Zahara de la Sierra - vista

Zahara de la Sierra, the jewel of the interior of Cádiz

Located in the mountains of Sierra del Jaral, Zahara de la Sierra is one of the jewels of the interior of Cadiz province. Its main attraction is its natural environment and is that this village of the Serrania has a spectacular beauty for its location on the reservoir of Zahara-Gastor.

It is one of the most beautiful villages on the Route of the White Villages of Cádiz, which is why tourism has increased considerably in recent years, attracted mainly by the enviable setting of the Sierra de la Grazalema Natural Park.

The privileged enclave where it is located is one of the things that will surprise you about Zahara de la Sierra, but if we go down the steep streets of this mountain village, we will discover an urban center with so much charm that has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site by the Junta de Andalucía and is one of the most beautiful things to see in Zahara.

Zahara de la Sierra playa

The historical, cultural, and natural heritage of Zahara de la Sierra, which is dominated by the castle of Zahara, offers a wide range of activities that make this Cadiz town an ideal place for year-round tourism.

From nature trails, water sports in its artificial “playita” (little beach) or walk the streets to see the most emblematic monuments of Zahara de la Sierra, see the white facades and patios with potted plants, enjoy the many festivals held, as well as visit the viewpoints to observe the wonderful views that gives us their environment.

This inland paradise, which gives us the Sierra de Grazalema, is the perfect white village to spend a few days enjoying its unique charm and natural and cultural wealth.


How to get to Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara de la Sierra Map

Google Maps

Zahara de la Sierra is located on the Route of the White Villages of Cádiz and in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and has excellent road connections.

We recommend that you travel by car as it is a good option to visit the different villages around Zahara until you reach your destination.

Seville, Cadiz capital, Jerez de la Frontera, Algodonales, Gastor, Prado del Rey, Malaga or Ronda have direct connections by highway or road that will facilitate your arrival.

However, if you wish, the bus is another option to get to Zahara from Ronda with the company Comes.

From Cádiz, San Fernando, or Puerto de Santa María or Puerto Real you can take buses or trains that pass close to Zahara, but the routes are very long, so we recommend to travel by car.

On this page you will find the transportation options to get to Zahara de la Sierra.


History of Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara de la Sierra - Castillo

The origins of Zahara de la Sierra can be traced back to prehistoric times, as some archaeological remains have been found which show that this small town in the interior of Cádiz was already inhabited at that time.

However, there is not much data that clarifies the history of Zahara de la Sierra, beyond the certainty that Zahara has a Roman, Visigothic and Arabic past.

From its Roman past, the site of the Tesorillo is still preserved, but it was its Arab past where Zahara lived its golden moment. The fact that it was a Muslim fortress is a fact that we can confirm today because it was there that Alfonso X the Wise and Sultan Aben Yusef maintained an agreement in which the king asked Yusef for help in fighting the rebellion of Sancho IV. From this Nasrid period remains the imposing castle of Zahara de la Sierra, which dominates the heights of this mountain village.

In the 15th century, the Christians reconquered Zahara, only to lose it again to the Muslims in 1481. This sparked a war in Granada that ended the Nasrid kingdom and returned Zahara to the Christians two years later under the seal of the Catholic Monarchs.

The Muslim fortress and all the history of Zahara de la Sierra is an emblem of the municipality and is, along with its natural beauty, an attraction for tourists who want to enter and learn about the origins of this village in the Sierra de Grazalema.


What to see and do in Zahara de la Sierra

Mirador de Zahara de la Sierra (Cádiz)

The cultural and natural heritage of Zahara de la Sierra is incomparable, and a visit to this mountain village will lead us to discover the wonders it hides.

If we start our route through the natural enclave in which it is located, one of the things we can undoubtedly see is the Zahara-Gastor reservoir on which it is located.

All this area of the reservoir is the entrance to the Natural Park of the Sierra de Grazalema, declared Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. In addition, being one of the wettest areas of Spain, the surrounding green scenery is a panoramic view that you can appreciate for example doing some of the many routes of the park as for example the Garganta Verde and thus observe the flora and fauna of the Sierra de Grazalema.

La Garganta Verde, Sierra de Grazalema

The richness of this natural park also offers us a Spanish fir forest (Pinsapar ) and the Spanish Fir Interpretation Center.

