2017 English Channel swim

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Travel tips -- Strait of Gibraltar swim

The Strait of Gibraltar swim has become one of the most popular swim destinations in the world. This swim starts in Tarifa, the southern most point of Spain and ends in the northern part of Africa. On average a swimmer will swim approximately 9 miles depending on currents. Putting all swimming aside, travel tips are very important to having a fun, safe trip in Spain. My son and I booked with British Airways from Boston/Heathrow/ to Malaga Airport. We decided not to land in the smaller airport (Gibraltar). Travel by car from Malaga Airport to Tarifa was about one hour and fifty minutes. We rented a car from Avis---approximately $200 USD for eight days. I was glad we booked with Avis. Because when we arrived at the car rental area at the airport, we had no wait. However at the next counter there were about 100 people in line for one of their "local" discount car rentals.... their prices were similar. The drive to Tarifa was very easy....within a short distance of the airport is the main highway that leads directly to Tarifa. I would recommend this toll highway. I met some tourist that traveled by bus to Tarifa and they had no problems. The only bus station in Tarifa is a short walk from the old section of Tarifa. It's conveniently located. My son and I rented a condo through a local agency...Habitat Tarifa. We stayed at the "Residencial Los Lances II". It is located on the beach..we had ocean view, pool, fully equipped kitchen, with a washing machine, two bedrooms for $800 USD for eight nights. We swam everyday in front of our condo... it was a very safe and scenic area to swim. Also, it was about a ten minute walk to the "Old section" of Tarifa where the Strait of Gibraltar Swim Association office is located. We did not have Internet access at our condo. But we found a great little cafe "El Reten" that provided free Internet " Wifi Zone". Their food and drinks were reasonably priced. We booked for the second week of June because it is considered "low tourist season" and prices are very reasonable. I had read online that during the months of July and August prices are high, traffic is terrible, and it gets very hot. Many swimmers plan to swim either in June or September when Tarifa is less crowded. Tarifa at night is like any other tourist destination...you need to be careful. Travel in groups. I would highly recommend swimming the Strait of Gibraltar...the head of their association Rafael Guitterrez is very honest and wants to see every swimmer succeed in their attempt. Good luck with your swim and enjoy your trip.