What to see in Olvera besides its incredible fortress

Must-sees in Olvera

In this article you’ll find information on everything you have to see in Olvera :

  • A few words about Olvera
  • Where is Olvera on the map?
  • What to see in Olvera
  • What to do in Olvera
  • Booking accommodation
  • Some useful links (bookings and visits in Andalucia)
  • What to see near Olvera
  • Continuing your trip to Andalucia

olvera visit viewpoint on whole olvera village

A few words about Olvera

The picturesque white village of Olvera is in the province of Cadiz.

It lies on a hillside in the Sierra Norte de Cádiz. This village of Moorish origin was declared a historic and artistic site in 1983. Olvera has also been declared “Capital of Rural Tourism” in 2021.

The village is well worth a visit to explore its narrow streets, discover its two magnificent monuments and enjoy its incredible panoramic views.

The origin of the name Olvera

This is a village where the origin of the name is still uncertain. However, there is one hypothesis that stands out regarding the origin of the name Olvera:

  • the name is thought to have come from the Arabic Uriwila or Wubira during the Al-Andalus period
  • it would then have taken the name Olivera for the surrounding olive groves
  • And over time, the pronunciation of the “i” disappeared to become Olvera

Wall of the Olvera castle-fortress

A curious historical fact about Olvera:

After the town was conquered by the Catholic kings, the Muslims abandoned the village and left for the area around Granada. The village was repopulated thanks to a charter – the Carta Puebla – signed by Alfonso XI on 1 August 1327.

This charter stipulated that all people in debt or threatened with imprisonment would have their debts and sentences discharged if they settled in Olvera for at least 1 year and 1 day!

This historical fact gave rise to the saying: “Mata al hombre y vete a Olvera“, which means: Kill a man and go to Olvera.

Note: It was in Olvera that this form of repopulation was first used. It would later become common practice as each village was conquered.

Where is Olvera on the map?

Olvera is a white village inland from Andalucia, set in magnificent natural surroundings.

What to do and see in Olvera?

  1. Villa district
  2. Olvera Castle
  3. Olvera Museum
  4. Nuestra Senora de la Incarnación Church
  5. The Plaza de la Iglesia
  6. Calle Calzada
  7. The Green Road of the Sierra
  8. Sanctuary of Nuestra Senora de los Remedios

Olvera is a very pretty white village that invites you to lose yourself in its narrow streets, particularly in the Villa district.

The Villa neighbourhood a must-see

The Barrio de la Villa is Olvera’s historic quarter, and is home to most of the sights to see in Olvera. In the Barrio de la Villa you’ll find the castle, the church, the cemetery and the museum.

The origins of this district date back to the period of Al-Andalus, when it was known as Wubira, more than seven centuries ago.

in the Villa neighbourhood

A stroll through the narrow streets behind the church will take you back to the old Muslim medina. You can admire the Torre del Pan (Bread Tower), so called because during Arab rule it was also a flour mill.

Olvera Castle

Here’s a castle that’s well worth a visit! Olvera Castle, declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1985, is a former stronghold of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. This fortress formed part of the defensive system on the border between Muslims and Christians.

After the conquest by the Catholic kings in 1327, it became a stronghold of the Crown of Castile.


This castle, which has undergone several transformations, was built 900 years ago! It stands on a rock 623 metres above sea level. From the top of the keep you can enjoy an incredible panoramic view of :

  • the village
  • the church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
  • three different provinces: Cadiz, Seville and Málaga!

To visit the castle, you can buy an entrance ticket (€2) at the tourist office in the Plaza de la Iglesia. Inside the fortress, you can visit the two storeys of the keep, part of the wall and the aljibe (water reservoir).

Olvera Museum

This small museum is located in the square next to the church. The museum is housed in the “La Cilla” building. This was the old granary during the reign of the Dukes of Osuna. It was also used for a time as a women’s prison!

This museum is an interpretation centre showcasing Olvera’s medieval past.

Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church

The Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church is one of the must-see places in Olvera. This church was built at the end of the 18th century.

