Association Yurts Tarifa
Sustainable living in the Natural Park
Since coming to live on this land over 20 years ago, we have become its custodians.
To live in Natural Park is to take responsibility for its wellbeing. Once largely barren and overgrazed, our plot of nearly 5 hectares has flourished into a thriving haven of flora and fauna.
Initially home to a local family, the land had been farmed for generations. Despite our foreignness, our family quickly gained the acceptance of our predecessors by restoring their family home and sharing the ripening tomato harvest in their ancestral allotments.
The Bedouin tents we lived in during the restoration of the buildings later became quirky
accommodation for adventurous travellers.
Now the specially designed, handcrafted, yurts provide a wonderful base for exploring the Natural Park and nearby attractions, and for cultural and group activities. The farm is a great space for all kinds of rustic retreats from creative workshops, to birdwatching, to family reunions!
Through our non-profit association, Yurts Tarifa, we are constantly building relationships with local enterprises to offer a sustainable space for all kinds of activities. Please get in touch to organise your group activity, course or workshop.
Over the years we have become more and more connected to the land we live on and realise the importance of, not only preserving nature, but aiding its natural tendency to adapt to the changing environment.
Our aim is to increase the sustainability of our piece of the Natural Park and to encourage the proliferation of a healthy variety of fauna and flora.
Through caring for, and planting, native species of trees, shrubs, and flowers; and cultivating many varieties of well-adapted plant-life, we have improved the quality of the soil, its capacity to hold water, and the variety of insects, reptiles and other animals that live here.
We have created a space that is integral to the survival of many migrating birds, offering them an oasis within which they can replenish their strength on their long journey across the Strait of Gibraltar.
As a result, the yurt garden lends itself to people that crave nature, peace, and a sense of community.
We strive to continue to "re-wild" our little patch and share our experience with others also wishing to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Reducing our carbon footprint, and that of our guests, is at the heart of every decision we make on the property. Your contribution as a member of our association brings us a step closer to our goal.
The land here has suffered from deforestation, fires, and overgrazing for many years. Since the year 2000, we have planted over 300 hardy trees, 30 fruit trees, and are caring for hundreds of native plant species to help restructure the soil, prevent erosion and provide a multi-layered canopy for local fauna.
The perfect example of sustainability, the yurt is a wonderful structure used by nomadic cultures all over the Middle East and Asia. It adapts perfectly to all climates, can be built from 100% natural materials, and can be dismantled without leaving a trace. We have three, which can be booked separately for family holidays or quiet couples, or all together for groups. Visitors can enjoy activities based in the Natural Park, in and around Tarifa or, even organise retreats, workshops, or courses based on the farm. Their simplicity and design help bring us closer to nature.
We cultivate and encourage a huge variety of flowering shrubs, succulents, and wildflowers to sustain the insect population, as well as provide a colourful backdrop all year round. Each season has a very different climate but we try to ensure that, from the winter rain to the summer drought, our garden is always an oasis of colour and life.
Although only 3kms from the town centre, we are completely off-grid!
We have a small windmill, solar water panels, solar electricity, and gas cooking facilities. Our water comes from our own well and is filtered by osmosis so you don't need to buy plastic bottles! We recycle all rubbish.
Waste water is recycled in a natural soakaway system that waters the gardens, keeping them lush throughout the summer.
We are always improving our energy efficiency and trying to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible. We use eco friendly cleaning products.
Such a vital part of all life on earth, bees carry out the pollination we need to grow most of our food. Once there were many beekeepers in the area but it is a dying tradition, and their presence is
welcomed by all farmers. We care for our hives as un-intrusively as possible and are repaid with a bountiful veggie garden and, occasionally, some honey!
The Veggie Garden
Over the past two decades, we have learnt much from our veteran neighbours, who have farmed this land their whole lives, and for generations. However, the soil is poor, the weather is harsh and we have always avoided the chemical fertilizers they rely on.
We have experimented with many practices and love seeing the soil improve every year. With a combination of raised beds, mulching, compost, seaweed, and patience, we are able to make preserves, pickles, and sauces to last us the year.
The foliage also feeds our chickens that provide us with fresh eggs in return.