Set on Playa Valdevaqueros, Tangana is a great spot to kite, windsurf or just chill on the beach and pass the time away with a cold beer in your hands.
When the Levante wind blows this is the perfect spot to set your kite up and have a great day riding as the angle of the wind combined with the layout of the bay means you can ride safe in the knowledge you shouldn’t (if you are careful) end up in Morocco if things go wrong!
The spot works well in Poniente days too as if the weather gods are on our side a great thermal wind can kick in during the afternoon created by the massive sand dune that over looks Punta Paloma.
There’s really no hazards to be careful of at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals a few things to be wary of. The Levante wind can be fickle, not only can it shift direction quickly but also has a tendency to change direction as you get further away from the beach, slowly moving to blowing more offshore. This is especially true the closer to the point of Punta Paloma you get (the point to the right as you look out to sea from the beach). Keep an eye on your angles and this wont be a problem. The point itself is a great measure of this, draw a line between the source of the wind, you and the point…if you were to be blown by the wind and would miss the point you’re too far out…simple.
As the wind backs and blows more offshore it gets more gusty as the mountain of La Peña blocks its flow and causes it to become turbulent, in this Tangana’s becomes a little sketchy for beginners as that line we we’re talking before means you’ll now miss the point, for this reason on more offshore days many beginners tend to crowd together in the bottom corner near the sand dune where the curve of the bay offers a safe landing even if things go wrong.
As you move West down the beach, towards the dune, the wind generally becomes less strong and more gusty as it starts to rise over the dune. Conversely as you head East (back towards Tarifa) the wind gets stronger as cleaner as you get closer to the bunker (an old WWII machine gun pill box). For this reason many head slightly upwind after launching from Tangana’s in a Levante.
Levante can also die suddenly, this tends to happen at the changing of the tide (no one has offered me a convincing explanation as to why this should be so, so if anyone knows anything leave it in the comments please!) and at the end of the day. Many is the time when we’ll be packing up and see 10’s of kites literally kilometres out, ditched in the water with no wind to relaunch (despite the fact it was blowing 30 knots a second ago) and a long swim back. While the current will generally return you to the beach (in it’s own sweet time) it’s a real pain in the backside especially if you went out at midday in board shorts!
Parking wise, the best place to park is obviously Tangana’s itself. However this gets VERY busy in the summer so get here early. You can also park at Club Mistral which is about 200m back in the direction of Tarifa. Again this place gets busy but they have tonnes of space, they do charge (around 2 €) for parking though, but have a great chill out lawn and kit rental facility. The other place to park is Punta Paloma, right in front of the dune. This parking is free and so fills up quickly. Also a favourite spot for the kite schools so if you don’t want to be dodging beginners probably better to stay away!
You’ll find it hard to find another spot around as good that combines a great beach, good wind and awesome facilities, you won’t want to leave even if there’s no wind, and the fact the Tarifa Kite Masters was held here says it all really.
- Clean wide beach
- Great riding in Levante wind.
- Flat water combined with strong, strong wind. Awesome Chiringuito to get a cold beer and good food.
- Windsurf and Kite surf equipment available to rent.
- Can work well in Poniente especially if the thermal kicks in.
- Can get quite gusty due to the wind shadow of the surrounding hills (we like gusts though!)
- Gets busy at weekends and in the summer.