Ceuta – A Spanish Outpost in Africa
Beside Melilla, Ceuta is the second Spanish exclave in Morocco. It has 85,000 inhabitants and a size of about 18km^2. The region was conquered by the Portuguese in the 15th century and became part of Spain in 1580. Ceuta can be reached from the Spanish mainland by ferry from Algeciras. The ferries run every 40min and the journey takes about 45min. There is also an affordable helicopter shuttle service between Ceuta, Algeciras, Melilla, and Malaga.
Ceuta is an autonomous city. It is part of Spain and the EU but not of the NATO. Moreover, it has own tax laws. For example, gasoline is about 30% cheaper than in Spain (about 1€ per liter). The inhabitants of Ceuta are 50% Christians and 50% Muslims. The historic city center is located on a peninsula that is separated from the mainland by a channel and fortifications.
The Spanish Perejil (Parsley) Island is a small rock and located some kilometers West of Ceuta. In 2002 Moroccan soldiers landed on the rock. They pretended to observe the drug trafficking. The Spanish navy sent ships and soldiers to bring the Moroccan soldiers back to their land.
Ceuta has two parks where you locals go running or cycling. It is absolutely worth to explore those areas! The first park Parque de San Amaro outside of the San Amaro fortress. There is a road surrounding the peninsula which offers beautiful views.
The second park is called Campo de Tiro de la Cuarta Bandera. The most famous viewpoint is “Isabel II”. Locals come here to enjoy the sunset over Ceuta and enjoy a beer.
I recorded a video about Ceuta (in German). Enjoy!