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Tarifa area guide: surfers' paradise

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When you move to the Costa del Sol, you'll likely hear Tarifa's name bandied about a lot, invariably by the younger generation. Its appeal lies not in its architectural beauty or rich history, but in its natural attractions that are augmented by the town's unique location right at the foot of Spain, making Tarifa the most southerly part of continental Europe. It's also the windiest part of the continent too, making Tarifa a haven for windsurfers, who flock to the town from all over the world.

Tarifa - Spain

Such a sustained, youthful and, well, cool influx of visitors has helped Tarifa forge itself something of a reputation as a hip and bohemian party town that not only attracts dedicated watersports enthusiasts, but also plastic hangers-on; the types of people who have never set foot on a windsurf board but think the clothing that is associated with the scene looks pretty good. Hence, the Costa del Sol has a disproportionate number of 'Tarifa lovers', even if they look more at home in the back of a Ferrari than they would in a battered old VW Beetle headed for the Atlantic coast.

Tarifa - Spain

A cynic might, then, come to the conclusion that Tarifa's earthy charm appealing to the Costa del Sol's often shallow 'in crowd' is indicative of a coast lacking in any real soul; where anything different from the norm gets embraced with much greater fervour than would normally be the case. The truth, however, is simple: Tarifa's laid back character, its miles of white sandy beaches, its accessibility and affordability and its invitingly bohemian atmosphere is a draw for all types of people – young and old – from around the world.

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