Due to its close proximity to Africa and its pulsating industrial port, the majority of Algeciras’ visitors are in transit, heading to the dizzying heights of the famous Gibraltar rock or continuing the Arab delights of Morocco. However, a prolonged stay here will afford the adventurous traveller some interesting discoveries, fabulous cuisine and a cosmopolitan culture; Algeciras retains a raw individuality that has been unspoilt by the tourism trade and upon closer inspection, becomes a diamond in the rough.
Many Moroccan migrant workers frequent Ageciras in order to return home from Europe, therefore the city features an intriguing Arab influence; in the Moroccon Quarter, the seductive scent of mint tea floats through the air, and traditional bakeries offer delectable dulces to be devoured. Another cultural hot spot is the Plaza Alta, meaning High Square, a perfect place to people watch and enjoy the glittering opulence of the colourful ceramic tiles that decorate the floor. The enormous fountain is a delightful centre piece, and the surrounding tapas bars and coffee shops are great to sip coffee and try traditional cuisine.
Algeciras’ most famous export is undoubtedly the world renowned flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia; many monuments are dedicated to Agecera’s national treasure, including the statue on the roundabout, and he is buried in the incredible Algeciras cemetery. A museum exhibiting his life and work will be opening in 2016.
Enjoy the rich and rustic taste of high quality meat grilled over an open flame at La Cabana restaurant, a charming hidden gem unanimously hailed as Algeciras most refined restaurant. Sample the robust flavours of leg of lamb, Iberian pork and peppered steak before sampling traditional Spanish pastries for desert. (Av. Agua Marina, 5, 11203 Algeciras, Cádiz, Spain +34 956 66 73 79)