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The Spanish Fly - Travels in Spain

The Spanish Fly is a nom de plume of Paul Whitelock who first visited Spain at the age of 20. Now more than 50 years later, he has been to most parts of the country, including nine of the 12 islands. He has owned property in Andalucia since 2001 and has lived in the region for the last 15 years. This blog is a Travelogue about some of the places he has visited.

"Surfin' Safari" to the Costa de la Luz
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 @ 7:34 PM

Next weekend one of our German grand-daughters is coming to visit us here in Andalucia.

Madita, 16, the oldest daughter of Rita's oldest daughter Katrin, is travelling on her own from South Germany to spend a holiday with us. This is her "reward" from her parents for doing so well in her "mittlere Reife", the German equivalent of GCSEs/NVQs.

Our congratulatory gift to Madita, who is named after a Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren character, is to be a surfing lesson, something Madita has never tried but is keen to do.


Off to the Costa de la Luz

So, off we went to Spain's Atlantic coast, northwest of Gibraltar, to do a recce.

Travelling west from Ronda, we soon crossed the provincial border from Malaga into Cadiz, before reaching Arcos de la Frontera*, a super pueblo blanco. Here we turned south towards Vejer de la Frontera* and El Palmar, one of the surfing hubs of this coast which runs from Tarifa up to Cadiz and beyond.

With a stop en route outside Arcos for a much needed coffee, we continued past Medina Sidonia* and Vejer, passing through fields of sunflowers, olive groves, solar panel "plantations" and forests of wind turbines until we reached our destination, the beach at El Palmar.


El Palmar, the beach of Vejer

It seemed relatively "busy" for a Monday, yet we were assured but our lunchtime waiter tha it was "quiet" compared to the Saturday and Sunday just gone.

We're getting ahead of ourselves. Before lunch we booked a two-hour beginner's lesson at the first surf school we tried.

Alex, a madrileño long "andalucizado", impressed us. He talked himself up as a trainer/teacher and "guaranteed" a great experience for Madita or our money back!

The cost of this two-hour session in a group of no more than six would be 30 euros. According to Rita, who had done lots of research over the weekend, this was more than reasonable.

So, we booked for next Tuesday, anticipating that the waves would not be too dangerous for beginners.



Having achieved what we'd set out to do, we went for something to eat and drink. We chose "La Azotea" on the seafront, where we enjoyed a couple of beers each and shared two tapas: taco de maíz crujiente con atún rojo y guacamole, followed by saquitos brick con queso cremoso, puerros y langostinos. They were both delicious.

The bill was a whopping 50 euros, but, what the hell - it was a day-out on the coast and "La Azotea" was a very nice place!

For more information, please click here:

La Azotea EL Palmar – La Azotea (


After lunch

We decided to head towards Tarifa. Valdevaqueros, to be precise, to check out the water sport scene there. Quite by accident we ended up at Dani Garcia's place. Dani is an acclaimed chef with stars who has restaurants in Marbella and now here. Apparently he pops in once a month. No doubt to collect his huge profits!

It was full of beautiful young people "on the pull", older hopefuls and us two. We were the oldest people there by a kilometre! The other clients must have been idle rich with more money than sense. I had a beer and Rita a coffee. That cost us 9 euros. Needless to say I didn't leave a tip!                                                                                                               

Photo: Europe Press


We headed off further south to a beach where, according to the internet, there was a German-speaking surf school. Although we were more than happy with what we'd booked in El Palmar, we wanted to check out kite-sailing. No sign of the school. We rang the number. They don't speak German, but they hung up on us anyway. We crossed them off our Christmas Card list.

For information, they are called Kite Fun Tarifa. Very unprofessional. I wouldn't touch them with a proverbial barge-pole.


Tarifa and Home

Tarifa is the southernmost point in Spain right where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Tarifa is as far from Tangiers in Morocco as Dover is from Calais, just 15 kilometres.

As a resut Tarifa has a very African feel. I like it.

We spent ages trying to find somewhere to park, by which time we had lost interest in hanging around there, so after a brief stroll around the Old Part, we headed off home via Algeciras, San Roque, Jimena de la Frontera and Gaucin. It took ages to get home, but we had enjoyed a nice, if tiring, day.










In order to see how Madita got on when she took her beginners' class, click here:

"Surfer Girl" (


©  The Spanish Fly



The BEST Tarifa Tours and Things to Do in 2024 - FREE Cancellation | GetYourGuide

Features III - costa de la luz - COSTA DE LA LUZ - Help me, Ronda (



Acknowledgements (Photos):


Costa de Cadiz

Europa Press

Guia de Cadiz

La Azotea


Trip Advisor



Arcos de la Frontera, Barbate, Cadiz, Caños de Meca, El Palmar, Europe Press, Gibraltar, Guia de Cadiz, La Azotea, Medina Sidonia, saquitos brick con queso cremoso puerros y langostinos, surf school, taco de maíz crujiente con atún rojo y guacamoleTrafalgar, Vejer de la Frontera, Zahara de los Atunes

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