A romantic getaway for a couple looking for relaxation, privacy and a very unique experience. Here the wild, rocky coastline of spain meets morocco, just 8 miles away across the shimmering blue sea.
Just 50 metres from the shoreline, this little studio apartment stands at the base of the pillars of hercules, the meeting points of europe and africa, the atlantic ocean and the mediterranean sea. Views are breathtaking, across the vast expanse of deep blue sea to the massive peaks of the atlas mountains which rise up dramatically beyond morocco's beaches just eight miles away. This is as close to africa as you can get!
Trendy tarifa is only a couple of kilometres away (a beautiful, 25 minute walk along the cliffs; just eight minutes by car) but right here there is nothing but peace, tranquility and the sound of silence, amazing seascapes and the stunning nature of the natural park all around, plunging dramatically down to wild, rocky bays.
Access to this remote, heavenly spot is pretty good considering the terrain all around is so spectacular. Until recently these hills were the sole domain of the spanish military; they have left now but the roads and tracks they built through the steep hills and valleys remain. The road to the villa is tarmaced, if a little narrow and bendy in places; only the last 800 metres to the house is dirt track. This bit is a little bumpy but easily negotiable in an ordinary car with due care and attention.
A high cane hedge and huge entrance gates give privacy from the track - not that many people will ever pass by here - the occasional walker perhaps, or a local farmer off to tend his vegetable garden.
The gates open to a parking area and to the enormous, 1.2 acres of grassy cliff-top garden which surround the little villa. The garden is wonderful, a hidden world all of its own, the verdant greenery of palms dotted about in a vast expanse of grass contrasting joyously with the deep blue sea immediately beyond. With its little sun terrace, a fish pond, sunbeds, sunshade and a sheltered, cane-covered barbecue area in the corner, it really is a fabulous place to be.
This headland garden (you will see tarifa clearly from here, a mile or so further along the coast) leads directly down to the rocky coves of the mediterranean. There are no sandy beaches here, just wild, rugged but very beautiful coves, excellent for fishing and snorkeling. You can sunbathe unmolested in any number of these little bays.
The view is, quite simply … sensational, a 210º panorama of two continents, a great ocean and a sparkling blue sea. Africa is so close you feel that if you reached out you could almost touch it! Ships pass through the straits of gibraltar, moving silently across your line of vision - which takes in a huge sweep of the moroccan coast, the street lights of ceuta and tangiers twinkling clearly beneath the huge rocky crags of the rif mountains.
To your left you look far into the ever widening mediterranean, to your right to the vast expanses of the atlantic. Not only is it europe's closest villa to africa, it also enjoys one of the very best views imaginable. It's ever changing too, as the day develops and light and weather conditions change. It's impossible to say which is the best, the sunrise over the mediterranean or the sunset over the atlantic … they are both very, very special.
The little villa is of simple design and construction, a homely and neatly furnished, open-plan studio apartment, 60 m2 in size.
The principal room is spacious with views across the garden and the shimmering sea to africa. The double bed is on one side of the room, a sitting / dining area on the other. This leads through to a small kitchenette, equipped for rustling up basic meals (there's a 4 ring hob, pots and pans etc) but please note that there is no oven or freezer (the small fridge has an ice compartment only). A neatly tiled bathroom (with walk-in shower, no bath tub) leads off on the other side of the room.
Seagulls glide on thermals overhead, the odd cow or two mooches silently on a distant hill. It's a heavenly spot, as quiet and tranquil as can be - there's just one other house to be seen - on the other side of the lane a little higher up the hill (another rental property owned by the same proprietors). The high cane hedges guarantee both their privacy.
It's about as ecological as can be here. There's no mains electricity in this remote corner of spain, so everything works on solar and wind power; water comes from local wells. There's no air conditioning either, the fresh sea breezes and the stone construction of the villa keep everything cool, even on the hottest of summer days.
There are a million things to do from here, quite apart from reveling in this amazing location. A plethora of coastal and countryside tracks to be explored, an abundance of wild flowers everywhere, a new and always sensational view to be enjoyed at every turn. Only a few roaming cows on the hillsides and the occasional fisherman down on the rocks to keep you company. It's magical!
There are plenty of excellent restaurants and night spots in and around tarifa, mile upon mile of white, sandy beaches on the costa de la luz immediately beyond. There are beautiful white villages in inland cádiz to visit, wind and kite surfing, diving, golf, horse riding et al. And the capital of the province, cádiz itself, is well worth a day trip. A very friendly city with a unique atmosphere, it continues to evoke the romance and mystery of centuries of trade (some legal, some not so) between europe, africa and the americas.
Morocco is only 35 minutes away from tarifa on the high speed catamaran … 35 minutes which will take you to a totally different world. Ferries also leave from algeciras and, either way, it's a wonderful trip, especially on the longer, 3 hour trip from algeciras, the ship accompanied through the straits by dolphins and whales.
A comfortable, unpretentious place to stay in surroundings of superb natural beauty, this is a perfect romantic getaway for a couple looking for relaxation, privacy and a very unique experience.
Note: for larger groups, this villa can be rented in conjunction with the three bedroomed cottage just above, on the other side of the track.