La Costa de la Luz it starts where the Costa del Sol ends and it's a whole other world. Even in the stretch of westernmost coast of Andalusia, which reaches as far as the borders with Portugal, tourism is the main resource and has experienced a tumultuous development in recent years, but without the excesses that have partly ruined the Costa del Sol.
Those who choose the Costa de la Luz as their destination sea vacation in Spain will have an incredible variety of beaches, all bathed by an incredibly blue sea. In some places the coast is steep and rocky, with cliffs covered with pine trees that make a wonderful contrast with the blue of the sea; in others it is sandy and protected by dunes and pine forests behind the beaches.
In addition to the beaches you can visit characteristic pueblos blancos, important port cities, natural parks, sherry bodegas, for a relaxing holiday. Young people can count on a lively nightlife, albeit more contained than the wild nightlife of more fashionable places such as Marbella and Torremolinos.
The Costa de la Luz is also a recommended area for those who want to experience Spanish culture. Tourism is highly developed but it is mainly national tourism, while the Costa del Sol mostly attracts international tourists. This resulted in the seaside resorts in the province of Cadiz and Huelva are more authentically Spanish and therefore suitable for those who want to know local traditions.
Where the Costa de la Luz is located
The Costa de la Luz occupies the western part of southern Andalusia; its territory falls within the provinces of Cadiz and Huelva and is wet fromAtlantic Ocean.
To the west it is bordered by the tip of Tarifa, which marks the border between the province of Cadiz and that of Malaga, while in the east it extends to border of Spain with the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal.
Main towns on the Costa de la Luz
Which places on the Costa de la Luz deserve to be visited? To tell the truth all of them, but unfortunately we know the time for the holidays is always limited. Then choose between lively seaside resorts, villages that maintain an authentic atmosphere or important provincial capitals.
Cadiz is an elegant port city with very ancient origins. While not the most glamorous resort in Andalusia, it can be a great base from which to explore the Costa de la Luz's most beautiful beaches.
You can combine hours of leisure by the sea with interesting cultural visits, but what makes Cadiz special for a holiday are its inhabitants, sociable people who love to have fun and live life with joy. You can't help but get involved in their enthralling enthusiasm, especially if you come here for the Carnival.
Find out more about Cadiz
Also Huelva is a port city, squeezed between the estuaries of the Odiel and Rio Tinto rivers. Destroyed by the earthquake of 1755, which razed the city of Lisbon to the ground, Huelva retains little of its millennial history and is largely a modern city.
It is the westernmost of the provinces of Andalusia and the least connected, for this reason it is often snubbed. Keep it in mind for the remote and wild beaches that stretch a few kilometers away.
Find out more about Huelva
Not to be confused with Jerez de la Frontera, the city of sherry, Vejer de la Frontera it is a characteristic pueblo blanco perched on top of a hill about a dozen kilometers from the sea. It can be a great base for exploring the Costa de la Luz if you prefer to stay in a typical village rather than a seaside resort.
The historic center is enclosed within the walls, on which there are four doors dating back to the fifteenth century, as well as the defensive towers that have remained intact.
The main attractions of the town are the castle-fortress, which houses an interesting museum of local history and which represents an excellent vantage point, the Church of the Divino Salvador in Gothic and Mudejar style, and the graceful Plaza of Spain, typical Andalusian square with tiled decoration, palm trees and benches.
Find out more about Vejer de la Frontera
Once a quiet town snubbed by tourists, Tarifa it became the best known resort on the Costa de la Luz when word spread internationally about the excellent conditions for windsurfing in this area.
Playa Chica e Los Lances Beach, the picturesque beaches of Tarifa, are a true paradise for surfers, who come here from all over Europe for holidays dedicated to their favorite sport.
However, they are not ideal for those who want to lie down and sunbathe because due to the strong winds that blow incessantly, bathers find themselves constantly covered with sand. Nonetheless, Tarifa is now a very popular resort even for those who do not practice surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, either for the wild beauty of the landscape or for the relaxed and trendy atmosphere of the town.
Little visited, the historic center of the old city is very pretty and boasts an extraordinary castle, splendid viewpoints and characteristic alleys with typical white houses adorned with flowers.
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The story of Conil de la Frontera it is common to many other coastal towns in Andalusia: from a quiet fishing village it has transformed into a lively tourist resort, suitable for both families with children and young people.
The historic center is small but nice; in the area you can choose from many beaches, both sandy and rocky.
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The Port of Santa Maria it is clearly divided into two: the seaside area and the ancient core. Its name is inextricably linked to the events that led to the discovery of America: here Christopher Columbus met the owner of the Santa Maria caravel.
The town is famous above all for its beaches (15 km of coastline!) And for the sherry of El Puerto; gourmets can visit some bodegas.
Scopri di più su El Puerto de Santa María
It's been decades now since The Caños de Meca it used to be a hippy enclave, but this sprawling town that stretches along a series of lovely sandy bays has maintained a relaxed, offbeat vibe. Its eclectic architecture mixes typically Andalusian and Moroccan elements with other more modern and alternative ones.
In addition to the picturesque beaches, the most famous attraction in the area is the cape of trafalgar, a strip of land where in 1805 the Spanish fleet was defeated by the British Admiral Nelson.
Learn more about Los Caños de Meca
A splendid location for those who want a beach holiday is Zahara, a former fishing village that remained virtually unknown until a few years ago.
Today tourism is rapidly expanding, with more and more holiday accommodations and b & bs. The merit is above all of the wonderful city beach, Germans Beach: surrounded by dense vegetation, this 12 km long golden sand beach maintains a wild and uncontaminated aspect.
Another reason that has made Zahara de los Atunes popular with tourists is its fish restaurants, considered to be the best on the Costa de la Luz.
Learn more about Zahara de los Atunes
Loved by Spanish tourists, especially the younger ones, Bologna it is located in the wildest part of the province of Cadiz and retains a more authentic air than other Andalusian seaside resorts. The ruins of Claudia Baelo, a Roman settlement open to visitors, testify to the millenary origin of this town.
Bolonia's main attraction is its lovely beach, a 4km long white sand beach dominated by a dune viva 30 meters high, which constantly moves and changes shape. From here, moving about 5 k you can admire the suggestive Camarinal Lighthouse, I also notice Torre de Cabo de Gracia.
Find out more about Bolonia