The Tarifa Guide for Digital Nomads

Tarifa is an amazing place in low season (September – June). The prices are low and it’s a fantastic to try out the digital nomad lifestyle. Getting here is super easy, the infrastructure is great and besides Tarifa there is much more to see if you explore the other parts of Andalusia.

It’s the perfect place to escape the big city life, live on the beach and take advantage of your location independent job. In fact it could one day become the Ubud of Europe ;-).

This guide will tell you everything you need to know, if you want to move your office to the beaches of Tarifa. To connect to other digital nomads who (want to) live here, join the Facebook Group Tarifa Digital Nomads.

Watch the video below to learn a bit more about Digital Nomad Life in Tarifa before reading the guide.

About the video: Most scenes were filmed filmed during the Tarifa Workation, Flaks (Workations for Dutch Entrepreneurs) and Cocoterra Coworking hostel. Thanks to Conni from Planet Backpack and Marcus and Feli from DNX GLOBAL for the visit! Video by Alessandro Vaccari- Subscribe to his channel on Youtube.


The Tarifa Guide for Digital Nomads & Remote Workers who want to go on Workation (work+vacation).

tarifa-kirche

Overview – Why Tarifa?

If you heard about Tarifa in the past, you probably learned that it’s one of the kitesurfing hotspots in the world. Saying that doesn’t mean that Tarifa is only for kiters. In fact only about 20% of all tourists who come here touch a kiteboard. It’s simply a small beach town with a really good vibe and international crowd and even if you don’t want to kiting you’re going to like it here.

These are just a few reasons why you should come for a visit to Tarifa:

  • Adventure sports: Mountain Biking, Kitesurfing, Diving, Surfing, Climbing you can do it all after your work day in Tarifa and the surrounding area.
  • 14 km from Africa: Want to spend a few days in Morocco? The ferry leaves right from Tarifa to Tangier a few times a day and it only takes you 30 minutes to get there.
  • Andalusia: There’s much more to explore in the surrounding area than just Tarifa. Rental cars are extremely cheap which makes it even easier to explore nearby cities like Granada, Seville, Malaga, Cadiz and other parts of Andalusia.
  • Great value for money: Price drop in low season. Apartments are cheap and Tarifa and living on the beach is cheaper than living in Berlin.
  • Good weather: Tarifa is situated on the most Southern Point of Europe. It still gets many warm sunny days, when it’s freezing in Northern Europe.
  • No package tourism: Unlike on the Costa del Sol, Tarifa is not overrun by package tourism and the tourist crowds. If you’re looking for Hotel chains and McDonalds Tarifa is not for you ;-)
  • Surrounded by nature: Tarifa is surrounded by beautiful national parks and it’s simply a great place to relax and get away from the city life.
  • International crowd: The kitesurfing and adventure sports drew a young crowd to Tarifa. I’m sure you’ll love the international scene in this place. It’s like the Byron Bay for kitesurfers.
  • Amazing beaches: The beaches in and around Tarifa are some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain.

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When to go

Tarifa is good all year round but the town changes a lot depending on the season.

In my opinion the best months to be in Tarifa are April – June and September – November. The town is still busy, prices are good and the weather is simply perfect (not too hot and not too cold).

Peak season is in July and August. That’s when most Spaniards are on vacation and come to visit Tarifa from the surrounding cities like Cadiz, Seville, Marbella and Malaga. Prices are extremely high and it’s the hottest time of the year. I don’t think it’s a good time to be in Tarifa, unless you want to party every night.

In the winter months Tarifa is literally empty and it can rain a lot. Nevertheless it could be a good place to come if you want get some work done and really focus on your projects.

Prices in winter month can be extremely low and the the waves are high enough to learn surfing. The wind can also be pretty good and you’ll only have to share the beaches with a few other kiters and surfers. So it could be a great place to go if you don’t want to leave Europe in winter as the temperature can still reach the lower 20s in the winter months and you can even go skiing within a 4 hours drive if you visit Granada.

