Things to do in Tarifa

Tarifa in Spain is an amazing destination for those looking to experience a different side of the country. With its white-sand beaches and stunning views of the Strait of Gibraltar, it’s no wonder why this beautiful town is becoming a hotspot for tourists from all over Europe. Whether you’re looking for some rest or want to explore the historic sites of the area, Tarifa is a spot not many will have heard of and may never visit.

One of the best things to do from Tarifa is take a boat tour along the coast. From here, you can enjoy stunning views of both Morocco and Spain as well as spot some incredible wildlife like dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. This is also an amazing way to get up close and personal with the stunning views of the Strait.

If you’re looking for some outdoor activities, there are plenty to choose from in Tarifa. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are popular here, and you can easily find a school that will teach you how to do either activity. There are also many hiking trails around the area, giving you a chance to take in the beauty of nature from a different perspective.

The beaches are one of Tarifa’s greatest features – a remarkable fringe to mainland Europe – and there is something for everyone here. From secluded coves to wide-open sands, there are plenty of options when it comes to spending time on the beach. You can even spot some amazing wildlife here such as loggerhead turtles, which make their nests on the sand.

When it comes to accommodation in Tarifa, there are plenty of options for all budgets. From luxury villas to budget-friendly apartments, you can find something that suits your needs and allows you to get a good night’s sleep after a day of exploring and activities.

Tarifa is an amazing destination and one that is definitely worth visiting. With its stunning beaches and incredible views, it provides the perfect setting for a relaxing getaway. Whether you’re after some rest and relaxation or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Tarifa has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to explore this incredible destination!

We sailed past Tarifa in March 2023 and took this snap of the Lighthouse. It’s a beautiful coast line and well worth the trip by road back to the town in absence of a suitable marina.

Tarifa Lighthouse

Planning Your Trip to Tarifa

Now that you’ve decided to visit Tarifa, it’s time to start planning your trip! One of the first things you’ll need to consider is how to get there. The easiest way is by plane. Tarifa is accessible by several airports. We cover these below.

When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of options for all budgets. From luxury villas to budget-friendly apartments, you can find something that suits your needs and allows you to get a good night’s sleep after a day of exploring and activities. We cover these options below also.

If you’re looking for things to do in Tarifa, there are plenty of options. Take a boat tour along the coast to enjoy stunning views of both Morocco and Spain, while spotting wildlife such as dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. You can also try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing, or take a hike to explore the area’s stunning nature trails. The beaches are also fantastic here – from secluded coves to wide-open sands, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to lay out your beach towel and soak up some sun. Guess what.. we cover these also!

Let’s dive in…

How to get to Tarifa

Here is how you can get to Tarifa.

Flying to Nearby Airports for Tarifa

Getting to Tarifa by air involves flying to nearby airports since the city itself lacks an airport. You can consider landing at major airports in the region, such as Malaga, Seville, Jerez, or Gibraltar. The closest airport is Gibraltar. We recommend hiring a car from La Linea if you arrive at Gibraltar airport. The car hire locations are just a few minutes walk away across the Frontier into Spain. For the best rates, CLICK HERE.

All of these airports offer good connectivity with various domestic and international destinations. Once you arrive at one of these airports, you can then find suitable land or water transportation to reach Tarifa. Hiring a car is easy from any of the main airports.

Getting to Tarifa by road

If you’re looking to travel to Tarifa by car then there are plenty of options available. The main route from Seville is via a toll road or the A-381/E15 motorway, which takes around two and a half hours. If you’re coming from Malaga, take the A397/MA-102 motorway which takes about two hours. Once you arrive in Tarifa, there are plenty of car parks available around the town centre. Alternatively, you could take public transport to get around – buses run regularly from nearby towns such as Algeciras and Cadiz.

Getting Around Tarifa

Getting around local Tarifa is easy and convenient. The easiest way to explore the city is by foot or bicycle, as it’s relatively small and most of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. Perhaps think about hiring a scooter or bicycle locally to really explore the area.

For longer distances, there is a bus network that connects Tarifa with other towns in the area. You can find timetables and routes at the bus station located in the centre of town – or click here to see this information online.

So no matter how you choose to get around Tarifa, you’re sure to have a great time exploring this stunning destination! Happy travels!

Exploring Tarifa

One of the best ways to explore Tarifa as a region is by car. With a car, you can easily navigate the narrow windy roads and explore the wider area in depth. You’ll also get access to some of the more remote villages and attractions that are off the beaten path. If you don’t have your own car, there are plenty of rental options available from your arrival airport of choice.

For those looking to explore the area on foot, there are several hiking trails and paths that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. From here, you can take in the incredible scenery as well as spot some interesting wildlife like eagles and wild boars.

Take a boat tour along the coast and enjoy stunning views of Morocco and Spain, while spotting wildlife such as dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. This is an amazing way to get up close with the beauty of the Strait.

