At Haro Rent A Car, specialists in car rental for your vacations, we unveil the Andalusian city of Tarifa, located at the southernmost tip of Spain, in the province of Cádiz. Its privileged position allows visitors to enjoy countless activities, ranging from whale watching to historical discoveries, not to mention the vibrant nightlife and relaxation offered in its surroundings.

It’s a must-visit destination if you’re in Marbella, Estepona, Málaga, or Cádiz, as Tarifa has been blessed with a multitude of activities to do and things you must experience once in your lifetime. There are so many that choosing will be difficult!

How to get to Tarifa

Did you know that Tarifa is the closest European city to Africa? Indeed! Even on clear days, Morocco can be seen from its viewpoints.

The thing is, getting to this town isn’t as straightforward as it should be since the nearest airports are those of Jerez de la Frontera, 130 km away, Seville, 215 km away, and Malaga, 150 km away.

Regarding trains, the closest station is located in Algeciras, 20 km from the town. From there, you can take a bus for around €3 (indicative price) to Tarifa. The bus station is situated right across from the train station, just a few meters away. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

If you choose to take a bus, you should know that there aren’t many direct options or routes, so the journey could take hours and might not be as cheap as you think.

As you can see, getting to Tarifa by bus or train isn’t very straightforward, so I recommend traveling by car or rental car from the airports or your cities.

1. Visit Guzmán’s Castle

In Guzmán El Bueno Street, you’ll find one of the best-preserved castles in Andalusia. It was built in 960 by the caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III. However, it is named after the Christian ruler Guzmán El Bueno, who defended the city from the Muslim invasion in 1294, sacrificing the life of his own son.

Walking along the castle walls will only cost you €4, allowing you to enjoy spectacular views of Africa, located just 15 km from Tarifa.

2. The Alameda, the starting point for any route in Tarifa.

All visits to Tarifa usually start at the Alameda, a beautiful pedestrian promenade that is more or less the main street of the city and where the Tourist Office is located. For this reason, I recommend trying to park in that area, it’s the best option to start your visit.

At the lower end of the Alameda, you will come across the statue of Guzmán el Bueno. This military figure is famous for defending Tarifa against the Muslims. After his son was captured, he allowed him to be killed rather than surrender the city. Legend has it that he even threw a dagger from the wall before giving in to the besiegers’ blackmail.

3. Puerta de Jerez

One of the most emblematic images of Tarifa comes from the Medieval Walls, which were declared a Cultural Interest Site in 2003. After the disappearance of the Puerta del Mar, located to the west, and the Puerta del Retiro to the east (now the location of the statue of General Copons y Navia), the 13th-century Puerta de Jerez currently represents an icon of the city.

4. Iglesia de San Mateo, the most important temple to visit in Tarifa

Sancho IV el Bravo Street, one of the main streets in the city center, will lead you to the Church of San Mateo, a temple from 1506 built to replace the disappeared Church of Santa María, built on the remains of an ancient mosque existing within the enclosure of its Alcazaba

5. The historic center, a must-see in Tarifa

The historic center of Tarifa wonderfully preserves the layout of the ancient medieval city. You’ll find it perfectly delimited by the Alameda, the Andalucía avenue, parts of the walls, and the sea. It hides many narrow streets and corners where you can escape from the sun and enjoy a beer in small bars where tourism and the atmosphere of Andalusian villages coexist in a curious harmony.

This area is well-preserved, and fortunately, you won’t see urban atrocities at first sight. In addition to the bars, you’ll find many craft shops where you can find unique products that will become a good memory or an original gift.

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