Facinas is a small village in the province of Cadiz with a population of just over 1,000. The community is close-knit, all the local children attend the village state school, and most of the resident families have lived there for generations. There are almost no tourists in Facinas. As a result, the village feels authentically Spanish. And, in spite of being near the coast, it has a markedly rural atmosphere. The white houses that line the narrow, cobbled streets are rarely taller than two stories, and are all set out on a west-facing hill near the Los Alcornocales Natural Park. Most people work in hospitality and construction, as the village has very little retail aside from a few corner shops.
THINGS TO SEE
The village itself is beautiful in its simplicity, typical of Andalucian settlements, but does not hold any outstanding architecture or attractions. The church is modest, and lacks much ornament, other than the beautiful effigies of saints and biblical figures made of porcelain and wood. The time to see it is at the Virgen Del Carmen Festival, described below.
Perhaps the most popular tourist activity in Facinas is birdwatching with ‘Birding Tarifa’, which can be organised from an office in the village.
The Feria is traditionally in the second week of August. All the villagers will be there, but few people come from outside. There are a couple of attractions for young children, usually including a bouncy castle, a boat swing and some target shooting. Adults can certainly spend a nice evening eating and drinking, before enjoying the small dance-floor.
At the Virgen Del Carmen Festival, when the effigy of the Virgin is moved between her summer and winter lodgings, the whole village turns out to watch the procession. The streets are hung with lanterns and paper flowers for the celebrations.
There are a couple of small bars and cafes, frequented by locals, largely serving simple tapas made with local meat. The food is especially good in ‘Ventorillo El Nene’, a restaurant just outside the village. The walls of El Nene are covered with bullfighting paraphernalia and old photographs, so there’s always something to look at if you sit inside by the fireplace in winter. You can assume almost all the meat in Facinas restaurants will be local, and consequently, excellent. ‘El Rastrillo’ is another favourite of the Facinas meat-lover.
Although there are very few hotels in Facinas, a couple of small apartments like ‘El Nido’ are available for short-term rental. Various 1- or 2-star hotels such as ‘San Jose El Valle’ can be found along the N-340 near the village.
Rural hotel with easy access from the N340. Comfortable, minimal rooms with air conditioning. Bar and restaurant serving variety of meals. Lots of parking available. 7.5km from fascinating Baelo Claudia roman ruins. Rooms accommodating between 1 and 3 guests.
Contemporary apartment with minimal decor and full modern amenities including wifi. Private balcony with mountain views. Set in the heart of Facinas, within easy driving distance of nearby beaches. Sleeps 5.
Because Facinas borders a Natural Park, all the surrounding land makes for good walking. If you walk south parallel to the N-340 through the parkland, it is possible to reach the neighbouring settlement, Saladaviciosa, which is a quaint collection of houses largely inhabited by the farmers who keep their animals on the surrounding land.
More ambitious walkers can consult our page on Alcornocales walking routes.
The vegetable market is on a Tuesday, and sells a good range of fresh local produce. For fresh meat and fish, have a look in the little shops.
Facinas is between the towns of Tarifa and Vejer de la Frontera, about fifteen kilometres from the coast. The nearest beaches are Bolonia and Valdevaqueros. You can access the village by leaving the N-340 at kilometre 65 or 67. There are daily buses to Algeciras, La Linea de la Concepcion, Cadiz, Seville and Málaga. Click here to see bus timetables.