Tarifa Beaches

The beaches of Tarifa are one of its greatest features, and there is something for everyone. From secluded coves to wide open sands, you can find the perfect spot to lay out your beach towel and soak up some sun in view o. You might even spot some amazing wildlife here such as loggerhead turtles making their nests on the sand.

For those looking for some peace and quiet, Cala Cortina is the perfect spot. This secluded beach has crystal clear waters and golden sands, making it an idyllic destination for a day of relaxation.

Punta Paloma Beach is also a top spot to visit – it’s a stunning sandy beach with plenty of space to relax and take in the breathtaking views. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Los Lances Beach which is great for surfing or windsurfing.

Playa Chica is another popular destination, with its long stretch of golden sands and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and even snorkelling if you’re feeling adventurous!

Accommodation in Tarifa

Accommodation in Tarifa comes in all shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find something that fits your budget. From luxury villas to budget-friendly apartments, you can easily find a place to rest and relax after a day of exploring or activities.

Our best places to stay in Tarifa on a budget:

  1. La Casa de La Favorita ⭐️⭐️

  2. La Estrella de Tarifa ⭐️⭐️

Plenty more can be found here

There are also several campsites around Tarifa, where you can stay and enjoy the beauty of nature in a peaceful setting. These campsites offer everything from basic facilities to more luxurious amenities, making it easy to find something that fits your needs.

Our favourite camping spots: Kampaoh Tarifa

Our best places to stay in Tarifa – mid range:

  1. Silos19 Suites ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  2. Aristoy ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Our best places to stay in Tarifa – high-end:

  1. Hotel & Spa La Residencia Puerto ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  2. Hotel Tarifa Lances ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Eating Out in Tarifa

Eating out is an important part of any trip, and Tarifa offers plenty of options for food lovers. From traditional tapas bars to modern cafes, you’re sure to find something that caters to your taste.

We love Silos 19! It also has great accommodation! (see above).

Silos 19, Tarifa

Nestled in the heart of Tarifa lies a culinary gem, Silos 19. This charming restaurant offers a remarkable dining experience, both for its tantalising menu and its unique setting. Housed in an old, repurposed grain silo, the restaurant retains much of its original character which contributes to its warm and inviting atmosphere.

With a menu that celebrates the flavours of traditional Spanish cuisine with a creative flair, Silos 19 stands out among Tarifa’s dining scene. Here, local ingredients are transformed into visually appealing and mouth-watering dishes. Don’t miss out on their signature seafood paella, a dish that beautifully encapsulates the coastal essence of Tarifa.

But it’s not just the food that earns Silos 19 its accolades. The exquisite wine selection, featuring the best of Spanish vineyards, pairs perfectly with their offerings. This, combined with attentive service and stunning views of the city, makes Silos 19 a must-visit dining destination when you’re in Tarifa.

No. 6 Cocina: A Culinary Delight in Tarifa – If you’re a food enthusiast seeking to tame your taste buds with Spanish culinary delights, a visit to No. 6 Cocina is a must when in Tarifa. Renowned for its fusion of traditional Spanish ingredients with modern cooking techniques, this place is a gastronomic gem nestled in the heart of the city. The menu at No. 6 Cocina is an eclectic mix of gourmet dishes, each delicately prepared and presented, promising a blend of truly delightful flavours. The restaurant’s warm, inviting ambience paired with its friendly and professional service adds an extra charm to your dining experience. For those interested in wine pairings, the restaurant boasts an impressive wine list featuring selections from numerous Spanish vineyards. All in all, a meal at No. 6 Cocina is not just about filling your stomach, it’s about enjoying a complete sensory experience. So, when in Tarifa, make a reservation at No. 6 Cocina for an unforgettable culinary journey.

No 6 Cocina, Tarifa

For seafood lovers, Tarifa is the perfect destination. Stop off at Restaurante La Pescadería for some delicious fish and chips or visit El Puerco Rico for some of the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere.

If you are a foodie visiting Tarifa, then dining this place is an absolute must! This delightful restaurant is renowned for its superb seafood dishes, serving up the freshest catches from the waters around Tarifa. It’s a haven for those craving for a taste of the sea; think succulent prawns, tender calamari, and a vast array of fish, all cooked to perfection. Not to mention their revered paella, a dish that alone makes a visit worthwhile. La Pescadería offers a tranquil setting with warm, rustic interiors that invite you to sit back and savour the flavours. Plus, it’s centrally located, making it an easy add-on to your Tarifa itinerary. So, for anyone wondering where to eat in Tarifa, Restaurante La Pescadería is a top choice – you’ll be regaled with splendid seafood and a delightful dining experience at a reasonable price.

La Pescaderia, Tarifa

When it comes to dessert, make sure you try some of Tarifa’s famous Churros. These traditional Spanish doughnuts are the perfect way to end your meal.

So no matter what kind of food you’re looking for, eating great food is one of the best things to do in Tarifa.

Shopping in Tarifa

Tarifa is also a great destination for shopping. The main shopping area is located in the old town, where you can find everything from traditional souvenirs and handmade crafts to modern fashion boutiques.

