Tarifa's strong winds helped keep it off the tourist maps for years, but now it is Europe's biggest center for windsurfing and kiteboarding, and the wide, white-sand beaches stretching north of the town have become a huge attraction. Those winds have proven a source of wealth in more direct ways, also, via the electricity created by vast wind farms on the surrounding hills. This town at the southernmost tip of mainland Europe—where the Mediterranean and the Atlantic meet—has continued to prosper. Downtown cafés, which not that long ago were filled with men playing dominoes and drinking anís, now serve croissants with their café con leche and make fancy tapas for a cosmopolitan crowd. The lovely hilltop village of Vejer de la Frontera, 51 km (32 miles) west of Tarifa, is an easy side trip and its coastline offers stunning beaches and the historic Cape Trafalgar, where the English Armada beat Napoléon in an epic naval battle in 1805.
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