bolonia beach playa plage spiaggia

Bolonia beach arguably the most incredible beach in Andalucia

The essential things to see and do on Bolonia beach

In this article you’ll find all the essential information about the fabulous things to see and do on Bolonia beach in Tarifa:

  • A few words about this fabulous beach in Tarifa
  • Where is Bolonia beach on the map?
  • What to see on this beach
  • What to do there
  • Booking accommodation
  • Some useful links (bookings and visits in Andalucia)
  • What to see near Bolonia beach
  • Continue your trip to Andalucia

A few words about Bolonia beach

Bolonia beach is much more than a beach. In my opinion, it’s a place of pure magic. And that’s not just because of the crystal-clear waters, the gentle sea breeze and the fine white sand.

It’s also because it’s impossible not to be amazed or bored on Bolonia beach.

Because indeed, in this almost virgin environment, we find ourselves surrounded by natural beauty.

Bolonia beach is located in the municipality of Tarifa in the province of Cadiz. It is set in a beautiful natural environment, within a protected park.

The origin of the name

It would appear that the name comes from Baelo (a Roman town by the beach). This name is thought to have evolved into Baelonia, and is now Bolonia.

Where is Bolonia beach on the map?

It is located near Tarifa, within the boundaries of the Parque Natural del Estrecho (Strait Natural Park). Thanks to this classification, the environment is preserved without the proliferation of urban construction.

This 20,000-hectare natural park stretches along 60km of coastline in the municipalities of Algeciras and Tarifa.

What to see and do on Bolonia beach ?

  1. Laze on the beach
  2. Climb on the fabulous dune
  3. Observe nature, landscapes, birds
  4. Watch the cows sunbathe on the beach
  5. Visit the Roman site of Baelo Claudia
  6. Visit the Baelo Claudia site museum
  7. Looking at Africa and the coast of Tangier
  8. Stroll along the 4km of Bolonia beach
  9. Go see the natural pools of Bolonia beach
  10. Take a mud bath in these pools

The Dune of Bolonia

The Dune of Bolonia is the iconic spot on the beach. It has to be said that this dune is surprisingly large.

The dune is located on the western side of the beach and was classified as a natural monument in 2001.

It is also of great ecological importance. What’s more, this dune system is mobile. The continuous advance of the sand causes the pine trees to die of burial. This can be seen in the outline of the dune at the top.

The dune looks imposing from below. However, when you climb it, you realise that it is 30 metres high before you reach the summit…..

And from the top, the panorama is breathtaking!

Cows on Bolonia beach

On Bolonia beach, cows are an integral part of the scenery in the morning.

It’s a surprising and most charming sight.

They arrive from the surrounding fields to bask in the sun.

plage de bolonia tarifa cadix

They can sometimes be found eating fresh grass close to houses.

The Baelo Claudia site

Here’s one of the wonders of this beach, the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Baelo Claudia. I urge you to visit this incredible site.

Baelo Claudia with… a view of Africa (Tangier)

The ruins are in an excellent state of preservation, despite their relatively recent discovery. They were discovered by a French archaeologist in 1917.

What’s more, Baelo Claudia adds another dimension to this beach, from which you can see Africa and in particular the city of Tangier, which lies directly opposite.

The town’s main activity was fishing and the salting industry, with the production of the famous “garum” sauce. The Roman emperor Claudius granted it the status of municipium (Roman commune), and thus certainly the name of Baelo Claudia…

A brief historical summary of Baelo Claudia

The town was founded at the end of the 2nd century BC, on an earlier Byzantine-Punic site (Bailo, Baelokun). Its existence is closely linked to trade with North Africa. It was the main seaport linking the city of (Tingis) Tangier with Morocco.

What you can see (or sometimes guess) at the Roman site of Baelo Claudia.

The ancient city has all the classic features of a Roman town.

  • two main roads (the decumanus maximus and the cardo maximus) that cross each other.
  • a wall
  • watchtowers
  • a curia (meeting place for senators)
  • the municipal archives building.
  • a public square (forum).
  • a courthouse (known as the judicial basilica), with the statue of the emperor Trajan, discovered in 1981.

the judicial basilica with the statue of Trajan

Note: the original statue, in white marble, is now housed in the Museo Arqueológico de Cádiz.

