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A Holiday at Sea – Sighting Killer Whales off Tarifa

From mid-July to mid-September, around 50 killer whales grouped into five families can be sighted in the Strait of Gibraltar off Tarifa. And, if you’re a lover of these giant mammals, what an adventure you can have watching whales, dolphins and killer whales in their natural environment, toying with vessels and swimming to-and-fro through this sheet of water that joins the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean.

CIRCE (Conservation, Information and Research on Cetaceans) estimates that the striped, bottlenose, and common dolphin, and the short-finned pilot whale have their habitat in this Strait separating Europe and Africa. However, in mid-spring there are also sporadic sightings of sperm whales and such stunning mammals as the finback whale, measuring 20 metres long and weighing over 80 tons – one of the largest animals on the planet.

Killer whales are more on show in summer as they chase the tuna fish that head across the Strait of Gibraltar to the Atlantic at that time of year.

Tarifa is the Spot

But, the fun doesn’t stop there. Tarifa has a lot more to offer as it is one of Europe’s most attractive and cosmopolitan towns. It is a meeting point for young people from all over the world, drawn by the spectacular beaches and by the windsurfing and kitesurfing. If to that you add the entertainment provided by nature itself, the fun is guaranteed!

For those of you who prefer to be onterra firma,you can go for other activities you are sure to relish. In Tarifa, you can visit the beaches of Valdevaqueros and Bolonia, with their massive dunes which on clear days afford views of North Africa. Another essential enclave is Baelo Claudia, one of the major archaeological sites on the Peninsula. It is ideal for gauging what a typical Roman settlement would have been like, with its amphitheatre, roads, fish factories and walls. This was an important Roman settlement as it was here that the famous garum sauce was made and exported to Rome. The fish sauce was made of fermented entrails and regarded by Romans as an aphrodisiac.

Another of Tarifa’s emblematic monuments is the Castle of Guzmán El Bueno whose claim to fame is provided by the chilling tale of his preferring to hand over his son to the invaders than surrender the stronghold of Tarifa.

Make sure you don’t leave Tarifa without first trying their fresh fish, either in the bars or the beach stalls known as chiringuitos,or without tasting the delicious pastries with their long, Arab tradition in the town centre’s pastry shops.

Here you will be treated to a host of options, each with their own charm. So, take up your backpack, Vueling and fly to Jerez to enjoy one of southern Europe’s most powerful natural spots.

Text by Amparo Ortega and María del Águila Heras (Patronato Turismo de Cádiz)

Images by Patronato Turismo de Cádiz

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Fall in Love with Beaches in Cádiz

The highly awaited magical sunsets are a very special moment for locals and tourists who celebrate it from the beach and its chiringuitos. A show full of breathtaking colour tones from blue to orange, from red to purple, due to the effect of Rayleigh dispersion, an atmospherical effect of great beauty. To enjoy better these magical sunsets, you should take Pepa Cádiz which will take you through the bay of Cadiz.

Gastronomy, sun, and more than 80 beaches of all kind, fine sand and clear waters, makes the province of Cadiz one of the most popular destinations in summer. Let's make a route to the most beautiful beaches in Cadiz.

Playa de La Caleta (Cádiz)
Located at the border of Cadiz historic center. Some of the scenes for films such as Alatriste, El Amor Brujo and 007:Die Another Day, with Halle Berry coming out from the water, were rolled at this beach. Balneario de la Palma and Castillo de San Sebastián recreated the typical atmosphere of Cuba island. Not surprisingly, Cadiz is a city twinned with La Habana.

Playa de Cortadura (Cádiz)
The longest beach in Cadiz, with its nearly 4 kiómetros long and the only one considered unspoilt, is located next to the walls of Cortadura which served as the defense of the city from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. In an area of the beach of sand dunes nudism is allowed.

Calas de Conil
Some coves of beautiful landscapes. All around, there are some marked trails between juniper fields for walking and cycling. Especially recommended Cala Del Pato. From here you can access the Cala Roche (also known as the Unknown), in which there is some permissiveness for nudism (as in the Cala Tio Juan de Medina). It lies at the foot of a cliff.

Playas de Trafalgar (Caños de Meca)
Although the core of Caños de Meca is small, it has lots of clean calm-water beaches and some coves where you can enjoy of some privacy. The beaches at Faro de Trafalgar are generally wilder and therefore less crowded. Here you can forget about everything and enjoy the quiet of their sands, despite the impression created when remembering that the famous Battle of Trafalgar happened in these waters in 1805 But there is also crowded family beaches as Playa del Pirata, which has numerous facilities and beach bars.

Zahara de los Atunes
If you would love a nice beach but you also need other incentives, come toZahara de los Atunes. You will enjoy from the better atmosphere and its delicious cuisine in its beach bars Before arriving in Tarifa there is just one of the most spectacular beaches advancing inland, practically virgin, with a dune over 30 meters. Come to the natural pools of Claudia, near the Roman ruins, created by erosion. Deep yourself into its green clay; your skin will get smoother than with any beauty treatments.

