Get the best out of your LA life! Whatever the reason is behind your stay in this Andalusian town get inspired with my 12 tips what to do in La Línea and enjoy your ‘la dulce vida’ in Spain!
La Línea is the only town bordering with the overseas UK territory of Gibraltar. Therefore it’s the most convenient town to live in when you travel to this very southern tip of Iberian Peninsula to follow your career paths. For most of us the rent in Gibraltar is just ridiculously expensive, and those who prefer living in a town instead of quiet residential areas, or just don’t have a car or nerves to spend 1 to 2 hours to commute, end up in La Línea.
Even though the reputation of this ‘Medellín of Spain’ is not the most positive one, it is absolutely fine to live there for a short period of time. You can enjoy the lovely sunny weather of the place, always relaxing and chilled atmosphere and explore beautiful places around (like those ones I talk about in my Andalusia road trip article).
Are you new in the so-called LA or just passing through the town during your Iberian travels? Muy bien! I got these 12 spectacular tips to make your stay lovelier; especially when you arrived to the city on your own!
NOTE: (Let’s pretend for a while there is no COVID-19 crises, and we all can go out and enjoy life. This article is written what to do in La Línea during ‘normal’ circumstances, without the restriction due to coronavirus.)
12 things to do in La Línea de la Concepcion to get the best out of it:
1. Dine and Drink Out
This is basically one of the most popular activities of all people living in the area, including me. I can’t come across a better idea than having a late dinner in Revuelo, Bodebar, Barrica or Las Barbas or sipping nicely chilled white wine in Bitácora while watching the sunlight playing with the sea-waves. Morning coffees at Calle Real or Plaza de la Iglesia always boost my morning mood!
There are surprisingly several very good places to eat in La Línea so before you start judging the town by its looks head to my article about Best restaurants in La Linea and choose a place for your first lunch or dinner. The most popular cuisine around here is seafood, bread dishes like ‘bocadillos’ and ‘montaditos’, big meat plates and plenty of different tapas dishes to choose from.
Don’t miss out on the ‘Ruta de la Tapa’ which takes place in Autumn, usually October and it gives you a great chance to explore the culture of these little one-bite snacks. Selected tapas bars prepare their special ‘tapa dish’ and you wander from a place to place with a ‘Ruta de la tapa’ map to get a badge. You can also vote for your favourite tapas to join a special draw to win cash prizes. At the end of the event the city announces the bar with the best tapas!
2. Snacks, Wine and Shopping at ‘Mercado’
Yes, food and drinks again! But this time in the indoor market ‘Mercado Municipal’ which opens its doors every day from 8am until 3pm, apart from Sunday. It’s not just a great place to get fresh fruits, vegetables, variety of houseplants and high-quality cuts of the local meat, but even a better spot to get a lovely chilled beer or wine, with a yummy tapas on side!
Me and my boyfriend always took a little shopping break in ‘La Quesería‘ to enjoy an early glass of Spanish red wine with a cut of ‘queso de oveja’ (sheep cheese) on side. In the case we were hungry we went to ‘Ruda Cervecería’ and ordered a bunch of in-house made tapas dishes and poured them with a bottle of chilled craft beer. They have like dozens and dozens of bottled beers; one could get wasted there! Yes, this market is definitely one of the must-do in La Línea de la Concepcion.
3. Catch a Beautiful Sunset at the Port (Marina)
The best thing to do in La Línea in the evening is to watch a stunning sunset from the Marina or Poniente Beach. Just stop at the pedestrian area at the beginning of Línea’s port and watch the show of blue sky turning into 50 shades of purple! With the skyline of rocking boats, the giant Gib rock on the east and a possible view to the Africa continent you get an ultimate romantic atmosphere!
To get closer to the burning sun, walk towards the Campamento along the Poniente beach. You’ll see fewer boats but the view to Africa’s rocky surface will be much better visible. Of course, the visibility very much depends on the weather, mist and wind conditions.
