Last update: April 26, 2022
7 minutes read
[This article was originally published on March 1, 2022 with the title "Three proposals for your Easter holidays in Cadiz" and it has been adapted and extended for the entire spring and not just for Easter].
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Although for some people it's in the summer itself, for many people the first contact with the sea ocurrs in spring. Sunny days, good temperatures (or our hopes for them), many hours a day of sunlight, walks along the coast, sailing, riding a bike, boat, or ultralight… There're many possibilities in the spring. If you don't know what to do in spring in Cadiz, three proposals are described in this article.. This article focuses mainly on the particularities of activities and places in Cadiz at this beautiful time of year, differentiating it from others, especially from the summer. We hope that you enjoyed the article and we hope also that you was useful for you.
1. Windsurfing in Tarifa (Cadiz), as a nautical activity
Many nautical activitiesare frequently practiced in Cadiz: kayaking, jet skiing, diving, spearfishing, light sailing... The conditions of the Cadiz coast for practicing these activities are amazing. Naturally, there are many other good places for surfing and its derived sports, but the Cadiz coast has many privileged spots where they can be done.
In this context, the conditions of Tarifa, in Cadiz, as the "mecca of the wind", are well known. In Tarifa there are many very good places (or "spots" as they are also known) where windsurfing can be done. If you have never practiced windsurf, then I encourage you to look for a school. There, you will learn faster and better and your safety will be well preserved. There are several windsurf schools around the capital of the wind, especially in the Valdevaqueros Bay, in which we focus on in this article. I have always particularly liked the school of the ION Club, historically located in the area known as "El Tumbao" and currently placed in “El Bibo Beach House, Tarifa”. The club is 200 meters -more or less- far from the N-340 national road at the place known as Casas de Porros (see on the map). You can also rent windsurfing material there, if your level is intermediate or advanced.
There are other windsurf schools in Tarifa . Besides the ION Club, my suggestions are “La Duna“, next to the Dune of the Valdevaqueros Bay (see on the map) and the Spin Out (see on the map). Also, there are other itinerant windsurf schools without a physical location.
Below, there are some tips to practice windsurfing in Tarifa in spring.
- In summer you can navigate with a “shorty” wetsuit, but in spring in Cadiz the water will surely still be quite cold and you will need a full body wetsuit.
- In March or April the presence of windsurfers (and tourists) is small when compared to July or August, except in the Easter, especially from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
- Although the solar radiation is lower that in the summer, we recommend that you used sunscreen.
- Please, pay attention to East winds (Levante) in Tarifa which is very common in the area, especially in spring. These wind directions areoffshorein the Atlantic coast of the Strait of Gibraltar. If you had a problem with Levante here, due to an injury or to a material breakage, it will be more difficult to solve, because of the leeway .
- If you have some knowledge of windsurfing, it will be useful for you to know that what is usually used in this area is small windsurfing stuff, around an average maximum of 5.5m2 of sailing area and an average minimum of 4.0m2, approximately.
- If what you want is to learn windsurfing on your own or with, for example, an experienced friend, I suggest the mouth of the Río del Valle (see on the map), at high tide. In the spring the water is comfortably “warm” there.
- In addition to the Valdevaqueros Bay, you can also sail in other places at the coast of Tarifa. With Poniente (Western winds) I would suggest the area known as "Arte and Vida" (see on the map), although you need to have a good level of windsurfing to sail there. And with Levante, you can practice windsurf in Bolonia, near the Serenade beach bar (see on the map).
- Material thefts are not usually frequent in Tarifa, but pay attention, if you go with your own windsurfing equipment.
2. In spring in Cadiz, ride in a helicopter
From an early age, I loved the Strait of Gibraltar; fantastic views, two seas (one of them as an ocean) and many great events in human history. When I traveled from Algeciras to Ceuta, or the route in the opposite direction, I did it by boat, since there were no alternatives. The distance between the two cities was and still is too short to be done by commercial airplanes. I always thought that the aerial views of this privileged enclave would be impressive. So, I recently thought about the idea of making the Strait of Gibraltar trip by helicopter. I remembered that a few years ago there was a company that offered helicopter routes from Jerez de la Frontera to Ceuta. I searched the Internet and I found that this trip is no longer available… What a pity! However I found the Hélity company, which offers the Algeciras-Ceuta route by helicopter.
