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The Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia are a group of beautiful whitewashed towns in the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga, southern Spain. The architecture, strongly influenced by the Romans, Visigoths, and Arabs blends in with the nature around it - the narrow alleyways, highlookouts, and steep earrings come out of rocks and are surrounded by waterfalls and trees.

During my last visit to Spain this January, I had the privilege to start the year in Istán with a Brazilian family and experience the town through a new perspective. For a few days, I was able to wake up to the amazing views of La Concha and the lake that gives Istán its fame for the best water in southern Spain.

Walking trough the steep callejuelas, I got to meet some of the nicest and most humble people I have ever seen - everyone knows eachother and there isn´t a place where you cannot hear laughs and the sound of beers hitting eachother followed by a ¨Chin Chin!¨. I even got a nickname with which I got to be known in the town: La Americana. I had a lot of time to wander around Istán, always ending up in some river, farm, or lookout surrounded by nothing but trees and rocks. There is honestly no better place to escape the touristic attractions and to learn about the hidden history of Spain. I cannot wait to go back this summer and see how Tomás and his family have accustomed to this welcoming little town.

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