Algeciras - Beaches
To the west of Algeciras are four small coves with beaches with access only on foot. After passing through Getares on the CA-233 from Algeciras you pass some small coves called Cala de la Cañonera, Cala de la Mozilla, and after the lighthouse on Punta Carnero you reach Cala de la Para and the small district on the coast called Zona Punta Carnero. At the edge of the village the road stops and a track begins so park the car and walk. The first cove is called Cala Fuerte with its small island called Isla de las Palomas, the second is called Cala del Peral. After Punta de la Tia Abelica is a third small unnamed cove, after Punta Chorilito is the largest and best sandy beach Cala Arenas.
The next headland is called Punta del Fraile, on it stands the ruins of Fuerte San Diego which was built by Spain in 1730 following the British capture of Gibraltar in 1704 forming a ‘Spanish line' of defense to prevent any further invasions. In particular Fuerte de San Diego protected a possible landing in the sheltered Cala Arenas. The fort was destroyed with others such as Santa Barbara in La Linea by the British Colonel Sir Charles Holloway on 1810 to prevent Napoleon taking advantage of the defensive line to attack Gibraltar.
High on the hillside can be seen the square landmark of Torre del Fraile, built in 1588 by Luis Bravo de Acuña and links line of site from Tarifa to Gibraltar. The tower is over six metres wide at the base and it was over thirteen metres high until the top collapsed in 2006 with the loss of a window and the upper staircase. Four km further west the ruins of Fuerte del Tolmo overlooks another isolated and deserted sandy cove.
Playa de el Chinarral is a small crowded urban beach located between the shipping entrance to the Port of Algeciras and the Punta de San Garcia on which sits the ruins of the 1730 Fuerte San Garcia which formed part of the 'Spanish lines' of defence.
Also known as Playa de San García, is a large and sandy beach that stretches for around a kilometre to the west of Algeciras town. The popular beach boasts a wide area of fine, golden sand, which stretches out into the sea, except for a few rocky areas at the far end. The area is fairly well protected from the winds, making it more tranquil than some of the nearby coastline. The beach is well-equipped during the summer (1 June - 31 August) with public toilets and showers, changing rooms, parasols and sun loungers for hire, life guards and several beach bars. There are also several restaurants that are open all year round, several children's play areas and a paseo maritimo with disabled access.
Playa de Getares is easy to access from the town of Algeciras or from the CA-233 of the N-340 road on the outskirts of Algecira (Tarifa side). There is plenty of nearby parking and a bus that serves the beach from Algeciras.
Playa de El Rinconcillo is one of the most visited beaches in Algeciras. The fine, golden sand stretches for around 4km from the entrance to Algeciras port to the mouth of Río Palmones, alongside the urban area of El Rinconcillo. The beach is completely open to the Bahiá de Algeciras (otherwise known as the Bay of Gibraltar) and gives views across to the majestic Rock of Gibraltar and Morocco (on a clear day), as well as to the commercial port which is slightly less pleasing on the eye. For history buffs, here there are also some Roman ovens from the first century which have been declared a historical artistic monument.
The beach is equipped with lifeguards, a Red Cross post and flags to signal the sea conditions, as well as public bathrooms, showers and the possibility to hire sun lounger, parasols and pedalos. There are also plenty of bars with terraces (only open in the summer) and disabled access to the beach. Nearby there is plenty of parking next to the bus stop and taxi rank, as well as a campsite. El Rinconcillo beach can be accessed easily on the road from the port or from the town centre (towards Malaga). There is also a footpath from the town centre that passes the cemetery and the sports area.
On the other side of the río Palmones from Rinconcillo, and there is no direct connection, there is the smaller Playa de Palmones in the Palmones district of Los Barrios. Despite its size, the pretty beach by the river mouth has a promenade and is equipped with toilets, showers, disabled access and a maintenance service. There are also several bars and restaurants nearby, as well as a hotel. Little boats are moored in the river estuary with is also a march and proctected natural area. The beach is 700m long and its west end abuts the high concrete wall of the Palmones industrial estate. The pretty oasis of a beach is spoiled (or surrealistically enhanced) by the proximity to industrial complexes, factory chimneys and oil tankers in the bay.
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