An insider’s guide to Tarifa - The best kite adventures on Europe's South-East tip

06 September 2018

Tarifa

“What wind brings you here? Is it the Levante or the Poniente?” This sounds like a cheesy pickup line, but we dare you to try and see if it works if you ever find yourself in Tarifa amidst the thriving kitesurfing community on Spain's South-East tip. The only thing is, you should know (or at least pretend to know) what you are talking about. The Levante or wind from the east is a warm wind that blows in offshore. It can reach 8-9 Beaufort in strength and intensity, which is too much to handle. The Poniente, on the other hand, blows from the west, is cooler and can reach around 2-5 Beaufort, which is ideal for kitesurfing - and guess what - the Poniente is the predominant wind in Tarifa, turning this amazing place into a kitesurfing Mecca not just in Spain but globally!

Now that you know the basics about the Tarifa winds, let’s talk about the good stuff: some of the best spots for kitesurfing that will blow your mind and kite away.

  


 

Tarifa Kitesurf Spot 1: Playa Los Lances Norte

Los Lances Norte (North) never disappoints a kite lover. The beach is wide and sandy, free from rocks - an ideal spot for beginners and experts alike. When the Poniente blows, the spot gives perfect conditions. When the Levante kicks in, the conditions can get dangerous, so better be careful with those side offshore winds - ride only if you are an expert and preferably with boat back up. With the Poniente being the prevalent wind in the area, you will not run out of opportunities to kitesurf in the best conditions and there is also a beach bar, where you can relax, meet fellow kitesurfers and make new friends! Maybe this is why Los Lances Norte is Max’s, a Professional Kiteboarder from Tarifa, the top recommendation for the area. Have a look at his insider’s information.

Max Gomez
Professional Kiteboarder from Tarifa

Instagram: @maxigomezkite
Facebook:  @tarifamax
Website:    kiteschooltarifa.net

 

What’s your favorite kitesurf spot in Tarifa?

Playa de los Lances Norte is the best beach for teaching kitesurfing - good for all levels. Then, Caños de la Meca, about 40 minutes away from Tarifa in the direction of Cadiz, a great wave spot. And when the wind its too strong, in Tarifa for advanced riders. Balneario is a great flat water spot, which in the summertime is only open for riding from 19:00 -  only for advanced riders, as well.

What’s your top recommendation when visiting the area?

You should visit Playa de Bolonia and the Roman ruins, Tarifa old town, and the castle. Take a day trip to Tanger, do some whale watching in the Gibraltar strait and you can also do some amazing downhill mountain biking!

Anything else to add?

When coming to Tarifa you have to try the local red Tuna, The best place to try it is the bar El Fances or Silos. For a drink at night, try La Tribu (also nice pizza, and great surf ambiance), Surf Bar and Exit bar in the old town.

 


 

Tarifa Kitesurf Spot 2: Caños de Meca

Caños de Meca is the beautiful but rather challenging beach for advanced and pro riders. Especially when a strong Levante blows in the area, you should be extra careful. Make sure you feel comfortable riding upwind before you try out the amazing thrills this beach can offer you. Oh! And though the beach is sandy, watch out for some rocks. Caños de la Meca is situated around 60km away from Tarifa and there is a small beach bar, where you can take a break and have a chat with other mates. Meanwhile, here is what Stance Kiteboarding Magazine has to say about this kite spot and the area of Tarifa.

Stance Planet Kiteboarding Magazine

Instagram: @stancekiteboarding
Facebook:  @stancekiteboarding
Website:    stanceplanet.com

 

What’s your favorite kitesurf spot in Tarifa?

Tarifa is the kiteboarding Mecca in Europe, the wind is blowing pretty often, spots are working with almost every wind direction and, god, do we have to talk about the nightlife? For us, the best spot to ride is the lagoon, as it’s perfect for some freestyle action. We also are much in love with Caños de Meca, which offers a beautiful wave riding playground (and sunset spot).

What’s your top recommendation when visiting the area?

