Below you wil find some information and details about the different sights to enjoy in Tarifa.
Tarifa sight 1: Castillo de Guzman
The famous castle of Tarifa , also known as Castillo de Guzman el Bueno, is a castle in the centre of Tarifa. It was built in 960 by the AbdarRahman III (the Caliph of Cordoba). In 1292 Tarifa was taken by christians. It was then that Sancho IV, the king of Castile, handed the castle over to Alonso Perez de Guzman for its defense. The name Castillo de Guzman el bueno comes from a story (1296) which tells how the Muslims threatened the king to kill his son, if the city did not surrendered. Guzman decided not to give the town to the Muslims. So his son got killed. Because of this gesture he got the name ‘el bueno’ or ‘the good’. The castle is open to visitors (10.30-14.00 17.00-20.00). From inside the castle you have a beautiful view of the coastline, the strait of gibraltar, Tarifa and the mountains of Morocco.
Tarifa sight 2: Castillo de Santa Catalina
This castle was built in 1929. It was used as a meteorological observatory. Everything that happened in the Strait of Gibraltar was being monitored. Until the year 2000. These last years the castle has been abandoned and you see that when you visit the place. During the WWII and the civil war, political prisoners builded the bunkers you still see nowadays.
Tarifa sight 3: La Isla de las Palomas
La Isla de Las Palomas is an island near Tarifa. It is situated at the most southern point of the Iberian Peninsula. The island was joined to the mainland by a road since 1808. Since the mid-twentieth century the grounds of the islands were owned by the Ministry of Defence. Nowadays the island of Tarifa is also part of the Natural Park of the Strait of Gibraltar. The walk to the island via the road is recommendable because you will have a beautiful view of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, Tarifa and her surroundings.
Tarifa sight 4: Puerta de Jerez
The Jerez’s gate or La puerta de Jerez is a well-preserved gate which was built in the 8th century. The gate is the perfect way to enter the wonderful medieval town of Tarifa. Before entering the gate, there is a seal. this seal refers to the legend wherein the city was captured by Sancho IV el Bravo. In the year 2000 the Jerez’ gate was restored. Since then there is a space with the painting called: ‘El Cristo de Los Vientos’. It means ‘The Christ of the winds’ and was painted by an artist from Tarifa called Guillermo Perez Villalta.
Tarifa sight 5: Torre de la Pena
This tower is definitely something to see because it is the oldest tower on the coastline. It was part of the defensive system of The Street of Gibraltar. It was built during the 13th or 14th century. The walls are one meter width. The tower is situated on a 25 meter high rock. You have to climb 85 steps to enter the tower.
Tarifa sight 6: Ruins of Baelo Claudia
Near Tarifa (20 km away) is an ancient roman town situated called Baelo Claudia. The town was founded in 2oo BC. For over hundreds of years it has been a fishing village. It was also an important trade link. In the time that emperor Claudio was ruling the empire, the city was very prosperous. By the 6th century it was abandoned due to decline and earthquakes. In the good years, this was an important place for salting, tuna fishing and the production of Garum. Nowadays this is a beautiful archeological site of a real roman city. There is a museum situated next to the ruins which gives you a lot of information. To visit the museum take your passport or ID with you. For EU citizens it’s free. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 9am-6pm (8pm jun-sep). Sunday and public holidays 9am-2pm. Closed on Mondays.