Runner-up (12 and over)
Elena Peel, age 14
CADIZ is the best place to visit in Spain for superb beaches. The sand is as fine as icing sugar and its colour is tinged bronze like a medal and it’s as soft as a feather underfoot.
Cadiz is also famous for its spectacular views. When you go there I guarantee you will be fascinated by the dare-devil surfers and wind surfers. For those wishing to stay over night there is wide selection of beautifully landscaped and pine shaded camping sites where you can have lots of fun. The good thing about Cadiz is that it is not filled with ugly hotels and it still retains an aura of peace, natural beauty and rural atmosphere.
My favourite destination in Cadiz province is Tarifa. It’s the best place to go wind surfing because there is a lot of wind, it is said to be the windiest place in Europe and is often called ‘the surf capital of the world’. Whichever beach you visit you are sure to find water that is crystal clear and very shallow.
The first time I visited the beach I had a very interesting experience. People on the shore were trying to save a baby whale who has lost his course and ended up in shallow water. It was twice my size and approximately two years old! It was quite suprising for me because I was very young and I thought myself privileged at being able to see a whale at such close proximity. I also got to see a big turtle being pulled ashore!
At the time I was so amused and happy for being that close to wild animals, but at the time I was very young and I didn’t understand that both of those animals were dying.
The beaches in Tarifa are very diffrent to the ones in Marbella or Fuengirola. In comparison they are tiny and less attractive! When my friend from England came to see me a few years ago, she was surprised by the difference between the beaches in these two areas!
I was suprised too but her facial expression was priceless. The sea in Cadiz is much warmer and clearer and sometimes you just believe you are in paradise. There are also some huge sand mountains. I love rolling down them with my friends, but because I do it in a bikini I often become covered in thorns. But I keep on doing it because it’s so much fun!
The food in the Cadiz area is also amazing! The fish is cooked so well, and it’s really tender and delicious. There is also lots of seafood and my favourite restaurant it called ‘El Morrisqueo’ and it specializes in: paella, seafood and fish; I don’t normally like or eat seafood and fish but when I go there I pig out completely.
Everyone should go to this restaurant before they die, this should be a law! Anyway, I hope you take my advice and visit this spectacular area soon.
Runner-up (11 and under)
Jasper Kettell, age 11
VIA Verdes are old disused railway tracks which have been recovered to be used by cyclers, walkers, horse riders. For those who are less energetic they are also lovely places for picnics.
They are found throughout the whole of Spain however Andalucia is the region with the most Via Verdes tracks given that it has got 195 km of them.
As it used to be a railway track it is very flat and the only hills are either very short but steep, or long and going gradually uphill, so that means it is very good for cyclers.
Along most of the Via Verde tracks there are lots of tunnels, some of them even get up to 900m. There are also lots of bridges that go over big rivers and some of these bridges are very high up.
The fauna and flora of these tracks are lovely for example you can see wild pigs and eagles; another thing is you can often see shepherds with either sheep or goats. There are also lots of trees like carobs and oaks. You can also see marshland, lakes and sometimes you can even cycle by the river.
I have been there many times. The first time I went cycling with Cubs. We were a group of about 50 and we had a great time cycling through the hills. The first day there was lots of rain and we all got very muddy, but the second day was a lot sunnier and it was a lot nicer to cycle. In the evening we cycled up a hill to a town called Coripe and stayed the night in the local sports centre.
There are lots of different routes to take throughout the whole of Andalucia so each time you go you can easily take a different route. My favourite route out of all the ones I’ve done is called Via Verde de la Sierra which goes from Puerto Serrano to Olvera.
The other good thing about the Via Verde is that it’s away from all the tourists and is always very quiet. That’s why it’s nice to go with friends. It’s good for all levels. This is great for my family because I have a younger sister who isn’t as good as riding as me. This is why I like the Via Verde.