Home … for a while

Arcos de la Frontera is the premier pueblo blanco (white village) in Andalucía, Spain … and it’s now our home for the next year! Having gained temporary residency we can come and go without the Schengen Zone time restrictions, and have settled into the apartment which is in a great location and even has good views from both the apartment and the rooftop terrace. Arcos itself is a lovely town of about 30 000 people that we have stayed in before and has a nice “lived in” feel to it - not just for tourists - but with a characterful old town as well as the newer, but still attractive more recent additions. We are meeting a few locals and trying to practice our Spanish, and have found a few great little shops that sell local products like cheese, olives, honey, soap and pan de higo (fig “bread”). 

Meanwhile we have also been visiting a few of the other pueblos blancos of the area such as Vejer de la Frontera with its appealing little plaza and steep-sided, narrow alleyways, as well as being the home to the delightful Ya En Tu Casa, a small shop we visited last time we were here, run by Diego and Claudia, that sells all manner of gourmet and delicious things like amazing olive oils or seductive sherries (for example). Also Olvera, which has an interesting castle we found well worth the small admission price, as well as being a marvel to view from a distance. 

Then there’s the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) which includes Tarifa, Conil de la Frontera and Cádiz amongst others. This coast is actually on the Atlantic and has, to our tastes at least, far better (wider, flatter) beaches with their fine pale sand, than those of the Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean side with its coarse dark sand beaches (when it’s not actually stones), and it seems nowhere near as overdeveloped for tourism. Tarifa, with its compact, walled old town and more than a hint of Africa about it, is one of the main departure points for ferries to Morocco so I’m sure we’ll be visiting there again, and Cádiz is the main administrative centre and capital of the province so we may well need another visit there in the future also. 

Now that we’ve settled in we are already planning the next stage of our adventures and that may well be the next update. Hasta entonces … 

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