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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Algeciras

Algeciras Holidays

You'll get a taste of authentic Spain with a cosmopolitan twist in this busy port town. Algeciras has a charming town centre where you'll find traditional tapas bars and restaurants with a fun, friendly feel – and there are two large sandy beaches to stretch out and relax on.

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Authentic Spain with a cosmopolitan twist

Algeciras is a large port and industrial centre located just opposite Gibraltar – which you can see from Algeciras bay. The town's lovely old main square retains evidence of its long history and has pretty, traditional Spanish charm. You'll find a relaxed buzz and cosmopolitan feel in Algeciras due to the busy port. Frequent ferry services head to places such as the duty-free destinations of Cueta and Gibraltar and Tangier in Morocco.

There are two good sized sandy beaches here – El Rinconcillo beach and Blue Flag awarded Getares beach. Both beaches have a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere and calm water – perfect for lazy beach days spent sunbathing, swimming and paddling.

Quick Tips

  • Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • GMT +1

Places to eat, drink and have fun Algeciras style

Many of the bars and restaurants here are family owned and run by locals – giving you a chance to experience a flavour of authentic Spain. There's a good selection of international favourites available, but the real stars here are the excellent tapas choices, traditional Spanish cuisine and delicious fresh fish and seafood dishes. In the town's Moroccan quarter you'll find exotic pastries and other foods, as well as tea shops specialising in traditional Moroccan mint tea.

In the evenings there's a good selection of places to relax, have some party fun and a few drinks – and there's a definite lively Latin vibe to the nightlife atmosphere. There are traditional tapas bars where you can linger and chat with friends, lively pubs with outdoor spaces and cool venues where you'll find live music played by local musicians.

Sights and activities in Algeciras

The town's main square is Plaza Alta, a charming space decorated with colourful ceramic tiles which is regarded as one of the finest in Andalucia. The seats here are covered in tiles which tell the story of the famous fictional character Don Quixote and the history of Algeciras.

Plaza Alta is the hub of Algeciras activity and is surrounded by restaurants and bars where you can relax and linger over drinks or a meal. You can also take a closer look at the fine buildings, the most important being two 18th-century churches – the Iglesia de la Palma and the Capilla de Europa.

Around the main square there's a good selection of places to shop and browse. You'll find local handicrafts, ceramics and embroideries as well as high-end fashion boutiques stocking all the latest trends. There's a market on Tuesday mornings too, where you can look around for bargains and buy fresh local produce.

If you feel like a picnic and some green space, head to the town's local park – Parque Maria Cristina.

Just outside the main town is Bahia Park Water Park – which makes a great destination for a fun family day out. It has eight exciting water rides, lots of children's activities and the largest hot tub in Andalucia.

Pay homage to renowned flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia

Flamenco is one of the most iconic and flamboyant of Spanish traditions with millions of enthusiasts around the world. If you're a flamenco fan, Algeciras town is significant as the birthplace of Paco de Lucia, who is regarded as the greatest and most influential flamenco guitarist and composer of modern times.

Paco de Lucia is the much-loved hero of Algeciras and the town honours its most famous son with a special route around local landmarks and places of interest – the Ruta de Paco de Lucia. You can follow this route on foot, starting at the street he was born in and stopping off at points which were important to the artist, or were mentioned in his songs.

Join in the fiesta

Algeciras holds several big festivals throughout the year – so if you're in town you'll be able to join the excitement of the party. Two of the biggest are the Royal Fair of Algeciras – held in June and the Festival in honour of the Virgin Mary de la Palma – held in August.

If you're visiting in November you're in for have a real treat. On 1st November it's All Saints Day – Fiesta de los Tosantos – which is celebrated all over Spain, but with a difference in Algeciras. Locals do fun things like dressing up as rabbits and making dolls out of fruit with the celebrations lasting all week.

Algeciras offers a beachside destination where you can relax completely, or join in the lively, friendly atmosphere and culture of this interesting Spanish town.