Kiting and Windsurfing in Tarifa, Spain
Tarifa is a stunning coastal town that can be found in the southern part of Spain. This is one of the best places in the whole of Europe to take part in a wide range of different types of water sports and in particular Tarifa is known as being the kiting and windsurfing capital of Europe. Anyone who enjoys messing around in the water are sure to enjoy spending time in Tarifa, while they will quickly discover that this part of the world also has a lot of other things to offer.
The Strait of Gibraltar separates the European and African continents and in this part of the world it is a little over ten miles across. This means that visitors will be able to gaze across the Strait of Gibraltar to the Rif Mountains in the near distance, which can be found in Morocco and when viewed from Tarifa appear to rise out of the sea. While this is an enchanting sight that can be enjoyed at any time of day, it is especially impressive in the evening when the lights of the towns that stretch along Morocco's coast come on and flicker and glow in the water below.
The walled Old Town of Tarifa features an excellent range of amenities and attractions for visitors to admire during their leisure time. there are several traditional churches and chapels to explore here as well as traditional houses and museums that offer an insight into the rich history and culture of the area.
However, without a doubt the main attractions in Tarifa are the area's stunning sandy beaches and the exciting water sports that can be enjoyed in the crystal clear waters that lap the shore. Long stretches of Tarifa's coastline are protected by law and people who take a short walk to the west of the town will find two of the most stunning sandy beach in the whole of Spain.
The most famous beach for surfing in Tarifa is Los Lances. This stunning stretch of powdery white sand is around five miles long and more than a hundred metres wide. This is the perfect place to take to the water to practice kiting and windsurfing. In fact, professional surfers travel here from all over the world to enjoy this uplifting experience and several special windsurfing competitions are even help here during the summer months.
People who are trying kiting or windsurfing for the first time should make their way to the main kitesurfing area that can be found close to the Rio Jara. A semi permanent lagoon has been formed here by the ocean draining across then beach when the tide is high. As a result, the water is very calm and visitors will have no trouble finding their balance away from more experienced surfers.
Taking a stroll past the river to the very far end of the beach will lead visitors to the spot where Los Lances transforms into Valdevaques, which is another pretty stretch of sand that is just waiting for sun worshippers. Just around the corner is an eight mile long stretch of pristine white sand known as Punta Paloma, which features dramatic sand dunes.
The high winds that sweeo across Tarifa help to make this the ideal place for windsurfing. The cool, fresh and invigorating winds drive across the coastal town from the Atlantic and these winds are so much a part of the local culture that the Spanish people even have names for different types of winds. While the Poniente wind comes from the Atlantic, the Mediterranean brings warm and strong Levante winds. The winds in Tarifa are generally warmer and stronger than in other parts of Spain and windsurfers will be able to use them to good affect so that they can glide across the ocean.
The stunning scenery also helps to
make windsurfing in Tarifa an enchanting experience. There are
plenty of great windsurfing spots to choose from in the area, with
some of the most popular being Lon Lances, Valdevaqueros, Playa
chica, Balneario and Bolonia. The windsurfing schools in the area
are open all year round and offer visitors use of the best and most
up to date equipment available. People who already have their own
windsurfing equipment will be able to store it in their villa or
hotel, while there are also several beachside campsites that offer
windsurfing lessons and equipment.
People who want to try their hands at kitesurfing will also find plenty of excellent options to get in on the action in Tarifa. This has long been known as Europe's best kitesurfing spot due to the good ocean winds, the large number of local professional kitesurfing schools and instructors and long stretches of coastline lined with gorgeous white sand. All kinds of sailors are sure to find that getting into kitesurfing is relatively easy as well a lot of fun. Visitors to Tarifa will also find several International Kiteboarding Organization centres where courses designed for all levels are offered to a wide range of visitors from children's and beginners lessons to lessons for more experienced kite surfers who want to pick up a few extra skills.
There are also some great alternative water sports available for those who want to try something completely new while they are spending time in Tarifa. Another experience that is just waiting to be tried is stand up paddle boarding and the secluded bay helps to make this a safe yet challenging experience. Special stand up paddle boards can be rented from most of the local kite and windsurfing schools and classes are also available. This type of water sport tends to be much easier than windsurfing or kitesurfing and most people can get to grips with it after a single lesson. This is also a great type of water sport to try when the wind is not blowing as visitors use their own momentum to get things moving.
