December 29, 2022

Playa Cantarriján – a playa nudista


An outstanding area of natural beauty!

Playa Cantarriján is one of the most popular playa nudista or nudist beaches in Spain. It is striking, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and is a great bay for snorkling.

Located in Andalucía in Southern Spain on the Costa Tropical.  It is approximately 45 minutes east of Málaga city and 35 minutes from Cómpeta. It is not particularly well sign posted, a hidden gem off the old N340 highway, so we will give you some directions below.

It’s a secluded cove surrounded by steep cliff’s and beautiful trees, making for a striking vista.  It also offers great privacy as a playa nudista (also known as a playa naturalista). The beach is light and sandy with small pebbles. It sits in a completely undeveloped and unspoilt nature reserve and is an area of natural beauty. A stark contrast to some of the busier, hectic beaches on the Southern coast.  You won’t find motorised water sports here.

Playa Cantarriján in Granada Province, Andalucia, Southern Spain and area of outstanding natural beauty

One of the most popular Playa Nudista's in Spain

As mentioned, it is a Playa Nudista.  However, here swimwear is optional so you will find a mix of sun worshippers, some with, some without clothes. Whether dressed or undressed you will feel totally at ease. It is a wonderfully family friendly beach. Today, everyone was just relaxed and having a good time.  The low December sun glinted across the water, bathing the cove in a golden glow.

An idyllic cove

There are some large rocks on the sand, along with wooden posts that the children love to play on.  When we visited today, the children were having fun, jumping from one post to another and climbing the rocks.  There was a mum paddle boarding in the water, with her two children sat in front of her as she guided the board across the still waters. It is a little stony on the shoreline, so beach shoes are recommended for the sensitive. Today the waters are calm, glossy and very inviting.  There are no lifeguard services at the beach.

We watch a seller on the beach, quietly selling boho wear. The bright colours fluttering in the gentle breeze.  On other days you will find other artists selling crafts, paintings and jewellery. 

Often there is a massage area with curtains for privacy, set up in front of the La Barraca restaurant.

The low sun setting in the sky in December on Playa Cantarrijan in Andalucia
Coloured Boho clothes on a sellers stall, billowing in the wind in the wind on Playa Cantarrijan in Andalucia
The wooden beach posts in Playa Cantarrijan in Andalucia, where the children jumped from post to post

Places to eat!

There are two restaurants on the beach La Baracca where we ate today and La Bola Marina. Both are very good restaurants, serving Mediterranean style dishes and great fresh seafood. Check them out on Trip Advisor – La Baracca and Bola Marina II.

At La Baracca, we had Cigalas, Scampi Lobster, priced at €15 per 100gr. Along with Langostinos Pil-pil which were €12, this was not as spicy as some we have tried, really quite mild.  We then followed with Arroz negro con ali oli €17 per person (min order 2 person) which was a popular choice with the many locals in the restaurant. This dish is a black rice, loaded with soft buttery cuttle fish, peas and peppers, with garlic mayonnaise served on the side.  We recommend asking for lemon as it really gives the dish a nice boost. For those that are not keen on fish, they also have salads, meats, pastas and burgers etc including vegan options.

Next time we will try the Parrillada de Pescado which is mixed grilled fish and seafood platter.  It is €30 per person with a minimum of two people.  But we saw a few platters come out and they were definitely worth the money, just make sure you allow enough time to eat it all. In fact, though in the medium price range, the restaurant was delightful and worth it with very tasty food.

They had a really good wine list too!  The restaurant states it is open all year round.  In high season, we would definitely recommend booking as even in December we were lucky to get a table.

Arroz negro con ali oli, or black rice with garlic mayonnaise
Cigalas, fresh that day known as Scampi Lobster, or Langostines in the UK
A popular tapas in Spain Langostinos Pil Pil, this one served in a garlic cream sauce

Taking a walk before relaxing

It is possible to walk from Playa Cantarriján to Playa Cañuelo and the views are spectacular!

The walk starts opposite the lower car park, on a dry riverbed heading north, leading to a gravel path. Follow the rocky path (good footwear recommended) passing a fallen tree, where soon after you will see a turn off to the left.  It is easy to miss, so keep a close eye for it.  The path will take you up on a climb of about 15 minutes where it then levels out.

Continue on the path across the beautiful cliffs with outstanding views. The route passes an old roman tower and continues to Playa Canuelo (more on Canuelo in a later blog).

A great activity, after walking there and back you will have certainly earned your afternoon on the beach. Although there are ways to utilise the shuttle buses to save your legs, during the summer.

Click here for a blog, that gives you in depth instructions for the walk in reverse from Playa Cañuelo.


How to get to Playa CantarrijÁn

Take the A7 heading from Málaga towards Grandada.  Take Junction 920 (note they have recently been renumbered, so older blogs may say different).  Turn right at the roundabout onto the N340, the old highway.  Go through the Cerro Gordo tunnel.  Look out, to your left for a white stone faded sign in a layby (see picture below) saying La Herradura Tropical.  Turn into this layby and head to the left of the layby, here is the start of a concrete track.  The track is 1.4km and in good condition, so any hire car will cope.

However, note in summer – you have to park in the top car park and take the shuttle bus down to the beach.  It’s around €2 each way. Always get there early to ensure you can park and get down to the beach.

Here find some more information from their website.

Where to stay in Andalucía?

We think we have a great base in our perfect white pueblo in Andalucía.  Cómpeta, is a fabulous mountain side pueblo with stunning mountain views, sitting above the Costa del Sol.

Whilst Cómpeta itself offer numerous bars and restaurants; it also offers easy access to the surrounding area.  You can check out Cómpeta here in our about Cómpeta info page.

Our houses are all private town houses, centrally based in the pueblo with their own private pools.  Ranging from 2-4 bedrooms, they are perfect for adults and older children, from couples to walking groups. In fact, whilst we always like to spoil our guests, we love helping them to create a special celebration.  Find out more about the houses here.

No 17 Holiday rental in Competa Andalucia Southern Spain
No 8 - 4 bedroom holiday rental in Competa featuring it's own private rooftop pool
No 9 Holiday rental in Competa, Andalucia, Spain

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