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Andalucia Travel Guide - Costa de la Luz

Return to Spain home page  -  Return to Travel Guide  -  Costa de la Luz Self-Catering

Outdoor sports

If you fancy an activity holiday or a destination that has outdoor sports on tap, the Costa de la Luz and Andalucia have something for everyone. Tarifa has a reputation for the best wind and kite surfing beaches including Playa Los Lances and Playa Valdevaqueros. It is no wonder it is often called the windsurfing capital of Europe. If you would rather catch the action under the waves, the Mediterranean stretch near Guadiaro is the place to go for snorkelling and diving. If you like your sport with a little less adrenalin, the National Parks in the Bay of Cádiz and Laguna de Fuente de Piedra near El Rompido are perfect for bird-spotting, nature hikes and wildlife walks. If you would rather practice your swing, there are a number of established golf courses along the coast. Or if you like to amble through breathtaking mountain scenery on horseback, try a horse-riding trek.

Beach Scene on Costa De La LuzSun, sea and sand

Most of the Costa de la Luz is beach and if you go at the right time of year, you may just get a secluded spot all to yourself. The busiest time of year is July and August when the locals from Huelva and Seville descend on the beaches to soak up the summer sun. The rest of the year the beaches are less crowded. Popular beach towns to visit are Isla Cristina, La Antilla, El Rompido, Punta Umbria and Matalascañas. The beaches along the Cadiz stretch are a little more windswept but are well worth a visit with stunning coves, towering cliffs and quaint fishing villages. Visit Conil de la Frontera, Caños de Meca, Zahara de los Atunes, Bolonia and Valdevaqueros in Tarifa.

Spanish style 

Building regulations have preserved the natural beauty of the coast. The Costa de la Luz is not as developed as the Costa del Sol. The smaller towns and villages along the coast and in the mountains still live by Spanish customs and traditions.

Seafood is something of a speciality in the region and the catch of the day is caught fresh by local fishermen.

There is no shortage of history in Cádiz with museums, architecture and a fiesta (carnival) in February. Just half an hour up the road is Jerez de la Frontera, where you can sample the sherry from its sherry bodegas (cellars). Jerez de la Frontera also has a rich equestrian heritage. If you feel like a night on the tiles, Andalucía is the birthplace of flamenco.

Favourite haunts

Blown away

The wind capital of the Costa del Luz is Tarifa, the perfect spot for some serious surfing. At night, you can explore the Moorish style of the medina (old city town) of this remote fishing town complete with its own strategic military fortress. Marbella it is not but it is still a popular destination amongst backpackers with party places open until dawn and a laid-back vibe.

Gourmet heaven

The local cuisine in Cádiz is influenced by Roman, Phoenician and Moorish flavours. Try a tapas (small dishes of local meat, vegetables and fish) treat in the old town's fishing district, the Plaza del Tio de la Tiza. Or you can feast on the house speciality of seafood a la sal (salted fish) at El Faro, one of the region's most elegant restaurants. You cannot visit Cádiz without sampling Pescadito Frito (fried fish Cádiz-style). Finish off your culinary tour of Cádiz with an exquisite cheese and a glass of sherry from nearby Jerez.

Plaza De Espana Facade, Sevilla, Andalucia, SpainCulture vulture

Said to be created by Hercules, Seville lies on the banks of the River Guadalquivir. It is one of the oldest urban centres in Europe. Seville has historic links with the Tartessian civilisation, the Romans and the Moors and is reflected in the abundance of art and architecture, museums and monuments. No trip to Seville would be complete without a visit to the Alcázar Palace, the minaret of La Giralda, the Fine Arts Museum and La Maestranza bullring. Seville is not only famous for its cultural sites, its warmth and hospitality are on display at the Fería de Abril, a week-long festival of food, drink and dance with amazing equestrian displays and gypsy flamenco dancers!

Getting to Andalucia

Travelling by plane You can fly to either Seville or Jerez de la Frontera (near Tarifa) and travel to other Costa de la Luz destinations from there. Fly to Seville from: London Stansted, Liverpool and Dublin with Ryanair; from Dublin with Aer Lingus; and from London Gatwick with Clickair. You may also find flights with BA and Iberia. Fly to Jerez from: London Stansted with Ryanair; and from Manchester with Thomas Cook Airlines and Monarch Scheduled. If you want a cheap flight, there are plenty available to Malaga in neighbouring Costa del Sol -if you are at the east end of the Costa de la Luz then transfers from here may be more convenient. For more information visit, www.flightmapping.com/Europe/Spain.

Travelling by train 

It is very easy to get to Spain by train. The best hub to travel to on the Costa de la Luz is Seville. You can take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then take an overnight train to Madrid. Once in Madrid, it is a two-hour train ride to Seville. The last leg of the route is beautiful as the train travels through the mountains. Once in Seville, you can travel on to other parts of the Costa de la Luz or just enjoy the sights and sounds Seville has to offer. For Spanish train connections visit www.seat61.com/Spain.htm and www.raileurope.co.uk.

Andalucia travel information

For more information and holiday ideas visit, www.spain.info and www.andalucia.com/costa-de-la-luz.

Guidebooks are a useful source of ideas, suggestions and travel tips: The Rough Guide to Andalucia Lonely Planet's Andalucia Regional Guide Time Out Seville and Andalucía

Travel insurance

More than 17 million British travellers visit Spain every year (Source: Foreign & Commonwealth Office). Popular tourist areas like beaches, markets, bars, nightclubs and resorts attract criminals on the look out for an easy target. So take care of yourself and your possessions at all times and do not put yourself in a vulnerable position whilst under the influence of alcohol. Before you set off on your Andalucían adventure, ensure you have adequate travel insurance that covers your personal possessions and the destinations you are travelling to. There is a range of travel insurance options to choose from to suit your needs. Most travel insurance companies offer quick and easy travel insurance quotes online. For a travel insurance quote and more information about the types of travel insurance available from Direct Line, visit www.directline.com/travel/welcome.htm.


Return to Spain home page  -  Costa de la Luz Self-Catering

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Latest update: May 11, 2012