One of the most coveted open water swims on the planet is the Gibraltar Strait. While it’s not one of the longest swims, it’s one of the few places to swim between continents.
Most swimmers leave from Tarifa, Spain — which is the most southern tip of Europe — and swim to Morocco, in Africa. The distance is about 10 miles or 16 kilometers, but strong winds and currents can cause swimmers to go further.
Swimmers considering a Gibraltar Straits swim should know a few things:
The weather is unpredictable. In fact, many swimmers get delayed several days or have to abandon the swim before they start, because the weather isn’t cooperating. Heavy fog and winds are common in the area. Additionally, the weather can change quickly, causing a swimmer to have to abandon during a swim.
Currents and winds can be strong. The currents in the Strait can be strong. Sometimes this can create a benefit to swimmers, but often it can cause a swimmer to battle harder than they need to.
Beware of ships. The Gibraltar Straits are a gateway, connecting the East to the West. It’s a heavily trafficked route for shipping containers. There are also plenty of fishing vessels.
Wildlife is plentiful. You might see dolphin, sharks and jellyfish.
September is a common time to swim the Gibraltar Straits as the water temperature is often around 18-21 degrees Celsius.. For more information on a trip planned for this year, visit Swim the World (Neda el Mon.)