Sun, sand and birds
When all you can see through the window is snow, and the frost draws fancy motifs on the glass, many of us dream of going to a place, where you can feel the sunbeams on your face, walk on fine sand and swim in warm sea. And many of us think of hot Spain in that moment.
And where could be the warmest? In the region which, commonly speaking, lies a stone's throw to Africa. In other words - in Andalusia. The southernmost Spanish resort is Tarifa, from which at night you can see the lights of Tangier. Eventually, it’s only 30 kilometers from one city to the other.
I believe there’s no person, who doesn’t know that birds migrating in winter to the tropics fly straight to Africa. Tarifa is one of the best places to watch the migration. During bad weather, when the birds are exhausted, they stop in the mountains where they often spend a few days. So I guess we can easily say that Tarifa is a resort both for humans and for birds.
What’s interesting is the legend of Alonso de Guzmán (de Guzmán el Bueno), the ruler of Tarifa. During the invasion of the enemy he sacrificed his son in order to save the city. Contrary to what the invaders expected, he did not give up the government in exchange for the release of the son, he let them kill him. Today, near to the port and the castle that was built in honor of the unrelenting king, you can see the monument. Ironically, "bueno" means "good".
The world’s center of surfing subculture
Tarifa is considered to be the Spanish capital of surfing. Kite surfing and windsurfing enthusiasts come here very eagerly. Both the magnificent beaches and incomparable climate are second to none, and that’s what attracts people the most. One of the biggest beaches in the province is Zahara de los Atunes. It stretches from Zahara to Cabo de Plata. Golden sand and mild waves – it’s a perfect place for fishing or swimming. Tourists will find peace, ideal for relaxation in Cabo de la Plata. By the beach there are cozy houses with small gardens.
If anybody came here especially for windsurfing, should definitely hit the beach Valdevaqueros or Los Lances. There are several surf clubs located near those beaches, offering equipment rentals or lessons with an instructor. Diving and fishing enthusiasts often choose Cala Picacho with white sand, romantic coves and picturesque rocks looming out of the water. Arroyo del Cañuelo, on the other place, is a spot, where we can find amazing sand and crystal clear water. People, who want to forget about the reality while exploring the underwater flora and fauna, will feel like in paradise.
Under your own roof – Tarifa with a camper
In the region so beautiful it’s not necessary to look for the accommodation in a hotel. Those, who prefer their own means of transport, and appreciate the opportunity of stopping at any point they want, know it is the best way to travel. There are few campsites waiting for them, which are worth mentioning.
Strongly recommended by the fans of caravanning is camping Paloma (Ctra N340 Cadiz-Malaga, km 74, 11380 Tarifa). Two adults coming here with a camper will pay from 32.10 € to 42.80 € per night, depending on the season. It is not allowed to bring dogs during the summer season, however, you can bring your own boat. At least twice a week, there are trips organized, so it’s an opportunity for people who don’t have a plan of how to explore the area. There is a restaurant, shop and snack bar at the campsite, which is opened all year round.
Another place where you can stay is camping Valdevaqueros (Ctra N340, km 75.5, 11380 Tarifa / Cadiz). Here, two adults will pay from 30 to 40 € for the night. There are 10 camper pitches, so it's pretty intimate. The camp is fully adapted to the needs of the disabled people, and you can bring your dog during the season, as well as offseason. The owners of the campsite also organize trips, so you can get to know the attractions of the area.
Another interesting campsite is El Jardín de las Dunas (Los Algarves / Punta Paloma, Tarifa 11380). Approximate price of the accommodation for two people is 28.40 € - 39 € per day. It’s opened all year round, and there are marked hiking trails within its territory. Guests are welcome to use the lounge, washing machine and tumble dryer. You can also play tennis, ride horses, but you are not allowed to bring your pets.
Exploring the area
Beautiful beaches, clear water and lush greenery - Tarifa can be alluring. What’s worth seeing apart from that? The enthusiasts of the old fortifications and monuments should see Baelo Claudia, which is located about 12 kilometers from Tarifa. There you can find the ruins of the Roman city. And in Tarifa you can see the fortifications, and the Sante Mateo, fifteenth-century Gothic church with a Baroque façade and interior. A spot definitely worth seeing is the castle from the tenth century, partly rebuilt 800 years later.
Above it all, you have to remember that from this city you can see the second, exotic continent. Continent, which for many of us will remain as an attraction, about which we can only read, or see in a movie. Meanwhile, here in Spanish Tarifa, you can just sit at one of the local beaches and admire the outline of a land looming on the horizon. And contemplate this amazing moment.