There’s a lot of ‘playa’ in Spain, from the Med, to the Bay of Biscay, to the mighty Atlantic Ocean. But not all beaches are created equal. No sir! For example, the Scoopettes don’t like Lloret de Mar much, nor are we fans of Benidorm. Conil, however, sounds delightful…
By Christine Medina
I recently visited Conil de la Frontera —a small, beach-town in Andalusia—and still can’t seem to get over the sand I found there. Yes, the sand! I don’t recall ever feeling sand as fine and silky as flour under my feet like I did in Conil.
The Costa de la Luz, where Conil is located, is famous for its pristine beaches. Conil is home to several different beaches and coves, and they are certainly no exception. I sun-bathed, dipped myself into the Atlantic and drove up and down the coastline all in the name of “research” to bring you a guide of Conil’s beaches:
Playa de los Bateles
This is the beach with the aforementioned flour-like sand. It sits right in front of the town and is the most popular beach due to its close proximity to Conil, and supply of chiringuitos (beach-side eateries).
Though it’s full of people, it’s over 1km long, and carving out your own personal space is still possible. This beach is just for swimmers; so kite-surfing fanatics will have to read on to find the Conil beach suitable for them.
The Scoop: Check out the artisan market set-up behind Playa Bateles on the promenade. You’ll find lots of homemade jewelry, clothes and souvenirs.
Playa de la Fontanilla
A few hundred meters down from Conil and Playa de los Bateles is Playa de la Fontanilla. What struck me about this beach was how shallow the water is. One can walk between 20-40 meters before the water reaches their chest!
The beach itself is crowded, but not quite as packed as Playa de los Bateles.
The Scoop: Head to the beach around 14:00-15:00 when many of the locals leave to go eat lunch. Parking will be much easier to find!
Playa de Roche
This beach is north of Conil, in the suburbs known as Roche. If you’re looking to escape the crowds a bit, then this beach is a great option, as it’s about 6km outside of the city. Mostly locals that live in Roche frequent it.
The Scoop: Find parking next to the Torre del Puerco and find great surfing conditions between October and May!
Cala de Aceite
On my second day, I headed to Cala de Aceite, located in the suburb of Fuente del Gallo. It reminded me a lot of the Algarve in Portugal with its golden sand and jagged cliffs. Calas are small bays, with modest beaches set amongst the cliffsides, offering protection from the strong winds that can whip around the coast.
I found Cala de Aceite to be like a secret beach that everyone knew about, because sun-bathing real estate was hard to come by on a hot, Sunday afternoon. Parking is easy to come by on the cliffs above the beach.
The Scoop: Try to come before noon as this beach fills up quickly due to its small size. Bring food, water and anything else you might need as no services are in the area.
Playa Fuente del Gallo
Directly below the suburb of the same name is this long and narrow beach. It’s perfect for swimmers and sport enthusiasts alike—though those who like kite-surfing will find the beach too narrow to practice.
The Scoop: Be sure to catch the sunset here. In summer, it usually sets around 10pm, so come an hour to 30 minutes before.
Cala de Poniente and Calas de Quinto
These quieter coves, require some climbing and hiking to get to, but are well worth it. They’re unspoilt, small, and nudist. That’s right—if you don’t want any tan lines, this is the beach for you.
The Scoop: Be careful for sharp rocks when entering the water. The coves aren’t the place to be jumping into the water!
Conil can be reached by bus directly from Cádiz. Check times and hours here: http://www.tgcomes.es/index.asp