A Weekend trip Camping – Torre de la Peña
A weekend by the Atlantic Ocean: If you did not know, the Strait of Gibraltar is the connection between The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. One may not think that there is not much of a difference between the two coastal shores. However, as soon as you cross the area of Parque Natural de Estrecho (the natural park of the strait), just after Tarifa, the change is remarkable.
The Mediterranean coast offers wonderful areas of nature and beaches but as soon as you hit the Atlantic coast everything changes!
We like to take our camping gear and head towards the most amazing campsite on the Atlantic coast, only 30 minutes west of Tarifa.
As we live in Benalmadena Costa, it takes us just about 2 hours to reach our destination. Passing areas like Calahonda, Marbella, San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona in the Malaga province to start.
Just after Estepona you will enter the beautiful province of Cadiz which has coastal shores in both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
We sometimes stop for a drink in the Port of Sotogrande, which is an exclusive harbour full of luxury yachts. Home to royal horse polo, including visitors like Prince Harry and the rich and famous. Quite a contrast to our ultimate destination!
If you wish and had the time (and your passport) you can venture into Gibraltar at this stage. Plan your timing of visit though as it can quite often be large queues to enter! Continue past Algeciras, in my opinion a very ugly, industrial time and not worth a stop. This is where a lot of the large ferries cross to Tanger in Morocco, it is really the gateway to Africa.
Venturing on you will now pass the hippie town of Tarifa, full of surfers and extremely windy. A great place for the younger crowds and all sorts of surfers. This is where we stop to get all our food and drinks for the weekend, there are some amazing shops to choose from.
Camping Torre de la Peña
Finally we will reach our destination at Camping Torre de la Peña. You first need to go and register yourselves and your car in the little reception hut. The pleasant staff will provide you with a map of the site and you are able to choose your spot. Torre de la Peña is different in the way that you can either choose mountain side or beach side for your camping lot.
Obviously on the mountain side you get the most amazing views whereas if you decide to stay on the beach you will wake up to the sound of the waves. It is a really, really hard choice. We have actually mostly opted for the mountain side as it is a little quieter, especially at night time.
On site there is a small shop which sells bread, drinks and necessities and there is also a communal swimming pool (I have never used it, but good if you have kids). In addition, there are several areas with showers, WC’s, washing up areas and waste stations – always totally immaculately cleaned.
On the beach side of the camping complex you will find the most amazing bar and restaurant, El Chozo. Totally laid back, surfer style!
It has been established for many, many years and serves the most amazing seafood. You can also order the most wonderful steaks, all local produce, as well as homemade tapas and hamburgers.
While sitting on the terrace, it feels like you are more or less sat in the sea. Only some rocks between you and the blue-green water. I can totally recommend this place, it is one of a kind!
For venturing out during the day, from the campsite there are two places that have to be visited. First of all the amazing town of Zahara de los Atunes, an old fishing village with the most amazing tapas bars. The houses are literally located on the white beach!
Also, the roman city of Bolonia – an ancient Roman town founded 189 BC. Even if you are on into history this place will blow your mind away. It is absolutely nothing that you would have expected next to the most famous surfing areas in the world.
So, with regards to the beaches in this stunning area. They are miles-long, white as powder and extremely wide with lots of dunes. Be prepared for windy days, not as windy as in Tarifa as you are slightly more off from the strait, but it can feel a bit fresh some days.
It is amazing how many incredible places we have on our doorstep, just start exploring! But this is certainly in the top three on my list of places in and around!