Wind, beaches and windguru

Today I am writing about the wind, about the wind in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar more specifically. I do not pretend to be very technical since I’m not a meteorologist. Rather, I want to give you my perception of the influence of the wind on the lives of those who live here and above all, now that we are in the middle of summer to know which beach you should go to to avoid it!

Being from Madrid, I just didn’t know anything about the wind, there it doesn’t matter where the wind blows from and people don’t care about it. Here, it is essential to know where to go for a walk or what beach to go to, whether to wash clothes or not, whether the clouds will lift, whether to straighten their hair or not etc … So over time I have learned which wind is better for the different things. I will try to share what I know and I also add a quick guide to how to interpret Windguru !

Levante or Poniente

Here, there are two prevailing winds: east wind and west wind. The days of Levante, the east wind, in La linea, the area of the Campo de Gibraltar, Sotogrande and even Estepona the air is fresh and above all very humid. Your heir will go curly and clothes will get dump outside in the night. When the Levante wind is strong it’s impact is noticeable but the days that it does not blow strong are very pleasant days.

The west wind, Poniente, on the other hand enters through the Atlantic coast and loses its moisture and gains speed when it passes overland. It is a very strong wind, very hot in summer and in dry and cold in winter. The days of Poniente are the days to do the laundry, the clothes dry in no time. If you have wavy hair it will be less wavy and your skin and lips may go dry.

In the area Campo de Gibraltar, being a coastal area there are many beaches to choose from. The Campo de Gibraltar and Costa del Sol are beaches with coarse sand and quite dark in general. Many are city beaches with beach bars although there are some that are more wild as the Alcaidesa lighthouse. The beaches of Tarifa, Zahara, Bolonia and the Atlantic coast are long stretched out beaches of fine sand. For me these are some of the best beaches that I have been but you have to be attentive as to what is happening with the wind because if you get caught with a windy day, you may end up eating sand!

In summer if you want to go to the beach and be comfortable, when Levante blows up better stay in the area of the beaches of Levante, Alcaidesa, the tower, Guadiaro, El Faro … The wind will be cool and if it isn’t too strong it will be nice . In addition, the water on these beaches will usually be warm because the Mediterranean currents come in. On the other hand, if there is Poniente wind, the best thing is to go to the beaches of Tarifa, Bolonia, Zahara, etc. The water is good and the wind so long it isn’t too strong it should be nice, always better to look at the forecast or Windguru just in case. The days of poniente wind on the beaches of the Campo de Gibraltar it gets usually quite strong, hot and the water gets very cold.

Then there are also days of south and north. The south is a very heavy and dry wind too. The north especially if it is in cold winter. All also tend to strengthen at noon, which is normal because the heat of the sun makes the air warm and pick up speed.

Kites in Valdevaqueros

Pigeon Point Dune

General rule:

– When east wind, Levante: beaches of the Campo de Gibraltar, Costa del Sol
– When west wind, Poniente: Tarifa, Bologna, Zahara and north along that coast


But even with the golden rule … there are exceptions so better to look at the Windguru. Windguru is a meteorological website specializing in wind predictions for surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers. It is a bit messy because they put a lot of information but knowing how to read it is very useful to know if you are going to be able to be well on a beach or if you are going to have to go home because of the wind.

Windguru Tarifa:

I’ll explain the forecast for next week:

The days of the week come in the first line as L, M, X, J, V, S, D. The red square at the bottom left where the stars are surrounded is the valuation Windguru. They go from 1 to 3 stars, one star is wind and three is very windy. For my experience if there is more than one star better do not go, with one you can be but the wind hits, with 3 you eat sand. It is best to go if there are no stars. In the photo above there are several mornings of very mild wind. If you look at the star line during the week, it stays 0 or 1. On Friday there is a change of wind (note the direction arrows), wind changes to east wind (levante) and the stars starts reproducing. Those days better avoid the beaches of the Atlantic area ..

Up in the center where I have marked an arrow, you can see the wind speed, depending on whether it is stronger or weaker it changes color. The order is: white, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple. White and blue to green you probably will be confortable on the beach. Yellow, red and purple better not go unless you’re a kitesurfer. If you look at the orange arrow on the right the colours change to orange and red, those days better avoid the beach. Remember that these are only predictions and they do fail!

The blue arrow on the left indicates the direction of the wind:

–> west wind

<– east wind

I’m a little dyslexic, to remember I visualize the map of the area and where the wind blows. This would be a day of Levante wind since the arrows come from the east.

Mapa meteorologico de España con

Here’s an explanation; Windguru much more complete than mine if someone interested to know more details.

How is your experience with the wind in the area? How do you cope with the windy days?

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