Wednesday, 19 May 2010


On a lovely warm day with temperatures rising to 30°C, we drove the 90 minutes west to the town of Chipiona, about 50kms north of Cadiz on the Atlantic coast.
Going from memory, we drove into the centre of town and then turned off to the left, knowing that the sea was somewhere in that direction and parked the car near to the Sanctuario de Regla on the seafront.

We last came here over a year ago and thought it was a lovely place to visit. It has a faded charm about it. By that I mean that there are many old villas and houses lining the beach area, a lot of them available for rent or sale, that could do with a coat of paint and a little tender loving care. Thankfully though, it's unspoilt by blocks of high rise apartments or hotels.
The beach area is fantastic and stretches for around seven miles. Here looking onto a near deserted Playa de Regla.

The Sanctuario de Nuestra Señora de la Regla, once a fortress, now an active Franciscan monastery.

Understandable though slightly disappointing was the ban on dogs on the beach unlike nearby Sanlucar where dogs are allowed out of season. So no dip for Calcetines or us today.

The "Paseo Maritimo" stretches the length of the seafront with plenty of shaded areas to sit and rest those weary feet. Lots of cafes and restaurants too.

El Faro. The lighthouse is the tallest in Spain and the third tallest in Europe. It is possible to climb the 365 steps to the top but entry tickets have to be obtained from the tourist office that we later found was close by.
Just a round the corner from the lighthouse are "Los Corrales de Pesca", a series of small man made lagoons dating back to Roman times, that with the ebb and flow of the tides over and through gaps in the walls, deposit fish and other marine life that can be collected when the tide recedes.

The Paseo Maritimo continues on the other side of the lighthouse and leads to the castle, attached to which is the the tourist office.

Its always useful to pick up a map of where we are and even more useful if you have the ability to read it. "Now, I think we're here and we need to go that way" I say. "Are you sure?", says Anne. "Of course I am. Haven't you noticed my jungle trekker guides hat?".

After visiting the tourist office, we headed into the town before returning to the car, passing by some lovely plazas. Here the Plaza Andalucia.
There is clearly much more to Chipiona than we saw on this brief visit but it's a lovely town with a sleepy, old world charm. Well worth another that we have the map !.

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