Tarifa – Andalusian landscapes between two oceans

Hiking Collection by
komoot

With the sea at your doorstep and the mountains behind you, Tarifa is the perfect place for nature lovers. Among hikers, however, this region of Spain is still considered an insider tip. Where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Ocean meet, dreamlike paths run along the coast. The colour palette of the landscape changes between dark greens of pine trees, reddish browns of the earth and the shining turquoise of the oceans. You will find vast forests, the scent of sea air and fantastic views around every corner.
In this Collection, we have put together different routes around Tarifa for you. The south of Andalusia offers a huge variety of landscapes – you can choose whether you want to walk through woods, along cliffs or directly along the beach.

You will find seclusion, peace and the salty sea air on all our hikes, as well as fantastic views from the peaks that rise directly from the sea. Morocco is only 8.7 miles (14 kilometres) away and on clear days you can see individual buildings on the African coast.

Two of the hikes start directly in the city of Tarifa and lead you through picturesque nature reserves. To get to the starting points of the other routes, you will need a car. The fresh breeze that blows all year round makes the climate pleasant even in summer. But sometimes the wind can be strong. It is worth taking this into account when planning your routes. With a strong wind in your back, it's easier to hike, but it can be challenging to walk against it. Don't forget to bring enough sun protection and water. Lodges and shelters, like in the Alps, are rare in Andalusia so untouched nature awaits you. You are more likely to meet horses, cows and goats than other hikers. Tarifa is a true natural paradise.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:14
    5.38 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This hike will take you along the really beautiful Colada de la Costa for about eight kilometers. The destination is the old fortified tower Torre Vigia Guadalmesí. Here the Mediterranean, which meets the Atlantic at Tarifa, has incredible colors.At the starting point, you can take a look at THE landmark of the city: The massive, more than 1000 years old castle Castillo Guzman El Bueno. Only a few steps further, the Torre de Miramar is the next highlight for you. With good visibility you can see individual buildings on the Moroccan coast.Now you leave the city of Tarifa behind you and enter the Andalusian nature. The view of the Strait of Gibraltar is fantastic. Along the entire route, you will be accompanied by big ships and, if you are lucky, also dolphins. The narrow path meanders without significant climbs to the Torre Vigia Guadalmesí along the sea. Past cow and horse pastures and bizarrely shaped rock layers.Shortly after halfway there is an ideal point for a break: Spectacular rock formations form a natural pool here. Here you can put your hot-run feet in the cooling water. At the top of the cliffs, the Torre Vigia Guadalmesí tower, which is barely four kilometers away, is visible.On the way there you will pass some ruins of old bunkers and fortifications. This beautiful landscape, on the border of two continents, has been hotly contested territory in history. Most recently during the Franco dictatorship. The remains of the grounds are silent witnesses and an important memorial. Today nature takes back what used to belong to her, and the ruins exude a morbid, fascinating charm.Built in 1588 Torre Vigia Guadalmesí flows the eponymous river in the Mediterranean. In addition, a deserted beach is waiting for you. You can cool off in the clear waters of the Mediterranean before heading back to Tarifa.The paths on this tour are easy to do, only on the first section are a few steps to deal with. Also pay attention to the wind forecast. Tarifa is considered the wind capital of Europe and as this hike leads you along the sea, you will feel the power of the wind.This hike is especially beautiful in spring between March and May, when nature is in full bloom. If you like walking long distances, you can follow the Colada de la Costa to Algeciras. After your hike, the El Lola bar in the old town is a great place to relax.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:51
    6.17 mi
    2.2 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this varied round hike everything is what the hiker's heart desires: Meter-high dunes, great views, wooded mountains and fine sandy beach.The tour begins with a detour to the Dunas de Valdevaqueros that will take you to another world. Suddenly you feel like in the desert. If you want a challenge, climb the dune up to the road. Otherwise, follow the driveway to the car park back to the main road from which you came by car. A gravel road leads you up to Betijuelo, and the further you hike up, the narrower the path through the fragrant pine forest. At the same time the view is getting better.In the small settlement Betijuelo you can sit down in the grass and take a break. Incidentally, cows, horses and goats run around freely here. No need to worry, but keep a respectful safety margin. The animals, in conjunction with the incredible panorama in the background, are a great photo subject. In Betijuelo you have reached the highest point of your hike.On the way back to the parking lot you can make a detour to the beach Punta Paloma. The water has a maximum of 18 degrees in the summer, a refreshment is guaranteed. Not many sunbathers get lost on this beach. Afterwards, you take the way back to the main road or, what is nicer, you walk along the sea to Valdevaqueros.Getting there:
    From Tarifa, you can drive to Valdevaqueros in 10 minutes. There is a large car park, which is chargeable in the summer months (currently three euros). You can stop after your hike in the beach bar Volare.

