Los Caños de Meca and Cape Trafalgar

Leuchtturm am Kap Trafalgar

Near Los Caños de Meca the naval battle of Trafalgar took place. Here the lighthouse of Trafalgar as well as good surf beaches can be found.

Located about 64 km away from Tarifa is the small village Los Caños de Meca with about 300 inhabitants. Despite the reefs and dangerous currents, the beach attracts many windsurfers and kitesurfers in summer.

To the east, the beach borders the natural park Parque Natural de La Breña y Marismas de Barbate - a two kilometre long steep coast covered with pine forests. The rock is a so-called aquifer (in Spanish caño, hence the name of the place). At the end of Los Caños, the groundwater, which flows through the rock layer, comes out of the rock. Depending on the amount of rain, even a small waterfall can form.

A few hundred metres west of Los Caños de Meca Cape Trafalgar with its lighthouse can be found. If you had been there on the 21st of October 1805, you would have been able to observe an important naval battle from here.

Battle of Cape Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar thwarted Napoleon's plans to occupy Britain and end British domination at sea.

Surely you know the famous Trafalgar Square in London. Here, at Cape Trafalgar, this famous battle took place. Even without any knowledge of history you will immediately notice that Spain hardly fought on the side of the English ... Apart from the information boards at the lighthouse, nothing reminds you of the important naval battle.

Why did the battle took place and what happened?

Nicholas Pocock (1740-1821): Trafalgar Battle

Napoleon planned to take control of Great Britain, but knew that he would have little chance against the strong Royal Navy. So a diversion plan had to be worked out: The French and allied Spanish fleet were to lure parts of the Royal Navy out of European waters, which seemed to be successful at first. But then the British saw through Napoleon's plan. And so it happened that the fleets met on the 21st of October 1805 at Cape Trafalgar. To make a long story short: The Royal Navy under Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the French-Spanish Armada. Twenty ships of the French-Spanish fleet were conquered or destroyed, while the British fleet did not lose a single ship.

Admiral Nelson, who died during the battle, was preserved in a barrel of brandy for the long journey home. Celebrated as a national hero, he was buried on the 9th of January in a state funeral in St Paul's Cathedral in London.