Tarifa, known as the “wind city,” is a perfect destination for a fun-filled family vacation full of adventures. Its endless sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters provide an ideal setting for building sandcastles, playing in the waves, or enjoying the stunning sunsets that this corner of the Andalusian coast offers.
However, Tarifa has much more to offer families traveling with children. The destination boasts a wide range of activities designed for family tourism, tailored to the interests and ages of the little ones. Here are eight proposals to plan a family vacation full of fun and discovery.
- Explore the Old Town through Play:
Start with what the little ones might enjoy the most. Tarifa’s tourist office offers a fun cultural experience for families to enjoy together while discovering the local heritage. This playful initiative, known as the Marco Topo adventure in Tarifa, invites children and adults to immerse themselves in Tarifa’s history by solving challenges related to its monuments. Adventure kits for this experience are available for free at the tourist office and include a map with highlights of the historic center, instructions to access digital game content, and stickers that are added to the map as challenges are overcome.
- A Stroll Through Medieval Past:
A walk through the historic center of Tarifa will reveal the Arab influences in its urban layout, remnants of what was once an Arab medina and now contribute Moorish charm to the place. During this tour, you can explore sections of the ancient medieval wall and old entrances such as the Puerta de Jerez or the Puerta de la Almedina. A visit to the castle of Guzmán el Bueno is essential on this medieval route and is sure to stimulate the imagination of the younger ones. This magnificent Caliphal castle from the 10th century played a crucial role in the heroic defense of Tarifa by Guzmán el Bueno in 1294. The tour of the medieval wall fortifications culminates at the Miramar and Maderos towers. The Miramar Tower offers spectacular views of the African coast, with Mount Musa standing out on the horizon, while the Tower of Maderos preserves the gate through which Sancho IV’s troops entered the city when conquering Tarifa from the Muslims in 1292.
- Charming Places, Traditions, and History:
Don’t miss charming places like Plaza de las Ranitas or the surroundings of the churches of San Mateo and San Francisco. Families will also enjoy Tarifa’s maritime culture and its connection to red tuna fishing and almadraba in the market, the port, and local gastronomy. It’s also recommended to visit the Island of Tarifa, also known as Isla de las Palomas, and explore its Interpretation Center in the former lighthouse keepers’ residence. This exhibition space highlights the historical importance of the island as a defensive bastion, as well as the richness of its seabeds and environmental diversity.
- A Dip in its Beaches:
The path to the Island of Tarifa, where the Mediterranean and the Atlantic meet, is another point of interest for family tourism in Tarifa. From this location, you can spot Playa Chica, bathed by the Mediterranean, and Playa de Los Lances, bathed by the Atlantic, which is a favorite among kitesurfing enthusiasts.
- Sports and Nature for the Family:
In addition to water sports such as surfing or kitesurfing and horseback riding, the province of Tarifa is an ideal destination for family hiking. The Estrecho and Alcornocales Natural Parks are environments of great ecological value and privileged places to observe different bird species and enjoy exceptional views of the Strait of Gibraltar and the African coast. To start, we recommend the popular Bolonia-Faro Camarinal trail, covering approximately 1 kilometer and offering views of the archaeological site of Baelo-Claudia and the Natural Monument of the Bolonia Dune. Also suitable for all ages is the La Peña trail, winding between the coves of Valdevaqueros and Los Lances. With a one-way distance of 5.3 kilometers and a duration of about 3 hours, the Algarbes-Betijuelo trail is one of the most interesting, passing through the Algarbes necropolis and offering fantastic views of the cliffs of Barbate. Vultures can be spotted during the hike. To explore all hiking options in Tarifa, we suggest visiting the Andalusian government’s trail finder, which offers a wide variety of routes for all tastes and levels, perfect for family enjoyment.