A surfer's paradise?
After spending most of our holiday in Spain either in the inland mountainous regions or blocked off from the Mediterranean coast by high-rise resorts, it was quite thrilling to see the wild activity taking place in Tarifa as the winter waves of the Atlantic Ocean rolled in one after the other.
According to the surfing websites, the coast between Cadiz and Tarifa provides some of Spain's best surfing locations, with the best months for large waves being between October and May when the ocean is at its stormiest. Visitors don't have to go far for surfing because Los Lances beach is right in the city beside the land connection to Isla La Poloma, with the geography providing a natural amplification of the waves. We thought it was quite an exciting-looking spot but apparently it is simply just a good place to practise before tackling some of the other beaches which require higher skill levels. Wind and kite surfing are extremely popular in the Tarifa area as well.
- Road Trip
Tarifa is particularly attractive to windsurfers due to its offshore winds, and long white sandy beach. There is also handgliding, kite-surfing and diving. There are lots of places to hire equipment, have courses or just go it alone.
Equipment: Equipment can be bought or hired locally.
- Water Sports
- Hang Gliding
Surfing Schools and equipment
To learn how to surf or to hire equipment contact one of the following. Remember to dial 0034 if calling from outside Spain.
DRAGONKITESCHOOL ( KITE )
TEL: 660 882 710 FAX: 956 62 74 67
SURF CENTER DOS MARES ( KITE&WIND )
TEL: 687 518 018
STAR PRO – CENTER ( KITE&WIND )
CLUB MISTRAL ( KITE&WIND )
MAX KITE SCHOOL CENTER ( KITE )
TEL: 956 68 52 77- MÓVIL: 696 558 227
SPIN OUT SURFBASE ( KITE&WIND )
TEL: 956 23 63 52 FAX: 956 68 08 44
TARIFA SMILE ( WIND&KITE&SURF )
TEL: 619 980 303
www.tarifasmile.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
ART OF KITING
TEL: 956 68 52 04 - Mobile: 605 031 880
Fax: 956 68 05 85
www.artofsurfing.com / www.artofkiting.com
BULL SAIL& KITE FACTORY
TEL: 956 68 04 59
FUNWORKS KITESURF SCHOOL
TEL: 956 68 43 60- MÓVIL: 615 497 701
FAX : 956 68 53 07
HOT STICK KITE SURFING
TEL: 956 68 04 19 - MÓVIL: 629 733 389/ 647 155 516
KITE LOCAL SCHOOL
TEL: 637 115 083
KITE OBSESSION ( Nacho Yuste)
TEL: 956 68 09 40 - MÓVIL: 656 678 815
KITE SCHOOL MAMOLA
TEL: 617 986 872
TEL: 956 68 07 51 – MÓVIL: 639 833 730
KTS. KITE TARIFA SCHOOL
TEL: 956 68 41 47 - MÓVIL: 630 636 919
KITESURFING PROCENTER TARIFA
TEL: 956 68 16 68 - MÓVIL: 629 490 143
SHARKITE. KITE SCHOOL TARIFA PILOTS
TEL: 956 62 70 05
STOKED. KITE SCHOOL. SURF SHOP
TEL: 956 68 46 93-MÓVIL: 656 359 916
TEL: 956 68 18 14
For diving around Tarifa contact the following
Avda. Andalucía, 1
Tel: (0034) 956 05 46 26
(0034) 609 59 40 20
Tel: (0034) 956 68 06 80 / 655 813 064
Puerto Pesquero, local 22
Tel: (0034) 630 234 426/ Fax:956 44 17 44
Puerto Pesquero, 15
Tel/Fax: (0034) 956 68 05 76/ 629 546 177
- Diving and Snorkeling
Another popular sport all along this coast, with its frequent winds. Kite surfing is an interesting sport to just sit and watch, some of the experts can jump many meters into the air on a turn at the end of their run.
Kite surf in Tarifa
Tarifa has become known as 'the Wind Capital' for many different reasons. Its wind reliability probably tops them all. It is very difficult to have two consecutive non windy days, as the detailed comparative chart shows.
However conditions are not always constant. It is wise to bring your full range of sails (renting locally is any easy option with the many schools spread along the beach). Here it is just as common to sail with your 3.5 m² as it is with your 6.5 m², even if I personally consider the 4.5 m² as the ideal sail. The new trend is to use a wave board in strong winds and kitesurf when winds are weaker. Actually kiters are starting to go out in all conditions!
