A large part of this week was spent just outside the town of Tarifa in Southern Spain. Tarifa is in fact the most southerly point of continental Europe. Our campsite which is right in the heart of the Parque Natural del Estrecho, has stunning views across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco and the Rif Mountains. We hiked in the park, to a ridge that gave 360o views of this beautiful and varied landscape.
What was once a small medieval fishing village, Tarifa is now a Mecca for wind and kite surfers, due to both a strong easterly and westerly wind which funnels through the strait. It is at this point that the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. The coast is a popular spot for holidaymakers both local and international, drawn by its white sandy beaches and crystal clear seas. In the town of Tarifa, old world charm bumps up against modern consumerism. The narrow cobbled streets, sport many of the world’s leading brands in luxury goods as well as galleries displaying artisan crafts, right next to a local fish market.
It is also the gateway to North Africa with regular fast ferries making the 14km journey to and fro to the port of Tangier, Morocco. This short distance has also enticed many refugees and asylum seekers to attempt this treacherous crossing by any means available. The tragic results of which we see all too frequently in our newspapers and on our televisions.
We loved our stop here and suspect we will be back if only to make the sea crossing to Morocco at a future date.