This impressive neoclassical church is distinguished by its two large towers. It can be visited Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 1pm and from 4pm to 6pm.

This church is home to the town’s patron saint, the Virgin Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. Inside you can see many elements covered in Italian marble. There are also the altars of three penitential brotherhoods. These brotherhoods go out in procession during Holy Week.

The Plaza de la Iglesia, a must-see in Olvera

This square is well worth a stop to take some magnificent photos of the village and its landscape. It was here that the Wubira mosque was built.

Calzada street

Calle Calzada is the street that leads from the lower part of the village to the church square. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful streets in Olvera.

It offers a highly photogenic view of the imposing church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación in the background.

Calzada street with a view of the church

You almost forget we’re on a climb 🙂.

The Vía Verde de la Sierra

The Vía Verde de la Sierra is a former railway infrastructure. This Jerez-Almargen railway line was never completed.

The Vía Verde de la Sierra has been converted for tourism purposes (hiking, cycling and horse-riding). It is 38km long and runs through the municipality of Olvera.

Panoramic view of the surrounding area

Note: this is the only road declared to be of tourist interest in Andalucia. It was also voted Europe’s best greenway in 2005 and 2009. Last but not least, this greenway crosses the Peñón de Zaframagón nature reserve, which is Andalucia’s largest nesting site for griffon vultures.

Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios

The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios is just two kilometres from the centre of Olvera. It’s well worth a visit to see

  • the 15th-century sculpture of the Virgen de los Remedios, patron saint of the town
  • the sanctuary’s magnificent patio
  • and enjoy a truly spectacular view of the village of Olvera.

Where to eat in Olvera

The town hall square is, in my opinion, the best place to stop for a drink while visiting the village, and to have lunch.

On this square, there’s the Bar La Plaza, which in the morning will serve you a good tostada de aceite con tomate for breakfast.

But lunchtime is also the ideal time to enjoy a few tapas. During the meal, you’ll enjoy an incredible view of the church and castle from the terrace.

You can find the exact location of the La Plaza bar here.

What to see and do near Olvera

Olvera is surrounded by other beautiful white villages: Setenil de las Bodegas (15 km), Zahara de la Sierra (30 km) and Grazalema (40 km). These three villages are also on the list of the most beautiful villages in Spain!

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas is a must-see if you want to discover its distinctive architecture, with its troglodyte houses.

Setenil de las bodegas calle cuevas del sol 2

There’s plenty to see in Setenil de las Bodegas. Plan to spend a few hours in this village, including a lunch break in a cave.


Grazalema is a delightful white village that’s a must-see for its history, wool crafts and traditions.

grazalema see narrow street

You’ll find plenty of beautiful things to see in Grazalema, and wandering through its narrow streets is a pure delight for lovers of white villages.

Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara de la Sierra is a magnificent white village perched on a rocky promontory. It is close to Olvera.


A visit to Zahara de la Sierra will also leave you with wonderful memories.

Book an excursion on the Route of the White Villages

Below you’ll find the excursions and visits to the white villages on offer from Seville, Cádiz and Málaga. These villages are located around the Sierra de Grazalema Park.

You can also book them online today (with free cancellation):

Book accommodation in Olvera

Below you will find all the hotels and accommodation available in Olvera, once you have selected your dates:


Some useful links (car hire, ideas for visits)

Easy and economical bookings

Continue your trip to Andalucia


Seville, the capital of Andalucia, is a city full of treasures to discover and monuments to visit.

Door of Forgiveness – Seville Cathedral

Here you will find everything you can see in Seville in 3 days. And for those who will stay longer you will also find information on secret Seville and the Santa Cruz and Triana districts.


cadix cadiz cathedrale catedral cathedral cattedrale

Visit Cadiz, a city with an incredible past and great beauty, on the Costa del la Luz.


When you reach the Costa del Sol you will find in this link what to see in Malaga :

Street art next to the Picasso Museum Malaga


Visit Granada, discover the Albaicin and Sacromonte districts:



And of course, visit Cordoba, the caliphate city, and the Juderia district


Discover more of Andalusia’s beautiful sites in the Andalusia blog pages.

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