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Tarifa: Travel Notes

You’ll never really get to know Tarifa (Cadiz) if you stick to the picture perfect beaches, however marvelous they are. If you delve a little deeper you’ll discover a little town that has become the windsurfing capital of Europe without losing sight of its distinctly Andalusian identity. Be it summer or winter, Tarifa is a great location to kick back and relax, or not. Tarifa: where man gets the chance to fly like a bird.

By:  Tertulia Andaluza
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Eat Drink Live music Sleep Shop Sports and spas Museums and galleries Theatre and dance Cinema Transport Green zones Wireless Escapes


EventsFind out what’s on! Check out our events guide for Andalusia.
The southernmost part of Europe
Essential: enjoy the great beaches without forgetting the countryside and natural parks nearby
The weather:

One of the shining stars of the Costa de la Luz is Tarifa. The southernmost point of Europe, Tarifa is a meeting point for those that love water sports, bikinis and surfboards. If you’re planning to visit, make sure you check the weather before setting out, especially if you want to go surfing or laze about on the beach. When the levante is blowing the sand can become an enemy for beach lovers and the town gets filled with people looking for some shelter. When there is poniente, tourists and locals swarm onto the beaches.

With all the action in store, make sure you don’t miss out on a great breakfast. Café Azul will keep you going with their fresh fruit juices, toast, yogurt with fresh fruit and muesli, crêpes and sandwiches. This will give you the energy you need to enjoy the incredible Tarifa landscapes. Most people have yet to discover that there is more to the town than its beaches. The Parque Natural del Estrecho is filled with great hikes such as Sierra de San Bartolomé (contact AOS Travel for more information) and is ideal for getting an overview and understanding of the area: a small fishing village that has become a destinations for water sports due to its excellent weather conditions.

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If you’re more into horses, the Hípica El Mastral has individual lessons and routes on offer from € 25 an hour. In winter Tarifa can provide you with total tranquility and the chance to gallop on its white sandy beaches. A weekend escape at the Molino El Mastral will give you the chance to revel in nature, while a getaway at La Casa de la Favorita is ideal for discovering the town centre.

Animal lovers should to take a boat trip in the Straits of Gibraltar to visit whales and dolphins with firmm. For over 90 minutes you can check out the dolphins and whales in close proximity. It’s surprising how incredible these mammals are, the way they play with visitors who look on spellbound from the boat. If you’re lucky (they only spend 15 minutes above water every two hours) you might even catch a glimpse of a huge sperm whales expelling jets of of water that reach up to fifteen metres high. You’ll feel like a kid on a whale watching excursion with firmm.

At lunchtime you’ll have to keep your cool. There are lots of options for foodies and you may find yourself overwhelmed. If you’d like to tuck into a vegetarian option with fresh fruit juices on the side, your best bet is Tarifa Eco Center. For 10 euros you can order their menu of the day (while enjoying free internet access) from their covered patio filled with furniture built from recycled wooden pallets. If you’re more into fish, then try out La Pescadería. Our recommendations include tasting their selection of fresh fish and delicious arroz marinero. If you’d prefer to be closer to the sea, make your way (by car) to El Chozo, the restaurant at the Valdevaqueros Camping looking over the sea.

You can’t leave Tarifa without trying out some of the water sports for which it’s famous: kitesurfing and windsurfing. If you’re a beginner, hire a professional at an official school. It’s really important. There are several pirate schools that don’t look out for the safety of their students. 4 Surfers is a good option. Twelve hours of teaching over three days comes to € 285 and will give you an IKO certificate according to your level of skill at kitesurfing.

The icing on the cake is watching the sun set. Our favourite spots are the Chiringuito Agua on the Playa de los Lances and La Cabaña in Bolonia. Kick back, try a mojito and take a moment to think of people you’d love to share the moment with.

