Blue skies, blue villages - Abu Dhabi and Spain offer summer Smurf-ing

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The Independent Travel

If you're traveling in Spain or the UAE this summer, don't be surprised if you bump into something small, fun and blue.

Enthusiasm for the iconic color of kids favorite the Smurfs appears to have proved infectious among tourist hotspots - earlier this month, Abu Dhabi announced plans for a "mini-world" dedicated to the creatures.

With 12 separate districts, including a story corner, a tricycle promenade, a Smurf fun park  and "Smurfette's Land of Beauty," the "Smurf Village" will be open between June 30 and July 30.

The attraction is being set up for the Summer in Abu Dhabi exhibition, and will also screen back-to-back episodes of the Smurf TV show.

While Abu Dhabi claims its Smurf Village is a world first, a quick glance at the Andalusian town of Juzcar in Spain is enough to prove them wrong - the entire place has been painted blue.

The picturesque town is to host the premiere of the forthcoming Smurfs movie, and it appears residents decided to go all out for the occasion, daubing every building in a shade of blue which, fortunately, appears to match the Spanish sky.

To visit Juzcar, travelers can fly to the nearby resort town of Malaga, but make sure to arrive before September, when residents will be able to have their historic buildings repainted again.

Tourists heading there this weekend may even be able to catch some of the celebrations planned for Global Smurfs Day, created to coincide with the June 25 birthday of Peyo, the Belgian creator of the Smurfs (other highlights include London's O2 arena becoming the "O-Blue", Taiwan's landmark Red House transforming into the "Blue House" and New York City's South Street Seaport changing into the "Smurf Street Blueport").

The Smurfs 3D movie will open in the US and Spain July 29 and around the world in August/September - and if you're not keen on Smurf-inspired traveling, there's always the Smurf Village app.