At the southern tip of Spain, the breezy Andalusian town of Tarifa serves as the meeting point between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Indeed, the port of Tarifa is the closest European port to North Africa and an important transport hub.
On Ferryhopper, you can take a look at available ferry routes, tips for your vacation and book your tickets with just a few clicks! Read our suggestions for your dreamy holidays in Tarifa and find useful information about its port:
Ferry sailing from the port of Tarifa by the Punta del Santo monument
Tarifa ferry port
The port of Tarifa is the closest port of Spain to Morocco (14 km), operating ferry routes all year long. The passenger terminal has 2 floors and houses all necessary services such as ticket sales, tourist information kiosks, restaurants, and more.
In addition, near the port, you can find a small beach, as well as short-term and long-term parking facilities. There’s 24/7 surveillance and the first 30 minutes are free of charge.
Tarifa ferry: tickets & schedules
From the port of Tarifa, you can catch the ferry to the Moroccan city of Tangier. It is one of the most popular routes between the Iberian Peninsula and the African continent, as the crossing is super fast! The ferry company normally operating at the port of Tarifa is FRS.
The ferry route from Tarifa to Tangier is available all year long and the duration of the trip is around 1 hour. The ferry departs from Tarifa and sails to the port of Tanger Ville. Usually, there are up to 17 daily crossings and tickets are around €40.
Tip: take your vehicle onboard the ferry to have a road trip adventure in Morocco!
Where is the ferry port in Tarifa?
The port is located in the southern part of the city of Tarifa, just a 5-minute walk from the medina.
How to get to Tarifa port
The port of Tarifa is near the town and you can easily get to the port by car, taxi or on foot. In addition, the ferry company FRS provides passengers with a free shuttle service that connects the ports of Tarifa and Algeciras, coordinated with the departures of ferries.
The old fortress of Santa Catalina in Tarifa
Vacation in Tarifa
Tarifa is a charming holiday destination on the Costa de la Luz in the province of Cádiz. The region of Tarifa is popular among water-sports enthusiasts, as the sea conditions make it a world-class kitesurfing and windsurfing destination.
In summer, it’s also a destination for families. Boat trips are organized from April to October, where you can observe whales and dolphins as they make their way through the Strait of Gibraltar. The best months for sperm whales are April to August. Try July and August for orcas.
So, whether you prefer to walk around the city, explore the impressive nature of the region or head to the beaches, Tarifa is a great holiday option.
How to get to Tarifa
You can get to Tarifa directly by car, bus, train or ferry. Freeway N-340 leads to Tarifa from Algeciras and Cádiz. Also, you can drive along E-5 from Seville. Alternatively, you can take one of the buses that travel from major Spanish cities to Tarifa.
As for other means of transport, the closest train station is located in Algeciras (20 km away), while the closest airport is in Gibraltar (40 minutes). For international flights, head to Malaga or Seville airport (about 2 hours drive).
What to do in Tarifa
Tarifa is a great summer destination in the south of Spain, with a great climate, beautiful beaches and an impressive natural landscape.
After walking around the city you should definitely try windsurfing or kitesurfing at one of the town’s 30-plus kitesurfing and windsurfing schools! Even if you choose to stay on the shore, the blue sea, the waves and the vibrant hues of the kites create one of the most beautiful sights in Tarifa!
Beaches in Tarifa
With 35 km of coastline, the beautiful, sugar-white beaches of Tarifa are the region’s crown jewel, perfect for water sports, sunbathing and underwater exploration.
Ferryhopper's favorite beaches in Tarifa are:
- Playa de Valdevaqueros: this beach is the gathering place of all water-sport lovers. It has sand, cool aqua waters and giant waves for kitesurfing and windsurfing. There is a parking spot and a few beach bars nearby.
- Playa de los Lances: it's the most popular beach in Tarifa and is located close to the center of the town. It is a wide, snow-white sandy beach that is ideal for swimming, relaxing or practicing water sports. Don’t forget to bring your umbrella!
- Punta Paloma: its unparalleled beauty makes this beach a must during your stay in Tarifa. It is very large with fine sand dunes and spectacular waters. Take your mask with you as its seabed is ideal for snorkeling. At its far western end, you will find natural mud baths.
- Bolonia: the beach of Bolonia is only 25 km from Tarifa. It's a stunning, yet unknown beach with deep blue waters and sand. There are chiringuitos (small beach bars) nearby, but no umbrellas.
- Chica de Tarifa: right next to the port, you can find a small but beautiful beach for a quick dive. It is popular with families and children and can be rather busy, due to its close proximity to the town. There are no umbrellas or sunbeds there.
- La Caleta: on the other side of the port, there is a small wild cove with amazing crystalline waters. The beach has rocks and it’s sheltered from the strong winds. It is perfect for seclusion and peaceful moments.
- Cañuelo: amazing, wild beach with unspoiled beauty. It is small with sand and crystal-clear waters. Access to the beach can be challenging so we suggest that you don’t pack heavily.
