The castle on top of its hill is Olvera’s main attraction and the steps going there are equally magnificent, tourists find its lure irresistible. Its Arabian-style castle on top of the hill is unique and magnificent. Once used as a fortress, it is today a landmark of a town that continues to blossom under the Spanish skies.

Olvera is a town of quiet beauty. It lacks the fanfare of other towns in Cádiz but its whitewashed speaks for itself.

Figuring prominently as one of Andalucia’s White Villages, Olvera is in the middle of the mountain range of Cádiz, in the north eastern part of Ronda. It rises above the waters at approximately 620m.

Recent archaeological findings revealed that this town was inhabited long before the Phoenicians and Romans came. It was called by other names before: “Hippo Nova”

The name stuck for a while as it figured first in the History of Pliny, but the Visigoths came when they were overran by the Moors or more commonly known as Berbers in the 9th century. While there, the Visigoths found a temporary refuge amongst the woodlands of olives.

The Berbers came after and drove the temporary settlers away. The new colonists gave the place another name “Wuhira” or even “Uriwila” - this confusion in name became a grim reminder of how Olvera changed hands from one invader to another.

The town became the Moors frontier against its enemies. Its location on top of the hill turned it into an invincible garrison for its Muslim invaders, but in 1327 the invading troops of King Alfonso XI subdued them and claimed the land.

Olvera was ushered into feudalism, from one warfare family to another. Finally, the town’s ownership was passed to the Duke of Osuna.

All of its earlier names during the Visigoths and Berber’s invasions were probably fused and as time evolved, so did the name. Today, in its easy to pronounce name, it is called Olvera, the land of olive groves.

As its saga continued like the rest of the world during those dark periods in history, Olvera became a haven for bandits. The town was so destitute that the people had to survive whichever means possible. But in the early 20th century, the town hit jackpot when the rail transit was constructed between Jerez de Frontera and Almargen. Olvera became the key station.

Places to visit are:

  • Castillo árabe
  • Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
  • Iglesia de la Victoria
  • Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Sra de la Encarnación
  • Museo de Castillos y Fronteras
  • Casa de la Cilla. Plaza de la Iglesia