Tarifa is a small, wonderful town in Cádiz, right on the southernmost coast of mainland Spain (there’s the Islas Canarias right next to Africa). Tarifa is very famous for being a world’s popular wind surf destination as they have really wide, sandy and windy beaches, and for having a ferry to Tangier, as Morocco is ridiculously close. Although my passing through Tarifa was really short I really got to feel the good vibes that make this place special.
The diversity here can be experienced in the buildings, the food, the languages that you hear while walking their streets… I know this description sounds fitting to many other south of Spain coastal towns, but it’s not quite the same, maybe is the type of people (immigrants and tourists alike) this little town attracts, maybe is because the feeling is a bit more intense as its streets are really narrow once you pass the Puerta de Jerez and you instantly feel cozy and welcomed. I don’t know what it is, but I’ pretty sure that you will experience something similar when you visit.
One of the most popular beaches nearby is Valdevaqueros. It’s only 9.7 Km by the road to the northwest of Tarifa. There you can find everything you need, from a kite surfing centre to several hotels and hostels, a camping site and many many “chiringuitos”.
If you keep going down that road you’ll find another very visited, perhaps more family-friendly beach, as it is not that windy: Bolonia Beach. A massive dune make it a very popular spot to watch the sunset. The ruins of the Roman town of Baelo Claudia are located near the beach, (I didn’t know that when I visited, I’m reading about it just now) and are considered to be the most complete Roman town ruins yet uncovered in Spain. I wouldn’t miss it!
Is worth highlighting that the actual southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula is Isla de Las Palomas. You can see it from a the road connecting the island to the mainland, sadly it’s been closed to the public for a while now (actually I recently read that it’s being used as a refugee center, when I visited there was no indication of that). While you stand there looking to the island you have the Atlantic ocean to your right hand side and the Mediterranean sea to you left hand side.
And finally, an unconfirmed trivia fact: Tarifa is sometimes credited with being the origin of the word “tariff”, since it was the first port in history to charge merchants for the use of its docks.