Between Los Caños & Barbate

It is hard to discover good hikes here in Spain. About a month ago, I did part of this hike with some friends until we decided we were hungry and went to eat in Barbate. There are three different trails that all start from a different point but cover the same ground. The hike I took is called Torre de Tajo and it is located in-between Los Caños de Meca and Barbate in the Nature Reserve. The first kilometer you walk along the pines and it is very peaceful. These pines are home to Spain’s endangered chameleon so keep your eyes peeled. Follow the white and green parallel lines on wooden steaks and trees until  you come to a clearing with a trail that becomes perpendicular to your prior trail and go right.  You will soon find yourself at a Torre (tower) overlooking the sea. Stop here and take in the natural beauty of when the blissful sea kisses the rocks below. Hike 50 meters over to your right to the Mirador (look out), for a more stunning picture of the coastline between the two towns.

For some, hiking to the Mirador will be enough but for the more adventurous head towards Los Caños de Meca. I can’t stress how fun it is during this part of the hike to deviate from the original, large, sandy trail. If I would have stayed on the trail, I would have missed a lot of beautiful coast lines and photo opportunities. Once you have hiked another 3 kilometers you will start to descend into Los Caños de Meca and will see the coastline stretch all the way out to the lighthouse that perches at the end of a sandy straight. If you want to get down to the beach, keep descending until you see a small pathway that slopes down into a cliff, you won’t see the path until you round the corner but you can take it all the way down to the deserted beach.

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As mentioned above, there are three ways to do the same hike. You can start out in Los Caños and hike over to Barbate or you can start at Playa Hierbabuena in Barbate and hike to Los Caños. Since I had already started the later hike, I opted to begin in the middle of the hike this time and took the hike called Torre de Tajo, which starts in the middle, although all three hikes pass by the tower.

Are we there yet? This drive take about an hour and fifteen minutes from El Puerto de Santa Maria. Hop on the A-4 and head down towards Barbate, take E-5 to A314 and follow A314 until you come to A-2233, which will take you past the port of Barbate. Pass la playa de Hierbabuena and the next Sendero sign then look for a small parking lot on the left, this is your trail amongst the pines, don’t worry there were no catipillars. The sign should look like the one below before you start your walk.

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Get some grub:

El Campero is the most well known eatery in Barbate and for good reason. They have excellent presentation and display tuna in multiple variations and flavors. Try their tuna hamburgers or their spicy tuna with wakame. My friend had the sashimi, tartar and tataki and raved about every bite. Avenida de la Constitución 5, local 5c, Barbate

Casa Oscar is know for his variety of fish. The owner of this restaurant participates in the Almadraba, which is a fishing art created by the Phoenicians that consists of setting a maze of nets across the swimming routes of tuna that come from Atlantic out to the Mediterranean during the month of April to June. Calle Voraz Paseó Maritimo, Barbate

La Traiña is delicious and right on the paseo  marítimo in Barbate so the parking is slim but the view is excellent. My friends and I ate outside and we all ordered tuna and no one was disappointed. Just a warning, La Traiña is fancy inside but eat outside and you can get away with being a sweaty hiker. Paseo  Marítimo, Avenida Atlantico 40

Bakara is modern style Morocccan tea house that serves spirits too. They have excellent gin & tonics with  11 different options in flavor. Bakara also serves dessert like crepes, ice cream and milkshakes. But if you really want to grab coffee before you head back to your home, this is the place to do it. During the summer nights they also have belly dancing performances but you’d have to go to their web site or stop by the tea house to get the dates. Paseo Marítimo

 

Where to stay?

Mandala Bungalows is only two minutes away from the sea and has wifi. Not to mention double beds with private showers. There are also great restaurants close by and the price ranges from 60-70 euro a night. This place is perfect for an overnight stay in mid-March early April before the crowds flock to the beaches.  Avenida Trafalgar, 8, Los Caños de Meca

Hostal Mar de Frente– This is the hostal that is in the pictures above on the beach. You can’t beat the view or the proximity to the beach.You can rent bikes and play ping pong but you have to walk about 10 minutes to get to food. They normally want you to stay more than one night. This hostel is consistently booked so look well in advance! Avenida Trafalgar, 3. Caños de Meca

Apartamentos Playa Barbate is hard to beat with good prices, beachfront access and modern decor. 70 euro,  Avenida del Atlantico, 40, Barbate

 

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