Tarifa was the first stop on our honeymoon and we were only here for a quick visit. We would have loved to have stayed here longer because we just fell in love with this town. It’s on the southernmost tip of Spain. We stayed here because we had planned a day trip to Morocco and the ferry was about an 8 min walk from our Airbnb.
Because I’m promoting The Realness with Jed™ instead of just photos, here’s some FAQ in case you were wondering:
HOW DID YOU GET THERE? We arrived in Gibraltar and had to cross the border into Spain. This is literally the easiest and safest border crossing ever. If you’re American, skip the passport kiosks. You have to get in the rightmost line and see a desk guard who will examine your passport. You have to go through an initial bag check/scan. Once through, we rented a car with Europcar, which is about a block away from the border crossing. Europcar’s theme is an emerald green color, and the employees are also dressed that way, so if you choose that rental company, you can’t miss their office.
Address: Av. Gesto Por la Paz, s/n, 11207 Algeciras, Cádiz, Spain
Phone: +34 902 10 50 55
WHAT’S THE PARKING LIKE? These instructions are for the downtown area near Calle de los Azogues and the church. You can find street parking, which is free and limited, but there is also a nearby lot where you can park according to the time your car is in the lot (it’s not paved so expect some minor turbulence and mud during the rain). At the time of this post (for April 2016), it was 12€ for 24 hours.
HOW ARE THE LOCALS? This is a chill beach town so there are pockets of expats and young tourists trawling really late night bars (and smoking…a lot). Don’t expect every local or proprietor to speak English, but they are all super friendly and accommodating. Everyone we encountered had a good sense of humor and big smiles.
WHAT SHOULD I DO THERE? Besides eat and drink and take the ferry to Morocco? Go to the beach! The beach was a less than 15 min walk from our Airbnb. The best part is that we reached the southernmost peninsula and we were able to see Africa (Morocco) in the distance. You can also see from the picture below that you can dip your feet in two very important bodies of water very easily: the Mediterranean on the left, and the Atlantic Ocean on the right! There is a man-made walkable strip between them and at the end, you can explore a really old fortress structure.
WHERE DID YOU EAT? We didn’t get to stay here long, but here’s where we spent our money. We got lucky with our choices because everything was amazing! Seriously!!
El Feo – I had my first plate of Spain’s infamous jamón ibérico de pellota here and it did not disappoint. Tummy super happy! We also ordered pulpo gallego, croquetas, and patatas bravas. Eat outside on repurposed barrels. P.S. We ate here past midnight, so there’s a bit of that infamous Spanish nightlife culture for you. P.P.S. We ordered 4 dishes plus two water bottles and a glass of wine each and it came up to be around 30€!
Cafe 10 – Best breakfast crepes I’ve ever had. Super comfy location with strong coffee. Juices served in cute bottles. Lots of different kinds of tourists in here so you get to hear a smattering of different languages. Pricewise, crepes are about 8-10€.
An Ca Curro – You know that scene in Kill Bill 1 where Hattori Hanzo (in the guise of a sushi chef) berates his sous chef and they have hilarious and semi-awkward Old Man Banter? That’s the treat we got at this place (grab the stools inside). Curro is the nickname/diminutive of the owner, whose real name is Francisco. We had seasonal (and phenomenal!) tomato salad with Roquefort cheese and their “secret” pork dish. Really rustic interior with jamón hanging everywhere. Highly recommended.
Taco Way – Hidden in an alley with two other bars (and a random burrito place), we found this by following the growing sound of the late night chatter of a Nightlife Crowd. Or was it the trail of secondhand smoke? Either way, Taco Way was crammed with tons of college-aged tourists and locals alike enjoying their evening with cocktails and beer and good conversation. We followed suit and that’s how we ended a late night.
WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY? We would have stayed here longer if we knew how magical this place was. Also, Tarifa is known for being a windy beach town, so kite surfing is a big deal. We would have liked to have seen that.
ETC. We were big on sending out postcards at every city in our itinerary. In Spain, stamps are called sellos (“say-yos”) and they are sold in tobacco shops. Make sure you purchase stamps bound for other countries (“para los estados unidos, por favor”) if you are sending it outside of Europe. Mailboxes are cylindrical and bright yellow (ignore the green ones) with the word CORREOS on the side.
Okay. Enough of my yapping. You came here for pictures, right?
[In case you missed it, here’s a link for the intro/primer of the honeymoon. And a link for What To Do When Your Luggage Gets Lost and How to Pack For That.]