- Los Alemanes: a large beach with lush vegetation and fine sand. Its waters are truly amazing and inviting. Visitors choose it for swimming, sunbathing, picnics, and sunset watching. Parking can be tricky so we recommend you get there early.
Windsurfing on a sunny day at Valdevaqueros beach in Tarifa
Sightseeing in Tarifa
The old city of Tarifa will charm you straight away with its cute narrow alleys, white houses and stunning views of the nearby African coast. Stroll through the streets of Tarifa and discover the charm of Paseo de La Alameda, the rich history of the Castle of Tarifa, the lively atmosphere of Plaza de Oviedo, all the way to the captivating Puerta de Jerez.
Here are some of the top sights in Tarifa:
- Mirador del Estrecho, the amazing viewpoint of the Strait of Gibraltar
- Miramar lookout, for spectacular Morocco panoramas
- Punta de Tarifa, the southernmost point of continental Europe
- Las Palomas island, a small island connected to Tarifa by causeway since 1808
- Oviedo Square, the picturesque square located in the old town of Tarifa
- Castle of Tarifa also known as the "Castillo de Guzmán el Bueno", an impressive Moorish fortification
- Paseo de la Alameda Park, a beautiful promenade surrounded by colorful flowers
- Gate of Jerez, the medieval gateway and the only entrance through the old Moorish city walls
- San Mateo Church, located in the center of the old town of Tarifa.
- Iglesia de San Mateo (St. Matthew's Church), a 16th-century church located in the center of the old town of Tarifa
- Baelo Claudia in Bolonia, some of Andalucía’s most impressive Roman ruins
Tip: from Mirador del Estrecho in Tarifa you can catch a glimpse of Africa across the sea!
Stepping back in time at the beautifully restored ancient Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia
Nightlife in Tarifa
Tarifa is a lively town with a youthful party scene. Although small, the town has many restaurants, lounge bars and clubs for partying until late at night. Most of them are in the center, near the port.
You can start your evening with a relaxing sunset session with cocktails at beach bars like Tumbao, followed by some tapas. Afterwards, you can hit the old town. Most bars welcome visitors with music and copas (drinks).
Nightlife in Tarifa doesn’t stop until early in the morning, as there are clubs with a party mood and loud music. La Ruina, for example, is one of the city’s most famous nightclubs worth visiting.
Food in Tarifa
The city’s maritime tradition and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean make it a seafood paradise. Don’t miss out on the traditional Andalusian tapas of the region!
Here are some of the most delicious local delicacies to try during your stay in Tarifa:
- local tuna
- boquerónes (fried or marinated anchovies)
- pescaíto frito (deep-fried fish and seafood)
- fresh prawns
- tortilla de camarones (battered small shrimps)
- chicharrones de Cádiz (roasted pork belly)
- retinta beef
Discover below our top tips for your stay in Tarifa:
- If you’re planning to try out windsurfing or kitesurfing during your stay in Tarifa, be cautious! The waves and stiff Atlantic winds aren’t always beginner-friendly.
- The best month to be in Tarifa for that full on beach buzz is July and August. Swing by in May, June or September if you’re after a more peaceful vacation.
- Interested in embarking on a gorgeous walk? Great idea! You can opt for the 1.5 km Sendero de los Lances boardwalk or the long-distance GR7 trail.
Windsurfing on the sea of Tarifa
Useful information about Tarifa
Tarifa is a popular destination for those who want to have a relaxing time before crossing to Morocco. The town has all the necessary services and facilities for visitors, such as supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, and various shops. As for medical services, the town has one medical center and a few pharmacies.
Regarding accommodation, Tarifa has a variety of hotels, which are budget-friendly. We suggest that you book your accommodation in Tarifa well in advance, due to limited availability. There are also several camping sites in the area.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Tarifa
Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Tarifa:
- Tarifa Port Authority: +34956680215
- Tarifa Medical Center: +34956027700
- Tarifa intercity bus station: +34956684038
- Tarifa taxi rank: +34956230762
- Tarifa Police Station: +34956682174
European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Tarifa
The town of Tarifa is small and you can easily get around on foot. However, you can also get a taxi from the taxi rank near the port or use your own vehicle. This is the most recommended option, especially if you plan to camp, bring your water sports equipment or go off-road.
Alternatively, the majority of Tarifas public transit is provided by buses, which travel both within the town and outside of it. The city’s bus station is located near the old town, at the end of calle Batalla del Salado.
Book Tarifa ferry tickets online
On Ferryhopper, you can book tickets to Tangier from Tarifa and kickstart your Moroccan adventure in just a few clicks. Find all the information you need about ferry schedules from the port of Tarifa, check our Map of ferries for available ferry routes and book Tarifa tickets with no hidden fees!
Tarifa ferry timetable
View the complete ferry schedule from and to Tarifa for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.