Published on April 26, 2012 | by Elena3
Costa de La Luz: the not to be missed activities and stops
The Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) is a section of the Andalusian coast in Spain extending from Tarifa to the mouth of the Guadiana River. As this area is not discovered yet by mass tourism, but is rather a popular destination for mainly Spanish people, here you will enjoy a truly authentic Spanish holiday, which means having fun, eating and… dancing just as Spaniards do: and we all know how good they are at that…
The coast is often divided into two sections: Costa de la Luz (Huelva Province) stretching from the Portuguese border to the River Guadalquivir, and Costa de la Luz (Càdiz Province) from the River to Tarifa, at the mouth of the Mediterranean sea. Once popular with vacationing Spaniards, in recent years the Costa de la Luz has gained growing success also among foreign visitors, especially the French and the Germans.
The Costa de la Luz is a plethora of fun things to do, and great places to eat, and great landmarks to visit, and… it’s just wonderful! From the beaches and the sunshine, to the many opportunities for leisure activities, up to the beauty of its protected natural reserves, here’s a short list to help you identify those things you shouldn’t miss when visiting the region (hope for you soon!)
The Doñana National Park is definitely on the top of the list. Covering an area of 543 km², this World Heritage Site occupies the right bank of the Guadalquivir river at its estuary on the Atlantic, and is one of Europe’s most important wetland reserves and a major site for migrating birds. It is notable for the great diversity of its biotopes, and hosts some endangered species, such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle, and the Iberian Lynx, which can occasionally be sighted.
Beaches along the Costa de la Luz are generally long, sandy and backed by dunes and pine woods, the sand is finer and a more golden color than the neighboring Costa del Sol. The stretches of cliffs and coves are generally found to the east, near Barbate and around the Campo de Gibraltar. Matalscanas beach, on the border with Doñana park, is particularly popular with families, while El Rompido, and El Palmar are perfect for practicing water sports; Punto Candor is a well looked after beach with golden sands and La Barrosa, although being in a built-up area, boasts good-quality sand and lots of facilities. Other places along the coast, of somewhat less touristic interest El Terrón, and Lavaculos Sancti Petri.
With over 3000 hours of sunshine a year, and the steady waves of the warm Atlantic Ocean this coastline has some of the best surfing spots in Spain. You can have fun with Surfing, Kitesurfing, and Windsurfing, as well as Whale and Dolphin Watching activities – especially in the area of El Palmar. Moreover, the area is a paradise for golfers and has fast become one of Europe’s best golfing destinations. One of the best and most difficult courses in Europe is situated in the Cadiz area, the superb Valderrama.
Cities and Towns
Sevilla – start from the Royal Alcázar, Tarifa, where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, Cádiz and its ancient Ficus trees, Jerez and its Sherry Tours – from the pale light dry Finos to the sweet dark Oloroso, this is the nation’s favourite drink.
Finally, don’t miss a visit to the several White Towns, towns and villages of whitewashed houses, except one actually, Jùzcar, located in the mountainous Grazalema National Park. The most interesting are: Arcos, which is perched dramatically on a cliff top, Zahara de la Sierra with its Moorish castle and Grazalema, with its cobbled streets and wool crafts.
The Costa de la Luz is not just a summer destination, it’s a place to visit all year round as there are lots of carnivals and festivals to enjoy, plus many beautiful and historical places that you can also discover at your leisure.
Photo by kurrus