In the framework of the project ChArMEx (the Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment, http://charmex.lsce.ipsl.fr/), the variability of aerosol optical, microphysical and radiative properties is examined in three regional background sites on a southwest – northeast (SW–NE) straight line in the middle of the western Mediterranean Basin (WMB). The three sites are on the northward transport pathway of African dust: Ersa, Corsica Island, France (43.00ºN, 9.36ºW, 80 m a.s.l), Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca Island, Spain (39.55ºN, 2.62ºE, 10 m a.s.l) and Alborán, Alboran Island, Spain (35.94ºN, 3.04ºW, 15 m a.s.l). AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) sun-photometer products are mainly used. A preliminary analysis shows that at Ersa and Palma sites the annual aerosol optical depth (AOD) has a similar trend with a peak around 0.2 in July. The winter/spring AOD is lower in Palma than in Ersa, while it is reverse in summer/autumn. The aerosol particle size distribution (and the coarse mode fraction) shows clearly the SW–NE gradient with a decreasing coarse mode peak (and a decreasing coarse mode fraction from 0.5 - 0.35 - 0.2 in July) along the axis Alborán - Palma de Mallorca - Ersa. In addition to the seasonal and annual variability analysis, the analysis of AERONET products is completed with a large variety of ground-based and sounding balloons remote sensing and in situ instruments during the Special Observation Period (SOP) of the ADRIMED campaign in June 2013. The second part of the presentation will focus on the comparison of the observations at Palma de Mallorca and Ersa of the same long-range transported airmasses. The observations include lidar vertical profiles, balloon borne OPC (Optical Particle Counter) and MSG/SEVIRI AOD, among others.