Your name – Michelle
Who were your travel companions – Husband, Miss 2.5yrs and Miss 10mths
What was the location of your holiday – Tarifa Spain
How did you get there – Hire Car (drove from Seville)
What time of year did you travel – July
Length of stay – 2 weeks
What was the weather like – Warm with temps around 25 to 30 degrees and mid to high humidity. Very windy time of year, so the breezes helped cool things down a bit.
Beach Front Apartment
Style (Hotel, Apartment, B&B) – Apartment
Room type booked – 2 bedrooms
Facilities – Kitchenette with dishwasher, washing machine/dryer, shower (no bath), air-conditioning, free WiFi
Stunning beach front location with beautiful views and easy access to the beach. After a short walk you could find yourself on the main street with a handful of eating options, supermarkets, sporting and kite-surfing shops. Within a 15min walk you could reach Old Town for more shopping and eating options.
The apartment was very comfortable, a good size and nicely furnished. With the humidity it was great to have some air-conditioning to escape the heat. The main bedroom had a double bed and the second room had 2 single beds. The bathroom was very functional with a large shower. In the kitchen there were plenty of utensils, a dishwasher, 2 burner stove and a convection microwave/oven. The fridge was a little small so daily trips to the supermarket were often required. A highlight was the balcony with lovely furniture and views over the beach. Such a nice place to sit and relax.
The apartment block also had a swimming pool that was great for a quick swim and cool off if you had enough beach time. It also had a lifeguard on duty at peak times of the day.
The local contact was lovely to deal with and check in and out was quite flexible. Online payment was highlight – no need to withdraw large amounts of money.
The access to the unit included 3 flights of external stairs. With non-walking children, a pram and a heap of beach and sporting gear it was a mission to get up and down each time. Wouldn’t be so much of an issue if the children can walk themselves and help carry something.
Parking was mostly on-street parking and at times it was hard to find a spot. There is parking under the units, but it is very tight to get in and out, the parking bays are very small.
No highchair – but I found out that it can be requested.
Would you stay there again? YES
Could you recommend any restaurants/cafes/bars for eating out with children?
There is no shortage of great food or cocktails in Tarifa! All of the restaurants we visited were very accommodating when dining with the children. Most didn’t have a dedicated childrens menu but selecting a tapas plate or two was a great option. Something to be mindful of is the time the Spanish eat, dinner is eaten quite late in the summer (between 9 and 10pm) so your choices can be limited if you need something earlier on. Our favourite dining experiences included:
Malibu – right next door to our apartment. They had amazing ribs, burgers and cocktails. Service was friendly and location was great with beach views. There was some space for the kids to run around while the parents can enjoy a drink and watch the sunset. Very relaxing vibe!
We had a lovely breakfast at Wet Cafe. Breakfast isn’t available at a lot of places so it was nice to find something good. The menu had some very healthy options and was yum! This little cafe also was great for the kids. They had trampolines, fish pond, cubby house and a large lawn to run around on. For the kitesurfers – this is also a great shop with lots of gear and good deals!
Right on the beach we had some great fish and chips at Bienstar.
The best meal we had was at Bar El Frances. Located in the beautiful old town, this place is very popular. We were super lucky to get a table straight away, but at peak times you will need to put your name down for a table. Delicious food, great variety and quite reason prices.
At most of the main beaches there are little sand bars that are perfect places to stop for a cool drink and a snack during you beach time or at the end of a kite-surfing session!
Things to do?
KITE-SURF! Our trip was primarily for kite-surfing and we were not disappointed. Wide long golden sandy beaches and most days we had good wind. We used all 3 kites in our quiver, 12, 9 & 7 so its wise to pack for all wind conditions. Our best session was at Valdevaqueros with cross on winds. Its best to talk to the locals in one of the many kitesurfing shops for advice about the wind as there are 2 very different directions which affect the beach conditions – also ask about the rescue passes for offshore wind days!
For the non-kite-surfers or no wind days there was plenty to do in and around Tarifa. The Old Town was a stunning little place full of cute shops, cobble stone paths and delicious food and cocktails! This place really came to life at night. For the kids there was a train that did tours around the town, dodgem cars, parks, and amusement rides and games.
We did a whale watching tour which was a lovely way to spend a few hours and enjoy the coastline views of both Tarifa and Morocco! In July they get Orca whales in the strait but we were very unlucky not to see any during our cruise, we did get to spend some time with a large pod of dolphins. Miss 2.5 loved this boat trip. The boat was great with plenty of space including undercover areas. No food or drink available on-board so take you own supplies along.
Day trip to Gibraltar – about an hour drive away we crossed into UK territory and visited Gibraltar. After crossing – you will need your passports – we booked a tour guide who drove us around in a mini bus to all of the main sites. We visited St Michaels Cave, the WWII Tunnels, the families of monkeys and the magnificent views from the top of “The Rock”. We finished our day with a superb meal at the Star Bar. One very cool thing to do here is walk across an international airport runway, we had to wait for an aircraft to land before we could cross, the kids (big and small) loved it!
Not far from Tarifa we visited a beautiful little town called Bolonia where the remains of a Roman town and fishing village from 41-45 AD were discovered. It is a very well persevered city where you can clearly see the town layout and features. The beach provided a stunning backdrop and the town had plenty of great dining options, it was a nice place to spend the day.
The beaches in and around Tarifa were beautiful. The main beach in town gets very busy but there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy. In July and August there is no kite-surfing allowed on this beach so it is very safe for everyone.