There is also a tiny beach somewhere in between the Luna Chiringuito and the very last roundabout entering the Campamento. It is a perfect spot for rock sitting, listening to the thud sound of the waves hitting the beach surface and watching the sun disappearing from the horizon.
4. Rise with the Sun at the Levante Beach
Yes, while Poniente is the ‘King of sunsets’, Levante is the ‘Queen of sunrises’. When I lived at Calle Claudio I loved to wake-up earlier (even though I hate it) and walk just 2 minutes to the beach to have a little morning tickle of the rising sun. I just sat there drinking my coffee and stare at the red sky and calming sea-waves reflecting the light.
If you’re a runner, this should be your morning spot. The sky at Levante gets very beautiful also during the sunset which sets at Poniente. Levante horizon turns dark blue to purple or pink-ish during the evenings and has its own mysterious charm.
5. Tan Your Ass and Swim in the Sea
When you come to this area whenever from the beginning of May until the end of October, your chances to enter the sea and get tanned are pretty high! I don’t like beaching at Poniente, it is just way too small, overcrowded and incredibly dirty. I’ve spent most of the beaching days at Levante beach which is much wider and also cleaner (although most of the people don’t give a shit about the clean environment nowadays).
The quality and temperature of the water depends on the wind. Basically the windier it is, the warmer and cleaner the water appears – especially when wind blows from the east. This unfortunately comes with more jellyfish in the sea and also more beach restrictions (yellow flag – you can enter only to the shallow waters and on your own responsibility; red flag – you can’t enter the water).
The windless days are more enjoyable due to the fact you’re not constantly attacked by flying sharp sand grains which can actually beat you up. On the other hand, the beach appears to be dirtier after a heavy windy day bringing up all the rubbish which ends up in the ocean and all the garbage people leave on the streets without blinking their eyes. (Yes, you can see some people throwing away cans and other rubbish on the street and beach like it is a ‘normal’ thing to do.)
6. Learn how to Dance at La Kaleu Chiringuito
Chiringuitos are little beach bars which rent a few seating areas with parasols and usually prepares smaller or bigger plate dishes. There are several of these beach bars in la Línea and many of them have their own summer programme. We quite enjoyed going to Kaleu Chiringuito, even though the service was pretty much confusing. The bar also offers a variety of drinks the bartenders don’t have a clue about. (You should have seen their face when I’d asked for Mai Thai from the menu…)
What is nice about this Chiringuito is the location close to the Gibraltar with a lovely view to the rock and to landing or departing planes from the Gib airport. Also, they usually have a live music during the evenings, as well as on Sunday afternoons. The bar claims it is South American so you can listen to or even have a little afternoon dance to various Latino rhythms. The sea is just a few steps away so you can jump in anytime you wish so.
7. Get the Best Views of the Gib Rock!
Gibraltar owes the rock but guess which city has the best views of this massive piece of gravel? Yes, LA it is! One of the best things to do here can be basically walking around and getting the best angles of its southern neighbour!
You can see the full length of the western ‘bushy’ side of the rock of Gibraltar from the Poniente beach and the pedestrian area alongside the Marina and western shore of La Línea. It’s a pretty cool view thanks to the white boats arising from the dark blue seas of the port.
To have a closer look walk to the pathway before Marina and the parking, just next to the border. This little walking area was a big secret to me for almost 4 years! I discovered it just recently, a few months before I’ll move out.
I like the look of the rock from the ‘Princesa Sofia’ park. Here you can see the front tip of the rock surrounded by the exotic greenery and bushes of the park.
There is also a nice view from the Levante beach from where you can see the eastern side and the front rocky part of the rock.
8. Start with a Water Sport
This is not Tarifa or Fuerteventura but thanks to the frequent winds the waves can get crazy enough for short surfing, kitesurfing or windsurfing sessions. You can see many people stand-paddling or kayaking here.
