The Costa de la Luz (Coast of light) is the western part of the Andalucían coastline that faces out to the Atlantic. It extends from Tarifa in the south to the border with Portugal in the north.

It has over 3000 hours of sunshine per year

It takes its name from the bright sunlight that reflects on the ocean and on the long white, unspoiled sandy beaches.

Costa de la Luz

The northern part of the Costa de la Luz  (around Huelva) is a popular holiday destination for Spanish tourists; in summer it is packed. The southern part, of the province of Cadiz, is getting more and more popular with foreign tourists, but is still not as busy and has until today retained most of its authenticity.

There are several beautiful sandy beaches on the Cadiz part of the Costa de la Luz, backed by pine woods and sand dunes and many protected coastal reserves.

beautiful unspoilt sandy beaches

beautiful unspoilt sandy beaches

El Palmar is very natural and spacious, perfect for kids to go surfing and swim in the big waves. It has several surf schools that also rent boards. There are various restaurants to choose from and during the summer there are several chiringuitos (beach bars) with music, cold drinks, cocktails and snacks.

Further south Bolonia, a little village with Roman ruins, sits in an isolated cove protected by rocky headlands. It has a huge sand dune to run up and many fine fish restaurants on the beach to choose from.

If you have smaller kids, Zahora is the one to go. Other great beaches, more trendy ones, are in Los Caños de Meca, Conil de la Frontera, and Zahara de los Atunes.

The most southern point is Tarifa, the windsurfing capital of Europe. Its beaches to the north are called Playa Los Lances and Playa Valdevaqueros.

Valdevaqueros is definitely one of the best beaches on the Costa de la Luz, but it can be very windy. It has a fantastic laid back cosmopolitan feel and is one of the best sites in Europe for Kite Surfing and Windsurfing. At the end of the beach is an amazing mountain of a sand dune and it is a challenge to reach the top.

At Valdevaqueros there are several cool bars to chill out and have a nice lunch.

Valdevaqueroz surfing

Valdevaqueroz is famous for its surfing

Squeezed between the sierras and the sea Vejer de la Frontera is a perfectly preserved example of what many Andalusian towns were like during five centuries of Islamic occupation. It is a typical Andalusian white village (‘pueblo blanco’), and was declared a national monument in 1978.

Vejer is a labyrinth of white washed houses and winding cobbled street.

Vejer the old village

Vejer is a typical Pueblo Blanco

The historic walled city of Cadiz is built in a Peninsular jutting into the picturesque bay of Cadiz. The isthmus joining the mainland exhibits miles of beaches and the Bay of Cadiz is a natural park.

In the center of the Cadiz part of the Costa de la Luz the luxury golf and country club Montenmedio is located, just down the hill from Vejer.

The Costa de la Luz is especially noted for the beauty of its protected natural reserves and a number of fine natural attractions.

Lynx mother and child

Lynx mother and child

The Cadiz part is bordered by the famous Donaña National Park in the north, where endangered species, such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle, also known as Adalbert’s Eagle (Aquila adalberti), and the Iberian Lynx (Felis pardina), can occasionally be sighted.

South of the golf at Sancti Petri the coastline is ragged and dominated by coves and cliffs, often backed by pine forests. The best are located just to the north of the fishing town of Barbate and are protected in La Breña y Marismas del Barbate Natural Park.

Interesting are the sprawling wetlands at the mouths of the rivers Tinto and Odiel, where there is a profusion of water fowl and, in season, other migratory birds, including storks and flamingos.

The rio tinto - as red as the name predicts.

The rio tinto – as red as the name predicts.