Playas de Tarifa
Located opposite the junction of Mediterranean waters and the Atlantic Ocean the beaches of Tarifa are worldwide popular for its ideal conditions for windsurfing, kite surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling. The beach Rio Jara, at the mouth of the river Jara , is a favorite for windsurfing and kitesurfing, especially for beginners in the shallow waters. Like the northern beach of the Lances But if you prefer a quieter beach on the southern beach area of the Lances are not allowed to windsurf or kitesurf in July and August, as in the Playa Chica, the last beach on the Mediterranean.

Picture La Caleta by emijrp/ picture Playa de Bolonia by Anual/ picture Punta Paloma by Manuel Gonzalez Olaechea

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Towers of Bologna

Buildings that challenge gravity with their inclination always cause profound impact, though this peculiarity that makes them famous also can totally destroy them. Pisa has its Leaning Tower and Venice had the San Marcos inclined hasbell – rebuilt after collapsing the original construction in 1902 – Bologna has many inclined medieval towers, one of the most characteristic elements and icons of the city, who have defied earthquakes, bombings and, in general, neglect of man.

The history of these towers is very curious. The most conservative estimations counts about 100 towers crowding the medieval city of Bologna, some of them could even reach 100 meters high. These towers were built for the purpose of demonstrating family lineages’s power; the richer the family lineage, the higher was the tower. As time passes by, the towers were demolished or collapsed and the ones which still stand, were taken for other uses – prisons, homes or shops.

Among the most significant towers that still remain include the towers of Garisenda and Asinelli. Those towers are mentioned by Dante Alighieri, who lived in Bologna, in the Divine Comedy. You can visit Asinelli tower ascending its 500 steps. It has 97.6 meters in height and 3.2 meters inclination while Garisenda tower, which is on its side, is 48 meters high and a lower inclination.

Picture by Onanymous

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What to do for a weekend in Bologna?

If you are just about to land in Bologna, and you wonder what to do in this medieval city in northern Italy, capital of Emilia-Romagna region and home to the oldest university in Europe, you just hit the mark: following we suggest some of the amazing experiences you can have in this lovely land known as La Rossa, due to the red facades of their buildings:

1.-Take a walk around Portico di San Luca, the longest in the world

In Bologna is easy to meet with History in every corner. Take a walk down to its famous porch leading fromPorta Saragozza, crossing Arco del Meloncello, to Sanctuary de la Madonna di San Luca. It is a tradition between locals and pilgrims and you may admire this spectacular renaissance architecture whose length is 3.8 km and 666 arcs. Once at the top of the hill where this iconic and majestic sanctuary stands, you may enjoy from its stunning views to the city and to the Apennines. The most athletic ones can do this tour running or biking along the rails ouside of the porch.

2.- Discover historic center in Bologna

If you go deep into the historic center, you will know the real paradigm for Bolognese life. You should begin by Piazza Maggiore and Piazza Neptune, where there stands many monuments as the Basilica di San Petronio and you will come across different palaces, crossing Piazza San Stefano with its respective church and ending at Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, where you will find Le Due Torri, the iconic towersGarisenda and Asinelli. You can go up this latter for an old city’s panoramic view until five in the afternoon. The best pizzeria in town, Due Torri, is at its feet where it is usual to ask for take-away portions for only 2 euros each and quietly eat at Piazza Verdi, where most people get together while gazing at the Teatro Comunale.

3.- Move to the Bolognese Night’s rhythm

Bologna is a youth-oriented city. Proof of this is the great university atmosphere there and the best way to live it is by going to Via del Pratello or to La Scuderia in Piazza Verdi to get ready with the typical ” aperitivi ” based on some snacks, pizza and spritz before going party.. There are plenty of bars and music pubs on this street where sure the fun begins. In Via Broccaindosso there is a curious medical students association with such a great atmosphere and live concerts . This is a small and bizarre venue you get down by a staircase , from which you can enjoy live gigs while browsing the medical books from their shelves . The most odd combination, the most entertaining it is. Bring your own drinks is allowed. Finally , we should mention one of the best electronic music club in Bologna , disco Link, located on the outskirts of the city.

4.- Give Yourself A Treat

 Via della Independenzia is the center for Bologna’s comerce. Also, you can go to Montagnola‘s market tracking its many stalls because surely you will end up with some wonderful piece. If you prefer more traditional and chic shopping, you’d better go to the city center, where you will find all kinds of boutiques and a wide range of well known brands.

5.- Try the best of its cuisine

 To feel like a true bolognese, enter a “salumerie” or deli and take one mortadella di Bologna or tortellini, region’s typical food . You can not say goodbye to this wonderful city without tasting the wonderful “taggliatelle Ragu-style accompanied by a good wine”. La Trattoria del Rosso is a perfect place for this. To taste local products, Tamburini is a classic, having a shop to purchase a variety of delicatessen. They serve tables of meats and cheeses, oils and local wines. Il Veliero is the ideal restaurant for fish lovers, whose specialty is “risotto ai frutti di mare”. Finally, icecreams at Gelateria Gianni or La Sorbetteria are a must.


Picture by Szs

By Blanca Frontera

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