Move your focus from Tarifa's sandy shores and you will find that mountain-biking is almost as popular here as windsurfing. Conventional cyclists will have to be pretty hardy to brave the strong buffeting winds, but the surrounding mountains offer bikers both protection from the winds and a great variety of appealing trails that make for a unique mountain-biking experience.
The off road routes that lead inland from Tarifa reach altitudes of over 800 metres within less than 20 kilometres. The transition, however, is gradual and you will pass through plains and gentle hills before reaching the serious gradients. These are best left to experienced pedallers, offering them the kind of downhill terrain that makes this area a favourite venue for the Spanish Downhill Championships.
Miles and miles of dirt track and stunning scenery mean there will be no shortage of either routes or challenges, but if you want to avoid a trail becoming a trial, check the routes beforehand and make sure you are cycling to a comfortable level.
You'll have no trouble finding a mountain bike (and gear) to rent in Tarifa, but if you are an avid hiker or mountain climber, you might find they want you to buy your equipment instead. No discrimination intended, but who wants smelly hiking boots returned? All jokes aside, the surrounding hills, forests and dunes offer hikers and mountaineers an open palette of possibilities that range greatly in character and difficulty, but all compete fiercely in terms of beauty.