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Costa de la Luz Holidays

Unspoilt swathes of Andalusian beauty

Stretching over 200km from the Portuguese border down to the trendy surfer’s paradise of Tarifa, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic, the Costa de la Luz boasts many of Spain’s finest beaches. 

Vast, unspoilt swathes of powdery golden sand beaches are fringed by pine forests and sweeping dunes, giving this part of Andalusia a wilder, more rugged vibe than the neighbouring Costa del Sol. There are several national parks dotted along the coast, including Doñana, whose marshes and lagoons are home to a spectacular array of birdlife. 

As well as abundant natural beauty, there’s plenty of urban charm to be discovered in the Costa de la Luz as well. Wander through the ancient cobblestone streets and squares of Cádiz and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to another era, while the bustling port town of Huelva is steeped in cultural heritage, renowned for being the place from which Christopher Columbus set sail towards the New World in 1492. 

The cuisine will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your visit, too; besides the usual Spanish classics, Andalusia has its own distinct culinary identity, infused over the centuries with North African influences from across the Strait of Gibraltar. 

Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast or an avid foodie, you’re sure to be enticed by the riches the Costa de la Luz has to offer.

Three tips for a top trip

Best things to see and do in Costa de la Luz

Find your ideal beach

From lively beaches with plenty of nearby bars and restaurants to wonderfully peaceful stretches of sand where you can really switch off and connect with nature, the Costa de la Luz has endless sunbathing and swimming spots to choose from. It’s just a case of trying a few of them, and discovering which one suits you best. 

Explore Cádiz

Besides relaxing on the beach, if there’s one thing you must do while visiting the Costa de la Luz it’s exploring the ancient port city of Cádiz. It’s packed with architectural gems that reflect its diverse cultural heritage, such as the baroque-neoclassical Cádiz Cathedral and the 17th-century fortress of Santa Catalina. The atmospheric old town buzzes with life between its cobblestone streets and plazas, and it’s easily compact enough to explore on foot.

Embrace the cuisine

One of the joys of visiting Spain is embracing the flavours of the regional cuisine in different parts of the country. As well as the classics you’ll be familiar with, be sure to try a few Andalusian specialities, such as salmorejo (chilled tomato soup), mojama (salt-cured tuna) and chipirones (fried baby squid). For an authentic, multi-sensory experience, why not take a tapas tour?

Your Costa de la Luz questions, answered

The typical Mediterranean climate makes for hot dry summers, which is ideal for the beach. June to September are the months to go, with average temperatures in July and August rising to 34ºC. It will feel much hotter inland during these months and you'll find most city dwellers migrating to the coast. The winter months from November to March are temperate, and there might be some rain in April. If you want to visit historic sites or do some bird-watching in the Donana National Park, October or May will usually be warm and sunny.
Costa de la Luz forms the western coast of Andalucia in Spain, with its shores on the Atlantic ocean. It stretches from the southernmost point of Europe at Tarifa to the Portuguese border in the north. It covers the two Spanish provinces of Andalusia, Huelva in the north where you'll meet the golfing culture of Portugal, and historic Cadiz in the south. Its beaches tend to be wilder than the other Spanish Costas, and they're much less developed. Down at the point of the province, the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, giving rise to persistent breezes that are very popular with kitesurfers.
There are more than 30 Blue Flag beaches on the Costa de la Luz, from Castilla and Islantilla in the Huelva region to the many sandy beaches of Cadiz. La Barrosa beach in Chiclana de la Frontera averages 300 days of sunshine every year and has an island with a ruined castle built over an ancient Phoenician temple. La Playa de la Caleta is the fine sandy beach in the historic centre of Cadiz, which has been the location for many major films. At Isla Cristina in the north, the 1500 metre long Playa Central beach is famed for its sunsets.
All of Andalusia is family-friendly, but you'll probably find more activities for younger kids in the southern Cadiz region. Here you're more likely to discover gentle sandy beaches with activities like banana boating or beach volleyball on offer. There are also aqua parks and boat trips and horse-riding into the forests of the interior. Cycling is very popular all over Spain and there are plenty of interesting areas to explore. Take older children to the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park in Huelva. Here you’ll usually see thrill-seekers canyoning, kayaking, caving, climbing and zip-lining.
From the northern resorts of Costa de la Luz, it's only 90 minutes by car to Seville, where you can see historical gems like the Royal Alcazar and the Plaza de Espana. You can take a cycling tour of the city to visit the Plaza de Toros bullfighting museum or the Tower of Gold. There are two national parks within easy reach and from Cadiz and the southern resorts, it's less than two hours' drive to Gibraltar. For history buffs, the port of Cadiz is thought to be the oldest city in Europe – and the target of Sir Francis Drake.
This is, perhaps, Spain's most beautiful coastline, with long sandy beaches, little fishing ports and forests of pine trees and wildlife. You'll find some championship golf courses. The Donana Nature Reserve has wild lynx and eagles, and Jerez is the birthplace of sherry. The region is known for its authentic traditions, being less touristy than most, and for the Cadiz festival. Jerez is known for its three iconic festivals, including a sherry festival – naturally – and a flamenco festival. Perhaps the one you'll enjoy most is the horse festival, where you'll drink, dance and see the best Andalusian horses.