The bohemian town of Tarifa is situated at the southern most point in Europe, just 14 kilometres from Africa, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean, enjoys spectacular views of the Rif Mountains of Africa across the water. The town is an excellent destination for lovers of water sports, and it’s a party town, yet with a distinctly chilled out atmosphere.
Beaches Ten kilometres of white sandy beaches, unspoilt countryside and some of the best windsurfing conditions in Europe, have established Tarifa as a true surfers’ paradise.
Nature Tarifa’s wild coastline attracts surfers and nature-lovers alike. Just as famous for its bird watching as its surfing, there are endless opportunities to explore the rolling countryside. Horse-riding, hang-gliding, kite-surfing, rock-climbing and diving to name but a few.
Culture The first settlement of the Moorish invasion of 711, it is famous for the story of Guzmán del Bueno (the Good), who sacrified his son rather than surrender the Town Square.
It still retains all the charm of an Arabic city. Its legacy of historic monuments is noteworthy: the Gate of Jerez and the Caliph’s Castle from the Moorish rule, the church of San Mateo (16th century), etc. Nearby, the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia are worthy of mention, lying next to the beach of Bolonia.
Activities Its coast has been chosen as the venue for the World Windsurfing Championships, which has come as a great boost to the city. Underwater fishing is also possible in its transparent waters and beaches of Los Lances, Bolonia, Punta Paloma, De la Plata, Valdevaqueros and Torre de Peña.
Strains or fighting bulls and beautiful horses can also be seen at pasture in this region, and from the coast, so too can the flight of great flocks of birds migrating.
Cuisine The Arab presence made a lasting impact on the cuisine of southern Spain. Rice, lemons, oranges, olives and vines were introduced, as well as many new vegetables and spices.
Typical today are barbecued meats, sauces flavoured with cumin or saffron and sweets made from crushed almonds. Tomatoes and peppers are much used.
The region is famous for its grilled fish, especially sardines and deep-fried calamares (squid), also fish baked in salt.
Tapas were invented in Andalusia and a wide variety of them is still available in Andalusia. Quality ham and pork are used widely in sausages. Some of the best jamon Serrano (cured ham) comes from the mountains of Andalusia, in particular from Jabugo.
Climate The weather is probably the most famous product of Tarifa. The wind blows almost all year round making it one of most famous destinations for windsurfers in the entire world.