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Cadiz Province Hotels  /  Travel Guide

Costa de la Luz Tourist Information   by Gary Marshall

The Costa de la Luz is the name given to the stretch of Andalucian coastline between the Costa del Sol and the Portuguese border. It is divided into two main parts; the eastern section, which is situated in the province of Cadiz, and the western section, located within Huelva province. Literally meaning, 'Coast of Light', the Costa de la Luz is a relatively undeveloped part of Spain, notable for its miles of unspoilt beaches and beautiful natural scenery.

Village Street, Arcos De La Frontera, Cadiz, Andalucia, SpainThe low-key town of Ayamonte and the neighbouring resort of Isla Canela, which boasts a 4-mile-long Blue Flag beach, are both situated just over the border from Portugal. To the east, surrounded by an area of wetlands, is the popular beach resort of Isla Cristina. The large port of Huelva lies between the marshy estuaries of the Tinto and Odiel rivers, around 30 miles east of Ayamonte. Although Huelva is not a particularly attractive city, there are a number of important historic sights in this area, including the La Rabida monastery where Christopher Columbus planned his voyages to the New World.

A large part of the 40-mile stretch of coastline between Huelva and the River Guadalquiver borders the Donana National Park. This important area of wetlands is home to several rare animal species, notably the elusive Iberian Lynx and the Spanish imperial eagle. Next to the Donana reserve is the purpose-built resort of Matalascanas, which boasts a terrific sandy beach.

View of Village, Arcos De La Frontera, Cadiz, Andalucia, SpainThe eastern section of the Costa de la Luz begins at the fishing port of Sanlucar de Barrameda. To the southeast of Sanlucar is the town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, where Columbus lived for several years during the 15th century. As well as several historic attractions, El Puerto is also known for its sherry bodegas and excellent seafood restaurants. Just a short distance from El Puerto, on a rocky peninsula jutting into the Atlantic, is the old city of Cadiz. Founded over 3,000 years ago, Cadiz enjoyed its greatest period of wealth during the 18th and 18th centuries when it was the major gateway to the New World.

Many people regard the 60 miles of coastline between Cadiz and Tarifa as the true Costa de la Luz. Other than Novi Sancti Pacti, there are no large tourist developments here, just a series of small towns and villages alongside vast beaches of fine white sand. Several of these villages, including El Palmar, Los Canos de Meca and Zahara de los Atunes, are situated close to the famous Cape of Trafalgar. As you continue southeastwards along the coast, you will arrive at the windsurfer's paradise of Tarifa. Situated just eight miles from North Africa, the resort has a very laid-back feel, even when it is swamped by tourists during the height of summer. Tarifa is also famous for being Europe's southernmost town.

There are two airports that serve the Costa de la Luz, Jerez Airport is situated around 35 miles inland from Cadiz, while Gibraltar airport is located to the east of Tarifa.

Cadiz Province Hotels  /  Cadiz Hotels  /  Travel Guide

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About the Author  -  For more advice and tourist information about the Costa de la Luz please see Costa de la Luz Spain.

Latest update: September 2, 2012