we are on our annual family holiday in Vejer and its not as hot as usual as we are a little bit earlier in the year;  also, its strangely hotter in the UK than here in andalucia.  however I always think that  the best time to go to the beach in spain is after 4pm – the sun is gentler and  you can usually  sunbathe right up til 8pm, then stay for sunset dinner on the beach.

here are a few of my favourite beaches in andalucia – bear in mind that all beaches in July and August are much busier, lots of spanish families with their casitas and picnics:

El Palmar – popular for surfing in the winter and the local beach to our village of Vejer de la Fronterra;   its quite a long beach and the waves can be strong, but the sea is fresh and exhilarating.  we tend to go to the far left of the beach by the chiringuito Guruguru, which is a little bit quieter.   Zahora, hidden away, this natural beach is within a bay, so a bit more sheltered than the wider open beaches and is perfect for children;  however, when the tide goes out, its very shallow with lots of rocks, but this beach is shorter and has been described as though you were in the caribean;  cabo de Trafalgar, is the famous beach from the battle of Trafalgar, totally unspoilt with nothing built on it – lots of kite surfers feequent this beach when the conditions are right for surfing – a finer sand its completely unspoilt and probably my favourite, especially out of the busy July and August months;   Zahara de los Atunes is a  fishing village by the sea with a long windswept rugged beach, popular in the summer with tourists – there is a lovely bit by the old town and a long stretch further down towards the newer apartments;  we like to eat in the hotel Don antonio and then sit on that part of the beach after;  Canos de la Meca is  a smaller hippy beach, again a bit sheltered, but very busy in the summer – only worth going to out of the busy august period;  the far end is rugged with cliff tops but also attracts nudists and is my choice.  Conil is more built up than the other beaches, but has a fantastic long wide beach and the sea is perfect for wave jumping – again, the end nearest Vejer has a bridge that takes you to a wilder non built up part, but the other end has 2 fantastic eating places right onto the beach, which is what drew us to this town in the beginning;   Bolonia is a great beach with the added attraction of some Roman ruins, dunes and the odd cow or horse stepping out on the seafront; – if you go left its quieter with cafes on the cliff top, right are the ruins.  Tarifa is hip, young and a magnet for windsurfing and kite surfers, but also has the wonderful dunes nearby;  between Tarifa and the dunes is the beach Valdequeros, which has a fun beach bar;  La Barossa has more hotels around, more built up, but again a fabulous long beach and apparently quite sheltered when there is a the levante wind (hot winds from the sahara);  Cadiz has a city beach and a beach on the causeway road into the city – you also have the added bonus of the fruit and food market and the lovely old town to ramble around.  San Lucar de la Barrameda is an old fishing village by the sea, famed for its seafood – its one of our favourite towns in spain – not at all trendy, just full of locals from jerez and seville searching for the famous prawns.  Seek Bajo de Guia and eat at casa Bigote – classic traditional food that is always of a high quality.

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