The Most Unique Experiences to Have in Tarifa, Spain

View from Tarifas Plazuela del Viento, with the north African coast clearly visible
View from Tarifa's Plazuela del Viento, with the north African coast clearly visible | © Manfred Werner / WikiCommons
Mark Nayler

Tarifa is a town quite unlike any other in Andalusia: the unofficial kitesurfing capital of Europe, it boasts a bohemian, alternative ambience all of its own.

Loved by over 40s

Those planning a trip to Spain would do well to consider the characterful town of Tarifa. Read on for our pick of the unique experiences to be enjoyed in this intriguing Spanish destination.


Adrenaline junkies visiting Tarifa won’t want to leave without trying their hand at surfing. Owing to its location at the junction of the Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans, Tarifa is buffeted by strong winds all year round, making for perfect wave-catching conditions. Kitesurfing is the most popular activity, but there are plenty of wind and board surfers around too. Head to Calle Batalla del Saldo for equipment rental and for surf schools teaching all levels.

Whale and dolphin watching in the Strait of Gibraltar

To meet Tarifa’s local marine wildlife, book yourself on a whale and dolphin watching excursion into the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrow strip of water that separates this part of the Spanish coast from north Africa. Its thriving population includes striped, common and bottlenose dolphins and sperm, killer, pilot and long-finned whales. Watching these magnificent animals leap and cruise through the dark waters, just feet away from the boat, is something you won’t forget in a hurry.

Kitesurfers catch the waves in Tarifa, Spain

Day-tripping in Tangier

Take advantage of Tarifa’s proximity to north Africa by enjoying a day-trip to another continent: the Moroccan city of Tangier is reached by a ferry ride of only 35 minutes and is well worth a visit. A tightly-packed old town (Medina) and the Grand Mosque are amongst the key attractions in this fascinating city, which was under joint French, Spanish and British rule before becoming part of an independent Morocco in 1956.

Absorbing the bohemian ambience

Because of its unofficial reputation as Europe’s kitesurfing capital, Tarifa has a grungy, bohemian ambience that is quite unlike that of any other Andalusian destination (Granada is bohemian too, but totally different). Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the old town, where you’ll find loads of super-cool cocktail bars, cafes and tapas joints. Soaking this atmosphere up by chilling in the oldest quarter is key to the complete Tarifa experience.

A street in the old part of Tangier, which can be reached via a 35-minute ferry ride from Tarifa

Eating tapas in the old town

When you spend time in the old town, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of tapas bars to choose from. Hidden away on narrow sidestreets and spilling out onto pretty squares, they’re the place to be at lunchtimes and early-evening. Two of the best are El Lola, a Tarifa institution that does some fantastic tuna tapas (with fish caught using the ancient Almadraba method) and Bar El Francés, a place so popular with locals that booking a table is essential.

Chilling on the beautiful beaches

Many Andalusians will tell you that Tarifa is home to some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches. Extending along the country’s wild Atlantic coast, these unspoilt stretches of sand are just as popular for swimming and sunbathing as they are for surfing. However, if you want to avoid the surfers during summer months, head to Playa de Los Lances, a virginal beach that starts just out of town and runs north for 10 km (6.2 miles). Also beautiful is Playa de Valdevaqueros.

Playa de Los Lances, Tarifa

Enjoy the spectacular views

Tarifa occupies the southernmost tip of Continental Europe and is just 15 km (9.3 miles) away from the coast of north Africa. This means that there are some spectacular views to be enjoyed from the town’s miradores (viewing platforms), the best of which is the Plazuela del Viento. Situated high above the old town, this beautiful square offers an uninterrupted perspective of Morocco’s Rif mountains, simmering in a heat haze across the Strait.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


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.


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!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


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.