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One of Andalucia's most dramatically positioned pueblos blancos (white villages),

Arcos balances atop a rocky limestone ridge, its whitewashed houses

and stone castle walls stopping abruptly as a sheer cliff face

plunges down to the fertile valley of the river Guadalete below.

                             

In the heart of the historical and artistic old town of Arcos, part of the cloister

convent of nuns was transformed into the Hotel El Convento. From our room,

 we enjoyed the magnificient views of the Peña and the Guadalete river valley.

                   

Above - Our hotel with the Church of San Pedro in the background

                             

The Church of Santa Maria was built in the 13th century, atop a mosque.

This monumental building is richly decorated and features a range of styles,

including late Romanesque and proto-Gothic through to Renaissance and Baroque.

                             

                             

Above - The 16th-century Iglesia de San Pedro, perched in a perilous cliffhanger of a position.

                               

Below - Castillo de los Arcos

The castle was first constructed in the 11th century by the Moors when Arcos was

briefly a taifa (small kingdom) before being captured by the Christians in 1250.

                   

Below - The Mirador de la Peña Nueva on the open side of the Plaza del Cabildo

offers stunning views over the rolling countryside to the west

                  

Beautiful views from Arcos of the valley below

                   

The Basilica of Santa María de la Asunción in Arcos de la Frontera rises up between

 the pure and simple whitewashed houses, as a rich and uninhibited combination

of Mudejar, Gothic, Plateresque, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

                    

Below - Our last look up at Arcos from the bus station