Holidays to Costa de la Luz: Exploring the forgotten Costa

Although it has become better known in recent years, the Costa de la Luz is still far less visited when compared to its better-known costal relatives such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. But UK travellers are now cottoning on to this wonderful destination and enjoying holidays to Costa de la Luz.

Holidays to Costa de la Luz, Spain © Q - Fotolia
Holidays to Costa de la Luz, Spain © Q - Fotolia

The Costa de la Luz is in the far south-west of Spain and stretches from the border with Portugal down to the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsular and the well known resort of Tarifa. This Costa lies outside the Mediterranean and therefore, like the Algarve in Portugal, faces the Atlantic Ocean.

Visitors to this gem of a Spanish Costa have traditionally been mainly Spaniards with some tourists from other European countries. Property development has increased over the last ten years or so to accommodate demand, however beachfront properties must adhere to strict building regulations to prevent any picturesque area from becoming another concrete jungle.

Costa de la Luz Beach near Cape Trafalgar © gert hochmuth - Fotolia
Costa de la Luz Beach near Cape Trafalgar © gert hochmuth - Fotolia

Stunning beaches stretching as far as the eye can see are pure delights for those looking for somewhere to relax. Unlike many of Spain's beaches, the Costa de la Luz offers relative peace, quiet and space. Even with the more recent insurgence of holidaymakers, there are still plenty of golden beaches to go around, for example at La Barossa Beach just south of Cadiz which is 5 miles long, and at Punta Umbria near Huelva which is nearly twice that.

The splendid year-round mild climate makes holidays to Costa de la Luz possible at any time of year, with summer being the most popular. But in March and April this is also one of the sunniest regions of Europe. Water sports enthusiasts are drawn to the surf and can be found enjoying the sea in all seasons.

Things to do in Costa de la Luz

For many, taking some quality time out to unwind on the beach, with the gentle sound of the waves lapping at the shore, is more than enough holiday satisfaction. If you're looking for extra activities then the Costa de la Luz has a wide variety on offer.

Water Sports

Perfectly situated for a plethora of water activities, the Costa de la Luz, literally 'Coast of Light' in English, is often frequented by thrill seekers wishing to enjoy all sorts of aqua fun. Surfing, windsurfing, diving, kayaking and kite surfing are all readily available.

Kitesurfers and Sunbathers on Tarifa Beach, Costa de la Luz © Nick Stubbs
Kitesurfers and Sunbathers on Tarifa Beach, Costa de la Luz © Nick Stubbs

Opportunities to go sailing or whale and dolphin watching can also be found around the coastline, giving visitors to the Costa de la Luz the chance to see several species of dolphins and whales in the spring and summer, including Killer Whales in July and August.

Inland Activities

If you are more of a land-lubber, why not try cycling, mountain biking, walking or a round of golf on one of the Costa de la Luz's many golf courses. If you are the equestrian type there is horse-riding or, for the less strenuously minded, watching Spain's famous Andalucian horses perform.

Hiking near Huelva, Costa de la Luz © joserpizarro - Fotolia
Hiking near Huelva, Costa de la Luz © joserpizarro - Fotolia

Wildlife

Costa de la Luz is home to six stunning parks and nature reserves that are abundant with flora and fauna. The superb year round temperature attracts some of the rarest breeding birds on the Iberian Peninsula making it a bird watchers paradise.

Culture

Andalucía is the birthplace of flamenco and the Costa de la Luz is renowned for its authenticity. Experience the traditional dance in its truest form, unlike in many of Spain's other tourist destinations. The region's historical past has many influences, including Moorish and Greek. Discovering the remains of fantastic buildings can be an exciting and informative journey.

Festivals

Spain is famous for its fiestas and the surrounding towns and villages of the Costa de la Luz are no different. At various times of the year you can take in the sights and sounds of a festival and immerse yourself in the genuine Spanish party ambience. The food and wine of this area is also famous. Try a tapas of chopitos (fried baby squid) and a glass of chilled Manzanilla (a very light dry sherry).

More about Holidays to Costa de la Luz

Flights to the Costa de la Luz leave mainly from London Gatwick and Stansted to Jerez and Seville, but if you are heading for the southern beaches there are also flights to Gibraltar from Birmingham, Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow. And if you are travelling to the northern resorts you can fly into Faro in Portugal and cross the border.

The City of Cadiz, Costa de la Luz, Spain © full image - Fotolia
The City of Cadiz, Costa de la Luz, Spain © full image - Fotolia

There are plenty of tour operators offering holidays to Costa de la Luz. Check out the all-inclusive holidays from Thomas Cook and the cheap deals offered by On the Beach. For last minute departures visit the Thomson late deals.

Alexandra Glacet

Alexandra Glacet
Article updated on Tuesday 26th March 2013 in: Adventure Culture Europe Excursions

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