Looking for somewhere a little unusual to visit in Europe? Look no further than Juzcar otherwise known as ‘Smurf Village’…
In 2011, Sony pictures scoured the globe for the perfect setting of its new Smurf movie. The company landed on a sleepy Andalucian village called Juzcar, not far from the Malaga coastline. This historical village, featuring traditional white houses or Pueblo Blanco, agreed to Sony’s request: to paint every building blue for the movie’s premiere. And so ‘Smurf Village’ was born.
After the Hollywood buzz died down, curious visitors to the village continued, boosting the local economy. Juzcar’s 400 residents voted to keep the village blue. Smurf Village is now a mecca for all things Smurf. Locals and tourists come from near and far to visit this charming settlement. If you’re travelling to Spain on a quick break or a longer holiday, their fun and quirky Smurf Village could be a popular addition especially if you have kids! Here’s not what to miss…
‘Mercapitufo’ – Smurf Market
Every weekend during the holiday season, villagers get together to put on a Smurf market which sells everything you can possibly imagine related to Smurfs – t-shirts, keyrings, delicious fungi (a Smurf delicacy). It’s a very child-friendly village where blue face painting is a big feature. There are around 20 stalls to peruse and it really is a treat to visit!
Eat blue Smurf spaghetti
As you can imagine, the movie has boosted the area’s tourism and economy and every business is enjoying being part of the Smurf experience. Local restaurants even serve blue Smurf pasta – which might not sound the most appetising but when you add fresh, authentic Spanish ingredients, you have a delicious meal with a fun twist.
Hike for happiness
Juzcar’s mayor is often heard describing the happiness that Smurf Village brings to both its residents and visitors. You can’t help but smile at the charming houses painted bright blue, set against beautiful, lush green rolling hills. Smurf Village offers charming narrow streets, incredible hike trails and outdoor adventures for those who love nature. The village and its surrounding areas provide hours of exploring and exhilarating experiences.
Smurfs love mushrooms. During Autumn, this Andalucian area is renowned for its blossoming, delicious wild fungi (which is why Sony picked the location!). Mushrooms now even have their own museum for tourists to visit. Here you’ll find an exhibition area, a cultural centre and tourist information desk. You can also take part in mushroom-related events and activities for all ages.
After you pass the large playground at the village’s entrance, look out for Gargamel’s house somewhere in the winding streets. Gargamel is the arch-enemy of the Smurfs and he refused to have his house painted. Kids will love trying to find it!
You’ll never be a true smurf fan until you’ve visited smurf village in Andalucia. This is a truly wacky holiday for those with a taste for the absurd!