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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Three Days in Tarifa: Cosmopolitan City “con carácter”!

Perhaps, my lonesome twenty minutes of sunbathing & daydreaming at the sunny beaches of Tarifa have been the most intense of my whole trip to the province of Cádiz, Andalusia. Even though we are once more pushing the cliché of “sol y playa”, it cannot be denied: Turquoise seas, view over African mountains in the distance, a light breeze of “Levante”, a (heart)warming 25°C and an impeccably blue sky. Just beautiful. Our mission to prove that Spain, and especially the province of Cádiz in Andalusia had (a lot) more to offer than sunshine and beach life has led my partner and me travelling all the way from the city of Cádiz past the famous “white villages” of Andalusia, Vejer de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera and into Bolonia as well as Tarifa. To meet with the locals, enter their hearts, kitchens and front doors. What & who we met along the way is what I am going to share with you now.

Leading the way: The local people of the province of Cádiz are really what you expect in terms of a warm-hearted, southern hospitality – for me among the most hospitable and friendly people in the whole of Spain.

Leading the way: The local people of the province of Cádiz are really what you expect in terms of a warm-hearted, southern hospitality – for me among the most hospitable and friendly people in the whole of Spain.

Getting behind the scenes: As part of our unique trip along the “Costa de la Luz”, we enter a surfboard designer’s workshop, among others – and meet the furry locals, too.

Getting behind the scenes: As part of our unique trip along the “Costa de la Luz”, we enter a surfboard designer’s workshop, among others – and meet the furry locals, too.

Charming deluxe accommodation: Hotel Misiana offers beautifully designed rooms that successfully bridge the gap between modern amenities and ancient, traditional building style.

Charming deluxe accommodation: Hotel Misiana offers beautifully designed rooms that successfully bridge the gap between modern amenities and ancient, traditional building style.

 

Beckoning views over the Atlantic Ocean: Tarifa, at the southern-most tip of Spain, serves as an international hotspot for surfing, fishing and cooking. Seafood, of course!

“People start getting crazy with the rise and fall of the Levante”, the locals tell us about their (in)famous coastal winds. And it is true: Strong winds, funnelled by the narrow stretch of the Straight of Gibraltar, blow kite surfers across the sea, the heat away from the streets and offer little relief to those affected by its micro-climate change. Probably a little similar to the “Föhn” winds we have in the valleys of Tirol, Austria?

It is a good idea, therefore, to start with a quiet and relaxing break at charming hotel La Casa De La Favorita. This place has many a stories to tell, and Tomás the owner knows how to do so by putting his spell on us … Thanks to his organisational talent and dedicated care, we get to know surfboard designer Daniel, visit the fish factory “La Conservera de Tarifa” as well as a bread mill on the countryside. Oh and did we tell you about our wonderful Paella cooking class at the recently opened Silos19 restaurant yet? … !Ay qué rico!

The fish factory “La Conservera de Tarifa“ has been canning fish for over 100 years – a unique visitor experience for landlocked country folk like myself. ;)

The fish factory “La Conservera de Tarifa“ has been canning fish for over 100 years – a unique visitor experience for landlocked country folk like myself. 😉

Women are centre stage here: Fish filets such as those made of tuna are being placed into cans by hand, each one carefully peeled and sorted by the women of Tarifa. We learn that women are simply more capable for this kind of work! ;)

Women are centre stage here: Fish filets such as those made of tuna are being placed into cans by hand, each one carefully peeled and sorted by the women of Tarifa. We learn that women are simply more capable for this kind of work! 😉

The charming atmosphere of our hotel La Casa De La Favorita in the heart of the old town of Tarifa.

The charming atmosphere of our hotel La Casa De La Favorita in the heart of the old town of Tarifa.

We really get to relax in the charming suites and rooms, all of which feature local architecture and an eye for details.

We really get to relax in the charming suites and rooms, all of which feature local architecture and an eye for details.

 Tarifa is a wonderful base for excursions into the area, boat trips across the Straight of Gibraltar or just to relax and take a walk around the old town.

Tarifa is a wonderful base for excursions into the area, boat trips across the Straight of Gibraltar or just to relax and take a walk around the old town.

