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Barbate and surrounds

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6 posts
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2 helpful votes
Barbate and surrounds

Hi everyone,

(First time poster here!)

My husband and I are planning a big trip in 2017 and wish to spend 2-3 months (approx. June-Aug) in the south of Spain. Initially, we were looking at Malaga and Nerja but after some investigation, is seems that the Costa Del Sol is very touristy and can be expensive.

We would like to immerse ourselves in Spanish life (and learn some Spanish along the way) so are now considering Vejer de la Frontera or Barbate. Both places appear a little cheaper for accommodation too.

Does anyone have recommendations of places in the area that offer all amenities (restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, banks etc) aren't too touristy and will provide a true Spanish experience?

We are both in our mid 50's and wont have a car. Also, suggestions for self contained apartments would be helpful. At this stage, we are looking at listings through Airbnb.

Thank you for your assistance!!

8 replies to this topic
Europe
Level Contributor
142 posts
358 reviews
231 helpful votes
1. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Hello is there any particular reason that you are looking at Vejer/Barbate area? Vejer is, in my opinion, quite touristy and Barbate is a bit scruffy and has very high unemployment. Without a car you will be stuck in Vejer, which can be very hot in summer. If you would consider going further west, then Isla Cristina has nice beaches, not many foreign tourists, an active fishing port, cheap eateries and even an adjacent nature reserve visited by flamingoes. Wherever you go, there will be a lot of tourists in July and August, especially because Europeans are reluctant to visit Greece, Turkey and Tunisia at the moment and so more than ever are coming to Spain.

Level Contributor
6 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
2. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Thank you so much for replying Clifford. We will certainly take a look at Isla Cristina. We were looking at Vejer because there was a tv program here recently and it certainly looked beautiful. Can you get to Isla Cristina easily? Also, is it uncomfortably windy? We have read that area is very windy.

Anywhere else you would recommend?

London, United...
Level Contributor
24,253 posts
292 reviews
293 helpful votes
3. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Barbate is lovely town with a very very Spanish influence. I really enjoy the feel of the place and the surrounding area. Have stayed 2 or 3 times and always at the main hotel called Adiafa and along the "paseo" facing the lovely beach are plenty of restaurants and the usual. In the height of summer always a great place to have a drink and a bite and people watch ! Not far from Adiafa is the Restaurante El Campero which is one very up market restaurant and tapas bar. A must if visiting this town. Another good local place is Hotel Atlantico on the main street through the town called Avenida del Mar previously called Avenida del Generalisimo because of course this is where Franco enjoyed many weeks each year on holiday fishing. In fact I first knew it as Barbate de Franco.

In winter the place is very different and would be soulless however in summer plenty of good walks and it is possible to use buses although they are few and far between. This PDF may help with majority of the bus times by main Cadiz Province operator "Comes".

www.tgcomes.es/CONIL-VEJER-BARB-ZAHARA.pdf

You will see possible to get up to Vejer in 15 minutes (Barca de Vejer is on the main road at the foot of the hill ) and Los Caños de Meca. The latter goes through the pine forest LA BREÑA and you have some lovely walks along the cliff. In fact one of the best beaches in Barbate is on other side of the port where the footpath going up to the cliff path starts. In summer you find flamenco in the open at Plaza Nuestra Senora del Carmen near the river and roundabout this area are some interesting spots. I was not going to mention Aberlado but anyway I just did! And a smart upmarket cocktail bar opposite a very local bar in Calle Vázquez Mella.

It certainly has plenty of Andalucian charm and interest and would think if you like that kind of thing it could suit.

I do not have any idea of where to rent but expect you can find somewhere even if it is not on the front beach side. peak period of July and August will be more expensive as LA PLAYA is in great demand.

Europe
Level Contributor
142 posts
358 reviews
231 helpful votes
4. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Well, Cadiz Lover certainly disagrees with me about Barbate! To be honest, I visited the town out of season and found it rather drab, whilst my visits to Isla Cristina were in July, August and September. However, I have been checking up on Isla Cristina and there is a whole new team at the town hall, who have started their mandate by firing 80 employees (February 2016). I cannot imagine that this will go through without a bitter struggle, so perhaps Isla Cristina is not the place to visit this summer!

With reference to the wind, Barbate does suffer from the Levante wind which reputedly drives people mad because of its electrical content. You'd have to go a lot further west to avoid this wind, which is at its strongest in and around the Straits of Gibraltar.

Level Contributor
6 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
5. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Thank you so much Cadizlover! You mentioned winter is not the best time to visit - what about Spring? Both places sound wonderful - its unfortunate we cant just arrive and scout the area. I figure that wanting to stay for a long period means booking well in advance otherwise we will be constantly packing up and moving.

Have either of you had experience using AirBnB in the region?

Level Contributor
6 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
6. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Thank you Clifford, thanks for your insights! And I certainly don't need to become any more and than I already am!

Ah, so many places, so little time!

Europe
Level Contributor
142 posts
358 reviews
231 helpful votes
7. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Hello Kay D I've sent you a private message, accessible when you are signed in to tripadvisor by going to the top right of the page and clicking the arrow next to your ID.

1 post
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8. Re: Barbate and surrounds

Folks, your views regarding Barbate are great however I prefer it in the winter. Summer is too tourist orientated with bars and restaurants geared more towards foreigners than locals. I don't actively look for touristy areas, however I appreciate quiet Spanish, local, authentic areas with little or no tourist influence. I find these places far more genuine than spots that are geared towards tourists. If you want genuine Spanish areas, local friendly people and characters, I would heartily recommend Barbate. No issues, friendly people especially in winter, and more a local flavour than english, german or italian. It's the true current lifestyle in Spain and it draws us back year after year. When locals delight in showing off their horses and welcome you with open arms, I'll return to this part of Spain that is undiscovered. Me gusta esta parte de espana.

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