El Palmar is a special place on the south coast of Spain where you will find the best of many things, such as beautiful beaches of fine white sand that come from the Sahara desert (more than 8 km and 80 meters wide of beaches from the Atlantic Ocean). You will find the typical Spanish Andalusian culture such as flamenco, tapas, joy, water sports, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, body boarding, kayaking, paddle surfing (SUP), biking (mountain) and beautiful flower fields. The wind conditions are caused by the narrowing of the land where the southern part of Europe almost connects with Morocco, the northern part of Africa. In fact, you can clearly see Morocco on clear days, as it is only about 50 km from El Palmar and at the narrowest point of Tarifa only 14 km. This narrow channel is called the Strait of Gibraltar and it is the point where the Atlantic Sea connects with the Mediterranean Sea. The wind changes approximately every 5 days from east to west. The Mediterranean wind is the strongest and is called “levante”. When the winds change direction after about 5 days (it can be many more or less days) we normally have 2 days of light or no wind and then it starts to come from the Atlantic direction and is called “Poniente”. The wind blows throughout the year, so you can enjoy kitesurfing and windsurfing all year round. Due to these unique conditions, it is an ideal place for water sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing due to the unique formation of breakers at El Palmar beach. The high season for surfing takes place in winter, from October to March. Especially famous in El Palmar are the left waves and the best spot is usually in front of the “Homies” surf school and the lighthouse tower.

An impression of what you can do in El Palmar and the surroundings

Beautiful unique landscapes full of nature and wide views

El Palmar is home to a very unique landscape due to the wide variety of properties, land and agriculture that you will find in El Palmar. Wherever you walk, you will find that each house and land is unique and has different animals, crops or flowers growing on it. Especially between November and May you will find flower fields everywhere with different kinds of flowers, it is very beautiful. The views change every corner you go through and with the change of light it forms spectacular views. We particularly like the views of the neighboring white village of Conil de Frontera. The reflection of the light is incredible and during sunset the white houses take on a reddish pink glow. Our houses are located a bit in the upper part of El Palmar, so when you go outside you will be able to see all of El Palmar and enjoy the views of Conil de la Frontera and the beach as well. Our houses are located just 200 meters from the bike path that will take you to all the neighboring towns such as Conil de la Frontera, Zahora and Caños de Meca. And we are a 15 minute walk from the beach.

Some curious facts about El Palmar

El Palmar (also known as: El Palmar de Vejer) is the official beach of the mountain village Vejer de la Frontera, which is 11 km away. This town of Vejer de la Frontera is known for its beauty as it has been awarded several times as the most beautiful of the many white towns that Andalusia houses. El Palmar belongs to an area called “La Janda Region”. It is an area of ​​Cádiz made up of 8 towns, namely Alcalá de los Gazules, Barbate, Benalup- Casas Viejas, Conil de la Frontera, Medina Sidonia, Paterna de Rivera, San José del Valle and Vejer de la Frontera. It receives the name of La Janda from the disappeared lagoon of La Landa and has two differentiated zones: the coast and the interior. Inland we find Alcalá de los Gazules, Benalup-Casas Viejas, Medina Sidonia and Paterna de Rivera. The official population of El Palmar according to Wikipedia in 2015 it was 909 but these are official numbers and due to many unregistered houses we can easily assume that the real population is around 2,000 in winter and in summer it shoots up to probably 10,000 and attracts even more people traveling from all over Spain to this beautiful and vibrant beach town.

A little history of El Palmar, a unique place on the coast of the province of Cádiz

Historically, the town of El Palmar is made up of small rural towns and runs from the A-2233 regional road to the beach. Before the construction of the A-2233 road, access to the area was complicated. The only way to access El Palmar was from Conil and you had to cross the river “Río Salado” that flows into the sea. The area often flooded in the winter, making it impossible for cars and animals to pass through. Because the area is officially a protected rural area, it does not have building rights. That is why many houses have been built illegally. Around 200 houses that were built before 2010 have been boarded up by the government and are abandoned. These houses are mostly located on the outskirts of El Palmar and are deteriorating. the owners are waiting for a resolution that will probably never come. They are left with land and a house (unfinished) that they cannot sell and cannot live in. It’s a shame, but a line must be drawn to combat illegal housing construction to prevent the area from becoming overcrowded. and abuse of this rural area. Also, most of the houses that are taped up are ugly anyway and make that part of El Palmar not look good. They are built cheaply and quickly with only profit in mind and no contribution to the environment at all.

Gastronomy, what are the typical dishes that you can find in the area of El Palmar and the province of Cádiz

A very typical dish that you will find here and that you probably won’t find anywhere else in Europe other than Cádiz and maybe in some bigger cities in Spain, if you are lucky, is bluefin tuna (atun botol). There are several parts of bluefin tuna that have very different characters, flavors, and are used in very different dishes. A typical dish or tapa would be “atún encebollado” which is red tuna cooked with onion, bay leaf, garlic, pepper, wine and salt. It is a rich and very economical dish and gives you a lot of energy. Some raw bluefin tuna dishes that taste amazing are Bluefin Tuna Sashimi, Bluefin Tuna Tartare, and Bluefin Tuna Tataki. As you have probably already noticed, these dishes have Japanese names. This is because these are inspired by Japanese cuisine. In fact every year around April and May when the bluefin tuna season is celebrated and the bluefin tuna festival in Conil de la Frontera, El Palmar, Barbate and Tarifa is when the Japanese boats come to buy most of the bluefin tuna already they offer the highest price. The prices of the raw dishes are somewhat higher than the tuna with onions but it is definitely worth it if you like good quality fish. Below you will find an image with the different parts of bluefin tuna that will help you identify which part is on the menu. Other typical fish menus will be salted or grilled snapper, skewered sardines, grilled swordfish, grilled pink and cod.

Carne de retinto (retinto meat), high quality meat and specialty of this region

Carne retinta is beef and comes from the native bovine breed. You will find them in the southern part of the Spanish peninsula. The Retinto cattle are raised in freedom, grazing freely and feeding mainly on natural grass. Is it because they have such a good life that they taste so good? Is it because of the different taste of the bovine breed or because of the lack of use of drugs and testosterone? We are not sure but the only thing we know is that we love retinto meat.

Culture, festivals and events in El Palmar

El Palmar hosts quite a few events. Here we will discuss some events held in El Palmar and surrounding villages.

An event that you cannot miss if you are in the area in February is the Cádiz carnival. The Cádiz carnival is very famous in Spain and is after the Tenerife carnival the largest in Spain but in duration it is undoubtedly the largest since the preparation festivities can last around 2 months and the actual carnival is 2 weeks. non-stop. festivities As in the entire province of Cadiz, in El Palmar they also like to celebrate carnival and it is celebrated a week after the carnival in Cadiz capital.

Throughout the year you will find many smaller events organized by locals and can include organic farming meetups where people share and sell locally produced vegetables, fruit, honey and CBD, for example. There you will also find “artesanía” (crafts) and homemade pastries, food, cakes and creams for your skin.

The bluefin tuna fair (feria or ruta de atún) in May does not take place in El Palmar but it does take place in all the surrounding towns such as Conil de la Frontera, Vejer de la Frontera, Barbate and we especially like Zahara de los Atunes which is a beautiful beach town full of restaurants and quality gastronomy.

The May Fair in El Palmar. The fair is based on equestrian events and takes place in the month of May over a period of four days. There are tents and rides.

San Juan night. After the burning of Juanillos and Juanillas, the locals take a night swim in the sea, light a bonfire on the beach and spend the night in good company.

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