The fishing port of Tarfaya was the centre of the Spanish Protectorate of Cap Juby, now known as the Tarfaya Strip. A Scottish trader, Donald Mackenzie, created the original settlement in the late 19th century, building a small trading post on a rock just offshore, which he called Port Victoria. When the Spanish took over, they appropriated the building, now known as Casa Mar. The area gained independence from Spain in 1958.
The Moroccan government upgraded Tarfaya’s municipal status to provincial centre in 2009, and the town is on the cusp of big developments. A new port is being constructed, with hopes for the relaunch of the ferry connection to the Canary Islands and greater tourist numbers. A new beachfront promenade is also a relaxing spot. For now, however, Tarfaya's charm remains; it’s a friendly outpost with a seductively remote feel to the sand blowing between its crumbling colonial relics.