Where I Fell In Love With Spain, San Ambrosio

Where I Fell In Love With Spain, San Ambrosio

Nestled along the southern tip of Andalucia is where you will find this hidden township of San Ambrosio. Made up of nothing more than a few houses and a couple of places you can get yourself some good food and a cold beer. It seems almost preposterous that this tiny town is the driving force behind my desire to learn a second language and my love for Spain. So let me explain.

I arrived here to meet up with a long time travel blogging friend in Abbey from The only thing I knew before arriving was that my English would be of no use. Sevilla had taught me that it was a luxury to find a local that spoke English and now that I was in the middle of nowhere I went in expecting nothing.

What followed in the few days I spent in San Ambrosio was LOTS of beers, food, a bit of exploring and meeting some truly relaxed people. They often say it’s the people who make a place… and well this couldn’t have been so true here.

All of the fun happened at night but to keep from getting under Abbeys feet too much I wandered off and checked out a couple of the sights during the day to justify all the drinking and eating that was going on at night.

First on the “to see” list was the local dovecot turned hotel. The El Palomar de la Brena dovecot has some 7700 nests and a total area of almost 400m2 making it the biggest dovecot in the world (Guinness World Records say so). While it’s no longer in use now it’s worth a visit, if only to stroll along the dusty road that leads there and admire the countryside.

San Ambrosio Dovecot - El Palomar de la Breña

My second outing was a longer journey as I headed for a view of the coast and to see the Torre del Tajo. A 16th century tower built to warn off Moorish corsairs arriving at the nearby port. The walk itself while melting hot was a great way to see what the local bushland is like and while obviously different to the land where I grew up back in Australia, it still reminded me of home and the little town I grew up in.

Torredel Tajo San Ambrosio

There was much more seen and done as Abbey chauffeured me around Barbate, Vejer de la Frontera, Los Canos de Mecca and many other surrounding towns but it was the three bars/restaurants of Venta Luis, Venta Canuto (Miguels) and Los Majales (Vicky & Antonio’s) that cemented my love for the country, the town and the people.

Luis served up some of the most amazing (and cheap) spanish food I’d ever eaten as well as introducing me to the joy of Ron Miel (Honey Run). It came in shot glasses but the 2 bottles I brought home with me get poured into glasses as one shot just isn’t enough. While at Vicky & Antonio’s I enjoyed some killer spanish omelets for lunch and great company in the afternoons while I enjoyed many a Cruzcampo and some entertainment from the locals that stopped in.

Lastly was Miguels. Just a short (Abbey might argue) walking distance from her place. I was here every night laughing and getting the story on everyone. Miguel speaks Spanish and I speak English yet we still managed to have several conversations where I’m sure we both understood each other (ignoring alcohol intake of course). This man is my driving force behind trying to learn Spanish. Even with Abbey translating for me he would always speak to me and is seriously one of the nicest guys I met there (I’m not just saying that because of the free beer he gave us either). Hopefully come the end of the year I can return for his big new years party and thank the man in Spanish for all of his hospitality.

Venta Canuto San Ambrosio - Miguels Bar

There was so much more to this little town than what is above. So many more people met at the bar, more to see and I didn’t even get started on how much they love their horses down this way. It’s just a place that has that something extra that flips the right switch or opens your eyes that bit more to capture you.

Do you have a place like that? The one where you arrived knowing nothing but left with just amazing love for the place. Let me know in the comments below.

Always check foreign currency exchange rates before you leave to make sure you get the most of your money.

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13 Responses to Where I Fell In Love With Spain, San Ambrosio

  1. GAYE @ PINAYTRAVELJUNKIE August 15, 2011 at 3:05 PM #

    Oh how I love quaint towns! Now adding El Palomar de la Brena on our list.

  2. CAT August 15, 2011 at 3:32 PM #

    My husband’s and my dream is to get a beach house on the same coastline and spend all of August there for our birthdays!! Lovely place.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 16, 2011 at 8:30 AM #

      Cat it sure is a nice bit of coastline that’s for sure, especially with the view of Morocco. Let me know when you get the house so I can come stay too 🙂

  3. CAILIN August 15, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

    I visit every place hoping to make it be that special to me. The last place I visited that I couldn’t / can’t stop talking about would definitely have to be parts of Iceland. 🙂

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 16, 2011 at 8:34 AM #

      Cailin you just want to go back to Iceland to try a bit more of that tasty shark right

  4. ANDI OF MY BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURES August 16, 2011 at 1:09 AM #

    I love Spain soooo much too! Must check this city out next time I’m there.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 16, 2011 at 8:35 AM #

      You should Andi but I wouldn’t call it a city. Certainly a nice out of the way part of Spain that I’m glad I got to experience.

  5. MICA August 16, 2011 at 3:46 PM #

    Recently went to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia and was so impressed. Sad to say I knew next to nothing about Malaysia and now its one of my favorite spots. The tea plantations, the cool weather, I love loved it. So much to see and not enough time-which works for me so now I get to go back in December! We met some people in Thailand that are from Spain so now we have a base to explore from when we eventually get there! And I love me some horses.

  6. STEPHANIE - THE TRAVEL CHICA August 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM #

    That place for me is San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. It was mostly about the people I met. But it was also the most relaxing 10 days of my life. There was not much to do in this beach town, but I never got bored.

  7. BRENDAN VAN SON August 21, 2011 at 4:32 PM #

    Oh great… you’re learning Spanish… now you can rave about how great vegemite is in a second language haha. I wonder if I can forget Spanish? haha Good luck out there buddy!

  8. MACK REYNOLDS August 23, 2011 at 8:59 PM #

    nice post. love the pictures. i like how ancient the buildings look, with the arches and such.

  9. ZABLON MUKUBA August 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM #

    spain sounds awesome

  10. ROBBIE September 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM #

    Yo man, I am going here for two months in february, I was wondering how expensive it is there? I wont be eating out and will be trying to keep spending down but was just wondering, I dont drink so not too concerned with bars and stuff, just food and transport etc… Cheers! Great blog by the way

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