A traditional Chiringuito now open all Summer
Very chilled beers at the shack on the beach
The origin of these little Summer beach bars is South American, coming from a sweet coffee and sugar cane drink enjoyed by farm workers, labourers and those looking for a coffee kick to keep them going, a “Chiringo”. Added to hot water and sold by vendors from little shacks on the side of the road which became known as Chiringuitos.
The bars first appeared in Spain in the early part of the 20th century and really took off in a big way in the 1950´s as tourism bought crowds to the Costas and in the 1960´s as the Hippies arrived on Barcelona beaches, in Ibiza and the Canaries. Originally just small rustic shacks serving a few cold drinks and maybe some basic tapas, perhaps offering fresh fish lunches cooked on open fires. Today many of these bars are in reality large restaurants taking big money, not really in the spirit of the original beach shacks.
Benidorm (sadly) has never allowed, Chiringuitos (until this year) and nor will you find one in neighbouring Albir or Villajoyosa. However, for the last few seasons an original “shack” style beach bar has opened during summer months. Located few kilometres from Benidorm at Raco Conil Nudist Beach. Just off the Villajoyosa road (take a left at the old Casino past the Crematorium). This is a true Chiringuito with no mains water, no mains electricity and only offering (very) cold beers, drinks, some snacks and Ice Cream. Exactly what it should be, a chill-out bar open all day until dusk (very ate in high Summer) where you can relax for a few hours with good friends, take a dip in the sea, enjoy the sunshine and all in a lovely unspoilt location.
Chiringuito Raco Conil is enjoyed by couples (some gay some straight), families, a few singles and the odd wrinkly bottom too. It is after all a nudist beach! You will meet all sorts of people at this shady beach hut, which really is in the spirit of the “Chiringuito” from days before mass tourism and before all the planning regulations. Pop over to Benidorm one weekend this summer and enjoy the shack on the beach, it will not be around forever and must close after September, it is after all a Summer bar!