Arcos de la Frontera is one of the pueblos blancos (white villages) of Andalucia. It is perched high on a hill with magnificent if vertiginous views from the main square overlooking the Guadalute river. Admire the views, get lost in the picturesque maze of cobbled streets and then reward yourselves, as we did, with a splendid lunch of regional specialities washed down with a glass or two of rioja at the Restaurante El Convento.
Google map: bit.ly/MCQ99M
Huerta de Albalá is a newly established vineyard near to Arcos de la Frontera, Andalucía. Founded by Vicente Taberner on land where sunflowers once grew, he believed that a top quality red wine could be produced in an area long regarded by the wine world as being much too hot. The first vintage in 2005 was tasted by wine gurus Jancis Robinson and Robert Parker and sent both into raptures (the latter scoring it 95 points). The bodega can be visited and its wines can be purchased on site.
Arcos is a small and picturesque white town in the western part of Andalucia. There are a few hotels in the town, but the best place to stay is Casa Blues, which is situated right on the edge of the old town. The three guest rooms look out onto an uninterrupted view of mountains and lakes, and the hosts are very knowledgeable and hospitable, and bi-lingual (Romanian also spoken, so that makes three). It's also cheap, and the music is great!
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