Vejer is a wonderful town to base yourself – old and charismatic with plenty of restaurants, but within 40 mins drive there are more than 10 lovely beaches and towns to explore.
CADIZ – 40 mins.
Very historic port town with ugly outskirts but really atmospheric old bit around the cathedral. The geography is very confusing but well worth a park up and stroll. Head for the old historic town and park near the port front. There is a lovely old fish and fruit market near the old town. Remember that shops all close during siesta from 2 – 5.30pm. It even has its own beach, but the wild beaches on the isthmus drive into town is a lovely stopping point to catch the sea.
MEDINA SIDONIA – 30 mins.
You can see this in the far distance from Vejer, another white town on a hilltop, even steeper and sleepier with incredible views from the summit. There is a lovely old main square that you can sit in and have tapas. It’s also a wonderful drive through windy roads to get there, past fighting bulls in the fields. Turn right on the N340 direction Algeciras, then it’s a turning on the left. Its inland, but you easily pass through on your way from all of the airports.
TARIFA – 40 mins
This is windsurf city, but also a funky little town with good shops and bars and lots of restaurants. There’s also a nice hotel, The Hurricane just before town which is a good base and they do a good buffet lunch and horseriding.
ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES – 40 MINS
Another holiday town, with great beaches and eating places; situated right on the sea.
BOLONIA – 35 mins
lovely town by the sea with Roman ruins and good beach and dunes. we like to turn left away from the ruins and sit in one of the cafes overlooking the sea.
EAT BY THE SEA
If you want to eat by the sea, which you should, there’s lots of options. Closest is Hostal Casa Francisco at El Palmar. Fantastic fish right on this wonderfully bedraggled beach. Just go to the bottom of town on the main road and El Palmar is sign-posted, it’s a beautiful ten minute drive. At the far left hand side of the beach past casa francisco, there is a lovely restaurant with a garden facing the sea, called Nacarum. It is a lovely old converted stables. Casa Juan is generally a cheaper trusted traditional restaurant on El Palmar.
La Fontanilla in Conil is our favourite, though Conil is not as pretty but has a great beach.
Sajorami in Zahora is a great sunset spot, good food, but is more pricey.
Ventorillo del chato on the Cadiz Isthmus is a good restaurant.
La Barossa has a great beach and a choice of restaurants.
CONIL – 15 Minutes
In Conil, about 15 minutes on the N340 direction Cadiz, there are two great places where you actually eat on the sand. One is called La Fontanilla (tel 956 440 779) You may need to book to get one of the tables outside on the beach at weekends. Just head to Conil then follow the signs for Hotel Fuerte Conil to the far end of the beach then head down and park by the sand where you’ll see La Fontanilla. This is very recommended. The other restaurants are at the opposite end of the beach, so instead of turning left towards the Hotel Fuerte Conil, turn right, and head for the seafront. The beach itself is a long wide beach, but Conil is unfortunately quite built up.
Barbate is probably two minutes further, heading in the other direction along the N340 when it’s signposted to the right. Head for the beachfront. There is a good local fish restaurant, Bar Nani, on the front, which is now also a hotel. It is about half way down the strip, just before the book stands. It’s much more bustling, lots of noisy Spanish families but great fun. There is also a specialist tuna restaurant El Campero in one of the squares behind the sea front. Recommend that you book for the restaurant, but there is a tapas bit too, but very popular. When you drive into Barbate, take a right of the main road, just before the sea front. . Barbate is a working town, not at all pretty, but its where the locals eat and swim and the beach is a lovely fine sand.