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Cost of living

The cost of living in Tarifa depends on the season. Note that the following prices are all low season prices you can find between September – June.

If you don’t party every night you can rent your own room and certainly enjoy a good lifestyle in Tarifa starting from around € 700 per months.

I’ll share a few examples to give you a better idea about the cost of living.

Pricing Examples

Apartments

Short term – Expect to pay around 30 -100 € per night for your own apartment depending on location and seasons. I suggest you check directly on Airbnb. Keep in mind that it’s very easily possible to negotiate a better deal if you plan to stay for a few weeks.

Long term – It’s possible to find a two bedroom apartment on near the beach for around € 700 per months if you plan to stay for at least one month, a lot less if you stay more central or in the old part of town. The easiest way to find those deals is to ask around at the real estate agencies in town.

Food – Eat where the locals eat and you’ll be fine. Prices vary but good meal of Tapas can be had for around 8 Euros. If you’re on a budget you can get everything at the supermarkets and cook at home.

Rental cars – Living in Tarifa is even better if you have a rental car. The good thing is that you can get one from € 3 per day at the airport in Malaga. No kidding!! See the below on rental cars below.

Drinks & Nightlife – Going out can be cheap in Tarifa. Simply take advantage of the happy hours usually between 20:00 – 23:00. At that time you’ll get a great selection of Cocktails for  € 3! If you want to go to a club later look for the girls who hand out armbands that will get you into the clubs for free. Otherwise you’ll have to pay around 10 € cover charge including 1 or 2 drinks in low season.

tarifa workationWhere to stay?

Tarifa is small and you hardly ever walk more than 10 -15 minutes to get from A to B. Nevertheless there are 3 different areas of the town I’d recommend you to stay.

Old Town (Casco Historico) – This is the most beautiful part of the town where most restaurants and shops are and situated and the nightlife is happening. Keep in mind that parking is difficult and it might not be a good idea to stay there if you need to carry your kite gear to your apartment every day.

Beach – 10 Minutes walk from the Old Town you’ll find many apartments and houses along the Calle Mar Mediterraneo and close by. In my opinion it’s the best area to live in Tarifa. The beach is next door and there’s a few fantastic Wi-Fi cafes close by as well and it’s the best area to find parking.

Center – The area between the Old town and the beach along the road Calle Battala del Salado is not a very pretty but you’ll find good accommodation options, it’s the cheapest part of the town and finding a parking is not difficult.

Accommodation

Choosing your accommodation really depends on your budget and taste. Depending on the season you can usually find amazing deals on Airbnb or Hostelworld. Check the listings and make sure you read the reviews about Wi-Fi carefully when choosing your place to stay.

If you plan to stay long term I’d recommend to book for a week and then find your apartment when you get here.

Check out a few more recommendations below:

 

Budget / Hostels

Tarifa Hostel – This hostel is one of the best and newest hostels in Tarifa. The internet is fast here as well you can work from the common room.

Girls Love Boards – Bianca from the Netherlands runs a small guesthouse for adventurous girls. Great option for female digital nomads who want to learn kitesurfing.

Midrange Hotels / Guesthouses

Hostal Tarifa – This hotel is one of the few newer places in the center of town. It has downstairs parking and tables to work from in each room.

Africa Hostal – The Africa hostal is another great guest house situated in the old part of town and a good option if you only plan to stay in Tarifa for a few days.

Banti Hostal – This hotel is a 1 km outside of town. The common area is a great place to focus and get some work done. Once a month the owner Canadian Owner Adam, a former DJ, throws a great party in the Hostal.

Surfer’s Residence – Brand new apartments with good internet. Owned by Julian, a German guy who runs a kiteschool in Tarifa as well.

Luxury

La Residencia – Beautiful designed apartments with a view over Africa. Situated in the Old Town of Tarifa.

Riad Lolita – The newest guest house in Tarifa. An old Moroccan house with rooftop terrace and beautiful rooms. Quite affordable in low season.

