Leaving Marbella behind – discover Conil de la Frontera
We live in a part of the world where most people feel lucky to spend two weeks a year, so we try not to take Marbella for granted, however every now and again we all need a change of pace.
Luckily, Andalucía is remarkable for the sheer diversity of great places to visit, from the beautiful cities of Málaga, Granada and Seville to the wilderness of the natural parks of Los Alcornales and Doñana.
One of our favourite places for a change of scenery is Conil de la Frontera on the Costa de la Luz. Just a couple of hours from home, and yet a totally different environment. The main attractions here are the miles of wide white and golden sand beaches fringing the Atlantic, quite unlike those of Mediterranean Marbella. No built up towns and high-rise hotels here, instead there are protected dunes and fields for the bulls for which this area is also famous.
What to do
The Playa El Palmar is one of the best known of these beaches and a great favourite of surfers, although the waves themselves rarely become too fierce and generally children can play for happy hours in the surprisingly warm Atlantic waters. Just behind the dunes that line the beach is a small strip of shops, bars and restaurants, along with several surf schools. They provide wetsuits and boards, and take beginners of all ages into the shallows of the sea to spend hours perfecting the art of surfing. For those who are already proficient, they could also try their hand at kite surfing.
Where to eat
Conil itself is a charming white Andalusian town with the typical winding cobbled streets of the Casco Antigo lined with small shops and bars. It is an affluent place peopled by holidaying well-to-do Sevillanos and the quality of the restaurants attests to this.
This part of the coast thrives on the tuna trade, and the local tuna – in a myriad of recipes – simply must be tried. Feduchy Foodie’s Corner in the centre of the Old Town was one of our favourites, the carpaccio of tuna with papaya being particularly memorable. If you are looking for more of a fine-dining experience, La Fontanilla de Francisco is well worth a visit and being right on the beach, is a lovely spot for a warm summer evening.
Where to stay
As in most places these days, Airbnb has a great selection of self-catered apartments and houses, and we recommend staying within walking distance of the lovely town centre. The Fuerte Conil has a fantastic location right on the beach and within walking distance of the Paseo Marítimo, the beachside promenade, which bustles with a ‘Hippie Market’ during the busy summer season.
Conil de la Frontera is a great place to get away from it all and relax and unwind, ready to come back to Marbella with batteries fully recharged!