The Mediterranean meets the Atlantic in Algeciras, a picturesque harbour town in Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol. It was the first city the Mores founded when they came to Spain in the eighth century, and their influence is still alive today.
It should be no surprise as the port overlooks Africa and ferries set sail for Tangier and Morocco on an hourly basis, offering an exotic element to your getaway. The blend of Arab and Christian cultures translates into the vibrant city’s architecture. Head to Parque Maria Cristina, a quaint eighteenth-century park where you can marvel at what’s left of the once grand Algeciras Turkish Baths. The Old Town is both home to a neighbourhood dedicated to Saint Isidro and the ruins of the Aljama mosque.
Culture vultures and cosmopolitan holidaymakers are not the only ones who will enjoy this busy resort, however. Nestled in the Eastern end of Algeciras Bay, just a stone’s throw from Gibraltar, there are plenty of beaches lapping at its feet. The fun water park and nearby golf courses also make it popular with families.
The phrase ‘industrial port’ gets used a lot when describing Algeciras, but that shouldn’t throw you off. The likes of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ava Gardner all stayed at the Reina Cristina, the oldest hotel in Andalusia’s coast when they visited this bustling resort. Whether you make it your first stop on the way to discover Andalusia’s pueblos blancos (white villages) or spend two weeks in its sun-drenched coast, we think you’ll fall in love with it too.
Algeciras’s Old Town is crammed full of old-world charm. The Plaza Alta is its main square and a hub of local activity. Lined by cafes, bars and restaurants, it’s a great spot for people watching. Winding, narrow streets lead you to hidden spots like the picturesque Barrio de San Isidro or the Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Europa a restored church. Passionate foodies and self-confessed urbanites will particularly enjoy staying in the heart of Algeciras.
Algeciras locals flock to this sophisticated resort when they want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and so should you. Three golden beaches border its coast and most accommodation overlooks the sea. Though the amenities are basic – there are only a couple of restaurants and a small shopping centre – Alcaidesa is home to two golf courses. It’s a great spot for families and couples, and only a stone’s throw from Algeciras.
Nestled in the southernmost tip of Europe, Tarifa blends paradisiac white sand beaches with a Mediterranean countryside. The coast is ideal for water sports, with plenty of opportunities to ride some waves, go scuba diving or kite-surf. You can even go whale watching! Outdoors lovers should try horse riding across the countryside or hiking in one of the many routes surrounding the town. Holidaymakers from all walks of life will find a home away from home in this Andalusian oasis.
Discover Algeciras’s beaches
Algeciras is well connected to three stunning beaches and you can walk to the Playa Getares from most hotels. The beach is not only convenient, it’s stunning. Expect white, fine sand, a blend of Mediterranean and Atlantic waters and an evening market perfect for picking up artisan souvenirs. Head a little north and you’ll find Playa Rinconcillo, a slightly bigger beach famous for housing live concerts. Playa de Poniente is closer to La Linea resort but also worth a visit for its lively promenade as well as its azure waters.
Explore San Isidro neighbourhood
Lose yourself in Algeciras’s Old Town and you might find this quaint neighbourhood hiding in plain sight. The San Isidro de Labrador chapel sits at the centre of the district and winding, narrow streets lined by whitewashed buildings flow from there. Believed to capture the essence of Algeciras by its locals, you’re very likely to find an outdoor cultural event going on if you visit in the evening.
Family fun at Bahia Park
A visit to Algeciras’s water park is a sure way to enjoy a fun-packed family day out. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker wanting to test your limits, fancy a relaxing stint across the lazy river or a little one looking for some fun, Bahia Park has something for everyone.
Shop at the Ingeniero Torroja Market
Ingeniero Torroja Market is not only a great place to sample some local produce and pick up a handcrafted souvenir, it’s an architectural feat. Declared a Cultural Landmark by the Andalusian Council, it was the largest market hall in the world until the Houston Astro Dome was built. Designed by famous structural engineer Eduardo Torroja, it’s definitely a must visit.
Costa del Sol cuisine
Costa del Sol is home to many Spanish cuisine favourites. Refreshing gazpacho, Jabugo serrano ham and even sherry wine are just some of the dishes native to the Andalusia region. Of course, classic tapas and paella feature in most menus, but the local dishes will definitely blow your mind. It’s well worth sampling a good pescaito frito, especially after watching the fish being brought in fresh from the harbour.
Algeciras has no shortage of eateries and bars to indulge in a delicious meal. From upmarket swanky restaurants to traditional Spanish taverns, there’s something to satisfy every palate. The Moroccan quarter is also a great place to sample delicious pastries and strong coffee. For something a little more international, head to the marina.
Algeciras is an eclectic town perfect for both city breaks and relaxing holidays by the beach. Culture vultures will especially enjoy its rich history and blend of Arabic and Christian architecture, while sun lovers will fall in love with its golden beaches.
Booking your holiday to Algeciras with easyJet holidays is the best way to get to this top destination hassle-free. You’ll also get great deals when you book your flight and hotel with easyJet holidays.
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