Exploring Beachside Roman Ruins on the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain
Playa de Bolonia is a "secret beach" that nearly every Spaniard seems to know about. Still—because of its relatively isolated location and persistent winds—for most months of the year, you'll have it all to yourself. You're so close to Morocco that your cell phone welcomes you to the African country across the Strait of Gibraltar. The beach is anchored on one end by a pine forest and a huge white sand dune (where many camp clandestinely) and on the other end by unspoiled beach that stretches all the way to Tarifa. Only a smattering of chiringuitos (beach bars), low-rise family-run hotels, and roaming donkeys dot the landscape. Much more impressive are the seaside ruins of the ancient Roman city Baelo Claudia, which was dedicated to making highly prize garum (fish sauce) for the empire. An informative new museum explains the mini-city's culture, way of life, and demise in the 2nd century due to an earthquake-provoked tsunami.