The Costa del Sol´s Best Nudist Beach: Playa de Cantarrijan

Playa de Cantarrijan, or Cantarrijan beach, is a place that you hear about way before going there. There is a certain kind of mystique about it. With a reputation for being a very hip and trendy spot. And a reputation for being the Costa del Sol’s best nudist beach.

Cantarrijan is not the kind of place you happen to fall upon….you need to know where you going and more to the point what to expect when you get there.

Playa de Catarrijan, Costa Tropical

Costa del Sol - Costa Tropical

A common enough error and one that is only separated by mere kilometers….but Cantarrijan, although nearly always referred to as being on the Costa del Sol, is actually a beach that sits on Granada’s Costa Tropical, in the Municipally of Almuñecar to be exact.

What is it like?

Playa de Catarrijan, Costa Tropical

A mixture of sand and shingle, the beach itself is gorgeous. As with all the beaches and coves in the Natural area of Los Acantilados de Maro, the surrounding area is rigorously protected and during the busier summer months you will need to take a bus down there. It’s a small price to pay for its beauty and preservation.

The water is exceptionally clean (has won various awards to that effect) and as fishing is not allowed (due to its protected status)….the sea around Cantarrijan is full of fish.

Playa de Catarrijan, Costa Tropical

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of fish and the clarity of the water….when compared to other beaches just a few kilometers along the coast. Goes to show you what the whole of the Costa del Sol/Tropical could look like if it was protected and looked after.

Needless to say, the snorkeling and diving in this whole area is second to none.

The beach can be divided into two sections. The first – just in front the two restaurants – is clothing ‘optional’ and the second tends to be completely naturalist. On the occasions we have been down there around 90% of people are in the nude.

It is something you get used to, very quickly.

All in all, a fun experience and an exceptionally beautiful beach. Highly recommended.

How to get there

There are two ways to get there if coming from the Nerja/Malaga area. Using the new motorway or the along the old coast road the N340.

Sign for Cantarrijan

Cantarrijan is situated some 15kms from Nerja. If taking the new motorway, come off at the exit for La Herradura and when coming to the first roundabout, take a sharp right following signs to Malaga (N340) basically doubling back on yourself. After about 3kms you‘ll see a sign for Cantarrijan on the left. There is a large parking area at the top.

Access is restricted during the summer months. There are regular shuttle buses that take you from the parking to the beach. At the time of writing the price was 2€ per adult and children went for free.  Summer officially ends on September 1st – from that moment on you can drive down to the beach.

The old N340 route from Nerja is slightly longer, but far more scenic. From Nerja/Maro follow signs for Almeria and after some 15kms keep your eyes open for the signs.

For more information; see Spain Holiday’s high definition video of the Costa Tropical and for Cantarrijan’s tamer and more famous neighbour – Playa El Cañuelo. There is also great hike between El Cañuelo and Cantarrijan.

Image credit @flickr Marco/Josecarlos