300 windy days a year, a massive sand beach that is 10km long and plenty of kiteshops, kiteschools, restaurants, and bars. That is Tarifa, the kitesurf capital of the world. The historic center of Tarifa is beautiful, you will find loads of atmospheric restaurants and bars in the cobbled streets. The west part of the town is where you will find most apartments and kiteshops. If you want to go camping there are also some campsites to choose from. There are two prevailing wind directions in Tarifa and a couple of different spots worth exploring.
Wind direction Tarifa
There are two common wind directions: Levante and Poniente.
Levante is known for its strength. This Eastern wind blows cross shore to cross offshore from the left and can reach 40-50 knots or more. Sometimes the Levante comes in for weeks on end and other times only for a few days. When the wind is a bit more North it can get gusty.
Poniente is coming from the West, so your right when you are in Tarifa. This wind is generally light to moderate, 14-20 knots and can generate some wind swell. Kitesurfing with Poniente wind is easier than with Levante and more suitable for beginners. You can kite pretty much anywhere with this wind.
Kitesurfspots in and around Tarifa
From the center of Tarifa, you can already spot the massive sand dune of Punta Paloma, around 9km away. It is a clean and wide beach where a lot of lessons are thought. Enjoy the beautiful view of Marocco when kiting here. The Levante wind is side onshore here.
With Levante, you can drive approximately 8km from the center of Tarifa to Playa de Valdevaqueros. The Levante wind is more side shore here. The beach is wide and clean. There are a couple of kitesurf schools located at Valdevaqueros and you will find some friendly bars.
Los Lances is the longest section of beach and is great in Poniente winds. The beach is very spacious but still super crowded in the summer months. With Levante wind it blows side-offshore. In the summer months there is a paid rescue service but if you are not too sure about your skills, wait for Poniente.
Rio de Jara/lagoon
Improve your freestyle skills in the stunning lagoon near Rio de Jara. You will have to wait for high tide and Levante wind to ride flat water in the lagoon. If the Levante is a bit off in the direction it can be very gusty.
Balneario is located next to the harbor of Tarifa. Only go kitesurfing here when you are really confident of your skills since the wind is offshore and gusty. The spot is very small and is surrounded by rocks. On the left side, you will find the road to Isla de las Palomas, a small island with a lighthouse located on it.
Playa Palmones is located around 20km outside of Tarifa, near Algeciras. When there is a very strong Levante wind in Tarifa this spot is perfect. The beach is wide and clean and you’ll kite with the Gibraltar rock in the background.
Kitesurf season in Tarifa
There is wind almost year round in Tarifa. The summer months have the most wind but are also very busy. For pleasant (water)temperature you should visit Tarifa in between March and November. The wind blows the entire day so no need to get up early!
How to get to Tarifa
To get to Tarifa you should fly to Malaga Airport and get a rental car for the 150km ride. Having a car is very useful since you can easily explore all the spots. When you are from Europe you can get a ticket to Malaga for as little as €75. In the summer everything is a bit more expensive because it is high season.