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
In the neighborhood
Tarifa is situated between the best golfcourses of Europe, at the Atlantic side you find Dehesa Montenmedio and Benalup golf & country club. Both courses are set in a beautiful natural envoirement. At the Mediterranea side you find the only links course here in the south of Spain, Alcaidesa Golf club at San Roque and nearby the world famous Valedrrama Golf course in Sotogrande.
From the top of the rock of Gibraltar you have impressive views over and on the strait of Gibraltar, on clear days you can even see the African continent. The new port with shops, bars and restaurants is worth a visit.
To See in and from Tarifa
Hardly to describe the sensation, it`s like you breathe energy. One of those things you must experience.
Wide and white sand. The immense beach Los lances is world wide recognized as the best kite and windsurf beach of Europe.
Main entrance to the old town of Tarifa, part of the medieval wall, is the only gate that survived of the three existing gates to the old town. When you stand under the gate, have a look up... interesting architecture. Above the entrance is written: Very Noble, Very Loyal and Heroic city of Tarifa, Won from the moors Reigning Sancho IV el Bravo 21 september 1292. Opening times: 24 hours open.
Probably one of the best maintain medieval building in Spain, build in 960 by Abd ar-Rahman. From the tower you have beautiful 360 degrees views over Tarifa and the fascinating strait of Gibraltar. Can you imagine that your son is at the bottom of the tower captured and in the hands of the Moors who speak the following requirements; Andalucia or we kill your son! Without thinking Guzman takes his knife and throws it right in the heart of his son. The end of 800 year occupation. Whether it is true ... No one will ever know. Opening times: 10.30 - 14.00 / 17.00 - 20.00 (paid visits)
Right in the center. The Gothic church was built in the 16th century. The facade is rebuild in 1774 by La vega and stands in good relation with the original style. Opening times: The door of the church is always open.
Plaza de los Ocho Ranitas (eight frogs) Also called Plaza de Santa Maria. The main buildings are the La Alcazaba, neoclasic style.,the city hall of Tarifa and the local Library.
The road that leads to the island dividing the Mediterranea sea and the Atlantic ocean. Beautiful and inspirating views over the strait and to Africa (16.4 km), watch the surfers or fill the lungs with fresh sea air. The little castle is called Castillo Santa Catalina, build in 1929.
Roman ruines right on the beach. Remains of temples, baths, houses and a Roman theater, the most representative of a Roman city. A nice round of culture meanwhile enjoying magnificent views over the beach, the Atlantic ocean and the African continent.
The strait of Gibraltar to observe dolphins and enjoy the beautiful impressive views to both continents from the boat. Resident species can be seen all year include the Common dolphin, Striped dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin and Pilot Whale. Semi-resident species presence related to feed periods include the Killer whale - Orca (between July and September), Sperm whale (mostly between March and July). Migratory species cross the strait in their migratory routes include the Fin whale (mostly between May and July).
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.
Activities to do
Tarifa an attractive and fantastic outdoor sports paradise travel destination.
Tarifa owes its fame to the windsurfing, the bay is ideal with fresh winds from the Atlantic, the so-called Poniente wind and the warm strong Levante wind from the Mediterranea. The place is fascinating to sail, the views are incredible and the conditions great. The most famous spot are, Valdevaqueros, Los Lances, Balneario, Playa chica and Bolonia. The windsurfschools are open all year around and offer the best and latest equipment. If you come with your own windsurf equipment, the hotels offer storage room and most of the villas has enough space. There are a few campsites right on the beach with all amenities.
For sure the best spot in Europe to practice kitesurfing, the mix of good winds, kilometers of perfect white sandy beaches and a full service of professional schools, instructors, night life and rental centers makes Tarifa special. Ideal for all kind of level sailors. There are restricted kite areas along the coast during the summer months.
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 with
Transition of a fishing industry into a holiday industry.
Tarifa resident and personality Henk Post has taken the initiative to support the town hall with this historic step in the history of Tarifa... The transition of a fish industry into a full holiday destination. Tourism will be, and is, 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.
Hotels, Hostals, Pension, Apartments, Villas with sea view and campsites right on the beach.
The campsites are outside the towm along the coast. During the summer months the city halls offers a free of use shuttle service.
 Situated in the centre of Tarifa, this comfortable cosy hostal offers all services you expect from an Hostal. Near the harbour and all facilities.