Tarifa, a town of Spain, in the province of Cadiz, Andalusia, on the southernmost point of the kingdom, in lat. 36° 3' N., Ion. 5° 35' W., 52 m. S. E. of Cadiz, and 25 m. S. E. of Cape Trafalgar; pop. about 12,000. It is surrounded by old walls and towers, and has a strong fortress. A Moorish castle within the walls is now used as a prison. Tarifa was named from Tarif ibn Malek, a Saracen chief who landed here from Africa in 710, a year before the great Moorish invasion of Spain. During the Moorish domination all vessels passing through the straits of Gibraltar were here compelled to pay duties; whence the word tariff. In 1292 Sancho the Brave of Castile captured it, and Alonso Perez de Guzman held it against the Moors in 1294. About 1340 the Moors besieged it again, but were driven away by the kings of Castile and Portugal. In 1811 it was garrisoned by 1,200 British troops and 600 Spaniards, who held it from Dec. 19 to Jan. 4, 1812, against 13,000 French troop3. The French captured the place in 1823.