Are you planning to visit Tarifa Spain? There are at least 7 reasons to visit Tarifa in Spain.
Tarifa! A lesser-known gem of Southern Spain where you will find more unique experiences than your average tourist destination. While it doesn’t enjoy the popularity of Barcelona or Seville, if you visit Tarifa you will be rewarded with an unforgettable trip, with delicious food, breathtaking sunsets and stunning scenery all around. It’s a must-visit destination for your Southern Spain bucket list.
Located on the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Tarifa is a picturesque town in the province of Cadiz. Dubbed the “wind capital of Europe,” Tarifa’s cool and strong winds have captivated wind enthusiasts from around the world.
Are you looking for a new adventure and a chance to discover one of Southern Spain’s best hidden gems? Consider adding Tarifa to your travel itinerary!
In this article, we’ll give you seven reasons why you should visit this unique destination.
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7 Reasons To Visit Tarifa, Spain
Whether you’re planning a trip as a solo traveller, family with kids or a couple, you will find plenty to love about Tarifa.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of your trip to Tarifa.
1. Fun All The Way in Tarifa
Tarifa earned the nickname “wind capital of Europe” for a good reason. Whether you are lounging on its shores or strolling along the boardwalk, you will see young and old folks having a blast practising windsurfing and kite surfing. Watching or joining in on these thrilling activities is sure to be an enjoyable experience.
Fancy picking up a new hobby while visiting? You can definitely do that! There are numerous schools situated right by the beach, such as Playa de Los Lances, Valdevaqueros, and Punta Paloma. With just a lesson or two in kite and windsurfing, you’ll be ready to hit the water for an exciting experience!
Not interested in watersports or getting wet? No problem! You may spend your time watching professionals perform fun and amazing tricks that will leave anyone impressed.
If you are a biking enthusiast, you should also make it a point to explore two exciting biking parts in Tarifa, which are the Route to Guadalmesí Tower and the Carrizales.
The Route to Guadalmesí tower is a thrilling 12-kilometre-long path that offers stunning views of the Strait and Coast. However, if you seek an even more exciting and heart-thumping experience, you should check out the Carrizales, a 60-kilometre route with surreal views that look like the Strait is a figment of your imagination.
If you need a bike to explore the area, you can rent a mountain bike from establishments such as Ebike Tarifa – Gustavo.
If bikes are not your thing, and you find the sea’s dazzling depths more interesting, you should check out the Yellow Submarine Tarifa.
The Yellow Submarine Tarifa is your guide to exploring the wrecks and marine life of the astounding Isla de Las Palomas.
For those who do not enjoy spending time underwater, you can enjoy other activities like paddle boarding and surfing.
2. Whale Watching in Tarifa
Have you ever seen a whale? More importantly, would you like to see a whale in its natural habitat? If yes, then you should visit Tarifa!
Thanks to its great location at the intersection of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Tarifa has proved to be an excellent spot for whale watching. This area is a natural habitat for several species of whales, including Fin whales, Pilot whales, Orcas, and Sperm whales.
Whale watching is a great activity which can be enjoyed most months of the year, with lots of local companies offering whale-watching trips.
If you would like to spend time at sea and need more options, booking a boat trip from Cadiz is a great option. This well-established holiday hotspot is known for some of the best cruises and boat trips, especially those enjoyed at sunset time.
3. Party (All Night); Play (All Day) in Tarifa
Tarifa is well known for its lively beach bars, or Chiringuitos, as locals call them.
These establishments offer visitors the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy a refreshing drink while admiring the view.
Atmosphere: In Tarifa, beach bars offer a serene ambiance that is perfect for relaxation. If you visit these bars, you can unwind and bask in the pleasant Mediterranean weather.
Views: Tarifa’s beach bars offer stunning views of the sea, unbeatable anywhere else on the coastline of Southern Spain. Their proximity to the ocean makes it effortless to enjoy a picturesque scene while savouring refreshing drinks or fried fish for lunch.
Food and Drinks: The beach bars in Tarifa offer a diverse range of mouth-watering food and refreshing drinks, perfect for a satisfying meal and quenching your thirst. From fresh seafood to delectable tapas, crisp salads, tantalizing cocktails, classic wines to ice-cold beers, there’s something for everyone. Who could resist such an appetizing spread by the beach?
