Tarifa: the European capital of the wind and a paradise for kitesurfing.
A short flight from almost any European city to Malaga, Seville, Jerez or Gibraltar will take you to Tarifa and directly to the ideal conditions that you can enjoy during the whole year. Not only limited to kiting or windsurfing, there are a lot of things you can enjoy here:
Mediterranean food, stand up paddling, surfing, mountaineering, mountain biking, horseback riding, and a very lively nightlife are just some of the things you can enjoy in Tarifa.
The Levante is warm and dry because it passes through the earth instead of coming directly from the sea. This wind direction is normally stronger than the west, and usually blows from 20 to 50 knots. Blows all day and night. And although this wind does not fail, the Levante’s quality is not as good as that of the west, because it is usually more gusty, although that also depends on which spot you choose.
This wind comes from the west over the sea from the Atlantic. It is a cooler and humid wind, and even in summer you can lower the temperature in Tarifa.
Normally the force of the wind will be around 10 and 25 knots, and it is really constant. This wind normally rises in the afternoon, leaving the mornings very calm.
How to read Windguru's forecast?
With Levante it is simple, you will get approximately what the modified wind says in the forecast of Windguru (3rd row), due to the venturi effect as the wind is channeled through the Strait of Gibraltar.
For Poniente, check the 3km or 9km WRF tables for a more precise forecast, but of course, it would be best to ask anyone at the kite point or simply check the conditions through the webcams. If it shows more than 10 knots, there is a high probability that the wind is around 15-18 knots. In summer, if the forecast is less than 10 knots, there is a very high possibility of thermal wind in Valdevaqueros.
Out of season
There is still wind in Tarifa, it is usually around 4 wind days per week. The temperature is between 10-18C and there is more chance of rain. Sometimes there is good swell from the Atlantic, so you can surf Tarifa. Many shops and bars are closed until March, there are fewer people than commonly and the prices are lower.
March-May / Sept-Oct
In March all the bars and kitesurf shops open and prepare for the season. The temperatures are better than 16-20C and there is an average of 5 wind days per week. The good thing about the middle season is that the places are not so crowded, you can do kitesurfing wherever you want.
You can kite at Los Lances Norte, Valdevaqueros and Punta Paloma. In Los Lances there are divided kite zones for schools and kitesurfers. In Valdevaqueros there are areas for kitesurfers and beach lovers. From June 1 to September 30 there is a rescue boat service available for conditions on the high seas, you can buy a card / rescue card that you can use in case of an emergency, we suggest you buy it in advance, from otherwise the rescue will cost much more. If you want to reach the points, you will need a car. They can get quite crowded, so it’s always good to get to the beach early to find a no-queue parking spot.
The best beaches
In Tarifa there are a lot of things that you can enjoy, like the incredible beaches in the area. Here we leave you a ranking of the best beaches and their main characteristics.
Los Lances (La Jaima)
Accessibility: parking next to the football stadium and if you are living in the city you can easily reach the beach on foot.
Hazards and restrictions: It is forbidden to practice kite during the summer season.
Level: All levels
Perfect for: Freeride and wave.
Other notes: There are some good waves during the winter season and you can have flat sections between the waves. It is the main point of kite when kite is allowed out of season and mid season.
Wind: Levante y Poniente
Parking and accessibility: There is a limited free parking just in front of the place, also some paid parking places nearby. If you live in the old part of the city you can reach the place on foot in 5-10 minutes.
Hazards and restrictions: Prohibit kiting in the summer season. When lift is blowing it is completely wind offshore and there is a small area of wind. There are stones in the place. Strong current.
Perfect for: Freestyle during levante. Freeride and wave during sunset.
Río Jara (Laguna)
Accessibility: Most people park at the football stadium and then go kiting or walking to Rio Jara.
Hazards and restrictions: It is extremely dangerous to kite at the mouth of the river, as it has a very strong current. It is illegal to kite in the lagoon, sometimes the police come to take out the kiters.
Level: All levels
Perfect for: Freestyle and Freeride
Other notes: When the tide is at its maximum then the lagoon fills, during the low tide the lagoon is very small and almost «you can not do kite».
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