No sooner said than done, I booked a return ticket from Ceuta to Algeciras, since I decided to make the little voyage to the African continent by boat, bringing back memories of good old times.
Some tips or personal recommendations for this beautiful journey:
- for security reasons, you cannot photograph or film the helicopter from the outside and even less to take pictures from the inside. That is the reason why photographs of this trip do not appear in this article. I know it's a pity, but they are the safety regulations. On the positive side, the views will be remain etched on your mind.
- Also for security reasons, there is a prohibited items list, which you can may read in this web page.
- The trip time is just fifteen minutes. So, it's too short if you are looking for a leisure activity. At least it was too short for me, since I was used to the seventy-minute boat trip.
- The cabin is "cozy", since the number of passengers is fifteen, more or less.
- Don't be scared if the wind is strong, no matter Levante or from any other direction. The travel is safe and the company applies the appropriate safety precautions. Thus, you may focus on enjoying yourself -if you are in your idle time- and on providing you with a comfortable, safe and fast trip, anyway.
- The Algeciras heliport is located in the same Algeciras port, but Ceuta's heliport is not in the same port, but it is about 2 km from it. I have to confess that for the Ceuta-Algeciras trip I went to the port and not to the Ceuta town heliport and I was near of missing the flight.
Definitely, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar seems to me to be a very original and relatively affordable activity to do in spring in Cadiz.
3. Hiking through cliffs and unspoilt coves on the coast of Cadiz
The coves of Conil de la Frontera (Cadiz) are clustered in two large groups: the Roche or Poniente (West) coves and the Levante (East) coves. The first ones are the furthest from the town of Conil and we have commented them a few weeks ago in this other post.
There are five Levante coves. From West to East they are: Cala (Cove) Melchor, Cala de Los Pitones, Cala de El Sudario, Cala Camacho and Cala de El Puntalejo. The set of the first three coves is known as Calas de El Quinto. With respect to Cala de El Aceite, there are people who prefer to include it within the Levante coves (for example, in this article) and there are also others (read, for example, this other post) that classify it as an intermediate cove between the Levante coves and the Poniente coves, without strictly belonging to neither of the two groups.
Our proposed trial begins at Cala de El Aceite. You should take the CA-4202 road from the Roche residential complex to Conil. You can take this road from Conil to Roche or on the opposite direction. Let's assume the second option. In this case, pass the Roche onlooking tower (if you have time, you may stop there for a while to see the sights) and after 2 km -more or less- you should turn right, taking then the dirty track that leads to Cala de El Aceite, where a campsite and a car park are located (see on the map).
Once you leave your car parked, the walking route points to the left (to the East), through a trial that runs along the coast and along a reddish soils cliff which ends at Cala de El Puntalejo.
For this activity we would like to point the following tips.
- In summer these coves, although they are not exploited for tourism, become overcrowded. Outside of the summer season, they are very quiet places, thus becoming ideal destinations and routes to do in the spring in Cadiz.
- Because of their peace, they are very suitable for the practice of nudism.
- Due to their orientation, these coves protect against North winds and against winds with a North component. They can also help somewhat in terms of Levante protection. On the other hand, we do not recommend them with West winds and/or with South component winds.
- On these beaches, fine golden sand alternates with rocks and stones. It may be a good idea to wear shoes that protect against blows. Some booties may be very useful.
- The accesses to these coves are steep. So, we do not recommend them for people with reduced mobility. We contacted the Conil Town Hall to let us know about them and they recommended not to try to go down to Cala Melchor, Cala de Los Pitones and Cala del Sudario, since the access to them is very difficult.
- They have no beach services, such as lifeguards or beach bars. So, we recommend you to be careful and also to bring enough water and drinks, although not too much, to avoid too much weight.
- Sometimes it may be possible to have lack of telephone signal.
Have you already decided what to do in spring in Cadiz? Whether the answer is yes or no (or you are still in doubt), we would like to read you in the comments.