A PRETTY Andalucian hilltop town has won recognition as the ‘most tranquil’ destination in Europe.
Visitors to sleepy Zahara de la Sierra, inland in the province of Cadiz know the joys of the stunning views across the Grazalema mountain range and turquoise waters of the lake below.
The hidden gem of a pueblo blanco is topped by a 13th Moorish castle and appears on the list of Spain’s Most Beautiful Small Towns.
But now it has won the accolade of being named the most tranquil destination in Europe, in a survey by OVO network which analyses the most desirable assets for travellers wanting to unwind.
It earned its place thanks to its low population density of just 1,903 inhabitants per km², access to spas and lack of online popularity meaning it is off the beaten track.
Stefan Crites, a Zahara local for the past 16 years who runs hotel and restaurant Al Lago with his wife, Mona, said he ‘would rate it as the most beautiful of the pueblos blancos’.
“While Zahara is very tranquil there is a lot going on here,” he told the Olive Press.
“ There always seems to be something going on but somehow it retains its quiet village charm”.
Across the mountains in the next valley, the town of Ronda has also been recognised as the next ‘most tranquil destination’ in Spain.
While the town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria comes in third on the ranking of Spanish towns.
For those seeking a sea view to find tranquillity, the pretty seaside fishing village of Llanes in Asturias ranks top of all coastal towns in Spain.