Things you cannot miss in Conil de la Frontera
On the shores of the Atlantic, right on the Cádiz coast, you can find a town filled with charm and magic, not just for its views, but also for its culinary culture and inhabitants. Conil de la Frontera is one of the most visited places in Andalusia. Indeed, there are many tourists who opt to spend their holiday in this beautiful fishing village. But what makes this fisherman’s locality a perfect place for a holiday? Well, it is a lively town whose people are welcoming and happy. To speak about Conil is to speak about the traditional Andalusian bewitchment of the white villages. It is to talk about summer, relaxing days and delightful nights, the Atlantic Ocean, Cádiz, long beaches and tucked away coves, crystal clear waters, nature and an exquisite gastronomy based on sea produce. This post will show you all the things you can do in Conil because we want you to enjoy the time you spend in this idyllic place. Don’t miss out and enjoy all the things to see in Conil.
Here are the must-do things to discover the authentic Conil:
- Fun facts about Conil de la Frontera
- Get to know Conil in depth
- Enjoy its beaches
- Practice sport
- Discover Conil’s surroundings
Fun facts about Conil de la Frontera
- The name Conil comes from the Latin term “Coneilum”, which means “small hill”. The word “Frontera” was added later due to its proximity to the border between the Christian and Muslim kingdoms in the medieval era.
- Conil’s history dates back to the Roman era and has been inhabited by Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and Christians over the centuries.
- Despite being a very popular tourist destination, the population of Conil de la Frontera is around 22,000 inhabitants.
- Conil features an interesting traditional Andalusian architecture, with white houses with whitewashed walls and red-tiled roofs, as well as some historic buildings, such as the Tower of Guzmán and the Church of Santa Catalina.
- Conil de la Frontera is an important fishing port, and fishing remains one of the main economic activities of the city.
- Almadraba fishing is an ancient fishing technique that is still practiced in Conil de la Frontera. It consists of placing a giant net in the sea to capture tuna and other migratory fish during their passage along the coast.
- The gastronomy of Conil de la Frontera is famous for its fresh fish and seafood, such as red almadraba tuna, grilled octopus, and shrimp from the Bay of Cadiz.
- The town has some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, such as La Fontanilla Beach, Los Bateles Beach, Roche Beach, and El Palmar Beach.
- The town is surrounded by beautiful natural parks, such as the Natural Park of La Breña and Marismas del Barbate, which are ideal for hiking and enjoying nature.
- Conil is a popular destination for practicing water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing, thanks to its suitable winds and waves.
Get to know Conil in depth
Getting lost in the alleys of the old town
The first thing to do in Conil is to take a stroll through its streets to savor its typically seafaring historic center. White houses, narrow whitewashed streets that are adorned by bougainvillea, geraniums and carnations, their patios and a tour of its history where its Muslim past is breathed. Do not miss the Church of Santa Catalina, The Guzman Tower or the ‘Cadi’ Gate (as the locals refer to Cadiz).
Sit down in the fresh air of La Tertulia’s courtyard
Its green door welcomes one of the most charming bars of the town due to, among other factors, its style which is purely from Conil. It is an old typical Andalucian house where they emphasize its courtyards filled with flowers and color. It is certainly the best place to enjoy outdoor nightlife, but in a relaxed way. As its name suggests, it is a good place to chat.
Visit the winery and organic mil Sancha Pérez
To visit the small winery Sancha Pérez has become a must in Conil. From this estate a few meters from the sea, organic oil and wine are made in a traditional and ecological way. On the routes which the same owner makes, you will be able to stroll through vineyards and olive groves, getting to know the manufacturing processes in the cellar and in the mill, and of course taste the products. This is ideal to do it with children.
Go to the market on Fridays and to the stands to do shopping
The markets are great places to really know the culture of the people, their local products and take home a souvenir. The one in Conil could not be less. Every Friday in the parking of Los Bateles Beach you have an appointment with the clothing and accessories’ stands. Also during the summer there are craft stands usually installed on the seafront promenade.
Participate in the fish auction of the Conil Port
Another of the more recommended visits in Conil is to the port and to its fish market where you can see the fish auction live. It has about 80 fishing boats, you can see carrying out fishing activities upon arrival, and attend to the landing of rays, sole, cuttlefish or dogfish and their subsequent sale. The market has a space for visitors.
Visit the main Market
Located on the Rosa de los Vientos Street, the supply market of Conil is the perfect place to buy your typical gastronomic products at the best price and always fresh: tuna, cold meats, fruit, meat, fish and of course artichokes from Conil (one of its star vegetables).
VISITING THE MUSEUM OF CONIL ROOTS
Opened in 1979, the Municipal Museum of Conil Roots is an ethnographic museum whose mission is to promote the traditions and customs of this Costa de la Luz locality.
The building has four rooms where ancient uses, tillage equipment, fishing arts and a multitude of examples of furniture and everyday utensils are exhibited, all traditional elements of this locality’s history.
ENJOY CONIL’S NIGHTLIFE
Conil comes alive at night, especially in summer, with its many terraces, bars and pubs. If you’re looking for a good time, be sure to visit calle Cádiz, one of the most popular streets, since this is where most of the restaurants are located, and calle del Peñón, home to practically all of Conil’s party pubs and bars.
SEE ESPAÑA SQUARE
España Square in Conil is worth a visit, since it is surrounded by traditional houses, excellent bars serving local gastronomy and above all the best leisure places for hours of fun. Here you can also see a sculpture commemorating the writer José Saramago, whose hands hold a book where the following words can be read: “You the young now must bear the responsibility and, why no say it, the glory of taking humanity to happiness.”
GO TO THE JABIGUERO LOOKOUT
You cannot leave Conil or its vicinity without visiting Atalaya Park and you must especially see and enjoy its lookout, called El Jabiguero Lookout. This lookout is located on a cliff from which the beauty of the beaches, as well as the sunsets, can be seen. A true delight for visitors.
If you’re going to spend a few days in Conil, be sure to visit Atalaya Park, the largest one in the locality, however, its most particular attributes are the pine trees twisted by the levant and its fabulous viewpoint over a cliff, thanks to which you can see all the beaches of Conil and even its lighthouse that stands over the Atlantic.
Taste the delicious red tuna of Almadraba
The red tuna of Almadraba is the king of all of the local dishes, exquisite and of great quality. This fish caught using traditional methods on the coast of Cadiz, is a delicacy that they know how to prepare in Conil like in no other place. The town has welcomed a gastronomic route of the tuna for two decades now, so do not forget to taste it in its many traditional recipes or in the most innovative: tuna tenderloins with algae oil, tartare, tuna and onions ….There is something for everyone! Good restaurants to taste it are the snack bar Francisco La Fontanilla and the Beach Club de Fuerte Conil – Costa Luz.
Getting a cone of fried fish from Freiduría Zapola
You have not been in Conil if you have not gone to Freiduría Zapola to order the typical cone of ‘fried fish’ to go. There you can experience firsthand the kindness, closeness and grace of the people of Conil. In addition to the quality of its fresh fish, this place has become famous because while you wait your turn they invite you a beer, just because. We assure you that, if you go, you will come back.
Drink the best Conil Mojito in Jacaranda
El Jacaranda has become one of the reference bars in the area, as they boast a reputation for preparing the best Mojito in Conil. But not only there lies their secret, since the place has a quite curious style that combines the rustic charm of its structure with a decoration on the based on the most unusual gadgets. Better check it out for yourself. If what you are looking for is directly to party and dance until the wee hours of the morning, your place can be Chssss Conil.
Go to La Gloria for tapas and to Esparte for beer
If after the previous point you have become hungry, another option in this seaside town is to go for tapas as in all of the Andalucian towns. One of the favorite places for locals and tourists is La Gloria, a bar with very elaborate tapas made with products from the garden and the sea. On the other hand, if you love beer, the Esparte brewery has its own craftsmanship.
(If you come from far away and want to know more about the tradition of tapas, you can get more information here).
FEEL LIKE A LOCAL BY EATING IN LA GLORIA
A very traditional Conil restaurant, where you can eat local food and feel at home. It is one of the most recommended by locals.
LA DESAYUNERIA AND LA CHANA CHURRO SHOP
La Desayuneria is a small place that serves as a meeting point for locals and is, as its name suggest, where you can enjoy amazing breakfasts and snacks, depending on when you visit. Here you can choose your artisanal bread and then the creative options to accompany it. A place you will regularly frequent if you visit Conil.
Another mythical place for breakfast in Conil is the La Chana churro shop, a real institution. This place is located next to Puerta de la Villa and is where you can buy traditional churros wrapped in paper to take home or to the beach.
Enjoy its beaches
Enjoy the Fontanilla Beach and the Cala del Aceite Beach
Conil’s coastline is unique due to the absence of buildings; its orography has allowed the beaches to be preserved virtually untouched and wild. The Atlantic Ocean has molded extensive beaches of golden sand, cliffs that hide small coves and where nature plunges into the sea. You cannot leave Conil without having enjoyed a walk on the Fontanilla Beach, a dip in Los Bateles, having swum in the waters of the Cala del Aceite and Fuente del Gallo or having safeguarded yourself from everyone’s gaze in the hidden coves of Roche.
Watch the sunset in the Roche Coves
The Roche Coves are between the port of Conil and the Roche urbanization, where a series of small rocky coves hide under the reddish cliffs. In some, the access is difficult, but it is worth enjoying one of the most beautiful sunsets in the area. If you like to go nude, this is your beach.
