Known throughout the world as a Mecca for Windsurfing this charming white Andalusian town has only been mildly spoiled by the mass touristic developments which have ravaged the coasts of most of Spain. Much of the surrounding coastline is still protected by Spanish law and a few kilometres to the west of the town are two of Spain's most beautiful beaches.
There are many fast hydrofoils daily on FRS Ferry Serice from Tangiers for about 37 Euros one way or 67 Euros round-trip (as of November 2010). As you go through customs, there are free buses waiting in the parking lot to Algeciras
Tarifa is situated between the best golfcourses of Europe, at the Atlantic side you find Dehesa Montenmedio and Benalup golf & country club(www.benalupgolf.com) . Both courses are set in a natural envoirement. At the Mediterranea side you find the only links course here in the south, Alcaidesa Golf club. The world famous Valedrrama en Sotogrande.
The fascinating experience of navigating the Strait of Gibraltar gains an emotional highlight, when the lovable inhabitants of these waters, whales and dolphins, approach our boats to show themselves and by doing so satisfy the curiosity of the tourists. Whale Watching has become a tourist activity with an educational and a research background. The effect of the latter is to minimize the impact on the environment and to maximize the protection of the natural surroundings and the species, using visitors experience as tool for conscientiousness process. Marine biologists go along with tourists to research statistics and data about these animals and their habitat, useful for scientific projects and publishing. You can film and photograph the unforgettable encounters with dolphins and pilot whales looking at the tourists, the orca mother with her young calves around the fisherman's boats trying to catch a bite of the red tuna, the fin whales (the second largest animal in the world) causing a huge blow on the surface, and the sperm whale waving goodbye to the tourists, showing their huge tails, looking out of the water like an obelisk in the sea.
Resident species (can be seen all year): Common dolphin, Striped dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin and Pilot Whale
Semi-resident species (presence related to feed periods): Killer whale - Orca (between July and September) Sperm whale (mostly between March and July)
Migratory species (cross the strait in their migratory routes): Fin whale (mostly between May and July)
Turmares Tarifa is a company dedicated to sea tourism with emphasis on "whale watching" in the Strait of Gibraltar. http://www.turmares.com
Strong winds and good waves make Tarifa an attractive spot for water and wind sports.
Te best combination of services and wind, Tarifa is well known as a test center or training place for most of the brands and pro riders, but is good to for beginners too, you will find windsurf centers from Los Lances beach to Valdevaqueros and Bolonia, depending on the wind direction you will have to choose the one that suits better your level, the conditions can vary from 3 kms distances so ask the locals, the will friendly recommend the best spot for the day. Most of the centers open from March to October but you will find some, like the Surf Center in Hotel Arte Vida, that open all year around. Some days windsurfing in Tarifa can become unforgettable for you, cruising in the Strait of Gibraltar waters, with such beautiful views of the African Continent, thinking in the history of this channel and even feeling the magical enviroment and ambient, mix of African-Flamenco fusions... I Promise you will become an addict of this town, well known is that from that day you always want to come back.
For sure the best spot in Europe for practicing this sport, the mix of good winds, kilometers of perfect beaches and a full service of professional schools and rental centers makes Tarifa that place, from flat waters for begginers or freestylers to waves for kite - surfing adicted, everybody is suited in this waters just choose your spot... from Tarifa town to Caños de Meca you will find a beautiful spot that suits your needs, but only in Tarifa Shops ussing the take away service or closer spots like Dos Mares, Arte Vida, or Valdevaqueros were you will find Centers with all the services you can need. You can even find places with kindergarden service.
A variety of medium priced hostels by (cheap) Spanish standards. Touts work around the bus station and port offering various accommodations, including sleeping space on rooftops!