  • four temples to Roman deities: those dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. There is also the temple of Isis (an oriental divinity who appeared in Roman religion in the 1st century AD.
  • the theatre, which could hold up to 2,000 people

Baelo Claudia theatre

  • shops (tabernae),
  • an ancient marketplace (macellum)
  • thermal baths (termae). These were discovered in 2011 and 2013!

  • a freshwater aqueduct. Baelo Claudia had four of these.

  • an “industrial” area with garum-making facilities,

  • the sewage system

Visit the Baelo Claudia site museum

Right at the entrance to the site is a museum that tells the story of the site. Even if you’re in a hurry to get to the Roman town by the beach, I can’t recommend spending too much time there to see the treasures to be found.

Above, a key to the ancient theatre!

You can also learn a lot about the way of life in those days and about fishing.

There is also a magnificent sundial:

A walk on Bolonia beach

This is one of the most beautiful walks you can make along the water’s edge, stretching for miles. All along the way you’ll find some magnificent scenery.

But you can also see old bunkers… relics of history. We advise you to stay away from them, as they are often bird nesting areas. See the humorous display below:

At the end of the day, the walk also offers marvellous sunsets to watch.

The natural pools of Bolonia beach

At the eastern end of the beach are a number of natural pools that can only be reached after a walk of around an hour.

Of course, these natural pools can only be seen at low tide. The stone bars that hold the water in place are a surprising natural phenomenon.

Some people go to these pools not only to bathe, but also to cover their skin with mud. It seems that this mud has very beneficial effects for the skin.

Where are the natural pools?

And to finish off this incredible day, you can visit an organic cheese factory that produces Payoyo goat’s cheese. It’s just a few kilometres from the beach, behind the dune.

The Payoyo goat is a local breed that produces magnificent herbed or plain cheeses. Here’s the exact location of the cheese dairy: El cabrero de Bolonia.

Where to have lunch on the beach in Bolonia?

My favourite place for lunch on Bolonia beach is at the end of the small village of Lentiscal.

In front of the Sirocco chiriguinto

There are three chiriguintos: Sunset Loco Beach, Sirocco and Serenade. Here’s the exact location of Sirocco, which offers perhaps the best-prepared dishes.

What to do in the area of Bolonia beach

Below you’ll find the activities and visits available from Tarifa and Bolonia beach. This is a corner of Andalucia that offers a wealth of nature-related activities.

You can also book them online today (with free cancellation):

Book accommodation on the beach in Bolonia

Despite the small size of the town, you can find a wide range of accommodation. Private individuals also rent out their homes.

Below, by entering your dates, you will find the accommodation available. Of course, for the summer, it’s best to book well in advance, as the offer is limited.

Some useful links for your holidays in Andalucia

Easy and economical bookings

What can you see near Bolonia beach?

The province of Cadiz in Andalucia offers an incredible number of beautiful sites and villages. The town of Tarifa, on which Bolonia beach depends, is well worth a visit for its history and its…. other beaches.


As well as its special history, in Tarifa you can take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean and then the Mediterranean in just 2 minutes!


You’ll find plenty to see in Tarifa. And to make matters worse, Tarifa has become a mecca for kitesurfers. You shouldn’t miss this almost daily spectacle:

Discover Vejer de la Frontera

Not far from Bolonia, there’s a beautiful little white village perched on top of a hill. It’s called Vejer de la Frontera.

Arcos de las Monjas – Vejer de la Frontera –

You’ll find plenty to see in Vejer de la Frontera.

Continue your trip to Andalucia


Seville, the capital of Andalucia, is a city full of treasures to discover and monuments to visit.

Door of Forgiveness – Seville Cathedral

Here you will find everything you can see in Seville in 3 days. And for those who will stay longer you will also find information on secret Seville and the Santa Cruz and Triana districts.


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Visit Cadiz, a city with an incredible past and great beauty, on the Costa del la Luz.


When you reach the Costa del Sol you will find in this link what to see in Malaga :

Street art next to the Picasso Museum Malaga


Visit Granada, discover the Albaicin and Sacromonte districts:



And of course, visit Cordoba, the caliphate city, and the Juderia district


Discover more of Andalusia’s beautiful sites in the Andalusia blog pages.

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