Along the long Atlantic coast between Tarifa and Conil, you will find among the best beaches in Andalucia. It’s known as Costa de la Luz (the coast of light from many hours of sunlight hitting the “white” sandy beaches). Actually Costa de la Luz coast is between Tarifa and Cadiz
Let’s start in Tarifa an early Roman settlement. The Muslim era was enforced around AD 710 by Tarif Ibn Malik who allegedly gave Tarifa its name. Christians took Tarifa in 1292. Today, Tarifa is an attractive, unmoved town even during the summer months. Windsurfers and Kitesurfers have added to a trendy style and international scene.
The old town with its narrow lanes and the typical Andalucian whitewashed houses. The main street in the old town is Calle Sancho IV El Bravo at one end the 15th century Iglesia de San Mateo and virtually at the other end a busy port. Visit Castillo de Guzman For a swim Playa Chica a popular but small town beach.
Tarifa somewhere to eat and sleep
Tapas El Lola located in the old town. Exciting mixed tapas. Selection from Andalucian local specialties and a bit of Japanese presentation.
For many years now, Los Melli has been one of the best and certainly one of the most popular bars for tapas, specialty seafood tapas. Located old town.
Another favourite is Cocina Sencilla located in old town. Great menu selection from meat dishes, to daily fresh fish and seafood offers as well as a good selection of vegetarian food.
Cafe Azul Bar allegedly serves the best breakfast.
The Eight Rooms House. All ensuite, Air-condition. Reception. Room service. Located within 10 minutes walk from the beach.
Hotel Convento A converted convent, garden with a medieval wall. All rooms with private facilities. Tiled floors and white and light decor. Only 6-7 minutes walk from the beach. Free WiFi.
Hostal Alameda a restored and renovated 13th-century building. All rooms with private facilities, Air condition. Free WiFi. Located directly in front of the port and short and easy walk to the beach.
Tarifa and further along the Costa de la Luz places to sleep
Surfers, kitesurfers and beachgoers paradise is between Tarifa’s Playa de Los Lances and Punta Paloma. The top spots are El Porro on the bay Ensenada de Valdevaqueros. For day visitors easy parking and heaps of space. 3km north west Tarifa another good choice is Rio Jara.
Several camping opportunities here Camping Valdevaquero covers an area of about 13000 square meters.
Hurricane Hotel, perhaps the most popular hotel, 2-3 minutes walk to the beach. Surf School in front of the hotel. No major road between the hotel and the beach.
Spin Out surf center also have accommodation in front of Camping Torre de la Pena.
Beach Hotel Dos Mares. No major road between the hotel and the beach of Playa de Los Lances. Surf School in front of the hotel.
Bolonia somewhere to eat and sleep
Bolonia, about 20km northwest Tarifa. Bolonia beach, nice “white” sandy beach. Tired of the beach, visit the ruins of the old Roman town of Baleo Claudia.
Bar restaurant Otero, family owned well established. Located next to the Roman ruins of Baleo Claudia and Bolonia beach.
Mostly family owned, basic beach apartments, small hotels, friendly service offers a pleasant beach resort stay.
Apartamentos and Hostal La Hormiga Voladora beautifully situated with views of Bolonia Beach.
Apartamentos Miramar, located virtually on Bolonia beach. Garden and terrace area with a small swimming pool and sea views. BBQ facilities.
Zahora de los Atunes somewhere to eat and sleep
Zahara de los Atunes . Derelict walls of the old Almadraba, originated from the old tuna fishing center, centrally located in the village a historic memory from the past. Today Zahara de los Atunes is a popular Spanish summer resort. Part of it old fashion, narrow lanes, the usual white building and as expected a marvelous wide sandy beach. There are some very fine dining opportunities in Zahara. A piece of good advice, make a reservation in high season. Varied accommodation, hotel, and self-catering.
