Caños de Meca is one of several golden beaches spread along Spain’s Costa de le Luz, like a trail of forgotten breadcrumbs. We came across this beach when driving from our base 12km away, in the Moorish hill-top town of Vejer de la Fronterra, to the popular fishing town of Barbate. Wowed by the crescent-shaped stretch of sand laid out beneath us, we parked up our hire car (for free) in the nearby pine forest, La Brena, and wandered through the sleepy coastal town. We never made it to Barbate.
At Canos, the thick pines merge seamlessly into a backdrop of imposing cliffs, with alarmingly clear seas gushing below, begging to be explored. Previously popular on the hippy trail, and with quiet chilled out music playing from most nearby bars and restaurants, you might expect the beach to be drenched in dreadlock-donning travellers. But we only came across a handle of tourists during our time, mostly Spaniards fleeing the sweltering heat of nearby city, Cadiz.
In fact, in stark contrast to neighbouring Costa del Sol, this stretch of unyielding coastline has largely escaped the mass tourism scene so often associated with Spain. For bedraggled water babies with a penchant for adventure, Canos de Meca has surf; for the bucket and spade parade, it’s a safe haven of everything you’d expect from a picture-postcard shoreline. For those wanting a bit of history, you can also walk around the coast to Cape Trafalgar, the starting point for Admiral Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar. And for those wanting a little relaxation, you’ll be joined by just the occasional sprinkle of bathers, not an army of sun-worshippers. Besides, with a constantly-strong salty wind whistling over the beach, it’s impossible to hear much else, apart from your own silence and the falcons soaring overhead.
During our one-week holiday, we spent hours being flipped in the waves, bobbing with the blue swell of the Atlantic. Sometimes, we played in the nearby rock pool, a magical spot constantly doused in gentle sunshine. And at the end of our day, we’d usually retire to La Jaima, one of a handful of Boho-style beach bars flanking the cliff-top, which entices beachgoers with the sizzling waft of its daily barbecue. Here, we sipped on cold beers and complimentary peanuts saltier than the seawater coating our skin, watching as a group of Spanish students played football beneath.
I recommend it because, although it's only in Spain, it feel as though it's a million miles away. A true, tropical-style, paradise.
Canos de Meca, Andalucia.
Turn off the main N40 road at Vejer de la Frontera and follow the narrow roads to the coast. You can also reach it by taking the minor road through the pine forest from Barbate.
Google map: bit.ly/YkuZ9L
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