“Two wonderfully secluded beach houses (sleeping 2-6) on a hillside in a natural park, with views across the straits to Morocco”
The open-plan layouts apply to the shared areas and the sleeping arrangements. Décor is minimal but in keeping with the simplistic, contemporary vibe - and you wouldn’t want much distraction from the stunning landscapes outside every window.
The Wallpaper House has 2 double beds (one of which is totally private), and 2 singles built, cabin-style, into the corridor wall. The private double hints at an Asian aesthetic, with wooden floor lamps, decorative bamboo sticks and sliding glass doors onto a central courtyard. The second double (kingsize) is a cosy, walled-in bed with a long window at its foot looking onto the hillside; linen blinds can be rolled down to screen it off from the rest of the house. The ceiling above is adorned with large-scale images of woodland, reflecting the surroundings - or, perhaps, the surroundings of the Swedish architect who designed it. The wind makes for some interesting noise on your first night or so, but soon becomes a soothing lullaby for a sound night’s sleep. The bathroom has a shower, and there's a further rainfall shower outside. There's also a lounge with assorted chairs, floor cushions and sofas, plus a kitchen and an outdoor terrace with hammocks.
The Boston Beach House was built in Boston and shipped here. It's far simpler in design, but still stylish and modern, and romantics will love the all-glass frontage. You reach it via a small bridge, so it's completely private. Although the house does sleep 4 (in 1 double and 2 single beds), we'd say it's best suited to a couple, perhaps with a child. As with the bigger house there's a kitchen, indoor and outdoor lounging areas, a shower bathroom, and a refreshing outdoor shower.
El Cancho is completely self-catering and, while the kitchens aren't sophisticated, we wanted for nothing the entire week. Each has a decent-sized fridge-freezer, a 2-hob portable gas cooker, a blender, all the necessary cooking implements and crockery, an abundance of Tupperware, and an icebox for picnicking. You'll also find a few basics such as salt, pepper, oil and washing-up liquid, plus a bottle of wine for guests booking through i-escape.
We cooked virtually everything on the fantastic gas BBQ on our terrace - from pork and sausages over the flames, to chilli prawns and asparagus on the hot plate. Our fondest memories are of dinners outside under the stars, sitting on huge floor cushions at a table adorned with candles. There are also indoor tables (seating 6 in the Wallpaper House and 4 in the Boston Beach House) for rare rainy days, and if you’re staying in the Wallpaper House you can retreat from the wind in the sheltered central courtyard.
The food market in Tarifa’s Old Town is wonderful for fresh fish, meat and vegetables, and there’s a very good supermarket (Eroski) in the New Town. There’s also a lively bar and restaurant scene both in Tarifa and along the main road (the owners will give you a comprehensive list of recommendations). In the Old Town we loved Enca Curro, a tiny but famous tapas bar, and Karpanta, which has an international menu specialising in tuna. Also worth trying is vegetarian restaurant Chilimosa, while friendly bar and grill Vaca Loca (‘Mad Cow’) is perfect for committed carnivores.
Children are welcome and there are cots available to borrow. Kids will love the beach, the animals and the freedom of having so much room to play, but the terrain around the houses is quite rocky so it may not be suitable for toddlers.
Children (4-12 years)
The Wallpaper House has 2 double beds and 2 single beds. The smaller Boston Beach House has 1 double and 2 single beds, though we'd say it's best suited to a couple with 1 child.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking