The Chiringuito-with-No-Name at El Palmar beach, located half-way between Tarifa and Cadiz on the Atlantic coast is my favourite beach bar in all Europe.
This modest, unassuming shanty serves tinto de verano, a refreshing red wine and soda mix, boquerones (delicious deep-fried anchovies) and other tasty snacks. The charm of this secret gem lies in its unspoiled nature and totally undeveloped facilities. El Palmar is a deserted stretch of sandy, wind-blasted beach that goes on as far as the eye can see. There are no high rise concrete hotel blocks, no fancy restaurants, no lager louts demanding full English breakfasts.
Almost everyone in the bar is a local: either a crusty old fisherman taking a break from putting out the nets to discuss the tide and have a cold beer, surfer dudes or youngsters who come to watch the last 'golden ray' of the sunset while listening to local rock bands. It's always very, very windy here and there is little shade from the intense sun, except in the bar!
The bar can only be reached by car on route A-48 (autovia de la Costa de la Luz)
A short stroll along the beach, heading away from the town centre of Tarifa, leads to the most charming of Spanish beach bars, Gunlao.
Gunlao, Tarifa, sits at mainland Europe’s most southern point. This inviting beach bar offers the chance to really relax in the sunshine; with views of the North African coastline to the left, Paloma Baja sand dunes to the right, with the Atlantic Ocean sprawling out in between.
It is the perfect place to step out of the breeze or wind, depending upon the days weather (Tarifa is renowned for its windy tendencies, attracting windsports junkies from all over the world). Gunloa offers the ideal vantage point to watch the colourful array of windsurfers and kite surfers, dancing across and above the sea. The windswept sand is kept at bay by the short, clear glass walls surrounding the bar, offering the perfect protection, while not detracting from the scenery and surroundings.
The bar itself can best be described as ‘chilled’. An attractive mix of relaxed music, reasonably priced food and drinks menu, together with friendly staff and customers gives this bar an unassuming and unpretentious feel, while still retaining its style and sense of chic.
You will struggle to find a more comfortable area to lounge in, with Gunlao offering what can only be described as seats that are the ideal mix of bed and sofa. The hours disappear once your back hits the cushions, and with friendly table service offered, you’ll be going nowhere soon!
Take your weight off your feet, take a break from your stroll, head in, sit back and enjoy.
Paseo Maritimo Playa los Lances, Tarifa, Lounge Musica Bar,Desayunos,Comidas,Cenas y Show., 11380 Tarifa, Spain
+34 956 68 19 64
Google map: bit.ly/zqG6MH
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