Dinner is the next big decision to be made. For meat, try the Argentinian restaurant Rosa Negra or Casa Juan Luis. Souk Bar is an idea for something more exotic; a fusion of Arabic, Hindu, Chinese and Thai food. Restaurante Crepería Santa Fe and Savarin Karpanta serve up a European alternative.

Tarifa doesn’t go to sleep when the sun sets. To help your digestion, make your way for a drink to Vibram, a curious blend of cocktail bar and shoe shop. If you like flamenco, Almedina has live shows every Thursday. Trastorno, the head office of Asociación Creazone, is the meeting point for the alternative scene with films, exhibits and themed nights. Electronic music rules the night in Tarifa. Discos like Liebe or Café del Mar, both in the La Vega industrial estate, are some of the more popular choices. If you prefer going out in the old town, then don’t miss La Ruina and Moskito Bar, “one of the few places frequented by both tourists and locals” according to the spokes person for Asociación Puertas Abiertas de Tarifa. Other places to catch a show or live music include Pachamama, La Tribu Playa, Surla Liquid Lab or even the Roman ruins in Bolonia (Conjunto Arqueológico Baelo Claudia) who put on theatrical performances in the summer months.


Tertulia recommends


Quick lunch
Bamboo, 12 €
Plaza de la Alameda, 2

Early morning coffee
Café Central, 3,40 €
C/ Sancho IV El Bravo, 10

Menu of the day
El Chozo, 15 €
Camping Torre de la Peña, Playa de los Lances

Home cooked meal
El Tesoro, 25 €
Paraje El Betijuelo, 6, Sierra de San Bartolomé
Carretera Tarifa a Bolonia, Km. 73

Classic tapas
El Otro Melli, 10 €
Plaza de San Martín, 5

Eat your greens!
Ecocenter, 15 €
C/ San Sebastián, 6

Local cuisine
Restaurante Otero, 20 €
C/ Bolonia, 4, Bolonia

Need to impress
Inti Bar, 35 €
C/ Alcalde Juan Núñez, 8

La Pescadería, 20 €
C/ Nuestra Señora de la Luz, 21

A trip to Italy
La Trattoria, 30 €
Paseo de la Alameda, s/n

Something different
Souk Bar, 20 €
C/ Mar Tirreno, 46

Something different
Restaurante Crepería Santa Fe, 12-25€
Paseo de la Alameda, s/n

Everyone is talking about it
Casa Juan Luis, 25 €
C/ San Francisco, 15

Everyone is talking about it
Posada La Sacristía, 30 €
C/ San Donato, 8

Last night
Savarin Karpanta, 25 € - 30 €
C/ María Antonia Toledo, 3

Great coffee
Café Azul, 6 €
C/ Batalla del Salado, 8


A few pints
Al Laíto
C/ San Casiano, 2

Cocktail bar
Chiringuito Agua
Playa de los Lances Norte, 1

For a cosy chat
Tangana Beach Bar
Prolongación Avda. de los Lances, 28

Everyone is talking about it
Ntra. Sra. de la Luz

To be seen
Republica Café
C/ Pintor Guillermo Perez Villalta, 60

Live music
C/ Almedina, 3

Mombassa Café Tarifa
Plaza San Hiscio, 5

Kubbeck Tarifa
Polígono de la Vega

Last round
Moskito Bar
C/ San Francisco, 11

 Live music

Ctra. Nacional 340, Km. 82,7

Café del Mar
Polígono Industrial La Vega

La Ruina
C/ Santísima Trinidad

Polígono Industrial La Vega

C/ Almedina, 3

Pub Tucán
El Lentiscal (Bolonia)

