Melilla Travel Guide
Melilla Local History
The city of Melilla has been an outpost of Spain for centuries, because of its strategic location on the peninsula of Tres Forcas on Africa's Mediterranean coast. In ancient times the city was occupied by Phoenicians and Carthaginians before it was integrated into the Roman Empire in the first century. When the Moors conquered Spain, Melilla became part of the Caliphate of Cordoba and later reverted to the kingdom of Fez.
Melilla declined in the Middle Ages, becoming a refuge for pirates, until it was conquered by the Catholic Kings at the end of the fifteenth century. It has remained Spanish since then. Subsequent monarchs repopulated and fortified the city, and in the eighteenth century Melilla was further secured by numerous fortresses that still ring the city.
Today Melilla is a culturally diverse city and duty free port where languages mix and mingle. It is joined to the Spanish mainland by ferry and air service, and boasts a fine mild Mediterranean climate similar to Spain's Costa del Sol. A municipal marina also makes it a center for sports fishing and other related activities. An attractive government parador, in the Old Quarter, has exceptional views of the city, and its port is a fine place to relax when visiting the city.
Los Carabos - At a length of 300 meters and a width of 60 meters, this beach offers fine golden sand and still waves. It is an excellent choice for a family activity, and it has been granted a blue flag. Located in Melilla.
Costa de la Luz - This stretch of coastline boasts long stretches of sand and almost-constant sunshine. The blue, sometimes rough, Atlantic waters are enticement enough for a visit, as is the region's proximity to several historic cities, including Cadiz and Seville. This area is less developed than the more popular Costa del Sol.
Costa del Sol - Stretching along the southernmost coast of Spain, this area is the most famous, party-hearty, and overdeveloped string of beaches in Iberia. The beaches feature superb sand, and the Mediterranean waters are calm and warm throughout most of the year. But these charms have brought an abundance of visitors, making this the most congested string of coastal resorts in Europe. The most important resorts here are Marbella, Torremolinos, Malaga, and Nerja.
The Balearic Islands - Just off the coast of Catalonia, and a 45-minute flight from Barcelona. This rocky, sand-fringed archipelago attracts urban refugees seeking the sun, jet-set glitterati, and exhibitionists in scanty beachwear. The Mediterranean climate is warmer here than on the mainland. The city of Palma de Majorca has the greatest number of high-rises and the most crowded shorelines. Much of Ibiza is party central for young people and gay visitors during the summer. Sleepy Minorca offers more isolation.
Melilla Restaurants and Bars
Melilla's gastronomy is based on the exceptional fish and shellfish from nearby waters. It is Andalusian in essence, but with interesting Moroccan overtones, and the city is filled with tapas bars.
Los Salazones - The establishment has a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere. It offers Hispano-Andalusian cooking in a pleasant rustic setting with African touches. The cellar has 7,000 bottles of wine, with almost all the national Denomination of Origin wines (Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Somontano), and the is a cigar list, as well as a spirit and alcohol list. Booking is advisable. Los Salazones is located on Calle Conde de Alcaudete, 15 52006. Tel: 95/2671-515.
La Onubense - This restaurant offers magnificent fish and shellfish dishes in generous portions. Patrons will be surprised be the variety in side-dishes that complements their main course, and there is a wide selection of locally produced wines on the beverage list. The average price for a main course is 30, and reservations are recommended. La Onubense is located on Calle Parejageneral, 5 52001.
Melilla Bravo - Spanish cuisine at its finest. Be prepared to eat until you drop. The menu is varied and it is often difficult to decide what to have, or where to start. There is a terrace/garden where visitors can enjoy a glass of wine while watching the magnificent sunset. Visitors will find the need to return to this venue several times, just to try each and every dish they have on offer. The pork dishes are recommended. Melilla Bravo is located on Farhana, S/N 52005. Tel: 95/2691-695.
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