Surfskiing was recently introduced to Tarifa and is already taking off in a big way. this offers visitors the chance to try paddling between two continents as they explore the Strait of Gibraltar in a whole new way. Of course, surfing is also a popular pastime here and Balneario is the area's main surfing hotspot, while Tarifa also comes complete with several dedicated surfing schools. Swimming has long been a popular pastime here and those who simply want to hang out with their friends and family members are taking part in various type of water sports are sure to enjoy splashing about in the cool, clear water.
People who want to explore the watery underworld can try scuba diving and snorkelling. The waters that surround the Isla delas Palomas are exceptional clear and make excellent spots for scuba diving and snorkelling. Special trips are regularly organised by diving schools and there are lots of impressive diving spots that are just waiting to be discovered.
People who want to unwind for a while and discover the natural beauty of the area in an unforgettable way can arrange to take a special whale watching tour from the port. The Strait of Gibraltar is a great place to spot whales and dolphins cavorting in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar and among the species of huge mammals that can be observed here are sperm whales, killer whales, striped dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, pilot hales, and the common dolphin.
Tarifa experiences a moderate climate across the year, with an annual average temperature of 17.6ºC. Even when it's cool, the sun's invariably out and with three hundred days of sunshine per year, it's easy to see why it's a popular province to visit. This means that people who have a love for kiting and windsurfing will be able to enjoy plenty of sunny days and there are some great waves to catch here.
From April to September, the
weather is dry and comfortably warm, with top temperatures of
between 25ºC and 28ºC occurring in the months of July and August.
Rainfall in these two months is also the lowest of any time in the
year, with July rarely experiencing any precipitation and August
barely registering any rainfall.
From October through to March, Tarifa is subject to temperatures of 14ºC to 20ºC and the most significant rainfall of any period of the year. December sees the heaviest downpours and it's not uncommon for over 400 milimetres to fall during this month. January and November also see significant rain, with around 250 milimetres falling.
After spending a busy day riding the waves and soaking up the sun, visitors to Tarifa will want to check out some of the area's excellent dining options. The local cuisine of Tarifa is typical of Andalusia and is based heavily on traditional home cooking recipes, of which fish is a major ingredient. Favourites include flamenco eggs, fried fish, stuffed artichokes, sauté kidneys in sherry and gazpacho, which is a type of vegetable soup. If you eat out at lunchtime, you will often find a menu of the day which gives you the chance to try small amounts of a variety of dishes; ideal for those feeling adventurous with regards to the local food.
There's no shortage of options for an evening's entertainment in Tarifa; besides no end of restaurants where you can enjoy excellent food, there are bars and discos where you can drink or dance until the early hours. Visitors who like to think of themselves as night owls should head for the Old Town, where the maze of narrow streets is home to a good selection of late-night venues.
People who can bear to tear themselves away from the beach for a few hours should also make sure that they take the time to explore the area's historical and cultural attractions. Famous mostly for its contribution to Spain's list of significant historical events, this area offers things to do and see that very much reflect this. Visitors won't find aqua-parks, zoos or similar attractions that are available in the country's Costa del Sol resort; however, they will find museums, fine churches and interesting architectural sites besides the obvious appeal of the beach and the sea.
Taking a tour of the nearby city of Cadiz is a great way to spend a little time. A bus allowing visitors to hop on and off at strategic stops throughout the day makes tours of the city, taking in the most interesting sights. The Catedral de Cadiz, the city's Central quarter, Plaza San Juan de Dios, Plaza Sevilla and the bay area are among the nine places where the bus stops. Buses depart every 30 minutes and you can board at any stop on the route, with the entire route taking 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
Lovers of fine architecture shouldn't miss the chance to see the Cathedral de Cadiz, the construction of which began in the early part of the 18th century and was completed over a hundred years later between 1720 and 1838. Inside, visitors can view a magnificent tomb that houses the remains of the famous Spanish composer Manuel de Falla as well as a museum containing a variety of arts and treasures originating from the New World. One of the showpieces is Enrique de Arfe's processional cross, which is taken out and paraded through the streets during the Corpus Christi festival.
Of course, visitors to Tarifa will want to make sure that they return to the resort town in order to spend time riding the waves as the sun slowly sinks behind the horizon. Kiting and windsurfing in Tarifa is an experience that people of all ages and from all walks of life are sure to enjoy. While this is the perfect experience for couples who want to enjoy a romantic holiday with plenty activities thrown in, families will also be able to enjoy it as the main beach is very family friendly and special water sports classes and other types of activities are also offered especially for the little ones.