A little of everything
Tarifa Eco Center)
C/ San Sebastián, 6

A little of everything
Ctra. Nacional 340, Km. 81

A little of everything
La Tribu Playa
Ctra. Nacional 340, Km. 76


Business trip
Hotel Misiana, 70-135 €
C/ Sancho IV El Bravo, 23

Cosy and central
Hotel Posada La Sacristía, 137 €
C/ San Donato, 8
956 681 759,

Great atmosphere
La Casa de la Favorita, 80-125 €
Plaza de San Hiscio, 4

Great atmosphere
Silos Arte & Relax, 170-200 €
C/ de Silos, 19 con C/ Cilla, 1

Great atmosphere
Dar Cilla, 100-130 €
C/ Cilla, s/n

Hurricane Hotel, 104-171 €
Ctra. Nac. 340,Km.78

El Escondite del Viento, 100-135 €
C/ Comendador, 1

Casa Blan+co, 59-118 €
C/ Nuestra Señora de la Luz, 2

Cheap and cheerful
Melting Pot, 16-20 €
C/ Turriano Gracil, 5

Hidden away
Casa Rural Molino El Mastral, 85-155€
Carretera Nuestra Señora Virgen de la Luz, km. 2.3

Hidden away
Hostal La Hormiga Voladora, 51 - 75 €
C/ El Lentiscal, 18

Torre de la Peña I, 16 €
Ctra. Nacional 340, Km. 78

Camping Valdevaqueros, 30 €
Ctra. Nacional 340, Km. 75,5

Camping Paloma, 6,48 €
Ctra. Nacional 340, Km. 74


Music store
Tarifa Records
C/ Jerez, 18

For the home
Deco Tarifa
C/ Nuestra Señora de la Luz, 17

Something for yourself
Natural Chic
C/ Nuestra Señora de la Luz, 6

Something for yourself
Red Cocci
C/ Batalla del Salado, 37

Something for yourself
Caravane by Ins & Els
C/ San Casiano, 5

Something for yourself
10M2 (diecimetriquadrati)
C/ Sancho IV El Bravo, 24b

Street market
Mercado de Tarifa
Calle Colón, s/n

Local products
Zilij Cerámica
C/ Nuestra Señora de la Luz, 15

Sweet treats
Pastelería Ambigú
C/ Sancho IV El Bravo, 26c

Something original
C/ General Copons, 1


Playa de los Lances
Kites are the stars of the show on the Tarifa horizon. When the wind picks up you'll see dozens of kitesurfers flying above the Atlantic Ocean.

Punta Paloma
Part of the Parque Natural del Estrecho (Estrecho Natural Park), this mountain separates Tarifa from Bolonia. This is a hideaway for several locals and a great spot for enjoying the view.

Bolonia dune
A huge sand dune (more than 30 metres tall) shining in the sunlight and surrounded by pine trees.

Isla de las Palomas
Attached to the town by a small bridge, this island is the southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. Its future and use is currently under debate.

Guzmán el Bueno Castle
Declared a Property of Cultural Interest, this castle dominates the skyline of the city. You can see remains of the castle walls throughout the old town of Tarifa.

Los Alcornocales Natural Park
This natural park, whose name means the cork oak groves, borders Tarifa in the North.

 Sports and spas

Getting sweaty
Centro Deportivo Nature
Polígono Industrial La Vega, s/n (Junto a Café del Mar)

Tarifa Eco Center
Centro Holístico la flor de la vida
C/ San Sebastián, 6

Be adventurous
AOS Turismo Activo
Polígono Industrial La Vega
C/ La Línea de la Concepción, Nave 206

Horse riding
Hípica El Mastral
Carretera Nuestra Señora Virgen de la Luz, km. 2.3

Team sports
Campo de fútbol de Tarifa
C/ de Nebrija

Sports center
Piscina Municipal de Tarifa
C/ Yolanda Bravo

 Museums and galleries

Silos Gallery
C/ de los Silos, 19

Conjunto Arqueológico Baelo Claudia
Ensenada de Bolonia, s/n

A little of everything
Sala Municipal de Exposiciones Cárcel Real
C/ Coronel Moscardó

