Tarifa is on the southern most tip of the South West
coast of Spain. Standing on the shore you can look out across
the Straits of Gibraltar to Africa - just 20 miles
away at the narrowest point.
Because of the windy conditions, Tarifa isn't the first choice
of destination for luxury loving sun-worshippers. It's uniquely
un-built up and there's no large tourist complexes - just
great campsites and many unpretentious cafes and bars which
come alive after a hard days surfing.
Because of its position, Tarifa is constantly buffered by
two conflicting winds: the Levante from the east and the Pontiente
from the west. Barely a day goes by when there's no wind in
Tarifa, and although it drives the locals crazy, Tarifa has
long been known as the windsurfing capital of Europe.
The best seasons for surfing are spring and autumn (Feb -
October), especially when there's a full moon.
Windsurfing enthusiasts from all over Europe head for Tarifa
throughout the year, and some end up staying for months. Because
the winds are so strong, it's not an ideal place for beginners
but if you don't bring your own gear you can rent windsurfing
equipment from one of the many surf schools attached to major
It's not only windsurfers that make a beeline for this coast.
Conditions are ideal for a number of other water sports, such
as fly-surfing - a cross between surfing and paragliding.
The world fly-surfing championships take place in Tarifa in
Spain has a long tradition of horse-riding and Tarifa's
pleasant beaches and undeveloped environment make it an ideal
activity. There's a number of great trails to explore on horseback
and you can organise your ride through any of the major hotels
in town (see Further Information)
The Straits of Gibraltar offer some fantastic sites
for scuba diving at different depths. The currents
can be strong but there's two certified dive schools in the
area and a number of outfitters who will arrange your diving
trip for you.