How to Get From Malaga to Tarifa by Public Transport

Surfing, whale watching and ferries to Morocco await you in Tarifa.

Kitesurfing on Tarifa beach
Frank Wijn / Getty Images

Tarifa is a popular destination for watersports, but it is even better for getting from Spain to Morocco. How to get from Malaga to Tarifa by bus, train and car. 

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From Malaga to Morocco via Tarifa

Just 14km of water separates Tarifa from Tangiers in Morocco. If your main reason for going to Tarifa is to take the Ferry to Morocco, you might want to consider taking a guided tour instead, particularly if you want to visit Morocco as a day trip. Read more about traveling from Malaga to Morocco or check out this.

However, Tarifa is more than just a ferry port. The meeting point between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic is a great place to learn to kite surf (and other water sports).

Tarifa to Malaga by Bus and Train

The Cadiz to Malaga bus route will take you from Tarifa to Malaga (or the reverse). The service is run by TG Comes. There are normally about four buses in each direction. Alternatively, connect in Algeciras.

Avanzabus has a bus service from Malaga to Tarifa though it doesn't appear to be running at present.

There are no trains from Tarifa to Malaga. If you have a Eurail Pass for Spain or just really want to go by train, you'll have to go to Algeciras, changing in Antequera, and then take a bus from Algeciras.

Tarifa to Malaga by Car

The 160km route from Malaga to Tarifa takes around two hours by car. Driving along the A-7/AP-7, you'll pass by the whole of the Costa del Sol, including Marbella and Gibraltar. Note that there are tolls on this road. Compare Prices on Car Rental in Spain

Number of Days to Spend in Tarifa

You could spend a whole summer learning to windsurf, but if you just want to sample what Tarifa has to offer, you could do it in one action-packed day.

Things to Do in Tarifa

There are three things to do in Tarifa - three excellent things to do in Tarifa, but only three things to in Tarifa. They are: windsurfing (and all the new-fangled variants like kitesurfing, etc), whale & dolphin watching and traveling to Morocco. Getting to Africa is covered above: see below for details on the other two.

Windsurfing in Tarifa

It is windsurfing that turned this small coastal town into a magnet for watersport enthusiasts. Have no fear if you've never windsurfed before: there are plenty of beginners' courses. Take a stroll down c/Batalla de Salado, the main street in Tarifa, and check out the prices. Sail & Board rental for a day is about 50€, lessons are similar. The biggest school in Tarifa is Tarifa Spin Out. Kitesurfing is also catching on very fast.

Whale & Dolphin Watching from Tarifa

There are a number of tour companies that offer a three-hour boat trip to see whales & dolphins in their natural habitat. Walk around the old town (at the end of c/Batalla de Salado) and you'll find a number of schools.

What NOT to Do in Tarifa

Many people associate watersports with beach holidays and imagine that where there is windsurfing there will be good beaches. But where there is windsurfing there is wind, which is not good when you want to sunbathe without coming home with sand everywhere.

How to Get to Tarifa From Elsewhere (& Where to Go Next)

Tarifa is the perfect stop off between Cadiz and Ronda. Tarifa has no train station, so you'll need to travel by bus or hire a car. There is a direct bus from Cadiz which takes 1h30 to 2h (travel is with TG Comes. To get to Ronda, take a bus to Algeciras and then a train. Travel to and from Seville is also possible, but the route is tortuous - you're better off breaking up the journey by going to Cadiz (the travel time is the same but you see an extra city.

First Impressions of Tarifa

The bus 'station' (a carpark with a small shelter and a rarely-manned ticket office) is on c/Batalla de Salado, Tarifa's main street, and just a few minutes walk from the glut of surf shops that 'greet' you when you arrive in the town. At the end of the street is a big arch and beyond that the old town. The old town is a pleasant collection of windy medina-esque streets, it's just a shame that the commercialism of the windsurfing community has sucked the town dry of most of its' charm. Heading down from the archway, you'll reach Plaza San Martin. Veer to the right to reach the beach (for the windsurfing) and port (for trips to Morocco).

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