The coast between Gibraltar and Cabo de Gata some 155M to the E is called the Costa del Sol (the Sun Coast). It lives up to its name in that sunshine averages 300 days a year. The three main ports, Gibraltar, Málaga and Almería, are large and can be entered under most conditions; there are 16 smaller harbours.

The section starts with the singular mass of the Rock of Gibraltar which stands high and island-like and can be seen for miles. Behind the Rock is a low, flat and sandy coast backed by high mountain ranges which stretches to Malaga. Beyond Málaga, behind the coastal mountains are the even higher snow-covered ranges of the Sierra Nevada. In many places the mountains reach the sea and form high rocky cliffs and promontories.

The development of the coast for tourism has resulted in many sections supporting rows of tower blocks or flats and hotels. The latest tourists to arrive are the Russians who came with suitcases of dollars to buy up property. The general problem of plastic pollution is compounded by the 100m sheets of polythene discarded from kilometres of greenhouses established on any land suitable for hydroponic cultivation.

Many harbours, now improved by the construction of breakwaters, are based on small fishing harbours originally established in bays where some protection from the winds is available.

At most places the shore may be approached to

Pta de Torrox ,

Puerto de Punta Negrayeenalmádena

Cabo Pino-1 Calaburras

La Atunara!•/q|BRALtaR

iuropa Pt fa Camera

Isla de Alborán c

Cap Spartel


II. COSTA DEL SOL Gibraltar to Pta Torrox

Caleta de El Vêlez




Puerto de

ALMERIA Aguadulce ,—"


Puerto de Motril _



Caber d e Gata

C. Sacratif

a Sabinal




The waypoints listed form a series with which one is able to steer from off Gibraltar to Cabo de Gata. The waypoints are all at WGS 84 datum and although the track avoids the main fish farm areas these farms come and go, seemingly overnight sometimes, and a good lookout must be kept at all times. There are over 50 'official' farms along this section of coast, which are lit and reported in the light lists -however inshore and in various calas there are many more farms and these are usually unlit. It is therefore essential to keep a lookout at all times while making a coastal passage in this area.

$-1 Gibraltar Harbour Approaches 36°08'N 05°22'.5W

-<£14 SE of Pta de la Doncella 36°22'.5N 05°08'W

•$34 SSE of Pta de las Entinas 36°37'.5N 02°46'W


100m; headlands with cliffs, for instance Cabo de Gata, may have off-shore rocks or shoals. There are many small river courses, called ramblas, that are dry for most of the year but run in spate when the rare rains fall. Extensive deltas are found at their mouths which are often steep-to.


In the event of onshore gales and heavy seas, Gibraltar, Malaga and Almería are the safest to enter. No attempt should be made to enter small harbours until the seas have subsided.


In addition to the places to visit in the immediate vicinity of each harbour, there are many fascinating places lying some distance inland. Among the many interesting places are the following: Sevilla, capital of Andalucía and of ancient origin with a wealth of interesting old buildings. In April a famous fair is held here; book very early. Cordoba, the cordwainers city, developed by the Moors. The cathedral was the second largest mosque in the world, and the site of the oldest synagogue in Spain is in the city.

Granada, with the extraordinary Alhambra, one of the outstanding sites of Europe. Ronda, a town in a spectacular setting with Roman remains and caves nearby. Jerez de la Frontera, an intriguing town and centre for the sherry trade which retains strong British connections.

Cádiz, well known to the British since Elizabethan times, retains its seawards fortifications within which the old town plan is largely undisturbed. The Hydrographic Office, where charts may be bought, is just outside the town walls, above the railway line. Medina Sidonia, an example of the 'white towns' of Andalucía and in a splendid position, was part of the estate of the ill-starred Commander of the Spanish Armada and served as a leading mark into the distant Bay of Cádiz.

If the reader is at the western end of the Costa del Sol, the last three might be combined in a long day's expedition.

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