Zahara de los Atunes and Barbate (Cádiz), the route of the best tuna


This past weekend, taking advantage of the heat and good weather, I have visited one of the areas of Andalusia with the best beaches and landscapes, the perfect combination of marshes, Mediterranean pine forests, dunes and cliffs. Arriving by car from Malaga, once past La Línea and Algeciras, we enjoy the best views of the Strait of Gibraltar, which on clear days allows us to see the mountains of northern Morocco. In Zahara de los Atunes and Barbate you can spend unforgettable days.

We are going in search of one of the places where some of the best tuna are caught, which from May to June have passed for spawning in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean, the so-called “right tuna”, which they say is the highest quality as it comes from the Atlantic well fed and rich in fat.

After passing the cosmopolitan Tarifa, a paradise for surfers from all over the world, we arrive at Zahara de los Atunes, a small fishing village that has grown up around the Castle of the Almadrabas, and where this art of fishing has been carried out since the time of the Arabs, who gave the name of al-mazraba (almadraba in current Spanish) to a large fence woven with nets, on the seashore, attached with anchors and stakes, where the fishermen lead the tunas from March to June, when they enter the Mediterranean (tuna de right), or in October, when they return to the Atlantic, after spawning (tuna upside down).

In Zahara there are very good beaches, with very clear waters, but if we want we can go to those of Bolonia, a few minutes away by car, where you can also visit the interesting ruins of the Roman settlement of Baelo-Claudia, with its salting factory ( Roman garum) and its theater in good condition. Back in Zahara, you can dine in one of the countless fish restaurants, there is one on every corner.

The best, and very cheap, Bar Paquiqui, in calle Manuel Mora 15, where I recommend the choco croquettes (sepia), little wolf in sauce (shortfin mako, a type of stewed shark) or the tuna with onion. If there is, you can not stop trying the grilled tuna morrillo, an authentic delicatessen. To water it, nothing better than a "Chiclanita", a very soft chamomile, on tap, served very cold in its wineglass.

In other installments I will tell you about Barbate, its beaches, restaurants, and Cape Trafalgar. I have also visited an interesting tuna shop-museum in Barbate. I will leave a comment about the El Campero restaurant for the end.

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