Tarifa - Windsurfing

The European capital of Windsurf, Tarifa
The European capital of windsurfing, Tarifa

Windsurfing

Thanks to its ideal situation on the Straits of Gibraltar opposite Africa, where the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet, with constant winds, Tarifa is already known as the European capital of windsurfing. The expansive golden beaches to the north of the town (Playa de los Lances and Playa Valdevaqueros are ideal for these sports). For more information see our windsurf page.

The Tarifa Windsurf Scene. © Michelle Chaplow
The Tarifa Windsurf Scene.

Tarifa is the perfect destination to try out the sport, as the sun shines nearly all year round and, more importantly, a number of windsurfing schools and equipment shops offer classes, as well as options to hire or buy boards and sails.

 

WINDS

Surfers have to pay close attention to up-to-date wind reports from websites such as Wind Guru (see related links). The best windsurfing months are May to November.

There are two predominant winds in Tarifa. The levante is the warm, strong wind from the east that blows offshore (from land to sea) - force 5 to 7, or even 8, on the Beaufort scale. The poniente is the cooler, lighter westerly wind from the Atlantic that blows onshore (from sea to land) - force 3 to 6. Depending on the month, 50-80% of days have a wind greater than force 4.

    calm air, calm - wind moving at less than 1 knot; 0 on the Beaufort scale

    light air - wind moving 1-3 knots; 1 on the Beaufort scale

    light breeze - wind moving 4-7 knots; 2 on the Beaufort scale

    gentle breeze - wind moving 8-12 knots; 3 on the Beaufort scale

    moderate breeze - wind moving 13-18 knots; 4 on the Beaufort scale

    fresh breeze - wind moving 19-24 knots; 5 on the Beaufort scale

    strong breeze - wind moving 25-31 knots; 6 on the Beaufort scale

    moderate gale, near gale - wind moving 32-38 knots; 7 on the Beaufort scale

    fresh gale - wind moving 39-46 knots; 8 on the Beaufort scale

    strong gale - wind moving 47-54 knots; 9 on the Beaufort scale

    whole gale - wind moving 55-63 knots; 10 on the Beaufort scale

    storm, violent storm - a violent weather condition with winds 64-72 knots (11 on the Beaufort scale) and precipitation and thunder and lightning

    hurricane - a severe tropical cyclone usually with heavy rains and winds moving a 73-136 knots (12 on the Beaufort scale)

The following are recognised surf centres in Tarifa:

  • Dragon Kite and Windsurf School in Tarifa town
  • Club Mistral at the Hurricane Hotel
  • Club Mistral at Hotel Valdequeros at Playa Valdequeros