Excursion to Tarifa, Cadiz: the best things to see.

Tarifa brings to mind surf and beach. If you know it a little bit you probably also think of a delicious summer sunset in front of the Tumbao or you visualise yourself eating red tuna with a cool white wine in a beach bar in front of the sea. If you spend some time here you will discover that there are many places worth visiting. In this article I will tell you what are the 10 best things to see in Tarifa in one day.

In this article I propose two options to get to know Tarifa in one day. The first is to follow the directions on the interactive map I’ve left at the end and see everything on your own. The second is to take a free tour of the most interesting places in the town with a local guide who will explain everything to you. Once you have seen the most important things, Tarifa is a place to enjoy the beach, eat well and disconnect.

1. La Alameda, the place where every tour of Tarifa begins.

All visits to Tarifa usually start in La Alameda, a beautiful pedestrian promenade which is, more or less, the main street of the town and where you will also find the Tourist Office. For this reason I recommend you try to park in this area, it is the best place to start your visit.

In the lower part of La Alameda you will come across the statue of Guzmán el Bueno. This military man is famous for his defence of Tarifa against the Muslims. After his son was captured, he consented to be killed before surrendering the city. Legend has it that he even threw a dagger from the wall without ever yielding to the blackmail of the besiegers.

2. The historic centre, a must-see in Tarifa

The historic centre of Tarifa preserves the layout of the old medieval town to perfection. You will see that it is perfectly delimited by the Alameda, the Avenida de Andalucía, part of the walls and the sea. Lose yourself without much direction, it hides many narrow streets and nooks and crannies where you can escape from the sun and enjoy a beer in small bars. Find your corner and discover how tourism and the atmosphere of the coastal towns of Andalusia coexist in a curious harmony.

3. The Puerta de Jerez, the most emblematic place to see in Tarifa

After the disappearance of several of the entrance gates to the city, the Puerta de Jerez has become an iconic place. I think it is one of the places to see in Tarifa that you should not miss under any circumstances. It commemorates the reconquest of the town in 1292, for which there is a commemorative plaque under the local coat of arms.

4. The Church of San Mateo and its white marble columns.

This is the main church in Tarifa and was built on the remains of the old mosque. From the outside, the white marble columns with Corinthian capitals, the entrance arch and above all the cornice with its curved lines stand out.

5. Tarifa from above, the city walls

Tarifa por todo lo alto is the name given to the guided tour of the city walls. Achieving this tourist attraction was no easy task. In order to restore the 500 metres of wall that can now be visited, it was necessary to reach agreements with some neighbours, as the wall is totally integrated with some of the houses.

6. Plaza de Oviedo, another place to see in Tarifa

The Plaza de Oviedo is right next to the Church of San Mateo. On Sundays you will find there a second-hand market with all kinds of products, mainly clothes, handicrafts and food. The traders donate part of the profits to an animal association called Animalia, created to defend, house and maintain stray dogs. This alone is worth buying something.

7. Pigeon Island, the last place to see in Tarifa

To finish the tour I recommend you to go to the Isla de las Palomas, the last place to see in Tarifa in one day, the southernmost part of the municipality and therefore of continental Europe, a military area that still belongs to the Ministry of Defence. Nowadays it is not an island because it is connected to the rest of Tarifa by an artificial tongue of land.

8. The prehistoric sites of Bolonia beach and Baelo Claudia

In the area of Bolonia beach there are several archaeological sites that are definitely worth a visit. There is a curious free tour that takes you to all of them. I say curious because it is the first time we have seen one in which you have to move in your vehicle between the different stops. It ends around 13:00 so it’s perfect to spend the rest of the day on the beach.

9. Best beaches in Tarifa and things to do in the area

If you are looking for more things to do in Tarifa, the first thing I recommend is to go to the beach. It is a summer resort and has some spectacular beaches which only have the handicap of the Levante wind which makes it almost impossible to spend the day there.

My favourites in the area are three. The huge beach of Valdevaqueros, El Cañuelo, an unspoilt beach which is much quieter and above all the beach of Punta Paloma, where you can visit the huge dune. Don’t hesitate to go to all of them if you have enough time.

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Friday Jul 07 11:12 am

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