ESSENTIAL Tarifa Tourist Guide: BEST Things to Do & See

This page is all about the town of Tarifa on the Costa de la Luz coast of Spain.

In this tourist guide to the tourist resort of Tarifa on the Costa de la Luz in Spain we help visitors who are planning a trip with useful and practical advice on many tourism related subjects such as car hire, accommodation, hotels, hostels, map, sightseeing, weather, where to go, where to stay, travel information and what to see and do in Tarifa.

To make the best of your visit and holiday we cover everything you need to know about Tarifa. We also have photos, picture galleries, views, videos and webcams of Tarifa.


Puerta de Jerez, Tarifa – Photo by Manfred Werner, Wikimedia Commons


Spain’s southernmost town has a laid-back young vibe and atmosphere because it has become a Mecca for windsurfers and water sports enthusiasts from all around the world due to the consistently strong and reliable winds. Many young people come here searching for jobs.

TarifaThe Levante blows from the east and the Pontiente from the west, the winds are strongest in autumn and spring.

The downside of this is to the normal tourist the winds can be really annoying especially when you are down on the beach.

Another water sport that’s popular in Tarifa is scuba diving. Although there are some strong currents, the visibility is good and there is a wealth of marine life to enjoy, including rays, eels and lobsters.

Tarifa’s close proximity to North Africa means it has a real Muslim and Arabic influence.

It is the southernmost tip of Europe, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean, and at its narrowest point it is just 8 miles across the Strait of Gibraltar to Africa (Morocco).

There is a fast catamaran service from Tarifa to the Moroccan city of Tangiers.

The old town of Tarifa is worth a wander around. Originally a military fortress before it became a fishing town Tarifa still retains the old Roman and Moorish influences today.

The streets are a narrow maze of whitewashed alleyways enclosed by 13th century walls. There are some nice Plazas (squares) such as Plaza de Santa Maria and Plaza San Hiscio and pop in to the market at Calle Colon for fresh local produce.

Sights and landmarks include the Castillo de Guzman. This castle is named after the Reconquista Guzman El Bueno who rather than give up the castle to Islamist attackers he allowed his son to be killed.

Tourism in Tarifa also caters for people who are interested in whale and dolphin-watching trips with a number of companies offering these excursions.

The countryside surrounding Tarifa is lovely with green rolling hills full of wildlife. Tarifa attracts bird-watchers from around Europe and is also popular for mountain biking and horse riding.

Tarifa has a thriving restaurant scene offering a wide variety of menus, with everything from International, Greek, Italian to African and Arabic.

Fiestas are an important part of the Tarifa calendar especially the February carnival and the Fiesta de la Virgen de Luz in September, which culminates in a traditional procession of horses through the town.


To the west of the town centre is Tarifa’s main beach, the Playa de los Lances, which stretches for over 10km towards the huge sand dunes at Punta Paloma. The beaches consist of a good quality white sand.

The beach is a great spot for watching the windsurfers and kite surfers – as well as the gulls and waders during the winter months

A more sheltered beach is the rather small Playa Chicitita close to the town centre.

See the latest Tarifa weather below:

Weather forecast

Weather in Tarifa


Tarifa is named after Tarif ibn Malik, the Moorish leader who captured the town in 711.

The main gate to the town, the Puerta de Jerez, was built after the Christian reconquest.

Other attractions in the old town include the Iglesia of San Mateo (church) which dates from the 15th century and the Mirador El Estrecho which offers great views of the Moroccan Rif mountains.

Tarifa Webcams

If you are curious to see how exactly the conditions are right now in Tarifa then you can look at the list of web cams below, which are digital cameras streaming live footage directly to the Internet.

Obviously these cameras are located in strategic positions, usually from the best beaches and viewpoints of Tarifa.

You can see images of Tarifa by looking at the webcams below:

Please help us by suggesting any Tarifa webcams that you know of in order to build our list of webcams in Tarifa.

Beaches at Tarifa – webcam showing images of the sea and beaches of Tarifa.

Tarifa panorama – views over Tarifa with the Strait of Gibraltar in the background.


Tarifa’s bus station is situated in Calle Batalla del Salado, and there are services from here to Cadiz, Algeciras, La Linea, Seville and Malaga.

Tarifa is a small town located at the most southerly tip of Spain and at the point where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this Tarifa usually experiences consistent strong winds which have made it a magnet for windsurfers from all over Europe (and the world).

Map of Tarifa

Below we have an interactive guide and map of Tarifa for visitors and tourists visiting the sprawling town of Tarifa on the Costa de la Luz coast of Spain.


This Tarifa map page helps people searching for the answer to the questions:

Where is Tarifa? Where is Tarifa located in Spain? What is the nearest airport to Tarifa? How do I get to Tarifa? Where can I find driving directions to Tarifa? Where can I find a free streetmap of Tarifa? Where can I get a hotel map of Tarifa?

Tarifa is Spain’s most southern town and it has a laid-back atmosphere, mainly due to the many windsurfers and water sports enthusiasts who come here.

The old town of Tarifa is also worth a visit with its maze of whitewashed alleyways enclosed by 13th century walls.

To the west of the town centre is Tarifa’s main beach, the Playa de los Lances, which stretches for over 10 km towards the huge sand dunes at Punta Paloma. This is a prime spot for many windsurfers and kite surfers who come to Tarifa especially for the reliable and consistently strong winds.

Because of the town’s proximity to Africa, which is only about 8 miles away, there is a fast catamaran service from Tarifa to the Moroccan city of Tangiers.

As we can see on the map of Tarifa there are not many other towns nearby, heading east on the E-5 or N-340 takes you through El Cuarton, El Bujeo, El Pelayo then the major city of Algeciras. Heading west takes you up the Costa del Luz coast through Cortijo de la Picota, Pedro Valiente and Casas de Porro.

View Larger Map


Telephone: 956 680 993
Located on Paseo de la Alameda

Other useful telephone numbers for Tarifa are:

Local Police: 956 614 186
Red Cross: 956 644 896
For emergencies dial 112


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If you are going to a holiday to Tarifa, here are some of our ideas for excursions so you make the most of your trip:

1. Trip to the glamourous tourist resort of Sotogrande known for its rich and famous residents and visitors. The place for designer shop and luxury yachts at the marina.
2. Granada to visit the Moorish Alhambra Palace or to ski!
3. Take a trip over the Mediterranean across to Morocco!
4. Daytrip to Sevilla
5. Daytrip to Cordoba
6. Go inland to the pretty historic town of Ronda.
7. Visit the Rock of Gibraltar.
8. Visit the city of Jerez.
9. Visit the historic city of Cadiz.

Page Summary – This page contains unique content about the beach resort of Tarifa, a popular tourist destination on the Costa de la Luz coast of Spain.

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