Excursion to El Palmar, Caños de Meca and Tarifa
So far we’ve recommended only key points to enjoy the town of Conil, but the closer environment offers possibilities that you may find interesting. Less than 10 minutes drive away is El Palmar Beach (part of Vejer de la Frontera), where there are many who agree in pointing that out that it has one of the most beautiful sunsets in Spain. So much so, that when the sun is setting, hundreds of people gather to bid farewell to the sun and applaud. Caños de Meca and its Trafalgar Lighthouse (Barbate), the bohemian meeting point of Andalucia is 15 minutes away (You can get more information here).
FUENTE DEL GALLO BEACH, CONIL
If you like going to the beach and taking long walks, this is the best option in Conil. The best times to take a walk are in the morning, when you can see the turquoise sea contrasted with the orange of the sky, and the last 30 minutes of the day before desk.
Learning to scuba dive
Not all the beauty of the beaches of Conil is before the eyes of the visitors. Archaeological remains and reefs are hidden under the sea where to observe marine life and its important fauna. Tuna, lemon fish or dolphins inhabit these waters. There are several diving and scuba diving centers to discover them.
Practice surf (or learn how to do it)
Conil has fantastic beaches for surfing, such as that of Los Bateles. If you’re a fan of catching waves, the board and the neoprene or you’ve always wanted to learn, here you have the perfect place. There are many surf schools offering courses at all levels, as well as the materials necessary for carrying them out.
Do bike routes
The natural spaces in Conil invite visitors to make routes for two pedals. One of the most highly valued by visitors is the one that runs between Fontanilla Beach and the Roche Coves, passing by Fuente del Gallo and bordering the entire coast, a true marvel. You can learn more information here in this link.
Hiking between Conil and Caños de Meca
There are dozens of hiking trails to do in the area. One of the most popular is the C.3, which runs from Conil de la Frontera to the Tómbolo de Trafalgar, in Caños de Meca and passing the famous Palmar Beach.
Here are a few options (Wikiloc).
Test yourself in Entre Ramas Aventura
Entre Ramas Aventura is a multi-adventure park in the trees located in the pine forests of Roche. If you are someone who does not like to just lie on the beach to rest and you prefer to play sports, put the whole family to the test. Here they offer 70 games in a space of more than 18.000m2 of forest.
As you’ve been reading throughout this post, Conil de la Frontera offers many options for all tastes; a good idea would be to combine them if you have time to do them all. For example you could watch a sunset on the beach on horseback. There are equestrian centers that offer these routes along the Conil coast.
PLAY A FEW HOLES
Golf in Conil is one of the most popular sports, and the Costa de la Luz and Costa del Sol are the two areas par excellence for this sport. Here you will enjoy the many hours of sunshine and the most beautiful landscapes, where moulded streets and greens are combined for players. Only here can you combine pleasure, sport and nature.
Discover Conil’s surroundings
White Towns of Andalucia
And if you want to combine days at the beach with the mountain, Conil is a good point from which to move towards the White Towns of Andalucia in Cadiz: Vejer, Alcala de los Gazules or Grazalema and such impressive places like the Grazalema Mountains or Vía Verde de la Sierra Natural Park (ideal for cycling).
VISIT EL CABO DE TRAFALGAR
We wholeheartedly recommend that if you have the chance, you must visit the Cabo de Trafalgar. And if you can, it is better to do so at dawn, since you will enjoy one of the most spectacular sunsets in all of Andalusia, a true spectacle. From the dunes to the conical tower of the Atalaya, via the fir trees that bear bright orangey tones that create a spectacular magical ambience.
ORGANISE AN EXCURSION TO THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL CÁDIZ
Organise an excursion to the capital of Cádiz province, where you can enjoy the sun, its beaches and its wonderful people. This city is the oldest in Spain, with great historic importance. You can also visit its wineries, where delicious wines are made.
GO AND SPEND THE DAY IN VEJER DE LA FRONTERA
Vejer de la Frontera is one of the prettiest towns on the Cádiz coast thanks to its little white houses perched on the mountain. There you can find many monuments, like the Church of the Divine Saviour, the old city walls, the castle or Plaza de España with its tiled fountain.
VISIT ZAHARA DE LOS ATUNES
Conil de la Frontera and Zahara de los Atunes are the two jewels in the Cádiz crown. Both have great charm thanks to their beaches, their historic centres, the churches and the tuna. Zahara de los Atunes is 21 miles from Conil and the perfect place for a day trip, where you can enjoy visiting the town or getting some sun on one of its beaches.
WHERE TO STAY
Fuerte Conil-Resort is a hotel located opposite one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, Fontanilla Beach, just 10 minutes walk from the center of Conil de la Frontera. It stands out for its unique Andalucian style, its 25.000 m2 of gardens, 4 outdoor pools, jacuzzi, tennis court and a completely equipped spa. The high customer satisfaction and its commitment to responsible tourism and quality are backed up by various national and international awards as well as companies like Booking or Trip Advisor.