Tarifa, Costa de la Luz
Tarifa sits on one of the most southernmost points of the province of Cadiz in Spain. It enjoys the idyllic sunshine hours of the Costa de la Luz and is within close proximity of both the Costa del Sol and the city of Tangier on the African continent.
There are over 50 caves in the local mountains, some of which contain evidence of the Palaeolithic Period. They are believed to be about eighteen thousand years old. The most significant of these caves is probably that of the Cueva del Moro which is considered to have the most cave art in Europe. The animal that is most depicted is the horse engraved into the wall or traced with red pigments.
The town received its name from the leader of the first Moorish incursion into Southern Spain, Tarif Ibn Malluk. That first incursion saw a larger army descend upon the southern territories of Spain a year later. Historical experts tend to believe that the invasion of the Moors was relatively peaceful as theVisigoths that ruled within the fringes of the Roman Empire were putting an unhealthy strain on the local people. The Moors ruled here for many years before succumbing to the might of Sancho IV of Castile in 1292. Since then it has seen many battles including that of the Anglo-Spanish successful resistance of Napoleon’s army in the 19th Century.
Today, this resort town is popular for its beaches and the climate which provides one of the most famous global surfing areas. Tarifa is known as being one of Europe’s windiest places. The two winds: the Levante from the east and the Poniente from the west combine to challenge even the hardiest of those that test the waves. Though these waves can be challenging, there are also safer areas for the beginner to try, and tutorials are provided. Other water sports also emerge as those that fuse themselves with this popular sport such as kitesurfing and surfskiing. And there are other aquatic sports and interests such as diving – and whale and dolphin watching excursions that often cruise out to the schools of them that regularly appear.
Other sports of a drier nature range from patient observation such as birdwatching to the more rigorous such as rock climbing. Then there is the mounted sports of horse riding and mountain biking. And of course there is the sport that integrates the beauty of its surroundings into the discipline and skill of the sport itself – there are nine stunning golf courses in the area to test your par.
There are many restaurants in the area that serve up traditional Spanish fare and of course being close to the African continent also sees the fusion of North African influenced dishes. The coast provides the finest of fresh fish catches, which when fried make delicious tapas or a main course fish dish. Then to top that pleasant feeling why not finish the evening's meal with a delightful Spanish dessert and a bottle of Manzanilla fino sherry or a delicious white wine.
The closest international airport is that of Gibraltar at only 28km away. Malaga is much further at 160km but it is has more international flights from many other destinations. And there is also the international airport of Tangier which though only 42km is on the African continent and you will have to catch the ferry from there.
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