If you’re looking for a holiday in Spain in 2017, take a look at the beautiful Costa de Luz. Unlike many of the large resorts, Costa de Luz is famous for its tranquil villages and simple beaches. Costa de Luz faces the Atlantic on the south-western coast and offers a more authentic, relaxed way of life without the skyscrapers and crowds of tourists. With over 200 kilometres of coastline in this beautiful part of Spain, there’s no shortage of quiet coves and sandy expanses to explore.
The name Costa de Luz means ‘Coast of Light’, and, true to its title, the sand here is exceptionally gold and fine. Many of the beaches in Costa de Luz are nestled amid verdant pine trees and sand dunes, while the climate in the summer months of July and August is hot and fairly dry. Temperatures hover between the high twenties and the low thirties in summer, while spring and autumn temperatures are between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. With the gorgeous weather and more than 30 Costa de Luz beaches being awarded Blue Flag status, you can opt for a Costa de Luz holiday to experience the ultimate sun, sea and sand holiday without the bustle of bigger name resorts.
Top resorts in Costa de la Luz
from £236 pp
Puerto de Santa Maria
from £147 pp
from £180 pp
The huge expanses of sand in Costa de Luz are said to be some of the longest in Europe. While many other resorts in Spain have a manicured feel, Costa de Luz has mile upon mile of unspoilt beaches, dunes and wetlands, some of which are accessible on foot, providing the ideal opportunity for spotting some rare species of bird and enjoying the untouched beauty of the natural environment. Costa de Luz has more than 20 golf courses including the Arcos Gardens Golf Course, Bellavista Golf Course, Benalup Golf Course and Campano Golf Course. Nature lovers will enjoy a trip to the Sierra de Grazelema Natural Park, one of Andalucia’s most popular parks, which is famous for its jagged limestone landscape and great trekking routes. For those who prefer a more gentle stroll but still want to enjoy a bit of wildlife spotting, try the Alcornocales Natural Park, a prime viewing spot for the bi-annual migration of birds to Europe from Africa.
Wine and Dine
As with the beaches in Costa de Luz, the food here has an authentic Spanish feel and is very varied. Many of the resorts in Costa de Luz are chocked with tapas bars and it is worth noting that in this region of Spain, the siesta is rigidly adhered to, with everybody staying up late and dinner being served late into the night. The gastronomy in Costa de Luz is based on a delightful combination of locally-produced wine and plenty of fresh seafood dishes. Some of the delicacies in Costa de Luz include squid, stuffer spider crabs, langoustines and sundried tuna, known locally as mojama. There’s a wide selection of restaurants in Costa de Luz for all tastes and personalities, whether you’re looking for a fine dining establishment or a relaxed and family-friendly café. Many of the restaurants have a traditional Spanish feel with plenty of vibrant colours and frilled fabrics, adding the finishing touch to your memorable dining experience.
If you’re considering a holiday in Spain in 2017, Costa de Luz is an ideal choice for families with children of all ages. With a huge variety of beaches of all shapes and sizes, the resort’s beaches offer almost endless options for fun family activities. More laid-back options for beach-based activities include swimming, paddling, sunbathing and taking a horse-ride along the shoreline, giving you the opportunity to get back in touch with nature. If your family is up for a challenge, visit the Entre Ramas Aventura, a treetop adventure course with ropes and wooden walkways. Following a training session and safety briefing, you’re all set to explore the treetop courses zip lining and climbing your way through the safe and natural course. For a day of aquatic fun, treat your family to a trip to Aquopolis, a water park with plenty of slides and other water based activities. Costa de Luz also offers several unmissable opportunities to get up close and personal with the wildlife in the area, including boat trips for spotting dolphins and whales that live in the Gibraltar Straight and visiting the Palacio del Acebon, a popular nature reserve for spotting migratory birds and other local wildlife.
