I first heard of the village of Júzcar after reading about it on Atlas Obscura. Chantil and I love road-side attractions and an entire village painted Smurf blue definitely counts, in our view, as something to see and expereince.
Just a nice easy day of riding a 51 km (32 miles) loop from Ronda to Júzcar and back.
The day was already shaping up to be awesome. The weather was clear and sunny and the roads were perfects for motorcycle cruising!
Within a short time, we were greeted by this fun and colorful sign welcoming us to “Júzcar – The Blue Village”.
The village is definitely blue! Smurf blue in fact!?
So how did a quaint village in the remote region of Andalusia, Spain come to be painted Smurf blue?
In 2011, Sony Pictures released a GCI animation movie of the cartoon – The Smurfs. The marketing folks at Sony reached out to the village council in Júzcar and stuck a deal to paint the entire town blue. The local citizens weren’t initially convinced that a blue town was something they wanted; after all, the town was already painted a beautiful white.
Sony agreed to repaint the entire town white after the promotion ended so they struck a deal! After 4,200 liters of paint, the village was completely blue with Smurf characters painted on walls and signs.
“Juźcar, the first Smurf town in the world. 16 JUN 2011”
After seeing many gorgeous white-washed villages in Spain, I wasn’t convinced that a blue colored village would be pretty. As you can see, the blue color does have a nice hue that seems to compliment the color of the sky.
The citizens of Juźcar also liked the new look, along with the revenue from tourism they were receiving, so they decided to keep the unique blue color.
Having grown up as a kid who enjoyed watching the Smurfs cartoons on Saturday morning, I had fond memories of the Smurf charaters. To see an actual real-life Smurf village in Spain felt charming.
After 9 years, some of the paint is cracked and fading.
We found Papa Smurf! Also a bit chipped and faded.
It was fun to walk among the streets and look at the wonderful colors and the different ways people decorated their bright and colorful entrances.
“El Quijote Rural Housing” – Book a room here and you can spend a day in an actual real life Smurf village!
Admittedly, the entrances to these homes would be as beautiful in white. Not as unique, but just a beautiful.
Some Smurf themed characters are painted on walls.
The Smurfiest village in the world.
In addition to the town being painted blue, there were some activities; like this climbing wall and a zip line.
Unfortunately none of these activities were operating. It seems there was some dispute in 2017 between the original creator of the Smurfs, Pierre Culliford, and the village of Juźcar. The village was to “cease to make reference to the small blue characters”, however Júzcar was allowed to keep its village’s unique hue.
Smurfette! Isn’t she the Smurfiest?
After browsing the streets, we took a short hike into the nearby mountains to capture this photo of the village contrasted against the green Andalusian forest.
We returned to our mules and then rode them through the village capturing the experience on video for a future travel episode on our YouTube channel.
For the remainder of the afternoon, we enjoyed the twisty two-laned roads of the MA-7301, 7302, 7307, and A-369.
The MA roads were especially enjoyable with hardly any traffic on them. Nothing is much better on a motorcycle than riding on a gorgeous day, on remote roads, with your best friend.
We stopped for a bit to eat a snack, enjoy the beautiful world around us, and marvel at the grace of hawks floating through the air currents of the nearby valley.
Our mules also have a beauty to them – although not as graceful.
A wonderful day of exploring and riding a beautiful section of Spain in the region of Andalusia.
Next Blog Post
Join us next blog post as we walk among a charming town located on the cliff side of the El Tajo Gorge – Ronda, Spain.
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I personally don’t like the contrast of blue with the green of the forest, I think it would be nicer in white, but surely local businesses are benefiting. Regarding El Quijote house, this is a rural accommodation. It actually says “vivienda rural” which literally means “rural house,” a type of accommodation similar to Airbnb but in rural areas
Thanks for the post comments; I really look forward to your reply’s each week. Thanks for the info on the translation; my Spanish has a very limited vocabulary so I use Google Translate and sometimes it can be wrong. I’ll update the blog with your inputs. Gracias.
haha, Gargamel and his cat 🙂 those are the best 😉 but it does look a bit odd in blue, still interesting 🙂 looking forward to the cliff town
We enjoyed that part of the village as well. We tried to remember the cats name and thought it was Esmeralda, however we looked it up and it was Azrael.