Tarifa, where it's located

Tarifa, a town on the southern tip of Spain, has a peculiar climate, cool and windy because of the prevailing winds coming from the sea: the ponente (west wind) and the levante (east wind, more frequent and intense).
Because of the waves generated by the wind, this part of the coast of Andalusia is particularly appreciated by surfers and kitesurfers.
You can also go diving around the Isla de las Palomas, the southernmost point of Europe, a small island located about 200 meters (650 feet) away from the mainland, to which it is connected by a causeway. The pier of Punta de Tarifa is particularly windy. To the south, you can see the coast of Morocco, which is just 15 km (9 mi) away. In the strait that separates Europe from Africa (Strait of Gibraltar), you can watch whales and dolphins.

Punta Tarifa, Moroccan coast and Jebel Moussa

There are very large beaches such as Playa de Los Lances and Valdevalquero. Sometimes, the wind is so strong that it can lift the sand.
Here are the average temperatures.
Tarifa - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)111112131518202019171412
Max (°C)151516171922242523211816
Min (°F)525254555964686866635754
Max (°F)595961636672757773706461

Rainfall amounts to 630 millimeters (25 inches) per year, and follows the Mediterranean pattern, in fact, it is more abundant from October to February, when it's equal to or higher than 75 mm (3 in) per month (and during some years, it can be plentiful), while it becomes very rare in summer. Here is the average precipitation.
Tarifa - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)7585556025724188095120630
Prec.(in)33,32,22,410,30,10,20,73,13,74,724,8
Days796741002681062

Winter, from December to February, is a mild season, characterized by sunny periods alternating with periods of bad weather, with wind and rain. During some years, the rains can be heavy or frequent. For its southern location, Tarifa is sheltered from the cold: the temperature rarely goes below 5 °C (41 °F) at night, and it rarely remains below 10 °C (50 °F) in the daytime. However, the cold record is -3 °C (27 °F), and it has been set on January 28, 2005.

Spring, from March to mid-June, is mild, and gradually becomes less rainy and more sunny. However, there may still be periods of bad weather, especially in March and April. In periods of good weather, the east wind, moderate or strong, cools down the air.

Summer, from mid-June to mid-September, is mild and sunny, with a bit of haze, and it's definitely not as warm as in southern Spain. Typically, daytime temperatures are not very high, remaining around 25 °C (77 °F). The air is humid and the east wind steadily blows: at certain times, it can be moderate, but at other times, it can be very strong for weeks. There may be cooler days, with highs about 20/22 °C (68/72 °F) even in July and August. The highest records are around 35/37 °C (95/99 °F), but heat waves from Africa occur rarely: the temperature may not reach 30 °C (86 °F) for an entire summer.

Autumn, from mid-September to November, is mild, with the rains becoming gradually more frequent. In November, but sometimes also in October, we are well into autumn, with a mild climate, but also cloudy and rainy.

The amount of sunshine in Tarifa is very good in late spring and summer, from May to September, when clear skies prevail (though less than in the rest of Andalusia, since a bit of mist or some cloud banks can sometimes form), while it is acceptable in autumn and winter, when, in addition to sunny periods, cloudy and rainy periods are possible. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Tarifa - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours56679910108765

Tarifa from above

The sea in Tarifa (we are at the border between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea) remains cool even in summer, in fact, it reaches a maximum of 22 °C (72 °F) from July to September. Here are the average sea temperatures.
Tarifa - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)161516161720222222201817
Temp (°F)615961616368727272686463

Best Time


The best time for a beach holiday in Tarifa is the summer, from June to mid-September. It is worth while to recall that in periods when the wind is stronger, sunbathing on the beach may be unpleasant. It's better to bring a sweatshirt and a scarf (and maybe a windbreaker) for chilly and windy evenings.
If you plan to go hiking and walking, especially in the cities of Andalusia such as Seville and Córdoba, you can choose April, May and October, since the summer in that area is very hot.