Two days in Tarifa, Spain

posted by Russ, May 8 in spain, travel with tags , , ,

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View from top of hotel, looking across Strait of Gibraltar towards Morocco, Africa and Atlas Mountains

View from top of hotel, looking across
Strait of Gibraltar towards Morocco, Africa
and Atlas Mountains

I woke up early after a couple of days in Granada, hopped the bus to the bus station for one Euro, where I then bought a ticket to Algeciras. This is where I thought my trip would get confusing, but it turns out it went quite smoothly. I think it was about 2 hours to Algeciras, and I was a bit nervous since I’d heard that city is nothing but a port city, with a fair amount of shady characters hanging around. But as it turns out it was ok, and I was able to then get an ongoing to to Tarifa — only a short 30 minute bus ride away. Somehow I missed the first bus, but they run every half hour so it was ok.

The ride itself it quite nice, very scenic with rolling green hills and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in the distance across the Strait of Gibraltar. I was unsure of where to get off the bus, but it seems as though you just ride it as far as it goes into town. From there you really only have 2 ways to go, away from town or towards town. If you walk back the way the bus came from you’ll walk directly into the old town area. There are a few hotels outside of the old town, but I found quite a nice hotel right in the center of the old area for 20 euros per night, with shower and even a rooftop patio with views to Africa.

Beach in Tarifa, Spain, Atlantic coast

Beach in Tarifa, Spain, Atlantic coast

For the most part everything in Tarifa is within walking distance. From where I was located I was able to walk to both coasts (Mediterranean and Atlantic), quite a few bars and restaurants, the ferry terminal that has boats to Morocco, and all the surf shops that are up the road right outside of the the old town. The town itself it pretty small, it seems as though most tourists are either there for the windsurfing or to make the trip to Tangier.

I enjoyed some time on the patio of my hotel, sipped coffee at a bar for breakfast, enjoyed some tapas for dinner, and just wandered around town enjoying the sights. It was a slow and laid back town this time of year, and just relaxing and wandering the coastline and the beach was beautiful. One thing to keep in mind is that this a kite surfing mecca, and for good reason. The winds can blow quite strong on the coast, and since there is not much between the ocean and the town, it can be windy. And while the weather was pleasant, it was not warm enough to spend all day on the beach (for me at least), but the sunsets sure are nice. And it was the first and only sunset I’ve ever seen over the Atlantic.

And I can’t forget to mention what brought me to Tarifa in the first place — Morocco. In my opinion, there would be no reason to go to Algeciras, which is a larger and more industrial port city. Tangier is a great base city for a day trip or even an onward trip south into Morocco. The ferries run all day (see my post about Tangier for specifics), take only an hour, and the terminal is convenient from anywhere in Tarifa. And upon arrival back in Tarifa there is plenty to do, whether you are looking for food, drink, or just a place to relax.

Read the entire post and see photos here

Originally posted on Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 11:53 PM .

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