Tarifa is commonly known as the kitesurf mecca of Europe which has wind almost year round, a lively nightlife and lots of no-wind-activities. While it took me some time – and a second trip – to get to know Tarifa better, I would honestly say it doesn’t have the best kite conditions in the world. But the atmosphere, vibes and lifestyle it offers is very unique in Europe and attracts not only kitesurf addicts.

Pros & Cons for kitesurfing in Tarifa

+ good and laid-back vibes, nice restaurants
+ variety of kitesurf spots and kitesurf conditions
+ cute town, vivid nightlife
+ lots of no-wind-activities
+ reasonable costs of living (not during high season)

– need a car to get to the spots (but the car rental is super cheap!)
– very crowded during high season (end June – early Sept)
– cold water (you always need a wetsuit/shorty)

kitesurf tarifa spain kitesurf spots for your kite vacation playa los lances

General Infos for Tarifa, Spain (Wind, Water Temperature and Water Condition)

When to go – Best Wind in Tarifa: April – October

The best wind is from April – October but end of June – early September are veeery crowded! If you are planning to stay for longer you can basically kite year-round but will have some non-windy-periods inbetween.

Water Temperature Tarifa: wetsuit

long wetsuit (4/3) in spring, autumn, winter, shorty during summer

Wind speed/kite sizes for Tarifa:

Anything from 0 – 40+ kts 😉 With wind direction Levante you get around 20 – 40+ kts, with wind direction Poniente you have lighter wind with around 10 – 25 kts, so best is to bring all the sizes you have.

Water Condition: flat, choppy, waves (depending on spot)

Beginner friendly?

Yes and no 😉 Let’s put it this way: Tarifa is not an ideal beginner spot but if you learn kiting here you can kite anywhere! Poniente is quite stable and good to learn, with Levante it can get messy. If you want to learn I’d recommend to come in spring and autumn since it’s not as crowded. Plus from what I saw the prices were pretty cheap for lessons compared to some other spots.
kitesurf tarifa spain kitesurf spots for your kite vacation playa los lances

How to get to Tarifa, Spain

You can fly to Malaga (AGP), which I always found the cheapest flights to, and then drive a little less than 2 hours to Tarifa. The closest airport is Gibraltar (GIB) which belongs to the UK and is just a 45 min drive to Tarifa.

How to get around Tarifa, Spain

I’d go for a rental car since you always need to drive to the spots. Rental Cars are insanely cheap during lower season if you get it e.g. in Malaga.

I made the experience that it’s sometimes significantly cheaper if you rent a car for 3 weeks, then bring it back again and rent a new one for 3 weeks.
If you fly to Gibraltar (which is UK), make sure to check the rental car prices at La Linea (Spain), which is just a 5-minute walk from Gibraltar airport and sometimes cheaper.

kitesurf tarifa spain

Wind directions in Tarifa, Spain

Levante

Levante is the infamous, sometimes gusty and strong offshore wind (around 20 – 40/ 50 knots) you might know from kitesurf videos, the kind of wind that can drive you crazy. Overall it’s wind quality is not as good as Poniente.

Poniente

Coming from West from the Atlantic, Poniente is more light or moderate wind (and mor cold as well) and is pretty steady, the kind of wind you’ll prefer for your kitesurf sessions if you’re not into strong wind (inbetween 10 – 25 knots)

Kitesurf spots in and around Tarifa, Spain

If you get confused by the detailed spot selection, here is a simple guideline to egt you started: you’ll mainly be kiting inbetween Arte Vida (4) and Los Lances (7) with Poniente and on Valdevaqueros with Levante 🙂

At some spots you are officially forbidden to kite in summer which is from 15.06. until 15.09.kitesurf spots in and around tarifa, spain including valdevaqueros, los lances and balneario

1. Bolonia

wind: Levante and Poniente
level: all levels
good for: Freeride
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer, usually a windsurf spot, waves during winter time

2. Punta Paloma and 3. Valdevaqueros

wind: Levante and Poniente
level: all levels
good for: Freeride /Freestyle/Wave

4. Arte Vida

wind: Poniente
level: intermediate – expert
good for: Freeride/Wave
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer

5. Los Lances Norte

wind: Levante and Poniente
level: all levels
good for: Freeride

6. Rio Jara

Rio Jara Wave Spot

wind: Levante
level: expert
good for: Wave
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer, offshore wind, no rescue

Rio Jara Lagoon

wind: Poniente
level: all levels
good for: Freeride /Freestyle
NOTE: it’s illegal to kite here but you’ll always find a lot of kitesurfers, it works best with high tide..