There are too many nice places to have fun in Tarifa… Drinking a mojito at the Taco Way, dancing all night at the famous La Ruina… you will necessarily find your happiness!

Anything else to add?

Do not forget your smallest kite and some headache pills!

 



Tarifa Kitesurf Spot 3: Playa de Valdevaqueros

Playa de Valdevaqueros is very quickly accessible from the town of Tarifa, as it is only 8 km away. When the Levante wind blows, it is the perfect time to visit this beach and fly that kite! Incredible turquoise waters, fine white sand and quite a lot of space for everyone, make it a perfect kitesurf spot. You can also find some kitesurf schools and bars along this amazing beach, which usually offers a view of lots of kites in the air and a super good vibe!

This beach is the personal favorite of Pablo Amores and Nieves Alba. Check out their insiders’ input about Tarifa.

Pablo Amores
Kitesurfer, Cofounder of @wamerclothing

Instagram: @pablo.amoress

 

What’s your favorite kitesurf spot in Tarifa?

My favorite spot in Tarifa for strapless is Valdevaqueros and for wave riding is Arte y vida.

What’s your top recommendation when visiting the area?

Depends on the season, I really recommend whale watching and also visit Baelo Claudia ruins in Bolonia. Also, Gibraltar is close to here so when it’s no wind is a good option to not get bored.

Anything else to add?

For eating, especially for breakfast, you cannot miss Power House - it is on the main road to Valdevaqueros. Also in the night, a good place to have a good typical food is Los Melli. For pizza go to La tribu and ask for a chicken-curry-cream pizza. To take a drink, before 11, you have really nice cocktails at Taco Way and don’t miss Mambo for partying a bit, but if you are ready to go harder you cannot miss Cafe Del Mar.

 

Nieves Alba

Instagram: @nievesalba

  

What’s your favorite kitesurf spot in Tarifa?

My favorite place to ride in Tarifa is Valdevaqueros and it is an obligatory stop to eat in a small field called El Hormiguero

What’s your top recommendation when visiting the area?

A beautiful place to be is the dunes of Bolonia

 


 

Tarifa Kitesurf Spot 4: Balneario

Situated only 200m from the Tarifa harbor, this spot is perfect for advanced and expert kite surfers. The beach and the seabed are both sandy, but there are some rocks, not visible with high tide, to be aware of. Poniente hits this spot almost half of the days, while Levante the other half. Keep in mind that kitesurfing is not permitted on this beach during high season, from the 15th of June until the 15th of September. But look on the bright side: the rest of the days, the people visiting will most probably be fellow kite surfers! There are two bars, where you can lay back and enjoy yourself between sessions! Check out what Tarifa Natural Surf had to say about this beach and other spots!

Tarifa Natural Surf

Instagram: @natural_surf_tarifa
Website: tarifanaturalsurfhouse.com

 

What’s your favorite kitesurf spot in Tarifa?

Our favorite spot for kitesurfing during east wind is Balneario, a bit risky but with nice flat water and strong wind. With waves and west wind we prefer Arte Vida because the rocky bottom creates nice and long waves.

What’s your top recommendation when visiting the area?

If you come to Tarifa you cannot miss visiting the big sand dune and Punta Paloma beach. Walk from Punta Paloma to the town of Bolonia and see the Strait from one of the Panoramas spots in the mountain nearby Tarifa.

Anything else to add?

To eat nice and for homemade food, you can visit Tarifa Natural Surf Club. We offer international and vegan cuisine, yoga, a swimming pool and more. Also, at the beach, you can have some nice food with a view of the ocean. In town, there are several Spanish style tapas restaurants, cocktail bars and entertainment for all ages.

Fellow adventurers, whether it will be Levante or Poniente messing with your hair, one thing is for sure: Tarifa is the place to be for kitesurfing. The kitesurf spots are plenty, the conditions almost always perfect, there are beaches suitable for all levels and the groove is chilled. Moreover, you are in Spain, good food and good vibes are guaranteed! Should we say more? Just visit our website and #FindYourNextAdventure.

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