There is also a very popular rowing club in La Línea: Club Rem Marina de Dénia which you can join in case you love early morning drills in the sea. Finally, if you see yourself more like a lazy sunbathing person laying down on the deck of a boat, there are several options how to rent one to get a bit of this luxurious kind of adventure. You can even sail to Morocco!
9. Enjoy Every Little Fiesta in the City
Andalusian (probably all Spanish people) love ‘fiestas’! There are a few celebrations in La Línea throughout the year and most of them are tied to a religious event. It would be a shame to stay in this area of Europe without experiencing the smells and hustle of Feria, the gothic atmosphere of Semana Santa or the celebrations of San Juan.
The biggest party of La Línea starts in the mid of July and it’s called La Feria. Ferias are Andalusian parties which last for a week or so and celebrate the saint patron of the region. Each city in Andalusia has its own Saint protector so the party takes always place during a different time of the year.
It looks like a regular Fair with lots of food and sweet stalls, enormous roller-coasters and so called ‘casetas’ or ‘tent restaurants’ which turn into a super disco places after midnight. People like to wear traditional flamenco clothes or dress up to be ready for the passionate dances in ‘casetas’ which last until the dawn!
10. Visit LA’s Neighbour – Gibraltar
If you run out of ideas what to do in La Línea, just take your valid passport and visit neighbouring Gibraltar. There are several nice places to see and pretty good restaurants to have a Sunday roast at! As the Brexit is approaching and the border is currently closed for tourists due to the COVID-19 crisis, it is very hard to predict how the frontier control will look like in a few months.
Anyway, if you got the opportunity to enter Gibraltar, get up the Upper rock to catch some wonderful views and hike up the Med Steps to see the faraway seas. Don’t forget to visit the cutest animals ever – lemurs, which were saved from the smugglers and placed in Alameda Wildlife Park. You can read more about Gibraltar in my soon coming blogpost about this little country in the Mediterranean Sea.
11. Bike or Walk to Alcaidesa or around
Alcaidesa is a community located 12 kilometres northwest from La Línea and it is a popular golf resort as well as a residential place for those who prefer smaller, quieter and more peaceful spots to live in. Half of the area belongs under the La Línea municipality; the second half is directed by San Roque. There is not a frequent bus to this area so you need to have a car to get there. The second, maybe funnier way to get to Alcaidesa is by bike or walk.
The bike route would take you around 30 minutes and walking around 2 hours. The beach around Alcaidesa is pretty wide and beautiful so you’ll definitely have something to look at! On your way to Alcaidesa, be more cautions around the Atunara area of La Línea. There’s one of the places where the drug magic happens, so I’d not wander solo around there !
12. Explore the Surrounding Places
One can get a little tired from living in La Línea. After a while it gets boring and overwhelming. The good thing is that the place is surrounded by many nature gems of Andalusia and charming little white villages so you can easily escape. The best is to have a car, but the summer bus schedule is very helpful for those who don’t drive (like me hah). There is also a hiking group in La Línea – Sunny Walker Society so you can try to join them to explore the area.
One could name hundreds of places where you can travel from La Línea for a day or a weekend getaway – like the beach paradise of Tarifa, pretty Estepona, posh Marbella or breathtaking Casares. If you need more help to choose a perfect day trip, you can look check out my guide about day trips around La Línea!
I’m not going to lie to you. La Línea is definitely not a ’bucket list’ place for everybody but you have a few ways how to brighten up your temporary stay in the city. I hope that my few tips about what to do in La Línea have inspired you to see the positive things of the place. I’ve spent here almost 4 years, have met lots of great people, visited dozens of stunning places, I even met my current boyfriend here and started this blog! Thank you La Línea!
My dears, enjoy the hot sun, chilled vibe, friendly people and lazy weekend hangouts the town offers! You never know when those days are over!
NOTE: If I missed on any great activity to do around, let me know in the comments!