Get There and Enjoy
Tarifa is easy to get to, considering it is such an unspoilt natural location. Once there, you have so much to see, do and enjoy - below is just a small sample to get you started, we are sure you will find lots more.
There are low cost flights into:
Gibraltar (e.g. BA, EasyJet) - to avoid queues, just walk the 200mtrs across the 'border' to La Linea. There are plenty of car rental options (e.g. Espacar and Rhino) - head for Algeciras then Tarifa or take a 60 Euro taxi ride from the rank, just after the border gate (44km / approx. 45mins)
Malaga (e.g. EasyJet and Ryan Air) - lots of rental options in the airport (e.g. EasyCar, Espacar and Rhino) and then just head South following signs for Cadiz then onto the AP-7 AutoPista heading South (140km / approx. 1hr 50mins & around 10 Euros toll).
Jerez (e.g Ryan Air) - options like Hertz and Rhino plus access to the AP-4 AutoPista (heading south towards Cadiz) then a pretty country route (N340) make this worth considering (125km / approx. 1hr 45mins & no toll). You might try TravelSupermarket for deals on flights / insurance. You can use the AA Route Planner site to get the best route details.
The bus service around the region is excellent value for money and pretty efficient. You can easily travel to / from Tarifa via Algeciras to Gibraltar (it only costs about 10 Euros return!) or from Malaga and Jerez. Bus timetables are published on the operator web sites. For example: Algeciras - La Linea/Gibraltar (M-120) and Tarifa - Algeciras (M-150).
For more local information, you might enjoy this well informed Olive Press article about Tarifa or you can try our links and maps page.
Exploring Tarifa & the region - for a start, try these:
Los Lances Beach - take a stroll South East to the gates of Isla de Tarifa (army base) and the tiny but sheltered Playa Chica. Beyond is the main harbour (see the FRS port web cam) and the lower end of the magnificent old town.
For a longer walk, head North West along Los Lances, past the football ground, camping and wade across the mouth of the Rio Jaro towards the Natural Park, Arte Vida, Dos Mares and even as far as the world famous Hurricane Hotel.
Las Dunas is just a short drive or long bike ride (approx. 10km) North West out of Tarifa along the main road (N340) towards Cadiz. Massive sand dunes face the lovely Valdevaqueros beach and back onto the wooded Natural Park that extends up to the Punta Paloma mountains.
Bolonia (left off N340 about 5km after Las Dunas) has beautifully laid out Roman Ruins, a pretty beach & famous mud. Further down the N340 is Barbate (approx 40km from Tarifa). This busy tuna fishing port, surrounded by great beaches and countryside, was the site of the battle of Trafalgar. Just round the coast is Canos de Meca beach, which has great kitesurfing (especially in strong Levante winds).
In the opposite direction, North East out of Tarifa, Algeciras is the major town/city only 25km away by the N340 road over the winding, turbine covered hills above Tarifa, with great views of Morocco. The rock of Gibraltar is only another 20km away.
The well established FRS ferry fleet runs a daily service from Tarifa to Tangier. It departs regularly from 9am to 9pm and only takes 35 minutes to cross the Straits to a 100 new adventures.
Night Life - Out of town
Tarifa is very relaxed and full of local interest but if you like to party it is VERY lively from mid July to end September - with the surf crowd packing the beaches by day and the bars and open air discos / music bars by night - often until well past dawn.
There so many bars and clubs in Tarifa, I don't think anyone knows where they all are and every year something new turns up. Here are a couple of out of the town venues to consider:
Cafe Del Mar Beach Bar - is a short walk from La Tortuga I, along the Passeo Martimo. Cool sounds and quality food.
Balneario Beach Bar - one of Tarifa's famous 'temporary' chiringuitos was previously known as the 'Bien Star'. It is located at the eastern end of Los Lances, next to the Isla. Open from spring to late summer. Beach, music, live bands during the summer nights and a great sunset spot.
Cafe Del Mar Disco Club - is behind Supermercardo Mercadona in the newer end of Tarifa heading in the Cadiz direction, before the junction with the N340.
Banti - a bit further out of town (you will need to get a lift / taxi), but very classy and worth a night out. Lots of space and soft furnishings and if you get too chilled, there is even a guest house, so you don't have to go home at all!!
Night Life - In the old town
The charming old walled town is very special. It is a short walk from Los Lances beach at the end of Batalla del Salado - the main surf shop/boutique street. Enter it via the Puerta de Jerez and head down to the harbour.
You will find dozens of shops, cafes & bars mixed in with churches, the town hall & residential properties - many with fascinating architecture dating back to the Moors:
Cafe Central - (lower end of the old town on Sancho IV El Bravo, next to the beautiful San Mateo church) is a traditional café / bar with excellent snacks / tapas (including veggie) and has been a great spot for people watching since 1894.
Misiana - (bottom of Calle de la Luz) quite an expensive hotel / bar but very chic and lively, with a wide range of teas & cocktails and they always play great music.
La Tribu - small bar with surf videos, hot music, really good fresh made pizzas and a relaxed atmosphere (Calle de la Luz).
Silos 19 - sadly the wonderful Silos Gallery and its talented sculptor / painter Maxamilian are no more but ... Tarifa shows how the end of one era often leads to a new one with this beautiful new restaurant and hotel in the same location.
Chilimosa - this 100% veggie hideout at the top of Calle de La Luz (sharp right after the Puerta de Jerez) is probably the world's smallest 'cafe'. You can take away but the food is so good and the place is just so calm that it is worth squeezing in. Find out more about vegetarian food in Spain.