7. Los Lances (La Jaima)

wind: Poniente
level: all levels
good for: Freeride/Wave
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer

8. Balneario

wind: Levante and Poniente
Level: expert
good for: Freestyle (Levante), Freeride/Wave (Poniente)
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer, with Levante offshore wind!, current, rocks, unwritten rule among the locals: there are max. 6 kiters in the water, otherwise the small spots is too crowded

Kitesurf spots close to Tarifa, Spain

kitesurf spots close to tarifa bolonia, canos de cmeca, getares, palmones

Los Caños de Meca

wind: works with strong Levante
level: intermediate – expert
good for: Freeride/Wave
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer, wind is lighter than in Tarifa so you need strong Levante

Getares

wind: works with strong Levante
level: intermediate – expert
good for: Freeride/Wave
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer, strong current, big shore break, wind is lighter than in Tarifa

Palmones

wind: ideal when the Levante is too strong as it is a bit lighter here, a lot of kite schools go here
level: all levels
good for: Freeride
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer (but you will still see kiters 😉 )

Sotogrande

wind: works with strong Levante
level: intermediate – expert
good for: Freeride/Wave
NOTE: forbidden to kite here in summer

Where to stay in Tarifa, Spain

Since I’d recommend getting a car for Tarifa to visit all the spots it doesn’t matter so much where you stay, there are plenty of apartment options – we stayed in an airbnb apartment (get a discount on your first stay on airbnb with this link).

Where to eat in Tarifa, Spain

A big thank you goes to dear Vanessa from Akitnesstrip for all the great recommendations 🙂

Yummy Spanish/Mediterrean food

Healthy and vegan restaurants

Beach Bars and restaurants

  • Surla love this place for breakfast and lunch, great Acai bowls 😉
  • Cafe del Mar
  • Tumbao Bar/restaurant at the kite spot in Valdevaqueros

No wind activities in Tarifa, Spain

Surfing, yoga, beach volleyball, hiking/climbing, mountain biking, running on the beach or promenade, outdoor “gyms” on the beach promenade, enjoy the good food and tapas (usually happens here around 8/9pm), partying (parties start here around 11/12 pm).

Gyms and Yoga Studios in Tarifa, Spain

There are also some nice gyms and yoga studios, it’s a great additional workout to kitesurfing.
I loved Aerofitness, there are different classes like Aero yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Pilates, Body Pump/Dumbbells, Trampoline Workout, TRX, HIIT. I was only there for 2 weeks but got her monthly package as I went almost daily during the week.

Other gyms/group classes in Tarifa, Spain

Tarifa Body Fitness (group classes), New Concept Tarifa (gym), On Tarifa fitness (gym)

Yoga Studios in Tarifa, Spain

AerofitnessMandalablue yoga

Day trips from Tarifa, Spain

How about a trip to Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, Gibraltar (UK) or even to Tangier, Morocco (30-min-ferry ride which is actually an hour from door to door) or Chefchaouen, Morocco – the blue town (ferry ride to Tangier and 2 hr drive from there)

Digital Nomad factor for Tarifa, Spain

While it wasn’t the best kite conditions I ever had, it definitely had the perfect combination of Digital Nomad lifestyle paired with kitesurfing, healthy lifestyle while also having a good nightlife – so an ideal spot if you’re staying longer and don’t mind if you don’t kite every day. So the overall package Tarifa offers is pretty unique. I loved Tarifa’s vibe, it’s one of the towns where you feel at home instantly.

Since this was my very first trip as a kitesurfing Digital Nomad, the connections I made in Tarifa connected my to other kitesurfing Digital Nomads all over the world which I still keep meeting know wherever the wind blows. So it’s definitely a good starting point if you want to get in touch with the whole scene.

Coworking Cafes in Tarifa, Spain

I loved Surla and Stoked in Tarifa, Tangana is a Cafe/restaurant right at the kitesurf spot in Valdevaqueros (around 7 km outside of town). There are many more, make sure to check out WebWorkTravel’s Tarifa guide and this extensive google doc (also on Foursquare) for more coworking cafes.

Mobile Internet (Sim Card)

I got a Vodafone Sim Card but I guess Orange and Movistar are just as fine, you can find it in Tarifa town itself.

Further useful links for Digital Nomads in Tarifa

Digital Nomad Events in Tarifa