If you’re looking for traditional souvenirs, make sure you stop by La Casa de los Mosquitos. This shop sells a variety of local handicrafts, including jewellery and ceramics.

For fashionistas, Tarifa is a great place to pick up unique items and support local designers. Check out La Bodega de Moda for some funky and original pieces, or Zara for more mainstream designs.

So if you’re looking for something unique to bring home from your trip, make sure you take the time to explore Tarifa’s shopping scene! With so many shops offering a variety of goods, you’re sure to find something special.

Experiencing Tarifa’s Nightlife

If you’re looking for a fun night out, Tarifa has plenty of options. There are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from, ranging from lively venues with live music to intimate cocktail bars.

For a classic Spanish experience visit Bar Lambon – they have an extensive selection of wines and tapas, as well as live music most nights. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more modern, check out La Bodega Club – they often host DJs and have a great atmosphere.

If you prefer to keep things low-key, there are plenty of cocktail bars in Tarifa where you can sip on your favourite drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. We recommend the rooftop bar at El Cortijo del Mar – they have an amazing selection of cocktails and stunning views over the harbour.

What Else Is There to Do in Tarifa?

If you’re looking for something different to do in Tarifa, there are plenty of options. From sailing and whale-watching tours to kayaking and horse riding excursions, there is something for everyone.

For an adrenaline-filled experience try kitesurfing or windsurfing for water sports enthusiasts – both offer a unique way to explore the area and get some fantastic views. Or if you want to explore at a slower pace, take a kayak tour of the coastline and enjoy stunning views of Morocco and Spain.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a jeep or 4×4 and explore Tarifa’s beautiful surroundings. Stop off at hidden coves or take the scenic route to get a real taste of this stunning destination.

Whale watching is also something you can do. Every year, thousands of migrating whales pass through the Strait of Gibraltar and can be seen from the coastline. This is an amazing experience for animal lovers who want to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. There are plenty of whale-watching tours available in Tarifa, ranging from half-day trips to full-day excursions. Click here to learn more.

If you’re not one for sitting still, why not go on a coasteering adventure? This is an exhilarating activity that combines rock climbing, cliff jumping, and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. With experienced guides to lead the way, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience! Or if you’re looking for something a bit more low-key, why not spend the day exploring some of Tarifa’s historic sites? The old town is full of interesting monuments and buildings, such as the Church of San Mateo and the medieval fortifications. A leisurely stroll through these streets will give you a real insight into Spanish culture and history.

So whatever kind of experience you’re looking for, Tarifa has something to offer! Get ready to explore and have an amazing time in this stunning part of Spain.

How to Make the Most of Your Trip to Tarifa

With so much to do and see in Tarifa, it can be hard to know where to begin. So here are some of our top tips on how to make the most of your trip:

  • Spend some time exploring the old town – take a stroll through the cobbled streets and admire the architecture

  • Visit one of Tarifa’s beaches – take a dip in the Mediterranean and soak up some sun

  • Enjoy some of Tarifa’s amazing cuisine – try traditional dishes like paella or sample some local seafood

  • Explore the nearby countryside – rent a jeep or take a kayak tour and discover hidden coves

  • Get lost in one of Tarifa’s many markets – pick up some souvenirs or find a unique piece of art

  • Go on an adventure – try kitesurfing or horse riding and experience Tarifa’s stunning landscape

  • Take a day trip from Tarifa to Gibraltar!

So get ready to make the most of your trip to Tarifa! With so many amazing activities and attractions, you’re sure to have a great time exploring this beautiful destination.

Best time to visit Tarifa

The best time to visit Tarifa is in the spring or autumn months when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.

In the springtime, you can enjoy temperatures ranging from 15-25 ºC, with plenty of sunshine. This is also a great time to explore some of Tarifa’s natural attractions – wildflowers are in bloom and the hillsides are a beautiful green.

During the summer months, Tarifa boasts an appealing climate with temperatures typically hovering between 25-34ºC. These warm, sunny days make it an ideal time for beach activities, water sports, and exploring the charming old town. However, it’s worth noting that Tarifa is renowned for its winds, which can bring a refreshing coolness even in the height of summer. This makes Tarifa a paradise for wind and kitesurfers who thrive in these weather conditions. So, if you’re planning a summer visit, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and prepare for some fun under the Andalusian sun!

Autumn is also a great time to visit – temperatures range from 12-20 ºC, with plenty of sunshine to enjoy. The sunsets over the Mediterranean are particularly beautiful during this season.

So no matter what time of year you decide to visit Tarifa, you’re sure to have an amazing time exploring this beautiful destination.

Final Thoughts

Tarifa is a stunning destination with plenty to offer. From its stunning beaches and amazing nightlife to its unique culture and delicious cuisine, this is one place you won’t want to miss.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Spain, Tarifa should be on your list! Get ready to explore and have an amazing time in this beautiful destination.

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Anna Roffey Lawyer, World Traveller, Blogger... 🧡