Family-friendly: Tarifa’s beach bars are a great spot for families. They provide a relaxed and secure environment where children can have fun and safely enjoy the beach.
Tarifa boasts not only breathtaking natural beauty but also a lively and vibrant nightlife scene. Beach bars buzz with excitement in the afternoons, offering you a chance to soak up the energetic atmosphere until sunset. As darkness falls, head to Tarifa’s town centre, where charming alleys come alive with an international crowd revelling into the night.
Numerous bars offer a range of options, from established favorites like La Ruina to the bustling thoroughfare of drinking establishments where revelers spill onto the street. Among them are Taco Way, Tomatito Surf Bar, and Exit Bar – all iconic venues with signature cocktails that invite visitors to dance the night away.
Mombasa at the center and Café del Mar Tarifa at the main entrance of Tarifa are both exceptional spots to revel in international DJ music and unwind, especially if you’re a nightlife enthusiast. However, ensure that you experience the night scene at least once in Tarifa before leaving town.
4. Food in Tarifa
Tarifa’s fame extends beyond its stunning beaches and the water sports. The town’s cuisine is a delicious blend of local Andalusian gastronomy, seafood delicacies, and farm-to-table produce. It caters to diverse epicurean preferences, making it worth exploring five of its exceptional restaurants.
You can try the following:
- Seafood: Tarifa is a coastal town boasting exquisite coastal beauty and an equally exquisite seafood selection. Local restaurants offer a variety of savoury dishes such as fresh fish, succulent octopus, sweet prawns, and lobsters, cooked in traditional styles that evoke the essence of the sea.
- Local produce: Tarifa’s cuisine is heavily inspired by its local produce. The seafood caught by fishermen — mainly using traditional methods — are a significant part of many dishes, along with fresh tomatoes and peppers.
- Tuna: Tuna is one of the most popular locally sourced fish options that comes prepared in a variety of ways. If you love tuna, you will have a blast eating your way through Tarifa!
6. Ancient Arts and Ruins near Tarifa
Baelo Claudia, a Roman town near Tarifa, was once a thriving fishing village popularized by Emperor Claudius.
Although it was eventually abandoned in the 6th century due to earthquakes and pirate invasions, many parts of the ancient town have been remarkably preserved over time.
Visitors can still see remnants of the theater, basilica columns, thermal baths, aqueducts, and even fish-salting workshops that offer an intriguing peek into life during the Roman Era in Hispania.
7. A Tale of Two Cities
Tarifa is a unique place that boasts an interesting blend of European and African character, culture, and architecture. Only 14 kilometres separate the two continents, so you can see all the way to Morocco from the shores of Tarifa.
To embrace Tarifa’s spirit and infuse yourself with the town’s essence, you should stroll along Calle de la Luz and cross Puerta de Jerez. The town’s rich history awaits in its churches, particularly in San Mateo, and its castle that offers splendid views of Africa.
Additionally, the museum inside the castle is worth a visit for those who have an interest in learning more about the area’s fascinating past.
If you find yourself in Tarifa, remember not to miss out on visiting the charming Plaza de la Rana and the historic Town Hall in downtown Tarifa. For those with extra time, a day trip to nearby Morocco is highly recommended and only requires a short ferry ride.
Final Words on Reasons to Visit Tarifa
Tarifa is a wonderful destination that caters to all kinds of visitors. Whether you desire a peaceful retreat, an adrenaline-pumping adventure, exposure to local heritage and culture, or vibrant nightlife, Tarifa is a place to be.
Lucia is a local resident of Southern Spain. On her travel blog Viva La Vita, she shared her discoveries of local gems, beautiful locations and historic sights in this stunning part of Spain.
General Information on Travel to Tarifa
What is the closest airport to Tarifa?
The closest airport to Tarifa is Gibraltar’s North Front Airport which is 28 km away.
Malaga is an alternative and it lies 124 km away.
When is the best time to visit Tarifa?
Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit Tarifa. The European summer months is the height of the season and costs are higher and then are more tourists.
Can you visit Tarifa from Morocco?
You can take the car ferry from Tangier to Tarifa. It takes around 1 hour. Bookings are available here.
How many days do you need to visit Tarifa?
We would recommend at least 3 days to visit Tarifa.
Airfares to Southern Spain
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Where to stay in Tarifa
The Best Tours in Tarifa Spain
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