Tarifa and surroundings
Tourism in Tarifa is very select and varied, consisting of people of all ages and with different ages: from elite sportsmen and sportswomen to peaceful nature lovers, from enthusiasts for the natural way of life, the culture and the gastronomy of the south, to others who simply seek relaxation in some corner of the nearby forty kilometres of virgin coastline. From those who pursue the authenticity of the Spanish culture, to those who find here an alternative to overcrowded tourist destinations.
Tarifa is the last municipality in the south of Spain and Europe. It´s found in the so-called `Coast of Light´, in the province of Cadiz, within the Autonomous Community of Andalucia (Spain) between the waters of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. It´s a small town full of history and with an unbeatable climate: warm winters and gentle summers without suffocating heat and an average temperature of 17°. There are two natural parks of international recognition in the locality of Tarifa: the Alcornocales Park, the last Mediterranean wood in Europe, and the Coastal Park of the Strait, which protects the richness and conservation of its seabeds. They make Tarifa a spectacular place to go diving, whale-watching or birdwatching.
You only need to look at a map to appreciate the special geographical location of this small and charming town in Cadiz: only forty kilometres separate it from the African Continent. This characteristic has marked and continues to define its history. Tarifa has been inhabited since the most distant ancient times and there is good evidence of this in the innumerable prehistoric remains spread throughout the municipality, among which stand out the Roman cities of Mellaria and Baelo Claudia. Although the municipality reached its greatness with Muslim occupation of Spain, to which it owes its name and one of the most renowned heroic episodes in the history of Spain: Sancho IV el Bravo, who led the expulsion of the Moors from the town, sacrificing his own son, and in this way bringing the Reconquest of the Peninsula to an end.
All of its history still remains intact in Tarifa: perfectly conserved castles, Medieval walls, churches, necropolis, megalithic collections, some of the most important signs of cave art corresponding to the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe, anthropomorphic tombs,Almenara towers etc.
Tarifa is cosmopolitan, fun and very artistic. Concerts, jam sessions, dance shows, theatre and exhibitions are held every month, and events of international importance are welcomed on an annual basis, such as the African Film Festival, which has been running since 2003. Generally held between the end of April and the start of May, it is gaining more followers every time. The film festival is unique for its theme and contributes free parallel activities every year.
But, above all, Tarifa is internationally known for being an important meeting point for enthusiasts and practitioners of all types of water activities, such as windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing. It has been the home of the PKRA (Professional Kiteboard Riders Association) since 2006 and hosts, among others, the World Kiteboard Championships. Known as a surfer´s Mecca, atmosphere and fun are guaranteed in the regular championships and competitions.