Dos Mares Hotel – This place is about 5 Kilometers outside of Tarifa. A fantastic hotel right on the beach.

Hotel Hurricane – Next to Dos Mares Hotel. This is another fantastic option if you’re looking for a luxury options near Tarifa.

Long Term

If you plan to stay for a longer period and want to get your own apartment I’d recommend you take a week to find a good place instead of organizing it from abroad. That way you can get to know the city a bit more and have better chances to score an apartment by meeting your landlord’s personally.

If you’re looking for a long term apartment you can negotiate with Airbnb Apartment owners, check online here or this Facebook group. Another way to find good long term deals is to walk around town and check with the real estate agents like IPG. Many of them will have a few apartments available but you’ll have to pay some commision to get the deal.

Getting things done in Tarifa

Get a sim card

That’s the first thing you should do when you get to Tarifa. You’ll find all Mobile shops Vodafone, Orange, Movistar) on the right side when you walk done from Puerta de Jerez towards the beach. Bring your passport when you want to purchase the card. I’m using Vodafone but the other providers are good as well.

Wi-Fi cafes & Coworking

Most digital nomads in Tarifa work from home or different cafes. Tarifa has many fantastic Wi-Fi cafes. These are my favourites.

Cafe del Mar (Playa) – Fantastic spot to work from as well. It’s right next to Surla (don’t mistake it with the nightclub Cafe del Mar) and only opens around 11 in the morning.

Surla – Fantastic breakfast and a popular place to work for local nomads. Very close to the beach.

Stoked – Fantastic cafe and very popular with the locals as well.

Bossa – Right at the entrance gate to the town. It’s a fantastic place to go in the evenings as well.

Pachamama – A bit outside of town (you need a car to get there). Good inside area to work and a swimming pool for your break.

La Cocotera – A hostel including a coworking space and nice rooftop terrace.

Wi-Fi on the beach

You want to show off on Instagram and Facebook with your beach office? Well there’s some good spots to take pictures and actually work from as well. All of those spots are a bit outside of town and you’ll need a car to get there.

Waves – Amazing beach bar with Wi-Fi. 5 km outside of town.

Tangana – Right at the kitespot in Valdevaqueros. Good Wi-Fi and right on the beach. 7 kms from Tarifa.

tarifa-kitesurfing

Activites

Tarifa is the perfect workation place because there are so many other options to spend your free time after work. These are some of the options.

Kitesurfing

Tarifa is Europe’s hotspot for kitesurfing. Most of the action happens in three different places and they work depending on the wind. Read this guide to learn everything about kitesurfing in Tarifa.

Recommended Kite schools

There are over 55!! kite schools in Tarifa. Here’s a small selection of recommended kite schools. When you take a course try to stick to small groups. Yes, it’s cheaper to do a course with 4 people but you’ll end up having to study longer.

Good to know: The wind often only starts in the afternoon. So kitesurfing is a perfect activity to do after work ;-)

Wavebandits – Fantastic German kiteschool. Situated at one of the best beach bars with Wi-Fi in Tarifa. So you can do some work while waiting for the wind.

Free Your Mind – Great Kite & Surfschool in Tarifa. Tania and Max also arrange surf lessons and regular Kitetrips to Morocco.

KTS – The first kite school in Tarifa run by an Danielle from Italy. The KTS shop also has a wide selection of used gear. Great place to shop when you’re getting started!

Best Pro Center  – The official school of 9 times world champion Gisela Pulido.

Gone Kiting Tarifa – Brand new Kiteschool by Polish Entrepreneur girl Kasia.

Learning Spanish

Hispalense Tarifa is a fantastic language school. It’s right very close to the beach and they offer affordable accommodation for language students as well.

