The Beaches of Tarifa
Tarifa has more than 10km of beaches of sand one of the longest in Spain.
Within the town of Tarifa is the Playa Chica, right in front of the Isla de Las Palomas. This small beach is the only one that belongs to the Mediterranean. The water there is calm and somewhat colder than the Atlantic side. In summer this beach is highly sought among the locals and is usually quite full.
Right in front of the town starts the beach of Los Lances. This beach is on the Atlantic side marked by it’s waves. Los Lances beach is divided into South and North Los Lances. The two areas are divided by the River Jara that is located outside the village. Sometimes at low tide you can even walk across the river with ease with the water reaching your knee. But with high tide the water can reach 1.50 m at the shore. From Tarifa you can walk directly along the shore, or via a wooden path “Sendero de Los Lances.” The wooden path trail through what is a Protected Natural Area, is where many birds nest.
After about 7km Los Lances beach ends and a rocky area with small coves begins. This part of the beach is ideal for walking or sunbathing as it is uncrowded even in the summer. But it is not the best area for swimming because of the rocks.
After Los Lances ends, begins Valdevaqueros Beach, a favorite with surfers. At the end of the beach is the large sand dune of Punta Paloma. You can spend a lot of time along this shore by the the dune. At the top end of the dune area you’ll find healing mud, which is often used to enliven the skin. It is not unusual to see people covered in this green tinged mud walking along the beach. Behind the end point of the beach on windy days you can find sheltered coves to swim and sunbath.
Continuing along the bay you will find Bolonia. It is however easier to get to Bolonia by car as it is about 15km north of Tarifa towards Cadiz. Bolonia is a small fishing village and very quiet in winter. In summer the beach is one of the most popular in Spain where you can find several bars and restaurants. From Bolonia you can enjoy a wonderful view- to one side is the Natural Park and the Sierra de la Plata, on the other the hills of Bolonia and mountains of San Bartolo. At the end of the town, at the foot of the large sand dune are the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia, one of the most outstanding preservations in Spain. The entrance to the ruins is free to all EU citizens by presenting your ID. The Dune and pine forests bordering the ruins are protected as a natural monument and can be visited via a wooden pathway for your ease.
Going left from Bolonia you get to the nudist beaches and the famous natural swimming pools. These pools have been formed throughout history by the erosive forces of tides and wind.