrounding area changed to being white and rocky and quite barren. The mountains have a mysical feel to them and one feels as though they are driving through a film set. Eventually we took a left turn to Juzcar on theMA7306. This road was very narrow and curvy. Finally we arrives at Juzcar at 11:45.
Juzcar – The village that has been painted blue
On entering Juzcar, there is a little hotel called ‘Bandolero’. After the journey, we were all parched and decided to sit in the sun in a little patio area and soak in our surroundings. The village wqas literally painted blue and it seemed so absurd to see a traditional white-washed town with a sleepy siesta feel converted to this film set. It was very exciting.
Once our thirst was quenched, we decided to amble through the town, stopping to take photos. The kids loved posing with next to pictures of the smurfs. Everywhere people were wandering around with their smurf hats and there were some budding entrepeneurs selling toys and clothes. I have to say, we too got pulled in by the marketing. At time of economic crisis though, it was refreshing to see some spirit in this otherwise very quiet village and more than everything its a great day out with kids.
Outside the church square was a little market and this was a lovely spot. There was a little museum which you could visit and there were vendors selling their cheese and pastries. The cheese was absolutely delicious.
After our little walk, we decided to return to Bandolero where we had luch. There were delicious, reasonably priced tapas – we had corizo, croquetas, cheese, potatoes – these went down a treat and were scrumptious.
Take a look at this video of Juzcar:
We decided to slowly head home after a great day out. We found it incredible that this little village only had 242 inhabitants and a small school with around 20 kids. Since going, I found this page on Juzcar statistics – take a look by clicking here.