It is a very special light that meets you when you approach the coast of the Cadiz region. You feel it immediately, you miss with your eyes and push the sombrero firmly down on your forehead. The light feels good, the strong colors are turned up – even late summer’s dry bushes and crooked olive trees come to life. The word sky blue takes on a whole new meaning.
At the very back of the Costa del Sol, around the Rock of Gibraltar, you will find the most south-eastern corner of Spain – and the city of Tarifa. A small, sleepy Andalusian town, with deep Moorish roots, that explodes with visiting tourists in the summer season.
The Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea are the first impressive sight you encounter when the country road crosses the high hills and leads the traveler down toward the city. As always, it seems enormous when two world oceans meet and the currents collide. Down here, the place is called ‘El Estrecho’ – the strait.
On either side of the narrow strait, two continents stand face to face – Europe and Africa – it feels as if they are just a stone’s throw from each other. So we are in a place where two continents and two oceans meet. It seems magical and big.
Tarifa is a small cozy and chic town that multiplies its population in the summer season. Not least with surfers who come to kite-surf and benefit from the strait’s high winds. The village of Tarifa offers lots of small streets, cozy cafes with rustic art on the walls, delicious
fish restaurants and lots of nightlife with the active participation of ‘hippies’ who are no longer real hippies, but rather people who come for the ‘chill out’ at the many hip cafes and restaurants.
But what really matters, is the natural surroundings here. It’s the beaches, the light, the sea, and the raw nature that make this place a gem. ‘Parque del Estrecho’ is a 189 km2 nature reserve that stretches out on both sides of town. Most of all, it consists of a wide beach,
large sand dunes, and a hinterland with hills, sandy paths, and pine plantations. This is where you can hike, breathe fresh air, and enjoy the light and nature that just feels big and impressive. Migrating birds often make ‘stopovers’ in the area and give bird lovers plenty to
look at. The whales are here too, out in the strait, with the possibility of boat trips and ‘whale watching’ in season.
Tarifa is a small town – but a big destination with lots of horizons – and very high ceilings.