Apart from rare occasions (during equinoxes and storms) the water is pretty flat, which make it ideal for beginners and slalom sailors. The most radical often make the trip to Caños de Meca which is only 50 km away. This is best after a few days of strong levante.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Water Sports
Kite Surfing School
Kite surfing is something that nearly everyone we talked to has done in Tarifa. So it doesn't matter if you are too old or too young you have to try kite surfing. There are quite a few kite surfing schools in Tarifa. Most of them have either a quick meeting at their office and afterwards your first lesson takes place out on one of the lagoons. The lagoons are the ideal place because the water is smooth and not very deep. You can focus on controlling your kite and not have to worry about the pounding surf of the Atlantic.
What you are likely to learn in your first lesson or two is how to kite , learn how to use the safety system, to control the kite in the water, water relaunch, how to stand up on the kite board and finally to kitesurf in a safe and independent way. One of the schools in the area claims that they have taught lessons to folks from 8 to 100! Questionable yes but what the heck.
Equipment: Kite surfing schools will provide all the equipment necessary for your lesson. A group lesson that will last approximately 2-3 hours will cost you 70 euros, whereas a private lesson (1 on 1) will run you about 140 euros. This includes equipment.
WHERE BEST TO SEE KITE SURFING:
Just north of Tarifa, one mile, follow the mileposts to mile 83 then turn left onto the gravel road, park and walk approximately 200 yards. There are several good viewing areas.
Tarifa is a popular destination with windsurfers and surfers who make the most of the wind and waves that it creates. Known as the Wind Capital, because of the fact it blows harder here than elsewhere. Between May and October is the most popular time for windsurfing and many world competitions occur in Tarifa.
On the reverse side of the year, October to May offer the best swells for board surfing, some waves reaching up to 3 metres.
- Sailing and Boating
- Historical Travel
Hang-gliding and Paracending
We saw a lot of people paracending at the dunes of Punta Paloma beach. I´m not sure if there is any tuition or a club in the area. I suspect it was people with their own equipment that had learnt the sport elsewhere.
Not an official sport of course, but we saw many kids practicing dune surfing with pieces of board. I´m sure the sport is not too environmentally friendly either, damaging the grasses in the dunes could lead to erosion.
Many options in this town ...
From the beginnings of kite surfing, many windsurfers switched to this new, exciting and spectacular sport.
Tarifa's beaches are ideal for kitesurfing.
The enormity of the beaches allows space enough for both the beginner and the expert kite surfer even in Summer.
Tarifa's famous winds are perfectly suited for kitesurf.
Kiteboarding in Tarifa is not dangerous if done with the necessary caution, and learned with cualified instructor.
Tarifa counts with actually almost 20 Kitesurfing schools offering kite courses, and probably the double including the various "unofficial" schools.
Windsurfing is the sport that has given this town its fame. The first surfers discovered Tarifa in the early 70's. Two consecutive days without any wind is pretty seld
If there is no wind, check the other activities too! Tarifa has much more to offer than just windsurf. There are too many bored surfers hanging around the beaches in a bad mood on calm days..:-)
There are a total of six Windsurf centres along the beach.
The first coming from Tarifa is Pata Negra at the hotel Arte Vida. A little further forwards you will find The Eric Lubbe Neil Pryde Test centre in Hotel Dos Mares and the Club Mistral in Hotel Hurricane. In the bay of the Valdevaqueros (the dune) there is another Club Mistral and last but not least the Spin Out, Tarifa's first windsurf center at the Casas de Porros.
Different certified scuba diving schools offer diving tours in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea.
Currents in Tarifa, can be pretty strong due to the Strait of Gibraltar.
Do not forget your scuba diving license to hire equipment.
You can also practice these popular racquet sports here.
There are tennis courts in some of Tarifa's Hotels, such as Hotel Dos Mares, Punta Sur, Dulce Nombre and in sports centres that appertain to the municipality of Tarifa. There is only one Padle tennis court in Hotel Dos Mares, which is quite busy during high season, although in Algeciras (a 20 minute drive away) in Club Financiero San Miguel, you can find more than 6 grass courts. Two of these have glass walls and all have artificial lighting.
It is located in a residential area which makes tha Club practical and very stylish
Quads are available for hire, mind you with the sands I was all over the place but they are great fun ! You go out with a guide who takes you to the beach.
Horseriding on Punta Paloma
There are some compnies that organise horse riding in the dunes of Punta Paloma beach, while walking around we found this group, that we meet in various times while being there
Near Punta Paloma at the Hurricane Hotel you can book day excursions, pony trekking, along the coast. I´m not sure of the cost, but it seems a pleasant way to spend a few hours in fantastic scenery.
- Horse Riding
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