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Playa de la Carolina – San Juan

11 Apr

I have written about San Juan beach before and we love it there, but today (Friday) we decided to explore the little coves beyond San Juan.  We found one tiny little bay in the shape of a horse shoe – I must admit we did a few three point turns before finding it – to get to it you have to drive down some narrow streets where there are some lovely holiday homes, obviously built long before the developers moved in.  They are that lovely kind of old fashioned, unflashy type of home that I remember in Cornwall from childhood holidays, with buckets and spades dropped outside the back door and airers with beach towels drying in the late afternoon sun.  Beyond these, is this unnamed beach, a tiny stretch of sand, one chiringuito slap bang on the beach and as it is still spring and term time, no-one there but us!  I imagine from July it won’t be quite like this, but for now we are enjoying the solitude and so stop and have a coffee and just, well, be!

Afterwards we head a little further up the beach to Carolina Playa – another quite unspoilt and deserted beach and except for a couple of dog walkers, again it is just us! There are no facilities here, so you need to be prepared with chairs, brolleys, cushions and a picnic and frankly you don’t need anything else.  Or you can drive back to San Juan and have lunch at La Isla, a great restaurant in the little town.

These beaches and coves are the complete opposite of, say, Mojacar Beach, which we still love, but are for those looking for something very much more tranquil and untouristy.  I like both types at different times, depending on my mood – it is perfect for today.




Chiringuito Perichan – San Juan de los Terreros

2 Sep

The Perichan chiringuito is situated a few hundred metres down from the Calypso Hotel at San Juan, 20 minutes from the cortijo.  It is a favourite with Spaniards and English alike and during the summer months it is essential to book for lunch, especially at the weekends.  It is a large airy space, cool inside or if you prefer you can sit at a table outside.

Perichan interior

The staff are friendly and slick and you never have to wait for a drink, some bread and alioli (garlic mayonnaise) and a menu – a winner with me as I hate having to try and attract the attention of waiters who are obviously busy, but refuse to catch your eye!  This way everyone is happy and no-one minds a short wait until your order is taken.  You need time anyway to peruse the vast menu – endless starters of boquerones (fresh anchovies), squid, octopus, prawns, salads to name a few.

Choose between the sea view...

Main courses consist mainly of lovely fresh fish, always fantastic and grilled to perfection, or all kinds of grilled meat and kebabs, burgers if you must and a kind of all day Spanish fry up, good for brunch.  If you are spectacularly hungry, order the mixed fish platter, grilled not fried, and a huge salad, a bottle of Rosado (rose wine) or a cold beer and some agua con gas and you are all set for the next hour at least.

...or the mountain view

There is no hurry here, no kicking you off for the next sitting and no rushing you with dessert and coffee – you are nearly always offered a chupito, a liqueur of the house (sometimes you are offered a drink of your choice if you have had a particularly large meal!) with the bill.  This beach bar is a must during a visit here – the beach is gorgeous too so spend the whole day there and sleep off lunch under a brolly at the Calypso Hotel.

Perichan telephone number: 610 784 360

San Juan de los Terreros

31 Aug

The last Saturday in August and I am thinking “Can it get any hotter?” I am rushing through my chores, the rooms, clearing up breakfast and doing a bit of preparation for dinner tonight as we have a houseful – 10 including 4 under the age of 7!  The littlies are having lasagne at 7 pm so that their parents can enjoy a relaxed dinner later.  They are all allowed to stay up tonight for the outdoor cinema – they are on holiday and they don’t want to go to bed, even the littlest 2 year old! 

By two o’clock we are just about ready to head off to one of our other lovely beaches at San Juan de los Terreros – only a 20 minute drive away.  So we head off for the pleasant short drive there, a windy road through lots of hilly countryside and nothing on the road because is it lunchtime, something, rather like the French, Spaniards take great pleasure in though it is a rather less formal affair. 

We go to our favourite chiringuito, Perichan, which is packed but they find us a table for two.  Even though there are dozens of people the service is great – they take your drinks order immediately and bring them back with bread and garlic mayonnaise and leave you to peruse the menu, taking the pressure off them and you not waiting!  I order grilled sepia with salad (squid) and Mick orders a hamburger because I am cooking fish tonight!  The menu is huge so there will be something for everyone but as we on the sea, obviously fish is the choice of the day.  You can have huge platter of mixed seafood or fish to share, a bottle of vino and a salad for under 20 euros a head.

San Juan Calypso hotel

Then as we are a bit pushed for time today, we head back down the beach to our favourite spot, in front of the Calypso hotel.  There are beds and brollies for hire, an air conditioned bar for those who wish to escape the heat and a great restaurant too but you need a bit of time to linger over lunch here.  We nap and read a little, and then just before coming home at 5.30, I go for a delicious swim.  The waves are up and I leap around to keep above them and enjoy the feeling of being on holiday, albeit only for a short while.  We wish we could stay till sunset, and next week when we are by ourselves we will.