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Costa de la Luz Resorts - Tarifa

Tarifa - The Costa de la Luz coastal town of Tarifa is often called "the windsurfing capital of Europe" due to its enjoying the perfect conditions for that sport. Tarifa is located in the province of Cadiz in the region of Andalucia on the popular Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) and it looks across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco and the Rif Mountains. Tarifa has a population of around 17,100 (2005) and a municipal area of 419km2, its municipal region includes the villages of Facinas, Zahara de los Atunes, Bolonia and Tahivilla. Tarifa has regular ferries to Tangiers.

Tarifa was named after the 8th Century Moorish commander Tarif Ben Maluk and the town still has some reminders of those long ago days including the Castillo de Guzmán el Bueno built in about 960 AD and the source of a legend which relates that the town hero Guzmán el Bueno, whilst defending the town from the Moors, sacrificed his son rather than surrender to the invaders.

Tarifa has around 10 kilometres of fine sandy beaches set beside largely unspoilt countryside, and apart from windsurfers and water sports enthusiasts attracts birdwatchers, hikers, cyclists, horse riders and rock climbers. The town itself has been mostly a fishing town over the centuries and the local fishermen still employ fishing tecniques which have been employed since the times of the Arab occupation. The old town still has ancient cobbled streets and some of the original castellated town walls, incorporated into old whitwashed houses.

There is lots to see in Tarifa including the aforementioned Castillo de Guzmán el Bueno, the recently restored Jerez Gate dating from the 8th Century, the fishing port and the Church of San Mateo dating from the 16th Century.

Standing on the hillsides behind Tarifa is one of the largest "wind farms" in Europe, where hundreds of wind-turbines create electricity from this natural and environmentally friendly method.

Tarifa has a good range of shops, bars and restaurants and plenty of accommodation opportunities. The fine Tarifa beaches include Playa de los Lances, Playa Chica, Playa de Valdevaqueros and La Caleta. Tarifa has a lively nightlife during the busy summer months but is a little quieter during the winter, there are numerous discos and disco bars located mostly near to the seafront and in the old town.

Tarifa is situated on the N-340 between Cadiz and Algeciras and can be reached from the airports at Gibralter, Jerez and Malaga on the nearby Costa del Sol.

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Costa de la Luz Places: Ayamonte - Cadiz - Hinojos - Huelva - Isla Canela - Isla Cristina - Punta Umbria

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