Within a short drive of Suryalila, tucked away amongst majestic mountains and fertile olive groves, you’ll find some of Andalucía’s most beautiful traditional white villages or pueblo blancos.
Think pretty white houses stacked on top of each other like a game of Jenga, narrow cobbled streets lined with lemon trees and tumbling bougainvillea, town squares filled with the sound of children playing and bustling tapas bars open late into the night.
And then there’s the views. More often than not, thanks to being perched on hill tops and high peaks, pueblo blancos are surrounded by breathtaking countryside vistas.
In and amongst the steep winding alleyways of these traditional villages, you’ll find the beating heart of real Spain: streets alive with fiestas and flamenco, friends chatting on sun-dappled bar stools over an ice-cold ‘caña’ (a small beer) and families enjoying long lunches at pavement cafes.
The pace of life here is slow and the air is fragrant with the smell of orange blossom and café con leches (coffee with milk).
The best bit? You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a slice of traditional Spanish life. Here are our top five tips to bring the Andalucían sunshine into your home:
Start the day with the quintessential Spanish breakfast pan con tomate (tomato with bread). Such a simple combination, yet so delicious, this humble dish is sunshine on a plate. The key is to use ripe, juicy tomatoes. Grate a couple of said tomatoes to a pulp. Place in a bowl and season with a splash of olive oil and sea salt. Toast a couple of slices of hearty bread, rub with garlic and top with the tomato pulp. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and enjoy!
Plant Wild thyme and osemary. Growing abundantly throughout Andalucía, thyme and rosemary scent the air and flavour the local honey. To give your green space an Andalucían aroma, plant these hardy herbs in garden beds, borders or window boxes during Spring. Use to flavour stews and roasted veggies, or make a medicinal tea to soothe colds, coughs and sore throats.
Listen to sizzling flamenco! This Andalucían art form is full of stories and passion… and we love it! On our retreats, we often have flamenco dance teacher Sonia come and teach our guests a few steps. Olé! Turn up the heat at home by watching one of our favourite flamenco dancers, Sara Baras. Originally from Cadiz province, where Suryalila is based, her energy is infectious.
Enjoy a siesta. Though the tradition of taking an afternoon nap to beat the midday sun has faded throughout Spain, you’ll still find many shops closing between 2-5pm - ‘siesta time’ - in Andalucían villages. And we’re all for upholding the tradition! Sleep has numerous health benefits, including boosting the immune system.
Speak like a local. Andalucía is renowned for its unique dialect and phrases. Impress your friends with these typical Andalucían expressions:
“Qué guay!” - “So cool!”
“Qué delicioso!” - “So delicious!”
“Vayatela!” - “Oh gosh!”
If you haven't had enough of Spanish vibes yet, we offer retreats here at Suryalila on a regular basis that allow you to get in touch with the Spanish Culture, for example our famous 'Yoga & White Villages Retreat'. Check out our retreat calendar here for more information.