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On the very tip of Spain, Tarifa is Andalusia's last spot before Morocco. And the influences from across the windswept and beautiful coastline and the Strait of Gibraltar are obvious everywhere. From the Moroccan fusion food to the architecture, to the wind itself. Indeed many of the best places to stay in Tarifa have a very North African feel too.
But one of the best things about this whitewashed, laid back Andalusian town is that it's been largely overlooked by the mass tourism inflicted on the nearby Costa del Sol. And much of the adjacent coastline, and the pristine beaches along it, is still protected.
Start in the narrow streets of the old town and work outwards via the Puerta de Jerez, the main entrance to the old town, in a surviving section of Tarifa's medieval wall. Make sure you visit:
- the Castle El Guzman el Bueno, a wonderfully maintained medieval tower;
- the Gothic Church of San Mateo;
- and the beautiful Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia Bolonia.
The largely unspoiled beaches and the winds whipping across the strait are a huge draw for windsurfers and kitesurfers. And these international visitors lend the town a laid back vibe as different as possible from the glitz of the Costa del Sol.
This is 'The wind capital of Europe' and it's good for both pros and beginners - there are six schools to choose from - and a good apres surf vibe.
On a clear day you can see all the way to Africa, only 14kms away. Some of the best views can be appreciated on the Camino de la isle de las Palomas, a road leading to the island which divides the Med. and the Atlantic.
Tarifa Old Town
- If you want to stay within the old town, one of the best places to stay in Tarifa is Dar Cilla. These self catering apartments grouped around a single courtyard are also perfect for families or groups. They all have their own entrances, and access to the roof terrace. And they're all decorated in individualised North African decor.
- If you're looking for somewhere fresh and funky, design hotel, Hotel El Escondite Del Viento, should fit the bill. Tucked away in a corner of the old town, the owners have made this 200 year old building into a wonderful fusion of steel, wood and glass.
For Water Sports
- If you're looking for reasonably priced elegance, book La Sacristia. The rooms are simple, but luxurious, and the courtyard is an excellent place to breakfast and relax. It's also considered one of the best places to stay in Tarifa for kitesurfers.
- If you want to be right on the beach our recommendation is the colonial style Hotel Hurricane. On a clear day you can see Africa from the pool. The rooms are simple with the focus on access to sporting activities like sailing, riding, golf and surfing..
Still not sure which to pick? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Tarifa, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. To widen the net check out our recommendations throughout the Costa de la Luz and the Costa del Sol.
Best Hotels in Tarifa
Misiana 15 rooms from $74Tarifa
A chic little hotel in the historic centre of Tarifa. Creamy rooms with light wood floors and lots of natural light. Fantastic sea views from the rooftop and a good restaurant. Great value, ideal for a sporty beach holiday.Beach LifeViews - Great views from hotelValue chicActive HolidayRecommended by - CN Traveller
La Sacristia 10 rooms from $86Tarifa
A stylish and elegant hotel just outside the old town. Luxurious, but simple rooms and suites - and apartments dotted around the old town in case you're looking for flexibility. A divine courtyard to have breakfasts in. A great spot to relax in after a hard day kite surfing.Watersports - Tarifa is famous for its kite surfing.ElegantBeach nearbyTownRecommended by - I Escape
Hotel Hurricane 33 rooms from $88Tarifa, Cadiz, Costa de La Luz
Wonderful, relaxed beachside hotel in sub-tropical gardens, with views to Africa from the pool. Simple rooms with terracotta colours and white washed walls. Easy access to sporting activities. Ideal for families.Value chic - Moorish-style hotel right on the beach in Tarifa, with an excellent restaurant serving homemade pastas and a small pool.Kayaking - Sea kayaks are available at the fitness center, a great way to explore the coast from another perspective.Surfing - The beach in front of the hotel is a renowned surfing spot, complete with surf school.Full of character
Beach Hotel Arte Vida 11 rooms from $97Tarifa
One of the liveliest and most sporting spots in Tarifa. A funky hotel on the beach front with its own surf club, nightly DJ, and charming rooms. A hotspot for sports enthusiasts and families.Watersports - Tarifa beach is the best for kitesurfing in Europe.Lively - The hotel is Tarifa's hot spot for surfers.Active Holiday - The hotel has its own surf centre.Sights nearby - Roman Ruins of Baelio Claudia, Tangiers only 40 mins away.Recommended by - CN Traveller
Dar Cilla 8 rooms from $103Tarifa
Individually furnished self-catering apartments on the outskirts of the old town of Tarifa with a shared roof terrace and magnificent views across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco.WindsurfingFull of characterViews - Great views from hotelBirdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Recommended by - I Escape, Sawdays, CN Traveller
Hotel El Escondite Del Viento 8 rooms from $103Tarifa
Funky design hotel with colourful rooms in the Old Town of hip and happening Tarifa. Light rooms have large windows, high ceilings and modern bathrooms. The best rooms have terraces. The perfect amalgamation of old and new. Ideally situated for exploring the town or hitting the beach.Value chic - A stylish hotel in the heart of Tarifa's old quarter, under ten minutes from the beach with great views and artistic interiors.Sights nearby - Explore the Castle of Guzmán el Bueno and San Mateo Church.Great walks - Wander around the winding lanes of Tarifa's old quarter.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - I Escape