Playa Nudista de Cantarrijan
Cantarrijan Beach ... "Is the paradise!"
“The great Spanish sun lounger test” is in full swing. Every week we review Beach Clubs / Chiringuito’s and beaches in Andalusia. This week we have chosen Playa Cantarrijan within the Maro Cerro Gordo Natural Park. Cantarrijan is “Clothing optional” - a nudist beach. Is everyone naked? Or not?
I grew up in Germany and I am used to FKK - aka nudist beaches. Living in the UK for 15 years I noticed that other nations are different, and not so relaxed when it comes to taking clothes off. But how is a Spanish nudist beach? Let's find out.
Playa de Cantarrijan is a bay in between Nerja's Maro and La Herradura, on the border between the Province of Malaga and the Province of Granada. You can't see the beach from the street when you drive along the old coast road N-340, but you notice the parking place. When we arrived the sign showed: "parking completo" at 12.30 pm. Argh. Asking the friendly guy working there, he directed us 50 meters further, where we found free parking slots. In high season from June until September parking is next to the main road and you take a shuttle bus down to the beach - it's 2 Euros each. We were pleased to take the bus as the road is around 2 kilometers, steep down to the beach.
The beach was busy but not packed. We looked out for sun loungers and here came a nice surprise: Rather than having fixed installed sun loungers and umbrellas, these ones were flexible. We were asked 'where would you like to sit?', we opted for the front row at the sea and the beach guy installed the loungers, thick and comfy mattresses, and a sun umbrella - each! Wow! We liked it! 6 Euros each, but worth it.
After settling on the loungers we went for a swim. Another wow! Crystal clear water, and lots of fishes close to the beach. A snorkel would have been great - if you have one bring it. Fishing is not allowed in this area due to its protected status, hence the sea around Cantarrijan is full of fish.
While swimming, Marielle suddenly was "Ouch! Something has stung me". Out of the water, her finger was swollen already. Jellyfish! In Spanish: Medusa! We did not see any jellyfish, it must have been a small one? We went to the restaurant La Barraca and they knew already. Got out the vinegar, and put it around her finger. That helped a bit. A short time after our Spanish sun lounger neighbors realized she was bitten and got out a cream which helped much better than the vinegar. Jellyfishes are around these days in the Mediterranean sea, if you are stung you might want to use the cream.
Now. Talking Nudist fans! "FKK Anhaenger", in German. There is an "Association of Friends of the Nudist Beach of Cantarriján (AAPNC)". It's a non-profit association aimed at promoting the nudist/naturist culture on Cantarriján Beach. Currently, they run a petition for clear signage at the main road. They are teamed with Playa Patrol, a beach cleanup organization based in La Herradura. I always aim to support local and privately run associations, you might want to look into it, too.
The beach itself is a combination of sand and gravel, but pretty easy to walk on. As usual, we got hungry at around 3 pm, which is perfect Spanish lunchtime. There are 2 restaurants: La Barraca and La Bola. Looking at the menu we thought it’s a bit pricey. Maybe because of the location?
The friendly waiter brought the food menu, unfortunately, no drinks menus were available. Marielle was a bit disappointed that they do not offer any cocktails 🍹 She went for a semi dulce wine, I ordered a large Radler / shandy - beer with lemonade. Very often I am surprised that no drinks menus are available. I love reading through menus and get inspiration what to order. Without a menu, I always order the same old boring drinks 🥱
The food menu is good, but not extraordinary or special. We opted for the monkfish and prawns skewer (22 Euros), and a roasted pepper salad (8 Euros) to share. The main dish arrived with a plain potato cut in 2 big chunks. No sauce. No topping. Hmm. Tucking into it I wasn’t impressed with the monkfish….. probably my taste as Mariele liked it.
As the main dish was not my liking we thought we treat ourselves with a yummy dessert and we opted for the chocolate cake. It arrived and from the look we were amazed. Huge portion. Yummy looking. Unfortunately, the taste wasn’t as impressive as the look. It wasn’t the sweet-creamy-fat-sensational taste we expected. It was rather a Milky Way or milky chocolate kind of taste. We were disappointed and did not even finish the cake. The entire bill was 51 Euro.
Another downside: Ladies toilet was 'out of order' all day and the men toilet was not clean. There are showers with broken tiles looking a bit run down. Could do with a bit of DIY. Dogs are not allowed, neither in the restaurant nor on the beach. Ok. Rant over.
It was a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Good vibes. Half of the people were nudists, the other half wearing shorts or bikinis. That's what it is all about, isn't it?! You chose what you prefer and nobody will judge. We liked it and give the beach for its atmosphere a 10 out of 10. The Restaurant is slightly less, it’s a 7.9.
We ll continue our "Great Spanish Sun Lounger Test" next week. Please note our reviews are not paid advertising, it's our honest opinion. So far we have checked: - Baobab Beach House Algarrobo Costa - La Brisa Benajarafe - Cacola in El Morche - see Facebook & Instagram for a not so good review :-( - Mambo Torrox - review coming soon
Your comments, likes are welcome. Please get in touch, ask questions or send us ideas to review.