An extract from Mike Carter’s article Tripping the Light Fantastic, The Guardian Saturday 4th October 2008
I walk down the steep hillside from El Cancho, zigzagging through the eucalyptus trees, dodging the cattle, and across the main coast road to the beach. The breeze has completely died now – autumn brings the end of the perfect levante winds – and the kite surfers, for whom Tarifa is the centre of the universe, sit dolefully, staring at the limp flags. I had planned to rent a kite myself, but settle instead for a glass of iced white sherry and a plate of Serrano ham and manchego cheese at the beach-front terrace of Torre de la Pena, a laid-bck kind of place.
Later, I stroll a few kilometers west to Valdevaqueros. These are the beaches of childhood memories.
Wide, sandy, where people ride horses, cows roam and dogs are welcome. Campervans sit in car parks bearing Free Tibet stickers. There are no sun loungers for hire, no music blaring from bars: no bars at all, save for the odd surfer shack. If I’d been frustrated at not being able to kitesurf, I wasn’t anymore. This place slows the pulse, makes you feel happy doing nothing at all.
There’s a wildness here, a sense that it doesn’t belong to anybody, or rather belongs to everybody. It’s amazing really, that Tarifa, the most perfect of coastlines, has been spared.
..Cruise ships ghosted silently through the Strait, brilliantly ablaze. The goats came past, sounding like some crazed Hare Krishna parade. The cicadas were in full cry. They say, on some nights, when the wind is right, you can hear the sound of the muezzin drifting across the water from Tangiers.
An extract from Stephen Bleach’s 100 Summer Holidays for 2009, The Sunday Times 11th January 2009.
This year, you’ll need a break more than ever – we’ve come up with the complete holiday guide…
If 2009 is as sticky as some expect, we’re going to need a break more than ever.
Sure we’ll need to watch the pennies – which is why we’ve made a selection of the summer’s best holidays with an eye for value. By sticking close to home, you avoid those swingeing long-haul flight costs – and many tour operators wisely hedged their currency, so their prices are unaffected.
You can still afford a great holiday at a price that won’t leave you needing aa bank bailout.
El Cancho voted number 47 out of 100 Summer Holiday's for 2009
Windsurfing in Tarifa Get Active, ££
Five Spanish Coastal Retreats - Feel the sand between your toes at these chic beachside beauties by Matt Gerlach, The Traveller Magazine for The Independent on Saturday, 11 July 2009