Tarifa, in southern Spain, is close to several great day-trip destinations. Read on for our pick of where to head if you fancy heading out of town.
From a vibrant Moroccan city to one of Spain’s finest beaches, here’s our selection of the best day-trip destinations within easy reach of Tarifa, Andalusia.
Arguably the best day trip to take from Tarifa takes you to another continent. The vibrant Moroccan city of Tangier is just a 35-minute ferry ride from Continental Europe’s southernmost point and is well worth spending a day or 24 hours in. Getting lost in its old walled town (medina) will give you opportunity to see why this intriguing pace has appeared in so much classic art, from Beat Generation literature to James Bond films.
Parque Natural del Estrecho
The Estrecho natural park begins just a few kilometres east of Tarifa and is the most southerly protected area in Europe. Provided you equip yourself with a big picnic to enjoy in the middle of nowhere, it’s the perfect place for a day’s hiking. Exploring Estrecho’s walking trails will give you plenty of opportunity to spot some of the 350 species of birds that pass through here every year, as they migrate between Africa and Europe.
Parque Natural de los Alcornocales
Just north of Tarifa is the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales, home to the biggest forest of cork oak trees in Spain. This is also a great place to spend a day trekking and admiring the park’s outstanding natural beauty. Particularly impressive are the deep, lush valleys called canutos, carved out by thousands of years of wind and water erosion. Spottable fauna includes vultures, Spanish Imperial eagles and Iberian lynx.
Playa de Bolonia
Boasting immaculate sand and clear waters, the Playa de Bolonia is a popular day-trip and weekend destination for locals from both Tarifa and Cádiz. Located 25 km (15.5 miles) north of Tarifa, it’s also a kite and windsurfers’ heaven (there are clearly demarcated zones for watersports and for bathing), buffeted as it is by the Levante and Poniente winds. The lovely town of Bolonia itself is also worth a visit, as are the Baelo Claudia Roman ruins.
Vejer de la Frontera
From Tarifa, it’s a 45-minute drive north to the stunningly-appointed town of Vejer de la Frontera. Packed onto a hilltop 200 m (656 ft) above the river Barbate, Vejer has been named an Historical Artistic Monument of National Importance, and it won’t take you long to see why. The last few centuries simply haven’t happened to the old town, some whitewashed houses of which are built into the medieval castle walls. Be sure to check out the beautiful main square, Plaza de España.
Zahara de los Atunes
Located just 40 km (25 miles) north of Tarifa is Zahara de los Atunes, one of Spain’s most beautiful and unspoilt beaches. Spaniards flock here from all over the country, drawn by the 6 km (3.7 miles) of virginal white sand and brilliant turquoise waters. The small fishing village of the same name just behind the beach is full of tapas bars and places to stay, and during the summer chiringuitos and beachfront restaurants are also open.
Jerez de la Frontera
The stately city of Jerez de la Frontera is just over an hour’s drive north of Tarifa and has plenty to keep the day-tripper occupied. Take a tour of one of its world-famous bodegas and learn the secrets of sherry production (aided by tasting, of course); go and see the dancing horses at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art; or simply wander around the charming old town, stopping in the traditional tabancos (sherry bars) for frequent refreshment.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.