Mountain biking

Girasol Adventure is the place to go, if you want to hire mountain bikes. They also offer other excursions and can take you climbing.

surf in tarifa

Surfing

Many people don’t know this. Tarifa offers decent surfing as well and it’s actually a great spot for beginners. The best months to learn surfing are from November – May and the most popular spot is El Balneario in front of Bienestar (popular beach bar in Tarifa). In El Palmar (about 30 min by car from Tarifa) you’ll find the best surf spot in the area including a few surf schools.

Diving

Tarifa, which is set right between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean sea is a fantastic spot to go diving as well. It’s one of the best spots on for reef diving in Southern Spain. Yellow Sub is offering courses and dive trips for Beginners and Advanced divers.

Yoga & Pilates

Yes, you can even get your daily dose of yoga here. Petra from Ocean Yoga and Stefanie from Kite Yoga Tarifa run weekly classes for individuals and groups in beautiful locations around Tarifa. And there’s weekly courses held at the Tarifa Eco Center as well.

Horse Riding

Want to go horse riding at the beach? That’s possible too. Check Hurricane Hipica and Aventure Ecuestre for their daily tours.

Gym & Swim

Go to New Concept and or the Public Indoors Swimming pool (Piscina Municipal de Tarifa), which has a gym as well.

TIP: Also check or check Suzanne’s Adventure Guide to Tarifa for even more things to do in Tarifa.

tarifa-el chiringuito

Daytrips

Whale Watching

You probably didn’t know this yet. Tarifa is one of the best places in Europe to go whale watching. In summer you might even get lucky and spot a killer whale. Tumares and Firmm offer daily trips (depending on the weather).

Vejer de La Frontera

Have you heard about the white hilltop towns in Andalucia? Vejer is one of them and a beautiful place to go for a day trip. I’d recommend you combine your trip with a visit to one of the beach towns like Canos de Meca, Zahara de los Autunes or Conil de a Frontera as well.

Gibraltar

Fancy a completely lifestyle for a day. Head to the British overseas territory of Gibraltar for a day. It’s is only a 40 minutes drive from Tarifa. Check out the monkeys, go shopping (tax free), walk the Mediterranean steps or head to those caves. Check Visit Gibraltar for more on events and things to do there.

Marbella

Want to hang out with the rich and famous? Take an hours drive to Puerto Banus and then spend the afternoon in the pretty old town of Marbella.

Tangier

It takes 35 minutes to take a trip to Morocco. While I’d recommend you stay for a few days it’s also possible to simply head to Morocco for a daytrip. Bring your passport if you want to go there!

Aerial view of Alhambra Palace in Granada

Multi Day-trips

There’s so much more to do around Tarifa and I highly recommend you take a few days to explore the area nearby as well. Read my article about Andalusia for more ideas on things to do in the area.

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Eat out

There’s plenty of restaurants in Tarifa. This section includes a list of some of the most popular ones.

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Breakfast

A productive work day starts with a good breakfast:

Cafe Azul – Probably the best breakfast place in town. Try the fruit salad.

Cafe Avenida – Try the churros with chocolate. Available in the morning until about 12.

Cafe Diez – Beautiful cafe in the historic part of town. The got WiFi as well!

tarifa-nightlife

Dinner

Nº. 6 – My favourite Tapas Restaurant in town!

Tarifa Eco Center – Amazing vegetarian restaurant also loved by non veggies. Ask for “La Perla” (not on the menu)

Picoteo – That’s where the locals eat tapas

El Lobo – Try the Table Top BBQ

Chilimosa – Fantastic vegeterian restaurant

La Tribu – Best pizza in town

Anca Curro – Great tapas bar. Try the Iberian Ham

tarifa-cocktails-taco-way

Bars and Nightlife

Most nightlife happens around around the Square in Tarifa, which only fills up around 12 pm. If you just want to go out for a few drinks I’d recommend you take advantage of the Happy Hour between 20:00 – 23:00, when Cocktails are around 3 €.

Bien*Star – Great beachbar. Free live concerts every Friday night.

Aloha – Cosy small bar.

Surfbar Tomatito – The meeting point for kitesurfers.

Taco Way – Best cocktails in town. Try the White Russian ;-).

Sould Cafe – Small bar and night club. Fills up early and also very popular in low season.

La Ruina – Nightclub. Fills up around 2:30 after the bars close. Free cover charge. Usually open from Thursday – Saturday in low season.

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How to get to Tarifa

How to book your flight To get to Tarifa you can look into flights arriving at one of the following airports: Malaga, Sevilla, Jerez de la Frontera, or Gibraltar. You can usually find the best flights to Malaga. It’s also the cheapest option to get a rental car. To book the flight go to Skyscanner or the Google ITA Matrix and also check the following budget airlines to find the cheapest options:

Keep in mind that it takes about 2 hours by car and 3 hours by bus to get to Tarifa. If you take the bus try to arrive before 15:00 in Malaga so you can make it on time to Tarifa.

How to book your rental car

Malaga is probably the cheapest place in the world to get a rental car. If you book a few days in advance you can get the cheapest option for around 5 € a day plus around 3 € per day for an additional insurance they will offer you when you pick up the car.

While you don’t necessarily need to have a car in Tarifa (you can walk everywhere!) it’s great to have one if you want to explore the area on the weekends. It’s up to you to decide. One of the best sites to book your car is www.doyouspain.com.

IMPORTANT: When booking the rental car no damages to windows, scratches etc. are included in the insurance (even though you’ll have the impression everything is fully covered). When you arrive you have two options when you pick up the car.

An additional insurance for scratches, windows etc. at around 100 € or your credit card will be blocked with an amount of 900 €. For the cheap cars you’ll also have to pay an additional 90 € for the full tank but you can return the car empty.

How to get to Tarifa from Malaga

By bus When you exit the airport you’ll see a ticket booth where you can buy your bus ticket to Algeciras (around €15). You can either take a bus that goes directly to Tarifa or to Algeciras. Once you are in Algeciras you take another 30 minute ride to Tarifa (leaves around every 30 minutes).

By (rental) car You can pick up your rental car right at the airport. You’ll either find it directly in the airport parking lot or there is a bus waiting for you that will take you on a short drive and drop you off at the pick up station (It’s all explained in your rental car documents).

Once you picked up your car follow the highway towards Algeciras. When driving through Algeciras you’ll see signs pointing out the direction to Tarifa.

There are two roads you can take. We recommend the toll road. It’s much faster and the toll will cost you only about 10 € for the whole trip.

community

Connect to Digital Nomads in Tarifa

You like the guide and think about coming to Tarifa? Join Tarifa Digital Nomads on Facebook to connect to other Digital Nomads who (want to) live there as well.


 

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IMPORTANT: This guide isn’t finished yet. Please leave a comment, if you have any more questions. That way I can answer and update the guide. Thank you ;-)

Photo Credits: Images Shellygraphy.com, Dinko and myself.

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  • http://weareag.co.uk/ Aaron

    Thank you Johannes for this guide, I am heading out to Tarifa this Wednesday for a month.. Cant wait :)

    • Johannes Voelkner

      Great. Looking forward to see you here soon!

  • SurfingPilot

    Are there any Jiu Jitsu or Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the area?

    • Johannes Voelkner

      I’m not sure exactly but will find out and add it to the guide (if there is any).

    • arumiat

      I’m also interested in this, – did you find somewhere? Are you there currently?

  • Kelsey Cardwell

    Well, it looks like my work is done! I thought researching how to stay in Tarifa might take a little more time than reading one blog post — guess not. Thank you for such a thorough post.

    • Johannes Voelkner

      Great. Happy you like the guide! Have an awesome time in Tarifa ;-)

  • http://www.thatmarketingdude.com/ Luke Benjamin Thomas

    Incredible post Johannes. I’ve got a year left on my visa for Canada and looking for somewhere in Europe that’s cheap to move to to work on my business…

    This could be my spot!!