Tarifa – my new favourite place

We didn’t get out much over the Easter weekend – we aren’t ones for traipsing around in the rain – done that and got the t-shirt living in the Lake District. Instead we waited and bided our time waiting for the sun to come back out.

It didn’t take long and so yesterday we loaded the car up with food, beach paraphernalia and headed off to discover Tarifa.

We first went there on a touring holiday about 10 years ago. At the time we were searching for somewhere to live (we ended up in France) and my only memories of Tarifa were that it was dirty and windy.

Well, the last 10 years have seen a lot of sprucing up going on and there are a lot more restaurants, bars and shops than I remember. The wind is still there – this is the wind capital of Europe after all; but the whole place has a laid back hippy/come surfer chick kinda feel to it and I really liked it.

I could quite happily live somewhere like this, there is plenty going on, lots of yoga, windsurfing, some juice bars and organic shops, sunshine but alas I couldn’t cope with the wind. This time I went prepared and tied my hair back which was a big help as being whiplashed with one’s own hair is never good and the untangling process that follows is long, painful and not worth the aggravation.

We sat on the beach, had lunch, sun bathed for about an hour by which time I was covered in about 2 inches of sand and conceded defeat. It is such a shame as the beaches here are soooo inviting but being sandblasted is actually quite painful and only the really hardy survive.

But, I loved Tarifa and recommend a visit. Here are some photos….

Lots of kite surfers, they go so fast, very impressive.

Harbour entrance with statue of Jesus standing guard!

With Africa just a stones throw away there is a moorish influence to the architecture

This statue erected in commemoration is of Alonso Pérez de Guzmán known as Guzman El Bueno, who successfully defended Tarifa against the muslins in 1294.

The Church of San Mateo –  late Gothic style, dating back to the 16th century. The neo-classic facade, was designed and built by the architect Torcuato Cayón in the 17th century.

Old city walls and new buildings make for an interesting alleyway
Jerez Gate; the plaque on top of the entrance  recalls the capture of the city by Sancho IV of Castile in 1292. The original wall was built by the Arabs, but the Christians restored and expanded it between the 15th and 16th centuries.
  The harbour
Tarifa to Tangers in 35 minutes!
Me enjoying my day out!
The point at which a sea and an ocean meet – to the left you have the Mediterranean Sea and to the right the Atlantic Ocean – cool eh!
And just up the road ‘Gibraltar’
The whole area around Tarifa is covered in wind machines. They always remind me of the ‘Martians’ in War of the Worlds.
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