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Algeciras Mini Guide
Algeciras in Spain is a port and a winter resort on the country's southern tip, with a large export trade in cork from nearby forests. It was originally settled by Spanish refugees from Gibraltar after the rock was captured by the English in 1704. In 1906 an International Conference to decide the future of Morocco was held at Algeciras.
Algeciras has been a port of call for travellers and this industrial conurbation was visited by Moors, Moroccans and Arabs throughout the ages as they passed through the Bay of Gibraltar. One of the world’s most used ports, Algeciras is also popular with tourists who want to get to Tarifa or explore the wildlife of the area which includes migrating birds and whales.
Situated in the Cadiz providence of Southern Spain, Algeciras is an industrial centre with a nearby deep water container port and a large fishing fleet. It has not been an obvious holiday destination, but those who take the time to look will find charming old parts of the city which have been preserved much as they were in the 1950s. The best part is called San Isidro which has stunning religious buildings, hundreds of years old.
This once elegant resort is now regaining some of its former allure. It boasts some of the best sandy beaches on the Costa Del Sol and a lively atmosphere, while the weather is as fine as is to be expected in Southern Spain. There are plenty of tree lined avenues within the city for visitors to stroll down and Algeciras has an appeal and atmosphere all of its own.
Spanish and Arab cultures mix there with many of the road signs written in the latter language and it is possible to drink Moroccan mint tea within the tea houses. The most famous hotel in the city, the Hotel Reina Cristina, has had some of the most famous guests in the world such as Winston Churchill, Rock Hudson and Deborah Kerr. They are just some of the many adventurers who have visited this colourful town over the years.
More modest accommodation comes in the form of the three star Al Mar Hotel and the two star Hotel Villa de Algar. Most people who visit Algeciras will be heading through on their way to the popular tourist destinations of Tangier and Morocco, or on to other parts of Europe and Africa.
It is possible to rent a car there and take it on the ferry for the all inclusive one or two day trips which are offered from this city. There is also an incredibly scenic train trip to be taken to the nearby town of Ronda past the picturesque villages of San Roque, Castellar de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera and Benaojan.
Visiting Algeciras is an ideal holiday for those who are looking to combine historical interest with the excitement of travel.
- If you're looking for a good beach for your stay, try El Riconcillo. It's a beautiful sandy beach, over four kilometres long and with all the facilities you could need for a day by the sea.
Algeciras' traditional export is now to be celebrated in a 'Cork Festival' taking place at the traditional time of year for cork harvesting - late spring. The festival will include demonstrations of how the cork is harvested and what it is used for. You'll also be able to buy cork based gifts to take home.