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.
How to get to Tarifa
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.
Tarifa before digital times was one of the most strategic points in the world and still is. The Strait of Gibraltar was this time guarded by large, heavy guns from various military batteries here on the coast of Tarifa. In those days the soldiers on duty had a lot of fun in Tarifa and their green uniforms were a nice contrast to the vibrant colors of the first windsurfers. Today these military batteries are overgrown with plants and trees, the walls decorated with graffiti, broken windows, roofs far from waterproof, sun playing with the shadow and a lot of mistery. The work noises have been replaced by silence (except the wind) but if you listen carefully they will tell you their story.
Strong winds and good waves make Tarifa an attractive spot for water and wind sports. You can also take Spanish lessons.
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.
An absolute mountain bike paradise hidden in the inland of Tarifa with many trails for all kind of levels where you can ride all year. Long up hills, challenging down hills, easy and rough trails, beautiful nature and incredible views over the Atlantic ocean and the strait of Gibraltar. Within easy reach of Tarifa there are many more trails to explore in the extensive nature reserve of Los Alcornocales.
A new sport in Tarifa. Paddling between two continents “The Strait of Gibraltar”. Like Oscar Chalupsky (11 x time winner of the Molakai)said . Tarifa is probably the best downwind spot in the world.
Hotspot Balneario near the town.
Around the clear waters of the isla de las palomas
In both the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Along the coast you will find many windsurfing schools.
With other travellers (www.hispalense.com) Special youth bilingual summer camps
Transition of a fishing industry to tourism industry.
Tarifa resident and personality Henk Post has taken the initiative to clean up the town. The fish industry is finished and tourism will be the only income for the habitants of Tarifa. Using social media like Facebook, he rallied together a group of friends and on Tuesday, 14th of February at eleven in the morning 2012, they met at the castle wall with buckets of white paint, rollers and paintbrushes. Their aim was to repaint the wall by the end of the day. All of the materials have been supplied by local business people,’ explains Henk. ‘This is a real local initiative. Too many people complain about their towns but it’s too easy to complain. Now is the time to come with some solutions. That’s what this initiative is about.’ Before embarking on the project, Henk secured the support of Tarifa’s new mayor Juan André Gil Garcia. Garcia’s new administration recognises that the future of Tarifa lies in the success of its tourism industry and that’s why he is giving his full support to the project.
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!