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Visit Júzcar: The Blue Village In Southern Spain

Júzcar, the Blue Village in Andalucia, Spain
Júzcar, the original Blue Village in Andalucia, Spain [Image by Rafael Tello on Wikimedia Commons]

Andalucía in southern Spain is famous for its beautiful pueblos blancos or villas blancas, which translates to White Villages. They spread over the hillsides in startling white against the green vegetation and streets are lined with pretty flowers. However, among these beautiful white villages is one that is blue – and for a very good reason. In its past, Júzcar became renowned for some of Belgium’s favorite cartoon characters – the Smurfs. These days, it is still blue but is known as Aldea Azul.

Júzcar – the Blue Village in southern Spain

Located a short drive from the mountaintop town of Ronda in Malaga Province, Júzcar is a small and quaint village to visit. The town is accessed down a narrow, winding road through the hilly terrain where you eventually spot a blue village spreading over the hilltop.

Like other quaint villages in Andalucía, Júzcar used to be painted white. However, back in 2011, Sony Pictures was looking for a suitable village to promote The Smurf Movie. To be able to do so, the village had to be painted a beautiful blue.

Restaurant and bar in Juzcar, Andalucia, Spain
Restaurant and bar in Júzcar, Andalucía, Spain [Image by manuelfloresv on Flickr]
Meanwhile, Júzcar is a remote and small village, and at that time, was relatively untouched by tourism. Its claim to fame was the delicious mushrooms grown locally. All but one householder in the village was quite happy that their village was being painted blue in such a famous fashion.

Villagers like being different

The Blue Village
The Blue Village [Image by manuelfloresv on Flickr]
Eventually, Sony struck the deal with the village and it was painted a perfect Smurf blue for the promotion. Meanwhile, once it was over, Sony was prepared to pay for all the buildings to be returned to their original white shade. However, after a public referendum was held, the local residents decided that not only did they like being different they wanted to continue being a blue village. Because of this, among the White Villages of Andalucia, the village became a popular tourist attraction as a Blue Village.

Fast forward to now, and Júzcar is still that lovely shade of blue, but villagers have added extra touches, like artwork around the colorful streets.

Local tourism authorities estimate that around 80,000 travelers head to the village each year. Meanwhile, Júzcar is particularly popular with families as the décor is great fun for the kids. They even have a fun playground for the kids to enjoy during their visit.

Hotel Restaurante Bandolero in Júzcar

Hotel Restaurante Bandolero in Júzcar
[Image Hotel Restaurante Bandolero on Facebook]
Besides its beautiful blueness, the village has several restaurants and bars, a mushroom museum and shops selling souvenirs. There is even a cozy hotel, naturally also painted blue, with beautifully decorated guest rooms and an excellent restaurant. Those who wish to stay overnight or more in Júzcar will find a warm welcome at Hotel Restaurante Bandolero.

However, for anyone staying in Ronda, Júzcar makes a unique place for a fun day trip. Find out more about the village on its official website.



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