Paris - Dakar Rally

Paris-Dakar Rally in Andalucia

Dakar route 2008

Dakar route 2008

Since its inception in 1978 most annual editions of the 'Paris Dakar Rally' began in Paris and crossed Andalucia to North Africa en Route to Dakar in Sengal. Some years the start location was changed from Paris. In 1995 and 1996 the start was in Granada. In 1997 the start and finsh was Dakar routing via Niger. In 1999 the start returned tp Granada. In 2000 the route was Daka to Cairo. 2001 was the conventional Paris to route start. From 2006 the start was Lisbon. However after four French tourists were murdered in Mauritania in December 2007, the Janury 2008 Lisbon start event was cancelled the day before it was diue to start. The tragedy together with direct terrorist threats against future rallies, had the organisers looking for a new venue.

Since January 2009, the renmed 'Dakar Rally' has taken place in South America, generally starting and leaving from Buenos Aires, Argentina in a 9,000 kilometre loop. According to those in charge, the chosen course offered all the same challenges and types of terrain that participants enjoyed on the traditional route.

The rally has been held in Saudi Arabia since 2020 and since 2022, the rally has been the season-opening round of the World Rally-Raid Championship jointly sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme.

Route in Andalucia

Each year, around new year the Paris - Dakar Rally used to bring crowds of fans to Andalucia. Cars, Motorbikes, Quads, and Trucks competed for titles in this huge media event as they travelled from Paris, down through Andalucia and then across the North Africa.

The route changed every year but the first few days of the two weewk event were from Paris to Southern France, Southern France to Northern Spain and Northern Spain to North Africa usually crossing from Algeciras, Malaga or Motril. These first few days were not actually a race, with the organisers calling it a 'liaison' stage but the crowds still gathered by the road to cheer on the competitors.