The Mirador del Estrecho viewpoint, in Tarifa (Cadiz): two continents within a hand's reach

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The Mirador del Estrecho viewpoint is located six kilometres from the urban centre of Tarifa. It is an exceptional vantage point which lets you contemplate the rugged Cadiz coast of the Mediterranean, whilst getting a glimpse of the outline of Africa on the horizon.

To get to the Mirador del Estrecho you need to go along the N-340 motorway which runs between Algeciras and Tarifa. Although something like that could be expected, it is not a viewpoint on the beachfront. It is on a hillock on the climb to the Bujeo mountain pass, 300 metres above sea level, located within the Estrecho Natural Park. This park covers the strip of coast between Getares inlet, the entry to Algeciras bay, and the cape of Gracia, on the Atlantic Coast.

At your feet spread out the hillsides of the Cadiz undergrowth, which are going to precipitate towards the Mediterranean in the Tolmo inlet. Unlike the Atlantic coast, famous for its beaches, this stretch of coast is very rugged.

When you raise your gaze, the perspective is another. First, a large and powerful arm of sea appears; this is the Gibraltar Strait. The viewpoint's location means you can enjoy this view even on days when it is bad at sea or storms.

 

Mount Mousa, the guardian of Africa 

And behind the waters of the strait, we can make out the coast of Morocco. It is only 15 km away and is usually perfectly visible. At times, the mist may disturb the view. Even so, we can see how the silhouette of Mount Mousa rises up behind. This is a coastal mountain, 851 m high, which unavoidably attracts our attention. 

Many specialists consider this limestone peak to be one of the two pillars of Hercules cited in the myth of this character. The other would clearly be the Rock of Gibraltar. To the left we can make outCeuta, which can reached by ferry from Algeciras.

Your time at the viewpoint, which has nothing more than a small bar, also serves to get an idea of the Cadiz inland countryside. It is in fact very close to the geographic limits of the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, which extends to the white mountain villages Cadiz.

 

Tarifa, the wind capital 

From the viewpoint, travellers can head towards Tarifa, a city dominated by the Guzmán el Bueno castle, which presides over the port. Its historic district is formed by small streets containing dozens of restaurants, shops and premises devoted to wind surfers. Thanks to its extraordinary wind conditions, Tarifa is this sport's European capital. To try it, there is nothing better than to visit the beaches of Los Lances, Punta Paloma or Valdevaqueros.

The area also offers good restaurants to try the plentiful fish and seafood found here. Leaving Tarifa towards Cadiz you will find the La Codorniz and Hurricane restaurants  (Recommended by the Repsol Guide). At the first you should try the dishes with bullet tuna and sea-bream, fish plentiful in the area. At the second, the fish and meat and cooked on a wood grille.

If you don't mind taking a drive, going towards Gibraltar, you will find the small village of Palmones, to the north of Algeciras. One of its main attractions is Mesón El Copo (Awarded 1 Sol Repsol), an institution of Cadiz fish and seafood cooking

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