The Roman city of Baelo Claudia in Andalusia is one of the best surviving examples of an ancient Roman town in Spain. Sitting directly on the coast, Baelo Claudia is a beautiful site to visit, with both stunning views and ancient ruins.
The remains of Baelo Claudia, near the modern town of Tarifa, have been beautifully restored and preserved because of the good general conservation of the ruins, their easy interpretation and the beauty of their surroundings.
Although founded in the second century BC, Baelo Claudia began to expand as an important trading post in the first century BC and first century AD, particularly under the rule of the Roman Emperor Claudius. Baelo Claudia was expanded to include significant municipal areas, including a forum, theatre and market. It was particularly known for its trade in the Roman sauce called garum.
In latter centuries, it is believed that Baelo Claudia suffered due to an earthquake and the onset of raiders and pirates in the area and the site was abandoned towards the end of the Western Roman Empire period, probably in the 6th century.
Today, Baelo Claudia is a place where visitors can observe the fundamental characteristics of a classical Roman city and there are many aspects to the site that can still be viewed. These include the forum and the temples of the Capitolium as well as temples of eastern character such as that which is dedicated to Isis. Beyond these elements are a Basilica, administrative buildings or the municipal archive, market, theatre, baths, city walls & gates, streets, aqueducts and cisterns.
There are numerous Roman cities whose remains can still be seen in greater or lesser measure in the Andalusian territory and a visit to Baelo Claudia is certain to inspire further exploration.
Baelo Claudia has a visitor’s centre on site and has many facilities to make a trip there convenient for tourists, including a car park next door. This amazing ancient city features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions of Spain.
Take the E5/N340 to the junction with the CA8202 (signposted Bolonia). Follow this road through the village of El Lentiscal – continue over the crossroads to the fork junction at the end of the road and take the road to the right (signposted Baelo Claudia). The turning to the visitors centre is 500m further up on the left hand side.
Toilets and a shop on site. Parking on site.
Baelo Claudia is open from Tuesday to Saturday 9am-6pm (8pm Jun-Sep). Sundays and public holidays 9am-2pm. Closed Mondays. Also closed Jan 1 and 6, Good Friday, May 1, Oct 12 and Dec 8, 24 and 25. Entry costs €1.50 or free to EU citizens.
Baelo Claudia, near Tarifa. Ensenada de Bolonia s/n, 11380 Tarifa (Cá
+34 956 10 67 96 / 97
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