Los Canos de Meca
We’ve had such a lovely Summer this year that we actually spent most of it in the UK. However, we couldn’t go into Winter without one last burst of sunshine, so we booked a late Summer holiday to Los Canos de Meca in Spain.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Los Canos de Meca as it is rather out of the way, although it’s only about an hour from the beautiful city of Cadiz.
And, more famously to the north west of the town, is the famous Cape Trafalgar. It was off this point that The Battle of Trafalgar was fought in 1805. when Admiral Nelson, although greatly outnumbered, attacked and destroyed the combined French and Spanish fleet.
Canos de Meca is a small village on the Costa de la Luz in Andalucía. It’s in the Parque Natural del Acantilado, and it has lovely beaches, backed by cliffs and pine trees.
This area is totally stunning and largely unspoilt. However, the only downside is it can get very windy even in the height of Summer. This does however mean the area is a mecca for Kite Surfers.
We went during the first week of October and has lovely weather. It was around 28 degrees during the day and the evenings were pleasantly warm. We did have a couple of windy days which meant that the sand whipped up on the beach but when this happened we were able to find a sheltered cove out of the wind.
Hotel La Brena
We stayed in Hotel La Brena which is a small boutique hotel with 6 rooms and is situated just across the road from the beach.
Our room was large, bright and airy and decorated in subtle pastel colours. We had a view of the sea from our room over the top of a house built into the cliffs.
The Hotel had a pretty garden with a small pool and some sun loungers, however we spent most of our time at the wonderful beaches in the area so didn’t make much use of the garden or pool.
The Hotel restaurant was very good and serving a traditional Andalusian breakfast in the morning. This consisted of freshly fruit and yoghurt, toasted bread, jamon and cheese and fresh tomatoes. Served with freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee.
The dinner menu was a fusion of Spanish and Japanese food and was excellent. We ate in the restaurant most nights during our week’s stay and enjoyed the Tuna and local Retinto Beef dishes accompanied by very good local wine.
The beef comes from a breed of cattle called Retinto who live mostly in Andalucía and are named after the dark colour of their hides. They are reared in the beautiful dehesas (pastureland) in the sierras and forests of Cádiz, where they live freely, feeding on a diet of grass, acorns, shrubs and branches.
The beef has a wonderful flavour and we had various dishes of it both cooked and raw (carpaccio) which were all stunning.
Playa El Palmar
You are spoilt for beaches in the area, but our favourite is Playa El Palmar. There’s nearly 5 miles of long sandy beach alongside the untamed Atlantic Ocean which is perfect for surfing.
There are no high-rise hotels here, just a few camp sites and small bungalows. Behind the beach just across the road is a row of surf shops, bars and restaurants. It has a very relaxed feel to it and attracts surfers and locals.
You’ll also need to take your own shade and sun loungers or chair if you want a bit of comfort and shade as there are none to hire on the beach. We purchased a small sun shade and chair from one of the local shops in Los Canos de Meca. They didn’t cost very much and we gave them to the hotel staff when we left as we didn’t want to take them home on the plane. And, it actually worked out a lot cheaper than when we’ve previously been to beaches and hired sun shades and loungers.
The bars and restaurants served a good selection of different dishes including a lot of seafood and tapas. Some of them were no more than wooden shacks, but still served great food and fresh smoothies, whilst a couple of others were more up market restaurants complete with white linen table cloths.
The sunsets along this stretch of the coast were wonderful and the bars opposite the beach provided the perfect spot to watch the amazing sunsets while enjoying a cocktail before dinner.
Overall Impression of Los Canos de Mec and Cost de la Luz
We loved the laid-back feel of the area, the stunning beaches, great food and wine and friendly people.
It’s worth noting that a few of the bars and restaurants were closed when we went in the first week of October as their season tends to end at teh end of September. However, there were still plenty of places that were open.
And, finally we also enjoyed a day trip to Cadiz and the white hilltop town of Vejer de la Frontera, but I’ll tell you about those another day.