The most beautiful beaches of Andalusia
Without doubt the unspoilt, clean, sandy beaches of the Costa de la Luz are the main attraction of this region: endless, broad flat beaches encourage long walks on the sand. Romantic sandy coves form a sheltered retreat for swimming and sunbathing on windy days.
The coastline of Conil, Fuente del Gallo and Roche
The long flat beaches of Conil, Playa de los Bateles and Playa de la Fontanilla are a holiday dream becoming reality. The river mouth of the Rio Salado in Conil is popular among kitesurfers. You can walk now along the open flat land behind the Playa Castilnovo southwards towards El Palmar. Northwest of Conil the flat land turns into cliffs. During low tide you can walk without problem below the cliffs to the beach of Fuente del Gallo. Here the beach is interrupted by rocks and relatively narrow at high tide.
The steep coast follows around Cabo Roche and turns into flatland after the beach of Roche, in the direction of La Barrosa. Along the bluff you can explore the bushy landscape on sandy tracks, best by mountain bike. Before reaching Cabo Roche you pass the large sandy cove Cala de Aceite, one of the traditional nudist beaches of the area around Conil. After the lighthouse are three romantic sandy coves, offering sheltered swimming and sunbathing on days of "Levante", the sharp south-eastern wind.
The coast from El Palmar to Barbate
The beach of El Palmar is long, flat and clean, offering ideal conditions for surfing. On some days, there are hundreds of surfers on the waves. There are quite a few restaurants along the beach, several supermarkets and grocers, a pharmacy, a butcher and a fish shop, open throughout the year. El Palmar is an ideal holiday spot for young and old: the flat beach is absolutely child friendly, teenagers can learn to surf and the beach is inviting for endless walks. During the peak season El Palmar gets crowded, but thanks to the open land and the large beach, there is enough space for everybody.
The village Zahora is set between two secluded beaches: Playa de Mangueta, in the west, a broad sandy beach which takes you in a 30min walk to El Palmar. The heavy rains of the last winter have made it difficult to get there by car, but the lovely 10min walk along the stream and the secluded empty beach easily compensates the effort. To the east, the long sandy beach Cala Isabel leads to the lighthouse of Trafalgar and to Los Caños de Meca. Behind is a unique landscape of dunes and lagoons, the protected natural monument "Tómbolo de Trafalgar".
Attention! On Cala Isabel the water gets deep very quickly and the waves are sometimes high. Always stay very close to the coast because of the strong currents around Cape Trafalgar. On both beaches nudism is normal.
The proper beach of Zahora is protected by a reef and at low tide it converts into a flat lagoon, where small children and toddlers can play in the shallow warm water and search for crabs between the rocks.
From the legendary Cape Trafalgar, where 200 years ago the Spanish domination of the sea ended, you follow a long, sandy beach to Los Caños de Meca, a popular spot for kite surfers. After a rocky interruption the coastline starts to rise again. Below is another marvelous, long sandy beach with sweet freshwater dropping from the rocks, followed by several sandy coves which end at the cliffs, right below the natural park of La Breña. If you walk here during low tide you can get quite far, but make sure to be back before the tide rises as it can cut-off your return.
On the other end of the Breña, the coastline drops again and melts into the beautiful Playa de Yerbabuena, a large sandy beach next to the fishing harbour of Barbate. If you like to walk in nature, you should check out the 2,5h hike on sandy paths, along the cliffs and through the pine woods of the natural park La Breña. The breathtaking views are worth the effort!
The beaches of Zahara de los Atunes or La Barrosa (Chiclana) are beautiful too, but not so close to our holiday villas. However, we recommend a day trip to the beach of Bolonia, where you can visit the ruins of the Roman settlement Baelo Claudio and climb up a huge migrating dune. See also day trips.
Swimming in the sea / Nudist beaches
At low tide: it is the best time to go swimming with children on the shallow beaches of Conil, El Palmar and in the lagoon at Zahora
Attention currents: highly dangerous currents at the lighthouse "Faro Trafalgar", take care not to swim too far out!
There are no declared or marked nudist beaches between Conil and Barbate. Whether you can take off all your clothes depends also on what everyone else is doing and how many other people are there. Mostly you only have to leave the areas which are frequented by traditional Spanish families and you are already amongst the nudists, e.g. in Caños de Meca: Playa Nudista, at the east of the village, below the rocks of the natural park Brena, Playa Mangueta between Zahora and El Palmar, Playa Cala Isabel between the lighthouse Faro Trafalgar and Zahora. "Topless" can be seen frequently, nevertheless at some family beaches even that is not very popular. As a general rule of thumb, look around you and see how your neighbours are dressed and try to adapt yourself.