Southern Spain Road Trip | Rota to Tarifa

Driving Along the Coast

One of the highlights during our time here in Spain was taking a road trip from Rota to Tarifa planned by our friends. Initially, the only places on our list to visit were just Barcelona and Rota, so I was stoked that we were heading to the most renowned surf town in southern Spain!

As we drove along the coast, the landscape and views changed from hills and mountains, representing a farming community of cattle, olives, and vineyards to the ocean & dunes.

The drive through El Palmar was my favorite as it reminded me so much of my hometown of St. Augustine Beach, FL, before so many people moved in. The road was right along the sand with most of the area unspoiled & stretches of beach for miles. We stopped at La Cerveceria right along the roadside & sat outside as we enjoyed our cold beers and tapas. Just a perfect atmosphere to enjoy with friends, beers, & great food!

Our next stop was high on the cliffs overlooking a clear view of the ocean & beautiful hillside homes, reminding us of the white buildings in Greece overlooking the Mediterranean.

*Click on photos to enlarge*

Hello Tarifa!

Wow! We didn’t know what we’d be expecting to see when we got here, but here we were at Punta de Tarifa (Point Tarifa), the southernmost point of Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar; where the Mediterannean meets Atlantic.  Our mini road trip here was such a treat and surprise planned by our friends. It felt surreal as we walked on the causeway between the two seas & then glancing over to views of Morocco at a distance. It felt so close yet so far, but it does make for an excellent backdrop for photos. Our treat didn’t end there. Before we headed out to stroll around town, the sun started to set, so we stayed a bit longer and enjoyed a panoramic view of our first sunset in Tarifa.


Tarifa has over 300 windy days a year, yes 300!!! Did we get your attention wind chasers?  With almost a year of wind, talk about kite-boarder and wind-surfer paradise! The reason why surfers from all over Europe and the world come here.

The busiest times in Tarifa when kite-boarders and tourists visit is from late June through August, and the least crowded in April/May or September/October.  Our September visit was perfect, and while the winds were quite calm, there was still a handful of kite-boarders out enjoying the beautiful sunny day.

Javi & I didn’t surf here, but we did make a pit stop in Barbate to surf at Hierbabuena Beach on our way home from Tarifa. This stretch of the beach reminded us quite a bit, like California.  For the first time, I surfed Spain!  Pretty awesome, right!?  Admittedly, it wasn’t my best day at all; poor showing and not prepared at all, but such is life, right!  Till next time!

*Click on photos to enlarge*

Strolling through Old Town

The old town of Tarifa felt like I was stepping into the past and a whole new world. The narrow cobblestoned streets winding in between whitewashed buildings & occupied with small cafes, gift shops, and restaurants. Unlike Barcelona or Seville, the buildings are much closer together, giving it more of an intimate feel.

Whether day or night, even with groups of people out, we still felt the laid back vibe and atmosphere. It made our walk through town much more enjoyable amongst everyone going at their paces and in no rush.

where to eat

If you’re in town looking for Mediterranean, European, & Spanish infused cuisine, we recommend  Silos 19 . It’s a beautiful restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere and modern interior.

For breakfast, we ate at a small cafe called Andrea’s Brunch, which we loved & highly recommend for fresh and healthy food options.

Where to stay

If you don’t want to stay in a hotel, check out this Airbnb and book it fast if it’s still available for your dates. Affordable rates and great location! The apartment is relatively new, gated, has free parking, and within walking distance to the beach and town. Read More

Friends of Javi & Maria (our hosts during our time in Rota), generously offered us a free night’s stay here at their rental, which was so very nice of them.  (BIG thank you to Julio & Esme!) The four of us fit in this one-bedroom apartment comfortably, & we highly recommend this accommodation for your future trip to Tarifa.

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