21 Restaurante, small restaurant and terrace service. Varied menu, excellent chefs, good service. Prices on the upper scale. Lunch and Dinner. Website under construction (Sept 2018)
Arroceria Zokarra close to the seafront (town parking in front) Another very good restaurant in Zahara de los Atunes, innovative chefs presents a nice menu, good and friendly service. Lunch and Dinner.
Cervezahara this is fun and unusual. They brew their own beer, and to accompany the beers, you can sample one of the many delicious tapas prepared in their food truck, (a 1947 Citroen HY).
Hotel Gran Sol, on the sandy beach and close to the city center. Comfortable stay, good facilities, air condition, free WiFi, free parking, smallish pool. Get yourself a sea view room.
Barbate somewhere to eat and sleep
Barbate gives you a taste of more authentic Spanish life on the Costa de la Luz. It has a smallish fishing port, constructed in the 1950s, due to increased demand for tuna fishing. Barbate famous site for the battle of Trafalgar. Barbate is located on both sides of River Barbate, and along the coast east of Cape Trafalgar and within the La Breña y Marismas del Barbate Natural Park. Between Barbate and Canos de Meca, the road (A2233) runs inland through pine forest with wind-beaten pine trees. The coast on this stretch is mostly rugged cliffs, some quite high.
Between 1-5 May 2019 Gastronomica del Atun in Barbate
Try El Campero restaurant. Closed during the “off-season” and will open again in February. Wild red tuna one of the specialties. 24 hours reservation. All information on their website.
Stay in town at Hotel Chili. It features a rustic design with exposed beams and tiled floors, as well as wooden furniture. Where is the owner of the parked Harley Davidson, in the bar?
Canos de Mecca
and along the coastal areas of Zahora and El Palmar to find somewhere to eat and sleep Canos de Mecca an old hippie hideaway, however, it still maintains its laid-back lifestyle. Canos de Mecca is a small beach seaside community. Good choice of Chirinquitos (beach bars) fish restaurants and live music bars in the high season. A couple of supermarkets, however for more excessive shopping opportunities Barbate, Vejer de la Frontera and Conil. Canos de Mecca a fashionable mix of holiday visitors, surfers, and locals (yearly population around 200, in the height of the summer very busy) add to the relaxing and laid-back atmosphere. Some small upmarket accommodation mixed with holiday bungalows and apartments.
Madreselva a small charming “hacienda” style hotel (18 rooms) with all rooms centered around a plant-filled courtyard. Minutes walk to the beach. Air-conditioned rooms. Pool. Hotel Madreselva is managed by the team from Vejer’s iconic Hotel La Casa del Califa, assuring you great service, and excellent value for your money.
Hotel and Restaurante La Brena. Excellent position, minutes from Los Castillejo’s beach, Canos de Mecca. Bright and airy rooms, some with balconies. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, and minifridge. Restaurant with outside terrace.
Sajorami The down-to-earth rooms feature thatched roofs and wood furnishings, and all come with shared garden access. Upgraded rooms have terraces with sea views. Studios and 1- and 2-bedroom apartments come with kitchenettes and living rooms with flat-screen TVs. Some apartments are split-level. A beach house sleeping up to 6 people is also available. 3.5 km from the Lighthouse at Cape Trafalgar along the Zahora beach. Regular live music in the rustic-chic looking restaurant with terrace seating and bar that overlook the beach.
I stayed in Casa Francisco for some years ago. Excellent beach location in El Palmar. 12 comfortable basic standard rooms, some with a terrace overlooking the beach. Free Wi-Fi, TV and airconditioning. Popular restaurant with full-length terrace. N.B. Paseo Maritimo road between the beach and Casa Francisco.
El Jardin del Califa Vejer’s most popular restaurant has stone vaulted dining rooms and a lush palm-filled courtyard set in a symbolic 16th-century building. Vejer is within 12km from the Atlantic coast, Canos de Mecca, El Palmar, and Cape Trafalgar.