There is an excellent, sandy beach at Fuente del Gallo, only 2 minutes walk down the road, and it stretches all the way past Conil and onto Trafalgar Point.
Fuente del Gallo Beach
During the summer months (Jul and Aug) a chalet-like beach bar, or chiringuito, takes up residence at Fuente del Gallo beach, at the bottom of the steps. The food is excellent with an extensive menu and is very popular amongst the Spanish, offering a great opportunity to have lunch, grab a drink and take a break from the midday sun. A perfect spot to watch the sun set, at which time the bar closes.
A full time lifeguard and red cross attendant are employed to watch over this stretch of beach during high season.
TThere are two winds which affect this Atlantic coast: the “Levante” is a warm south-eeasterly wind which blows off the north coast of Africa, and can be quite strong at times. The “Poniente” is a cool westerly breeze, blowing in from the sea, and is very welcome in the hotter months. Consequently, the temperament of the sea can range from glassy calm to having rolling waves or breakers, but rarely does this stop people from swimming.
Heading north, there are a couple of beautiful, sheltered coves which can be reached on foot at low tide or by car. By car, just follow signs for the lighthouse (el Faro) and after the small port and lighthouse, there will be small parking areas, from where you can walk down steps to the coves. El Roche beach, also very good, offers some watersports.
To the south of Conil is “El Palmar”; and “Canos de Meca” is just past Trafalgar lighthouse. Both are long, sandy beaches. Like Tarifa, their exposed position on the Atlantic sometimes makes for good windsurfers. A good kite flying spot too!
If you would like a day by the pool, try Hotel Flamenco or one of the many campsites (Camping Fuente del Gallo, Cala del Aceite, or Rosaleda) all of which charge a small fee. During busy periods this may not be possible.
Across the road at Restaurante El Marinero the food is good, and the al fresco eating round the back is ideal for families with children as there is a large grassy area for them to run around on. There is a good restaurant in the Hotel Flamenco, and the food is particularly good at Roqueo with views over the sea (take 1st right after roundabout on way out of Fuente). Our favourite is at the Fontanilla (half way between Fuente and Conil). Pedros and Franciscos are renowned for their fresh fish, and the paella is very tasty. You can dine inside or outside next to the sand, and then walk home via the beach - again, useful for those with children.
Conil too has a range of good restaurants catering for all - it's best to take a wander. By the Caseta we recommend some tapas and a chilled glass of sherry at Bar Zennaza - a must! If it is atmoshphere you are after, remember that the Spanish don't book tables much before 9pm in the summer! For more relaxed dining, there are plenty of cafe's along the beach front offering a wide range of foods and tapas, and pizzerias usually give you the option of take-away too if you fancy it. For great ice creams head for the area just up from the Caseta - a small walk-through court yard area bursting with ice cream parlours.
Evenings out and Nightlife
El Marinero bar opposite has live entertainment during the high season, as does the Hotel Flamenco, but neither can beat the lively atmosphere in Conil. It's worth inquiring about local fiestas during your stay, as these prove to be a very lively and enjoyable night out - if only to admire the elaborate costumes and outfits worn.
During the summer months, the evening comes alive at about 11pm after everyone has eaten... there are bars a plenty in Conil with al fresco seating in many of the narrow traffic-free streets. What was a closed door during the day, becomes the entrance to a funky bar, or to a more sedate courtyard tavern. The walk from the Plaza de Espana (by the archway) down to the beach front esplanade will give you a good flavour of what Conil is about - good times for all ages, and the vast majority of them are Spanish.
Archway to Plaza de Espana
Further into the night, there are countless hidden bars and dance venues scattered around Conil - it's best to follow the crowds to find the most popular venues, as these vary from year to year. Or take a look at:
In the height of summer, the late night partying moves to temporary structures or marquees on the Conil beach front which can often continue until sunrise. These marquees bustle with all types of entertainment including Sevillana dancing, pop and live bands.
Sport & Activities
This is a relatively unsophisticated part of Spain compared to the other costas and the locals tend to make their own entertainment - on the beach, in the bars and restaurants, shopping etc. Most holiday makers are Spanish families from Seville, Cordoba and further afield. There is of course plenty of sightseeing nearby, as detailed under surrounding area. However, if you are looking for some alternative to the beach visit www.goconil.com or try:
Horse riding - the "Picadero" stables located down LH road just after the Fuente del Gallo roundabout on way into Conu
The Lighthouse (Faro) - either Trafalgar (16km S) or the local port (6km N) Roche - this modern complex on the coast a little way further north may offer some watersports or alternative entertainment.
For further information about activities, ask the Tourist Information in town (by main roundabout & also by the Caseta) who will be able to assist you.
Food - everyday requirements (including dairy produce & fresh milk, freshly baked bread, fruit, toiletries and alcohol) are in Maria Jose's shop opposite. It would be great if you could support this local family business. (Tip: fresh milk is sold in bags - if shop opposite has sold out, it is also available from "San Antonio Panderia" by main roundabout at top end of Conil).
In Conil, there are many large supermarkets - the most convenient to you is "Mercadona" - straight over the 5 roundabouts from Fuente.
There is no main shopping street in town: most places you need are scattered around in the upper part of the town i.e. between the Campsa petrol station and Plaza de Espana by the archway. This includes a number of supermarkets, two or three banks, a Post Office, butchers and numerous chemists.
The indoor market is great for fresh fish, meat, fruit & vegetables and is situated inside a low white square building with underground car park on RHS after Campsa.
Other bits - In the lower town there are some useful shops e.g. surf shops, leather goods, "Campo y Hogar" selling hardware and haberdashery.
On Friday mornings there is a beach market selling mainly clothes and shoes etc, but also arts, crafts and jewellery. During the high season, the Caseta area next to the Police Station is full of craft stalls from 8pm every night - a great way to find presents to take back home.
Clothes & art- Conil offers some good clothes shopping if you know where to go. The indoor market is adjacent to some good boutiques. Also worth visiting is the arts quarter at the bottom end of town: a pedestrian street(running parallel with the sea) leading away from the "Caseta" - it has some interesting local art and modern boutiques. Heading nearer the beach, there are many surf shops, plus an Internet Cafe in a side street by the Caseta.
Also, "Bahia Sur", (map) in San Fernando is a great little shopping centre where you can find well known high street labels (Mango, Zara etc.), plus the ever popular store "Cortes Ingles" and plenty of choice for places to eat. A trip here can be combined with a visit to the historic port of Cadiz, close by...
Pottery of all shapes and sizes including ornamental plates, cooking dishes, ornaments and pots are sold in shops along the N-340 towards Chiclana, easily identified by the vast display outside. "Viveros El Tejar", is one of the best, and next to it "Viveros El Reyes".
Banks are mostly at the top end of town, with an outside cash point