 Theatre and dance

A little of everything
Colegio Guzmán el Bueno
(El Ayuntamiento programa varios espectáculos de artes escénicas)
C/ Joaquín Tena Artigas, s/n

A little of everything
Conjunto Arqueológico Baelo Claudia
(En verano)
Ensenada de Bolonia, s/n


Festival de Cine Africano de Tarifa
Varios puntos de la ciudad (en el mes de mayo)


Car rental
Avda. Virgen del Carmen, s/n

Avda. Andalucía, s/n

C/ del Alcalde Juan Núñez, 16

 Green zones

Estrecho Natural Park
La Peña information centre. Ctra. Nacional 340, Km. 70

Los Alcornocales Natural Park
Visitors centre in Cortes de la Frontera, Avda. de la Democracia, s/n
Cortes de la Frontera, Cadiz


Plaza de la Alameda, 2
Open access

Tarifa Eco Centre
C/ San Sebastián, 6
Open access

Surla Liquid Lab
C/ Pintor Perez Villalta
Residencial Los Lances
Open access


Just a stones throw away from Tarifa is Tánger. You can travel to Morocco in just 35 minutes with FRS (C/ del Alcalde Juan Núñez, 16, 956681830, and explore the city. Another 30 minutes away, but in the other direction is Facinas, a small village located in the mountains within the municipality of Tarifa.

There are hundreds of hiking paths to be explored in the Tarifa area. If you don't want to go too far, why not try the Sierra de San Bartolomé or Tómbolo & Faro de Trafalgar allowing you to discover the beaches of Vejer, Conil, Barbate and Zahora.

Make sure you visit Vejer de la Frontera, a dazzling white village built on top of a hill. Another must is the nearby Fundación NMAC, a centre for contemporary art and sustainable artistic creation. It's an impressive complex set in amongst the natural landscape. They organize exhibitions, courses and workshops.

150 kilometres to the west is the provincial capital: Cadiz. It'll take you about 90 minutes to get there by car. If you leave early you'll have enough time to explore the city and maybe even make some friends: the people of Cadiz (gaditanos) are known for their sense of humour. Have a bite at the tapas bar adjoining Restaurante El Faro and catch a show at Teatro Falla, Sala Central Lechera (the independent scene in Cadiz) or even the Pay Pay that has a fantastic (and free) programme of events.


Useful contacts

Town Hall
Plaza de Santa María

Maritime safety
956681010, 900202202

Health centre
C/ Amador de los Ríos, s/n

Tourism Office
Paseo de la Alameda, s/n


Local police

Post office
C/ General Moscardó, 9

Emergency Medical Attention

Red Cross
C/ Alcalde Juan Núñez, 5

Getting there?

By bus
Transportes Comes

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Pon tu propia imagen con Gravatar
El 16 June 2010 a las 11:38 AM, Jose Antonio dijo...

Super completa. Dan ganas de salir para Tarifa ya mismo.

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El 29 June 2010 a las 9:43 AM, Dani dijo...

Qué fuerte, he ido un montón de veces a Tarifa y la conozco muy bien, así que me sorprende que esta guía está realmente bien hecha…acostumbrado a ver idioteces para visitantes primerizos. Incluso yo he descubierto algunas cosillas nuevas. Estaré pendiente para cuando saquéis otras guías!!

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El 29 June 2010 a las 4:39 PM, Tere dijo...

Es verdad, me parece super completa! además no es de esas guías super largas que terminan aburriendo…este verano voy para Tarifa y me la pienso imprimir. ¿Dónde puedo ver las otras guías que tenéis?

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El 13 June 2011 a las 4:48 PM, rosario dijo...

maravillosa Tarifa , que maravilla . Os felicito por facilitar esta guia tan completa. Os espero a todos en Tarifa porque os aseguro que voy a ir.

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El 1 September 2011 a las 11:26 AM, tarifa al minuto dijo...

La información del blog es muy interesante, gracias por publicar.

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