10 Spanish Cliff-Side Towns: Gazing into the Abyss

The beauty of our geography leaves us with Spanish villages on unusual cliffs that more than real seem like places on a postcard or a film. Hanging villages built at shocking heights, defying the laws of gravity, are distributed from north to south offering tourists and their own inhabitants impressive views and the opportunity to live, even if only for a few days, on the edge of the cliff.

1. Albarracín (Teruel)

Albarracín is a striking medieval town perched on a rock and surrounded by the Guadalaviar River. Since 1961 it has been considered a National Monument and has been proposed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The gorge that surrounds this picturesque town is accompanied by a group of walls on the adjacent hills that form a belt around the Sierra de Albarracín. Its huddled houses, its reddish tone caused by the plaster and the use of the forge typical of the province are also characteristic elements of this charming Aragonese village.

cliff-side towns

2. Setenil de las Bodegas (Cádiz)

Undoubtedly one of the best known Spanish cliff-side towns of the peninsula that also has one more peculiarity: it is not only on the rocks but also embedded in them. The formation of the village was adapted to the course of the River Guadalporcún, thus taking advantage of the gorge created to construct its buildings. In this way, the rock becomes both its walls and its roofs. It also part of the Route of the White Villages and has been declared a Historic Site.

3. Ronda (Málaga)

This town could not be missing from our list of Spanish cliff-side towns. Ronda is a municipality of Málaga, located on a gorge known as the Tajo, about 150 meters deep, which has been recognized by many sources as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Its town centre, declared a Site of Cultural Interest, is divided in two and surrounded by lush river valleys. To enjoy the best views of the town over the cliffs, you should not miss the impressive panorama from its famous Puente Nuevo over the River Guadalevín. You should also visit the Mondragon Palace or the Casa del Rey Moro.

cliff-side towns

4. Jorquera (Albacete)

Jorquera is located on a hill bounded on one side by the Júcar River, which forms a canyon with peaks of 200 meters, and on the other side by the Cañada de Abengibre. This situation provides the municipality a picturesque landscape that in the past was key to its own defense. As evidence of this, the remains of the castle, with its defensive fortress from the 12th century, and the remains of the defensive towers located at the two natural entrances that shape one of the most impressive Spanish cliff-side towns to be seen.

cliff-side towns

5. Masca (Tenerife)

The village of Masca, located in the Teno Rural Park, is the perfect place if you are looking for incredible views of both the sea and the mountains. This hamlet of just two streets is perched on the edge of an abyss produced by the deepest ravines of Tenerife. It belongs to the municipality of Buenavista, and the white colour of the buildings contrasts with the intense green of the wild vegetation. Its access through deep ravines, lush vegetation and winding curves will lead you to spectacular views of the astonishing cliffs of Los Gigantes.

6. Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz)

This beautiful town in Cádiz welcomes the Route of the White Villages and is located on a large rock that stands on the banks of the river Guadalete. Capital of Taifa de Arcos during the Muslim era, it owes much of its appearance and architecture to the Muslim culture. Getting lost in its narrow and steep streets and strolling through the white houses that make up the historic centre of the village will immerse you in a place of unquestionable charm that has been declared a Historic Site and a Site of Cultural Interest.

cliff-side towns

7. Siurana (Tarragona)

This Catalan municipality is located on a rocky crag that gives everyone who passes it an impressive view of the Siurana River and the reservoir. In this way, a hole is opened and it is consolidated as one of the most outstanding Spanish cliff-side towns of our country. Among its landscapes it is also important to highlight the rock formations such as the Salto de la Reina Mora, the twin rock of the Siuranella, the valleys of the river Siurana and the cliffs of Arbolí perfect for climbing.

cliff-side towns

8. Alquézar (Huesca)

This town in Huesca, declared a Historical-Artistic Site, is set in an impressive limestone landscape modelled by the River Vero, which over time has created an ideal canyon for lovers of nature sports. The village is located in the Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park, perched on one of the mountain ranges parallel to the Pyrenees at an altitude of some 660 metres. Thanks to the perfect conservation of its essence and its unique situation, this village offers the possibility to go back in time and revive our medieval past.

cliff-side towns

9. Frías (Burgos)

This municipality in the north of the province of Burgos is a town of medieval origin brimming with history and culture. The inhabitants can contemplate the Ebro from the high hill of La Muela, a position that made Frías a strategic point in Spanish geography during the Roman and medieval periods. This medieval aspect is still present thanks, above all, to the Velasco Castle, the remains of the walled enclosure or the Church of San Vicente.

cliff-side towns

10. Castellfollit de la Roca (Girona)

Being one of the smallest villages, it has also managed to make a name for itself thanks to its beauty and unique setting. The small Castellfollit de la Roca, with less than one square kilometre of surface, stands on a basaltic cliff 50 metres high and almost one kilometre long, surrounded by the river Fluviá.  Its floating houses on the edge of the abyss and the old church of Sant Salvador, located just at the end, are breathtaking and make this village a highly recommended visit.

cliff-side towns

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