Costa de la Luz - A Shining Bright Spot at the Atlantic Ocean
Glowing rays of sunshine, a blue sky, clear sea water and sandy beaches which stretch for miles and shine like gold at the Atlantic Ocean - the Costa de la Luz fascinates with its many days of sunshine, which show the wonderful landscape in the perfect light.
Geography - At the southernmost point of the European mainland
The Costa de la Luz ("Coast of Light") is a coast of about 200 kilometres of length at the Atlantic Ocean in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. It extends from the Portuguese border in the west to the town Tarifa in the east. Near Tarifa, which is the southernmost town of the European mainland, it changes to the Strait of Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol. The mouth of the Guadalquivir, Andalusia's longest river, divides the "Coast of Light" into two halves: the south-eastern part in the province of Cádiz and the north-western section in the province of Huelva. The climate at the Costa de la Luz is colder and windier than at the Mediterranean Sea. Pleasant freshness, which moderates the stuffy temperatures in summer, is carried over by the Atlantic Ocean.
Nature - A shining dune landscape
The Costa de la Luz owes its name to the glowing rays of sunshine which present the long, bright sandy beaches in the best light. The landscape is untouched for the most part and contains endless dunes of fine, white sand as well as Mediterranean pine and stone pine forests. Travellers can explore these in the Doñana National Park, the Bahia de Cádiz Natural Park or the Breña y Marismas de Barbate Natural Park. The nature reserves are home to a variety of birds as well as unimpaired marshy and alluvial landscapes (marismas).
Culture - History in Cádiz and traditions in Jerez de la Frontera
The Costa de la Luz has been spared from mass tourism. Along the coast you find traces of its long and varied past, for example from the rule of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Muslims. In addition, there are historical testimonies from the time of the Reconquista ("reconquest") and the discovery of the Americas. One of the main cultural attractions is the seaport city Cádiz. It is one of the continent's oldest cities and fascinates with its scenic, narrow alleys, its lively harbour, long and magical beaches, the medieval fortress and its beautiful cathedral. Visiting the cathedral, you have a wonderful view of the sea, the beach and the whole city. Other tourist destinations are the towns Vejer de la Frontera and Jerez de la Frontera. The latter is most of all known for its sherry and the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. Therefore, holidaymakers should not miss out on visiting one of the many sherry bodegas (wine bars) and the rooms of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.
Experience - Andalusian cuisine at its best
You feel the variety of the Andalusian cuisine at the Costa de la Luz. Besides numerous tapas, many restaurants serve dishes containing seafood, fish, ham (Jamón de Huelva), citrus fruit as well as local fruit and vegetables. Typical dishes of the coastal region, whose taste is indicative of the Arab influence, are kidneys or mushrooms in sherry, stuffed artichokes and meat dishes with almonds, pistachios or figs. The desserts and sweet pastries have also been influenced by the Arab cuisine. Almonds and honey are two of the most important ingredients in the preparation of Andalusian desserts (e.g. cortadillos, pestiños, torrijas). The sherry from Jerez de la Frontera is another culinary speciality and a popular souvenir.
Activities - A paradise for water and equestrian sports
The Costa de la Luz is particularly well-known among kite and wind surfers. Due to the geographical position at the Atlantic Ocean, the coast is characterised by permanent wind. Cyclists, hikers, divers and golfers also get their money's worth on holiday at the "Coast of Light". Furthermore, fans of equestrian sports can go on long horseback rides along the beach, while future marine biologists can marvel at the graceful sea mammals in the whale-watching location Tarifa with a bit of luck.
Although holidays at the Costa de la Luz are possible throughout the year, spring and autumn are the best time for travelling the "Coast of Light". It is warmer in summer but many accommodations are fully booked by locals at that time as they appreciate the cool breeze of the Atlantic Ocean and the many hours of sunshine too.
The Costa de la Luz is a true paradise for water sports fans and beachgoers. Long, fine sandy beaches and many days of sunshine combined with romantic seaport towns make holidaymakers' hearts leap for joy.