Heading towards the village, the old quarter of Zahara is a tourist attraction, having been declared a Historic-Artistic Site for its urban layout. If we lose ourselves in the narrow and steep streets that are typical of the villages of Cádiz, we will discover the most beautiful corners and houses with white façades, typical of the area, which are offset according to the terrain in which they are located. At the entrance to the village we can also see one of its natural fountains, such as La Higuera, which is a work of art.

Zahara de la Sierra - Calles

The castle of Zahara de la Sierra and the Torre del Homenaje (Tower of Homage) are undoubtedly two of the village’s main attractions and one of the most important things to see. They were the old wall that surrounded the town of Zahara de la Sierra in medieval times and their style is typical of the links between the Christian and Nasrid cultures of the time.

Continuing with the cultural route, the church of Santa María de la Mesa is an absolute must. The three naves that make up the church are of great cultural value and beauty.

Zahara de la Sierra - Iglesia de Santa María de la Mesa

Another of the things to see in Zahara is the Antigua Iglesia Mayor, of which only the brick wall remains, taking us back to the conquest of Zahara by the Christians.

A walk to the Plaza de Lepanto, the old Alameda, is a luxury for our eyes, as there is a viewpoint from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of Zahara de la Sierra and another of the Sierra de Grazalema Park.

Zahara de la Sierra - Capilla de San Juan

The Torre de Reloj (Clock Tower) and the chapel of San Juan Letran are worth a stop on the way to visit. These two wonders are a bell tower and a chapel of Andalusian architecture with 3 bells. They are two of the most beautiful places to visit in Zahara de la Sierra.

This mountain village in Cadiz hosts several festivities. These include Corpus Christi, an event of interest for tourists across the country and the region of Andalusia, along with the traditional Zahara fair and festivities, and San Juan festivities, held to celebrate the arrival of summer.

La playita. Zahara de la Sierra

Even though Zahara is not by the sea, it still has a beach that locals fondly refer to as the “playita” (little beach) of Zahara. The beach is artificially built but popular among tourists and locals alike. It is situated in the recreational area of Arroyomolinos, next to the reservoir, and provides an excellent spot for water sports or access to the bathing area that attracts many visitors during the summer.

The amount of attractions that can be seen and experienced in Zahara de la Sierra is impressive. The village and its surroundings provide plenty of chances for us to enjoy ourselves while visiting one of Spain’s most stunning villages.


Where to eat in Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara de la Sierra restaurantes- Crédito: trabantos /

Enjoying the food in Zahara de la Sierra gives you a chance to taste the typical cuisine of Serranía de Cádiz.

The food in this unique location mainly consists of dishes like gachas, asparagus stew, tortillas, and chard with chickpeas. They also have typical dishes such as “sopa servía” or “sopa tostá” and the legendary carne de membrillo (quince jelly).

Zahara de la Sierra, and the villages along the Route of the White Villages, use local produce as the foundation for their cuisine.

Guiso - Andalucía

Mesón Oñate is one of the restaurants in Zahara that serves some of the most delicious and traditional dishes. It is located overlooking the reservoir and specializes in game meat.

Another iconic place is Cortijo de Zahara, highly endorsed for Moroccan cuisine tribute and a chance to savor a delectable tajin.

Don’t go without sampling the cuisine at Bar Josefi when in Zahara, a legendary village eatery. Serving up traditional mountain fare, they hold high regard for local produce while ensuring their food is of outstanding value and quality.

Trying tapas at Cervecería el Gallo is a great way to sample the traditional foods of Zahara de la Sierra and experience one of the area’s most iconic eateries, popular with both visitors and residents.

Bar Restaurante la Era is another recommended eatery to savor homemade cuisine and carefully prepared dishes.

Al Lago is a picturesque place to relish in delicious food while admiring the stunning views in front of the restaurant. This establishment is highly recommended for its exceptional products and the careful preparation of each dish, making it one of the top bars in Zahara.


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Hotel Fuerte Grazalema

Hotel Fuerte Grazalema

The Hotel Fuerte Grazalema is located in the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, just 5 km from the beautiful Andalusian village which gives its name to the park, and 20 km from the famous town of Ronda, a must-see for any visitors to Andalusia. The international airport of Jérez de la Frontera is 88 km away, while Mélaga (well connected with major cities in Europe) is 120 km. It is 127 km from Seville.


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Fuerte Group Hotels
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29603 Marbella. Málaga.

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