What You Should Know about Tarifa
*Disclaimer: In this post we will be sharing information on the general region of Tarifa, rather than concentrating on only the city.
Transport options to arrive: Car, Bus, Ferry, or Shuttle from some nearby airports
Car or Bus will likely be your most economical option. A ferry arrives from Tangier, Morocco in this port city and from a few other cities in Africa in the nearby port of Algeciras. Shuttles and buses are offered from airports in the area, like Malaga (AGP) approximately four times a day as well as from Algeciras.
Recommended time of year to visit and length of visit: Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the beaches and water sport activities. Great for a weekend getaway!
Fun Fact: Like dozens of places around the world, Tarifa claims to be the “Windsurf Capital.” Personally, from the abundance of the parachutes I saw, I would give it the “Kiteboarding / Fly-surfing Capital” title. But whatever. The point is that this windy coast is ideal for a variety of extreme sports.
Top three must-sees:
1. Tarifa Ciudad: Even if you plan to spend you days on the sand or water, I definitely recommend taking a wander through the city of Tarifa. From its old-school surfer shops to its hidden minimalist hostels, it definitely still has that beach town feel, but with a growing number of more stylish bars and cutesy cafes. Be sure to walk out to the most southern point of Europe and maybe even try out scuba diving!
2. Playa Bolonia: This public beach is about a 25 minute drive from the city of Tarifa but it was highly recommended by the locals and I can’t help but recommend it too. Be prepared for lots of wind—you’ll want to bring a beach umbrella or stealthily position yourself next to someone else with one—but therefore lots of beautiful views of kiteboarder’s colorful parachutes!
3. A campsite (any one will do!): The coast of Tarifa is sprinkled with campsites so that camping in this region is cheap and lots of fun! Bring your own tent or RV or splurge on a cabin with a few friends. As an American, I was shocked by two things 1.) there were no individual “plots,” we just set up camp on the same patch of grass as everyone else and 2.) campfires are strictly prohibited in the summer. Plan ahead with a gas grill or foods you can eat cold. And if all else fails, the campsite restaurants are actually pretty fun!
One thing to eat: cazón en adobo
When on the coast, I like to take advantage of the fresh seafood. I’m honestly not a big fan of fish and other things from the sea but this breaded dogfish is a non-fish-lover’s dream! It is honestly delicious and, topped with fresh lemon, the taste could practically pass as chicken, just with a more tender melt-in-your-mouth consistency.