Kiteboarding in Tarifa, Cádiz
In Tarifa, southern Spain, kitesurfing (or kiteboarding, as it’s often called) is a cult pastime. Why? At Point Tarifa, the southernmost point of all of continental Europe, the calm Mediterranean rushes up to meet the voracious Atlantic, lending itself to Tarifa’s excellent kitesurfing conditions and moniker of “The Windy City”. This “Mecca of wind” has even hosted the World Kiteboard Championships.
This Mecca of Wind moniker is well earned with over 300 days of wind hitting Tarifa every year. The Poniente comes howling out of the west like an Atlantic banshee bringing with it good weather and consistent wind gusts. Whilst the strong gusty winds of the Levante, sweep in from the East and last for weeks.
Dedicated kitesurfing fans will possibly already know something about the area: the best beaches, schools and kitesurfing stations in Tarifa. If you’re a beginner, however, or are new to the area, the choice can be somewhat daunting. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you, so all you have to think about is catching your next wave.
The best beaches for kitesurfing in Tarifa
Valdevaqueros Beach is the big daddy of the Tarifa kitesurfing scene. With three different windsurfing and kitesurfing schools and stations in competition (Starboard Volare, Tarifa Smile and Spin Out Windsurf) and incredible wind conditions, you have everything you need to start skimming the waves. Valdevaqueros is also the place to be when the Eastern Levante wind hits. Oh, and the Tangana beach bar is also on hand as a focal point for the surfing crowd.
Be aware that on the main urban beach, Los Lances Beach, the various water sports that are practised in Tarifa are technically prohibited during the summer. All kinds of international kitesurfing competitions have taken place here, however, and conditions are great when the Poniente wind blows from the west. There’s a couple of kitesurf schools here, which include the Tarifa Max Kitesurf School and the Only Kite School.
As the Levante blows you along Los Lances and towards the Dos Mares hotel, you’ll find an exclusively reserved teaching zone. Slightly further up, the Arte Vida (“Living Art”) beach has great surfing conditions, a stone-free floor and a kitesurfing school that also rents equipment (the Surf Center Tarifa). There’s also a great party scene here, with live DJ sets, where you can let go after a day on the water.
The great thing about Kitesurfing in Tarifa is, if the conditions aren’t great at one spot you can simply pack up your gear and head to another. Rio Jara is a great place to go if conditions are rough, a lagoon forms at the river mouth making it great for flat water kite surfing or beginners wanting to perfect their style. There are plenty of other kitesurfing spots around Tarifa which we’ll let you discover on your own.
And to inspire you, here’s a video of youthful kitesurfing champ Liam Whaley kitesurfing in Tarifa. Jealous, us?