An extensive stretch of unspoilt sandy beach greets you as you approach Conil on leaving the autopista. This beach extends to El Palmar where it continues, almost unbroken for miles, along the coast. It is hard to believe such a sight still exists in Europe. Conil is well-known for its beautiful beaches. Another wonderful beach extends from El Puerto Conil and Cabo Roche to Cadiz.
A description of Conil falls into 4 categories:
The old town
The new town.
The stunning sandy beaches
The fishing port and Cape Roche
THE ‘OLD’ TOWN
A Moorish arch welcomes you into the old quarter of Conil – a ‘pueblo blanco’. Wend your way downhill, through the arch and past an attractive fountain in the middle of the road, towards the church and the clock-tower. Here you can enjoy a drink under the shade of the trees in the church square. Afterwards wander through the windy streets and alleys, pausing to look in specialist leather and art shops. You will come across several atmospheric little restaurants to suit all tastes. The sea awaits you at the bottom of the hill.
THE ‘NEW’ TOWN
Conil is a fast-growing sea-side town which is slowly responding to the holiday market, yet remains totally Spanish in ambience. It is most popular with the Spanish during their holiday season in August, but still remains uncommercialised.
Enjoy a coffee and a cake ‘pastel’ in the ‘pastelerias’ clustered around the main roundabout, and watch the world go by. Here you can buy freshly baked bread, as well as delicious pastries and cakes.
Afterwards, explore the back streets and squares where you will tumble across old churches and the most amazing array of shops of all kinds. It is a hark back to times past when a local town supplied all your needs. You can buy anything in Conil!
The economy of Conil was based on fishing, especially tuna, centred around the little fishing port nearby. A festival is held in its honour of the tuna during July. Consequently, fresh fish is a speciality of this area and served in many restaurants.
Conil is also a ‘fiesta town’ as it hosts several fiestas and ferias, including the tuna festival. Processions can take place at all times of year, depending on the Saints’days, even in winter, when the locals turn out in traditional dress, ride on decorated horses and parade attractive flower-covered floats, whilst drinking, singing and dancing - young and old alike! Firework displays are often included.
THE STUNNING SANDY BEACHES
LOS BATELES This is Conil’s main beach which is located beyond the ‘old’ town. It has a promenade and extensive free parking. Several restaurants and eateries line the back of the car-parking area.
The wide golden sands stretch from here to El Palmar and beyond. Wooden board- walks guide you over the beach. ‘Chiringuitos’ (beach bars) and other facilities are available here.
LA FONTANILLA This beach is located on the western side of Conil and is reached by driving to the far side town, heading for Roche.
It is a superb beach, with shallow waters stretching out along way, which is very safe for children. There is a lifeguard present, warning flags and a first-aid station. Sunbeds and parasols are available for hire too. Car parking is provided alongside the beach. Several ‘chiringuitos’ (beach bars) are open on the beach during the holiday season. There is also an excellent ‘beachfront’ restaurant, called ‘La Fontanilla’ located on the beach. This is always very popular, so arrive early!
LA FUENTE DE GALLO This is becoming an very desirable resort. It is situated at the far end of La Fontanilla. The beautiful sandy beach is protected by sand-stone cliffs which create an amazing backdrop. There are many attractive villas here, together with a few restaurants and a couple of good hotels.
EL PUERTO PESQUERO (fishing port of Conil) AND THE COVES
Cabo Roche lighthouse, which winks at Cape Trafalgar, has a view point nearby. It overlooks the dinky fishing port which has lots of colourful boats. The daily catch is landed here and i and is interesting to watch. ‘Almadraba’, a traditional style of tuna fishing with nets, is practised by the fishermen. The ‘anchor graveyard’ is an unusual landmark.
There are several attractive little coves on either side of the lighthouse. These coves are sheltered by sand-stone cliffs and prove a good refuge if the wind blows.
From Roche and beyond the coves, a vast and magnificent sandy beach stretches, virtually unbroken, to Cadiz, encompassing the famous ‘Playa La Barrosa’.
Horses galloping along this beach are an amazing sight in the evening.
Frequent sunsets over the sea are to be witnessed in this part of Spain as it faces West. Cadiz is reputed for them. It is enjoyable to dine watching the sunsets in the restaurants overlooking the sea. Otherwise take a picnic to the coves and watch the sun go down.
The surrounding area of Conil and the sand-stone cliffs are covered with pine groves. This constitutes a conservation area which is therefore protected from development. The area around the small fishing port, Cabo Roche light-house and the coves is a delightful, natural area, which will always remain the same.