Europe · Spain

Zahara de la Sierra: The white town overlooking lake and hills

Zahara de la Sierra was second village of euro trip and last pit stop of the road trip from Barcelona to Seville. Just like in Mojacar we book an apartment in Zahara this time from booking.com and after 6 hours of drive from Mojacar reached at around 12:00 midnight. As it was quite late we expected that all the shops will be closed by then and it will be difficult to find the apartment as the location given to us by booking.com was wrong and google map faces issues on hilly area. But on the contrary Zahara was still awake, restaurants open, bars full, children’s playing and people walking on the street. Zahara is a very small village which can easily be covered on foot with only one main street with 3-4 restaurants and 1 pub. Fortunately our apartment was on the main street itself above a restaurant, 100 meters from the center of village and just as we parked our car owner was there to receive us.

As the streets were all lit up and pub open we decided to freshen up and go out for a walk at 1:30 AM. After strolling a bit on the hilly lanes we headed to the bar only to find that there is an awesome foosball table with red and white team depicting Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. The foosball table was very different as compared to one i play in office, bigger table, and players with 2 legs and slope to make your shots more difficult. We played fooseball for almost half an hour and the locals started challenging for a game. Although we could not beat them but it was great how we enjoyed the match and appreciated each other even without knowing each other’s language.

As the next day started we roamed around the village for some time only to find that we were able to complete the whole village within an hour and then decided to visit the lake and then head to the Moorish castle for sunset. After the lunch in one of that restaurant we started for the lake which is around 15 mins drive from city centre. The lake was glittering in the radiant sunlight, winds blowing, with the backdrop of white houses on the hills and a castle on the top it was a scene to be captured on canvas. One of the best things about all the places in Spain was that at every place, no matter how famous it is you can a sweet spot where it’s just you and the landscape. We did found such a place at lake and sat there for almost 3 hours lost in our-self.

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View of Zahara from Zahara Lake
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Zahara Lake from Zahara

As it was getting time for sunset we decided to head towards the Moorish castle. The walk up is fairly steep and can be hot going in the summer months, but it’s definitely worth the effort. It takes around half an hour of walk to reach to Moorish castle from city centre, with lush greenery, human height cactus views of the stunning lake, countryside and white washed village beneath in between. If you walk up to the Moorish castle above the village and stand on its tower roof you will enjoy an amazing panorama. Just below the castle on the trail we were able to find a place with a bench and just 6 of us there to see the wonderful orange sunset over the hills. The trail in itself has so much lush greenery and variety of flora that at one point of time I felt as if I was in hobbit-land :P. As the sun sets slowly we were in complete awe of the beauty of Zahara and how such a small town still unknown to many can can be so mesmerizing.

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Sunset at Zahara
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We at Zahara sunset
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Zahara Lake from Castle

As the highlight of the trip skydiving was due next day, we promised ourself to sleep by 11:00 went out for dinner and then to play a few rounds of fooseball. With the talks of Sky diving the next day we all went to sleep.

Surrounded by lush gardens, narrow windy streets, Glittering Lake and with a distinct Moorish feel – Zahara de la Sierra is one place that is not to be missed.

 

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