Action and Adventure
If you like to keep your adrenaline pumping on your visit to Costa de Luz, the untamed stretches of sand dunes and sea currents are the perfect setting for a number of exciting activities. People come from across the globe to enjoy the water sports here, with the waves and wind providing ideal conditions. El Palmar is ideal for surging, while Cape Trafalgar and Canos de Meca are the best bet for kiteboarding. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of kitesurfing and windsurfing schools that cater to all ability levels. Other exciting activities include surfing, paddleboarding, horseriding, tennis and golf.
Life's a Beach
With more than 30 Blue Flag accredited beaches in Costa de Luz, beach lovers are spoilt for choice. In Costa de Luz, there is a beach for everybody, whether you enjoy lounging in the sun or exploring sand dunes and spotting wildlife. Some of the most popular Blue Flag beaches in Cadiz include Cruz del Mar in Las Canteras, Regla, Puntalillo and Vandelagrana beach. Matalscanas beach is located on the border of Donana Park and is a popular beach with families, getting busy during the peak summer months. When it comes to beach holidays in Costa de Luz, Cadiz has one of the best rated beaches in Spain, Bolonia. This beautifully unspoilt beach has golden-white sand and is a huge hit with nature lovers, thanks to the varied wildlife in the area. Bolonia beach is also located near to the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia, making this an excellent choice for an active day out at the beach. Another of Cadiz’s best beaches is La Caleta, popular for its fine sand and gentle waves. When it comes to the Huelva area of Costa de Luz, Blue Flag beaches include La Bota, Playa del Parador and Playa Central de Isla Cristina.
While its undoubtedly quieter than its nearby resorts, Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, the nightlife in Costa de Luz is vibrant and feels traditionally Spanish. There are a few late-night clubs in Costa de Luz, but plenty of great seafront restaurants that stay open late, hotel bars and pubs. Those who prefer a lively nightlife scene will prefer Punta Umbria, home of one of the hottest clubs in town, the Mosquito Club. Mosquito Club is an exciting hybrid club that hosts arts, sports and cultural events as well as poetry readings and live music. It’s a good choice if you enjoy chilled-out Latin and reggae music. If you’re heading to Costa de Luz with on a girls-only trip or hen do, the Horizontal Beach Club in El Rompido is the top pick for cocktail lovers, with an extensive menu featuring some of the best mojitos in the area. For a laidback lads’ holiday, the Orange Grove Sports Bar in El Rompido is a good pick, with BT and Sky sports on big screens and a tasty menu of affordable food.
Costa de Luz is an incredibly romantic region with unspoilt expanses of golden sands and stunning cloud formations in the blue skies overhead. While many of the largest Spanish resorts have lost some of their character due to tourism, Costa de Luz has kept much of the traditional lifestyle and culture that gave historic Spain its romantic reputation. With over 200 kilometres of coastline and very few high-rise buildings to spoil the landscape, there is plenty of opportunity for romantic strolls along the sand dunes. If you head to Chiclana de la Frontera, you’ll find the ideal fusion of the laid-back Andalusian lifestyle and resort-style amenities, the perfect place for enjoying a few glasses of Barbadillo, the local wine, and relaxing by the clear waters of the sea. For couples that enjoy a more cultured holiday, Cadiz is one of the best places in Costa de Luz to really immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture. You’re sure to have some memorable evenings out with your loved one stopping between bars for tapas and trying your hand at flamenco dancing.
Costa de Luz’s rich heritage reaches back to the twelfth century BC, and features many of the most iconic civilisations in global history. Cultural attractions in Costa de Luz include the Baelo Claudia, the ruins of a Roman city, and the legendary Cape Trafalgar, where Nelson defeated the French and Spanish forces in 1805. Costa de Luz is also home to La Rabida Monastery, in Palos de la Frontera close to Huelva, where Christopher Columbus asked for the assistance of the Franciscan monks whilst in gaining support for a voyage to the New World. There are also numerous festivals and cultural events throughout the year in Costa de Luz, including the annual Nosinmusica Festival in Puerto de Cadiz and the main annual music event in Cadiz, the Carnaval, held each February.