Beaches - Bolonia

Bolonia beach is perfect for a weekend trip with friends. © istock
Bolonia beach is perfect for a weekend trip with friends.

Popular with Sunday day trippers, but quiet in the week. Large sand dunes to the north and military land ensure it will always remain totally undeveloped. Visit the ruins of the Roman town . The village to the south is waking up to tourists very quickly and bars and hotels are opening up.

The large bay is reached from the narrow 7km road CAP 2216 and is reached by a road passing over a col between two rocky hills, the Sierra de la Plata (459m) and the Lomo de San Bartolomé (444m).

South part of the bay

Escape to the Costa de La Luz. © Michelle Chaplow
Escape to the Costa de La Luz

The southern part of Bolonia’s bay is dominated by three very popular wooden beach bar/restaurants: La Cabaña, Los Caracoles (snails), and El Tucan. This is a very popular watersports area, and the zones where you are allowed to use water craft are marked out by yellow buoys. Hip young wind and kite surfers head here, especially when there is a levante (a strong easterly wind) is blowing, although the wind is as strong as the Atlantic blows at Tarifa, Punto Paloma or Valdevequeros, but many are now favouring Bolonia as opposed to overcrowded Tarifa. There is also a separate swimming space for bathers, also clearly marked by yellow buoys.

Isolated naturist coves

Parking the car at the end of the village road opposite La Cabaña bar and continuing south on through the fields or on the beach you can visit a number of isolated coves which are officially designated as naturist beaches by Tarifa town council. A red paint sign on the wall or a derilict wartime pill box advises sun worshipers. Conversely there is also a signs in the village reminding visitors that clothes must be worn.

Centre part of Bolonia bay

At the central part of the bay the beach is favoured by families because of the Red Cross emergency first aid point and Lifeguard lookout. There is plenty of free parking here. The beach bars here now rent sunbeds and sun shades. Much to the delight of those who like comfort and much to the disappointment of the purists who can be overheard to say. “How things are changing in Andalucia, you can even find sunbeds on the beach in Bolonia now!” What would they say if Tarifa council ever built a seafront prom in Bolonia?

North part of Bolonia bay

Bolonia Beach

The Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia are just to the north of the present settlement. They show how important the town used to be as a fish salting community. There is a large car park just by the ruins. Those visitors with more interest in the great outdoors than history can still park here and head off to the beach.

You can treat yourself to a refreshing drink or meal in either the Bar Ortega or Bar La Bahia, two very cool locations in between the ruins and the beach. The terraces of these sheltered bars are a popular spot on a weekend lunchtime in the winter. Sunbeds can be hired on the beach.

At the north end of the bay the golden sand blows up the peninsula to form a huge sand dune system. It is said to be one of the biggest in Europe. Many would-be explorers attempt to climb the dune and see what is on the other side. Unfortunately, they are disappointed: after a series of false summits the dune simply fades into the pine forest.

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