They say it's the wind that drives you to distraction in Tarifa, but for Tony and Lisa Faulkner, the six-year renovation of Casa Luna was hardly a breeze. Still, the result of their efforts is stunning; they have provided splendid lodgings by bringing out the natural beauty of a large, riad-style house.
It's new on the rental market this year, and the Faulkner's restoration emphasises the best of the house's ancient qualities, with natural plaster finishes and clever use of stone and wood, while ensuring facilities are bang up to date, with sophisticated additions including underfloor heating and movement-sensitive lighting.
Three floors rise and twist around a traditional central courtyard to a series of roof terraces which offer views of the church and fishing port and allow guests to sunbathe or sit in the shade in the pleasant surroundings of a well-planted urban garden of succulents and flowers.
The comfortable and large living space and kitchen/diner runs the width of the property. Four main bedrooms – three doubles and one twin, all en suite – are furnished in a relaxed boho style with sensual fabrics and reclaimed wood, drawing on Spanish and African influences with a nod to other destinations visited by the owners. In addition, there are three separate studios on the ground floor that complement the style and detail of the main house. All have a lounge and cooking equipment – a great budget option for couples.
The food and drink
The town has an excellent seafood market and it's less than 200 yards from the front door – just the place to shop if you want to showcase your culinary prowess. Look out for the locally caught "red" tuna between May and July. The kitchen is particularly well stocked: guests can make use of a generous store of herbs, spices and cooking staples.
This is a grandstand location in Andalucia's funkiest town. With the beach only a five-minute stroll away, kite-boarding and wind-surfing schools are a big deal here. An ever-changing bar and restaurant scene gives the town a contemporary and cosmopolitan vibe. Cinephiles should note that the annual Africa Film Festival (fcat.es) runs from 21 to 31 May. If that inspires you to visit the African continent itself, you can do it on a day trip from here. Tangier is only 35 minutes away by ferry, which departs just down the road.
There are lots of stairs. One set, leading to a bedroom, is a partially open spiral staircase. Children welcome.
A three-night break in the main house starts at €900, with one week starting at €2,000. The studios start at €35-€45 per night. One week's car hire with Economy Car Hire (economycarhire.com) starts at £99.
Casa Luna, Calle Carniceria 11, Tarifa, Spain (holidaylettings.co.uk /rentals/tarifa/79271).Reuse content