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Easy
    00:53
    2.09 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This short tour takes you to the highlights in tranquil Bolonia, 23 kilometers west of Tarifa. Across the country is known the place because of its Roman excavations. The settlement called Baelo Claudia was once an important exporter of fish in the Roman Empire.You start at the parking lot near the excavations, right on the beach. The view of the Atlantic is fantastic. The modern visitor center was opened in 2007. The informative tour of the museum and the well-preserved ruins of the building are worth a visit. Whether you undertake the visit right at the beginning of your hike or only at the end, is up to you. Entry is free for EU citizens, so do not forget ID.From the archaeological site, you stroll along the beach to the dune that climbs up the mountain from the sea. Because of its ecological importance, the dune has been protected as a natural monument for several years. The 30 meter high and 200 meter wide dune landscape is impressive and curious at the same time.After your trip to the desert, you will hike back to the archaeological site on the beach of Bolonia. Of course you can also take a dip in the refreshing waves of the Atlantic. If you want, you can end your hike in the beach bar La Duna. The terrace offers a beautiful view of the dunes and the blue sea.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:59
    5.52 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A few kilometers from Tarifa, on the foothills of the Sierra de la Plata, is La Peña. From here starts the circular walk through the nature reserve Los Alcornocales.You can leave your car in the small parking lot or along the road. On a narrow path you walk up the Buddha Trail. On your hike, you'll probably meet grazing cows and goats.After less than two kilometers you are standing in front of monolithic boulders. The colorful prayer flags make it easy to guess. You arrived at the Buddha Rock. He sits in a cave and radiates serenity.Continue up to the wind turbines, on the way you have always spectacular views. On the right hand side you can see the beach of Valdevaqueros and on the left side Tarifa and Morocco.At 420 meters above sea level you have made it then, you are standing in front of the huge wind turbines - a nice place to enjoy your brought provisions with a magnificent panorama. A good gravel road leads you a little further up the mountain. After a few meters you follow a path through wild pine forests down again. Attention, the path is also used by mountain bikers.
     
    Before you reach the starting point, a unique tree swing, which hangs on an old pine tree, invites you for a short break. The view is fantastic and you swing back and forth over the tops of the trees.
    In serpentines leads you the way past beautiful fincas and houses. A short distance then you go next to the main road to return to your car.

    translated byView Original
  • Easy
    01:00
    2.47 mi
    2.5 mph
    25 ft
    25 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This short and relaxing hike takes you along the beach promenade and then on a wooden path through the natural bird sanctuary.The tour starts at the island of Isla de las Palomas, which is connected by a road to the mainland. A truly special place, because this is where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet. If the wind blows off-shore, from the interior of the island to the sea, you can watch the best kiteboarders in the world. Because the buildings and mountains are obstacles and therefore the wind can only bring the umbrellas to fly on the beach El Balneario. Overlooking this stretch of beach is the ruins of the Castillo de Santa Catalina.Then you follow the colorfully paved beach promenade Paseo Marítimo, this is the promenade Tarifas. At the same time runs the beach Los Lances with its fine, white sand. Lined with palm trees, the paved Paseo ends after about four kilometers. From here you continue on a wooden path. To protect the feathered friends, dogs must be kept on a leash here. You yourself should not leave the path.On both sides of the boardwalk open wide grasslands. The ideal opportunity to stop and observe different species of birds in their natural habitat.You cross the river called Río de la Jara on a wooden bridge. Many fish frolic in the estuary, which literally runs in the sand. In the summer, the Río de la Jara carries relatively little water. You can follow the path further to get to a covered rest area.In spring, the extensive area of the bird sanctuary is particularly beautiful. Along the jetty there are several seating niches. The reserve is not only a paradise for native birds, but also for species that are in transit and overwinter in Africa. With a little luck you will see storks and eagles.On the way back to Tarifa you can make a detour to one of the beach bars or to the cozy Café Surla.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    03:27
    6.92 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,350 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This beautiful circular walk leads you under shady trees along the creek of the Río de la Miel. Due to the coolness of the stream and the surrounding forest, this hike is also suitable for hotter days. Bring enough water, food and bathing gear - a waterfall awaits you.Half an hour by car from Tarifa, at the gates of Algeciras, is the starting point. Here green forests pull up the mountain slopes. You follow the path along the course of the Río de la Miel, the "Honey River". The splashing of the water and the whistling of the birds accompany you.After a short time you will come to the highlight of this hike: At the small waterfall Arroyo de la Miel you can refresh yourself in the natural pool. This relaxed place is also popular with Spanish families, and for many, this is the end of their hike.After a break at the waterfall you follow the path deeper into the forest. Especially here are the gnarled cork oaks, whose bark is very soft and elastic. Many trunks are narrower below because the cork has already been removed there. A truly enchanted landscape with a very special atmosphere. Here it goes steadily uphill, the tall trees donate pleasant shade.The first and last part of the route runs on a wide gravel road, after which you follow a well-walked but narrow trail. Sometimes small, non-dangerous climbs over stone blocks occur.

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    05:30
    12.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    You start at the parking lot near the village of Barbate in the Natural Park of La Breña y Marismas, just over 40 minutes by car from Tarifa.
    This 20-kilometer walk is characterized by breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the time you walk right along the coast, the last stretch to Los Caños de Meca through a pine forest with sandy bottom. Shoes that reach over the ankles are an advantage here.
    At the circular tower Torre del Tajo you have a particularly beautiful view of the cliffs. In sunshine, the blue of the sea is incredibly intense.In the seaside resort of Los Caños de Meca it is quiet and on the beach you will find nice beach bars. This Andalusian coastline is known for the Cape Trafalgar. By taking place in 1805 naval battle, the Cape went down in history. Today, the headland is monitored by the snow-white, 35-meter-high lighthouse Faro de Trafalgar.On both sides of the cape, beautiful beaches join in, which you can use for a cool down. The hike continues on quiet side roads through the white-washed Los Caños de Meca. You will return to the parking lot via a forest path in the shade of the trees.

    translated byView Original

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    41.0 mi
  • Duration
    18:53 h
  • Elevation
    4,400 ft

You Might Also Like

Mountain adventures in the Southern Alps – Hiking in Nassfeld-Pressegger See
Hiking Collection by
Erlebnisraum Nassfeld-Pressegger See
Explore the Salzkammergut on the BergeSeenTrail
Hiking Collection by
Salzkammergut
BIKEworld of Mountains & Lakes in Nassfeld-Pressegger Lake
Mountain Biking Collection by
Erlebnisraum Nassfeld-Pressegger See