Summertime in Tarifa is one non-stop party. In the centre of old town the madness converges on Calle San Francisco. Here the concentration of hideaways, crazy hangouts and pumping hot spots allows the locals to mix happily with the tourists, surfers and travellers and everyone gets high on the atmosphere and tequila.
Busier bars include Mezcla, a relatively new bar run by an Italian/Irish trio; Tomatito’s, a legendary laid-back boozer and Bombini, owned by Dutch surfer dude Beri and famed for serving up the best spare ribs in town.
By midnight in high season these alleyways are jammed with revellers. Only the determined will make it through the night. Even hardened party animals should approach with caution.
Everyone knows the Spanish love a fiesta. Nowhere is this uniquely Andalucian attitude to life more apparent. Local Tarifenos like nothing better than to stoke up the vibe with the carefree and thrill-seeking visitors. This is what gives Tarifa’s nightlife its unique kick.
The best way to get warmed up to a Tarifa night is to start with a cocktail in one of the many cool chill-out bars such as Bamboo or Misiana. In both places sultry décor and smooth tunes provide the perfect backdrop for slipping into a night of hedonistic fun.
Maybe you want to start your evening with a perfect sunset. For the best view, head to Hotel Arte Vida. The oversized fluffy couches are ideal for chilling out and listening to funky retro tunes while watching the sky go red, the darkness fall and the moon rise.
By two in the morning enough chupitos (shot) of Rum de Miel have been consumed to put everyone in rare party form. In town the crowd moves to late night dens like La Ruina and Café Sol. Set in the castle walls, these haunts mix history with hedonism and pump out happy house on super sonic sound systems.
Part of Tarifa’s nightlife charm is due to the eclectic mix of talented musicians it attracts. Flamenco, samba, jazz, chill-out, pop and African beats are fused by ethnic and international bands. The strip of hotels outside of town all have their own bars and are popular spots for these types of groups. Expect the vibe in these bars to be equally infectious but a little more laid-back.
Hip hop is also big in Tarifa but it’s hip hop with a Tarifeno twist. The beat box is a popular Andalusian instrument and it’s used to great effect by talented rappers. Head to Lolita on the harbour front, if this is your thing.
In the campsites the parties take a more relaxed pace with campers, resourceful as ever, making great use of car stereos to create an outdoor disco den feel.
In short, whatever your preferred musical flavour, you’ll find it in Tarifa and you’ll bop till you drop.