About Tarifa

Tarifa Oldtown

Graykite Tarifa

Tarifa is a unique town in the Cadiz province of Andalusia, Spain. The Old Town is a walled mediaeval maze, full of tapas bars, restaurants and surf bars and is the centre of attraction for things to do in Tarifa. The new town has grown outside the walls and provides most of the essential services such as banks, supermarkets and kite schools.

Tarifa ‘s geographic location on the southernmost point of Europe at the entry to the Straits of Gibraltar made it an important trading post for centuries. The first town to charge ships for the use of its docks, it is thought to be the origin of the word ‘tariff’.

This geographic location means Tarifa enjoys unique weather conditions. It experiences unusually consistent and strong winds due to the Venturi effect created by the Strait of Gibraltar and its climate is warm all year round due to its southerly location.

These weather conditions and the miles of unbroken white sand beach at Los Lances, Valdevaqueros and Punta Paloma mean that today Tarifa is famous as a mecca for water sports, and in particular as the unofficial world capital of kitesurfing. The near-constant wind and sun combined with miles of sandy beaches combine to create the ideal spot for our wonderful sport.

Tarifa History

About Tarifa  3

The history of Tarifa is slightly mysterious. There is not much concrete evidence for what has happened here over the years. It used to be thought that Tarifa was the site of Julia Transducta but that settlement is now identified with Algeciras. It is now believed that Tarifa may have been the site of the Roman settlement of Mellaria. The village of Bolonia near Tarifa was definitely the site of the Roman settlement of Baelo Claudia. The ruins there are open to the public to visit.

In the year 710 Tarifa was conquered by a Berber commander called Tarif ibn Malik, who gave the city its current name. After the 10th century Moorish conquest of southern Spain Tarifa was fortified. Later, control of Tarifa was passed from the taifa of Algeciras to the taifa of Seville, then to the Almoravids, eventually becoming part of the Kingdom of Granada. In 1292 Tarifa was conquered by Sancho IV of Castile, and two years later resisted a siege by North African Islamic troops. The town resisted another siege in 1340 and has since remained part of what we would now call Spain.

In 1812 Tarifa was again besieged, this time by Napoleon’s French Army. Once again Tarifa withstood the siege and the French retreated, first from Tarifa and soon after from the entire Iberian peninsula.

Getting to Tarifa

Travelling to Tarifa isn’t as hard as some people think. It takes a tiny bit longer than getting to more mainstream resorts, but that’s a small price to pay for the rewards once you get here.

We’ve listed the main ways people travel to Tarifa on holiday, but if we haven’t covered your particular needs you can try looking up a route on Rome2Rio or just give us a call on +34686378600 and we’ll provide whatever assistance you need. We can help with accommodation and many other things too.

Happy travelling and we’ll see you when you get here!

Driving to Tarifa

About Tarifa  5

When you’re not busy kiteboarding you might want to explore the surrounding area: the beautiful Costa de la Luz, the Campo de Gibraltar national park or the Costa del Sol. If so, you’ll need a car, and hiring a car is usually the sensible option. With a car you can also visit the well-known cities of Cordoba, Sevilla, Ronda and Granada or look for some of Andalusia’s many hidden gems. Renting a car can help you enjoy and understand southern Spain and its rich culture, delicious tapas, dramatic landscapes and relaxing beaches.

Car Hire

About Tarifa  7

We recommend Rhino Car Rental.

If you’re in Spain and want to rent a car to get to Tarifa we recommend using Rhino Car Hire. Visit the Rhino Car Hire website.

Flying to Tarifa


About Tarifa  5

You have a number of airports to choose from if you are flying to Tarifa. The closest airports to Tarifa are:

Gibraltar 48Km

Direct flights from London, Birmingham and Manchester (UK)

Jerez de la Frontera 122 Km

Direct flights from most capital cities.

Malaga 160Km

Direct flights from most capital and many regional cities.

Sevilla 205Km

Direct flights from most capital and many regional cities.

Skyscanner is a good source of cheap flights.

From the airport, you have a number of choices for your onward journey to Tarifa.

Buses to Tarifa

About Tarifa  11

Bus from Gibraltar Airport to Tarifa

When you leave Gibraltar airport you will need to cross the border into Spain. The border is called La Linea and is actually the airport runway! The bus station is approximately 100m away. Turn left at the border, then first right, and you will find it on the first island you come to. Buses take about 55 minutes.

Bus from Malaga Airport to Tarifa

Take a direct bus from the airport or go to Málaga centre and take the onward bus service from there. The timetables below give a general indication of the frequency of services but are subject to change. You can verify the current schedule by calling the bus company or booking tickets directly via their website. Buses from Malaga take about 3 hours.

Kitesurfing bus

About Tarifa  13

In July and August a micro-bus service serves the beach side hotels and campsites along the A7 road to the north of the town.

It stops at Tarifa town bus station, Rio Jara Camping, Dos Mares Hotel, Camping Tarifa, Hurricane Hotel, Camping Torre de la Pena, Explorer, Camping Valdevaqueros, Camping Paloma, Camping Jardin de las Dunas.

Departs Tarifa at 07.50, 09,30, 10.45, 12.15, 14.00, 15.15, 17.00, 18.30, 20.00, 22.00, 23.00 and Fri and Sat nights 00.30, 01.30, 02.30.

Departs Camping Jardin de las Dunas 08.45, 10.15, 11.45, 12.45, 14.45, 16.45, 17.45, 19.15, 21.00, 22.30, 23.45, and Fri and Sat nights 01.00, 02.00, 03.00.

Tarifa Bus Service

For a comprehensive list of Tarifa bus services click here: andalucia.com/tarifa.