[ blog » 2023 » 09_South-West ]d27: Tarifa ( by Philipp Gesang, location: El Puerto de Santa Maria)


From Algeciras it is only a short trip through the hills to Tarifa, the southernmost point of continental Spain and Europe. From up there on the summits one has a stunning view over the Strait and across to Morocco. As yesterday the shipping traffic is quite dense down there between the two oceans. I’m not quite sure at what point in the Strait the Mediterranean becomes the Atlantic, geographically speaking, but west of Tarifa it is certainly the latter.

I didn’t spend much time sightseeing in Tarifa as the wind was becoming a real nuisance. On that sandbank connecting the mainland and La Isla the sand particles were flying around with a velocity that a strong gust felt like getting sandblasted. Wind and beaches, Tarifa is not a fun place to spend vacation time in.


Today I got lucky in that I hade more tailwind than headwind. Already on the hills before Tarifa furious winds were blowing and it kept on more or less like that all day. Depending on the angle of attack those winds were outright dangerous as coming from the sides they threatened to push me over which can be quite scary when it happens going downhill at 60 km/h.

Cádiz is not easy to get to – that is unless you’re traveling in a four wheeled tin can in which case you get your pick of autovias. I ended up skipping on the town and went directly to El Puerto de Santa Maria, where Columbus embarked on hist trip to find the lost continent. The route there I could for the most part ride on the main Nacional road which made for efficient travel. Sadly near the Bahía that road turned into an autovia as well so I had to improvise. The resulting detour so close to the end of the day involved gravel roads through the wetlands lining the southeast of the bay.


Details of the return trip still need some ironing out. After reading the claim on the ALSA website that their branch officies are supposed to sell travel bags for bikes I went to the one at the Algeciras harbor first thing in the morning – well, after their morning as it was already 9:30 when the office opened. The "conversation" with the clerk there was hilarious; I inquired about that bag first thing but it took half an hour of talking to her about all the details I had already looked up online for her to inform me eventually that there was in fact no such bag at that office.

My quest for the funda trasporte continued in El Puerto where the local Decathlon – the most enormous of their stores I’ve ever seen – was listed as having one in stock. To my disappointment but not entirely unexpected I was told that the website was in fact wrong, again. Inaccurate online information seems to be the overarching theme these days. Hopefully I can sort this bag business out tomorrow.

After yesterday’s race against the ferry schedule on Ceuta I deserved an easy day like today with 142 km distance and a mere 1100 m of climbing. The tailwind too contributed to making this the hell of a recovery ride.

gps tracks

[view GPS data in mapbox]


gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail