69km Tangier – Medina Sidonia

We rose before the sun this morning, dragging ourselves out of bed around 5:30am for some last minute preparations before the first ferry to Spain. No matter how much we pack and unpack, we never seem to get any faster at getting our bikes ready for the road after staying in one place for a while. Our belongings explode over the space of a room when we arrive and only reluctantly fit back into their original spots. This time we also had a bag of treasures from Morocco to squeeze in as well. They were all food related. Cycling seems to have brought out a ravenous appetite in both of us. Cookies from a patisserie, olives and dates from the market and a few chocolate bars bought with our last handful of dirhams. Soon we were cruising down the hill to the port. With our passports checked and boarding cards in hand we rolled onto the ferry and waved goodbye to Africa. Arriving shortly afterwards in Tarifa was a breeze. We quickly found our way out of the town, which is filled with surf shops, and starting making our way along the coast to Cadiz. We felt ever so slightly lonely, missing the enthusiastic Moroccan greetings from the side of the road. Before long we strayed onto a cycle path to Cadiz. The city would otherwise be a nightmare to get into because it is surrounded by motorways so the Transandalus trail sounded like a good alternative. Our luck on the track was mixed. Sometimes the surface was quite good and other times we found ourselves wondering how to get across a mucky stretch of water. This usually meant backtracking to the main road for a short detour, before rejoining the piste. The wildlife along the trail was the bonus for our hard work. An elk herd ran in the fields to one side of the road while eagles soared high overhead and occasionally a rabbit hopped in front of us. Late in the afternoon we found some picnic tables so we stopped to read our books and make supper, before setting up our tent in a field near dusk.


  1. friedel
    30th March 2007 at 11:12 am #

    Road notes: Leaving Tarifa couldn’t be easier and the N340 around this area was reasonably quiet with a generous shoulder. The cycle path can be picked up from the second exit to Facinas. It is marked as an agricultural road from Facinas to Benalup. This section is fairly easy to navigate but it gets less reliable after Benalup. Despite being difficult at times, we think the trail probably offers the best possibilities for wild camping.

  2. Neal Sach
    13th June 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Hi There, this is a cool blog, did either of you capture your GPS data so I can upload it and follow your paths? I’d like to do this ride from Tangier to Medina Sidonia but would like to investigate the route a bit better.
    Thanks in advance,


    • Friedel
      14th June 2011 at 6:06 am #

      Hi Neal, sorry but we didn’t own a GPS at this time. For data on the trail, you might find info on the TransAndalus trail website: http://transandalus.org/

  3. Neal Sach
    14th June 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Thanks for reference Freidel that is a great resource and Ill be pouring over the details tonight! Thanks again,

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