Traces of fortified walls and watch towers talk about the eventful history of this city throughout the course of the past two millennia

Traces of fortified walls and watch towers talk about the eventful history of this city throughout the course of the past two millennia

 

Food lovers we are …

… and so, it had to happen. We simply fell in love: With Pepe Luis and his team, for instance, our charming and wonderful cook at the recently opened Silos19 restaurant. And with our Paella, of course … Man, I tell you. We have been cooking, cutting, stirring and treading for almost two hours, and I can honestly say that this Paella has been the best I have cooked in my whole life. Proud, we take to the table for lunch where we are served wine & mussels in addition to Pepe Luis telling us more of his cooking secrets (“os voy a decir un secreto …”). If you love food, go for a cooking class here in Tarifa teaching you everything you need to know about local lifestyle and culinary traditions. A little later, we also head out to the bread mill Pan Macho in the countryside of Tarifa: An experience in its own right. Have a look at this.

Off we go: Kitchen apron set, ready to go for our Paella.

Off we go: Kitchen apron set, ready to go for our Paella.

First lesson learned: I have always cooked my Paella with onions. Here, I learn that a “true Paella” only has garlic & vegetables to start with.

First lesson learned: I have always cooked my Paella with onions. Here, I learn that a “true Paella” only has garlic & vegetables to start with.

So so good … If you, like us, love seafood then this is the place to go: The team at Silos19 teach you everything you need to know about their preparation and particular nutritional value.

So so good … If you, like us, love seafood then this is the place to go: The team at Silos19 teach you everything you need to know about their preparation and particular nutritional value.

Our beautiful, handcrafted Paella is ready to enjoy!

Our beautiful, handcrafted Paella is ready to enjoy!

After our creative cooking class, we go visit Luis the baker just half an hour away from Tarifa in the Sierra countryside … Finding him, you have to be adventurous (or join an organised tour). But to meet with this local character and his family is truly worth the effort!

After our creative cooking class, we go visit Luis the baker just half an hour away from Tarifa in the Sierra countryside … Finding him, you have to be adventurous (or join an organised tour). But to meet with this local character and his family is truly worth the effort!

 

Did you know? Tarifa is an international hotspot for kite surfers from all over the world.

In addition, this mundane little city bordered by the Atlantic & Mediterranean Oceans displays a great open attitude, an international flair, beautiful sandy beaches and fascinating opportunities for watching whales & dolphins. Here, you will find “beach boys” (and girls) as well as surfers from all over the world: If you, like us, like to learn more about what makes a place tick, we therefore recommend you go see Daniel in his surfboard workshop in Tarifa. Daniel is a calm, relaxed guy who knows and loves his surfboards & waves like nobody else. Next time we come, we really must take a kite surfing course – watching the kites fly at sunset is simply too much of a magic.

Welcome to the surfboard workshop of Tarifa: Another unique visitor experience.

Welcome to the surfboard workshop of Tarifa: Another unique visitor experience.

Daniel teaches us all about his passion and experience in designing and building surfboards at one of the world’s top kite surfing locations.

Daniel teaches us all about his passion and experience in designing and building surfboards at one of the world’s top kite surfing locations.

For almost 20 years, he has been handcrafting surfboards for individual use.

For almost 20 years, he has been handcrafting surfboards for individual use.

What a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere: In the evening, we recommend you head out to one of Tarifa’s “Chiringuito” beach huts in order to enjoy the sunset …

What a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere: In the evening, we recommend you head out to one of Tarifa’s “Chiringuito” beach huts in order to enjoy the sunset …

... which, thanks to views like these, is just gorgeous.

… which, thanks to views like these, is just gorgeous.

Beautiful Tarifa: I really like it here. International flair, open-minded people, fascinating cultural history and delightful gastronomy experiences. What else could you possibly wish for?

Beautiful Tarifa: I really like it here. International flair, open-minded people, fascinating cultural history and delightful gastronomy experiences. What else could you possibly wish for?

 

“What else?” Let me think. Hm. More travel photos please? 😀

 

 

Disclaimer: We have been supported by the Spanish Tourism Board in Austria during the organization of this trip in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
CADIZ: The Gem of Southern Spain & the oldest city of Europe!
Creative Travel in Cádiz: Top Picks from Bolonia to Vejer De La Frontera

2 Comments

  1. Kreativsaison / Teresa

    too nice seeing these pictures 🙂 <3

    Reply
  2. Elena

    Thank you, Teresa!

    Hope we get to see each other soon again. I am glad you like the photos from Tarifa: It is a beautiful spot, isn’t it 😉

    Reply

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