Average temperatures and rainfall in the Costa de la Luz
Temp °C
Rainy Days
January
17
7
February
17
6
March
18
6
April
20
6
May
21
4
June
25
3
July
28
2
August
30
1
September
25
3
October
25
7
November
20
6
December
17
6
   

For a map of the Costa de la Luz visit our Map for villas in Costa de la Luz page – the link will open in a new window.

Spain unpackaged

Zoe Leeson, of costa-luz-holiday.com, uncovers the lesser-known Spanish holiday destination.

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costa de la luz villas and beaches

Costa de la Luz long sandy beaches, perfect for a family villa holiday.

Villa holidays in the
Costa de la Luz

This area of long, sandy beaches and stunning sunsets stretches from Tarifa, the southernmost point of mainland Spain, right up to the Portuguese border and the start of the Algarve.

Costa de la Luz villas and beaches

The bright, clear Atlantic light is what gives the Costa de la Luz – the Coast of Light – its name. And it’s the ocean influence that makes the beaches here different. Kept clean by Atlantic tides, their sand is finer and more golden than on the neighbouring Costa del Sol. Most are long, straight and backed by low cliffs or sand dunes and pines.

Catering mostly for Spanish holidaymakers and independent travellers from the rest of Europe, the area has escaped the package-based mass tourism seen elsewhere in Spain, and as a result there is almost no high-rise hotel development.

The temperatures are slightly milder than on Spain’s Mediterranean coasts, which can be a blessing in high summer, while the often strong Atlantic winds and waves are loved by wind surfers and surfboarders.

Selecting an area for your villa holiday

River Guadalquivir

River Guadalquivir

The Costa de la Luz falls into two provinces, divided by the mighty River Guadalquivir. The stretch from the Portuguese border to the Donaña park and the Guadalquivir is in Huelva Province, and from there to Tarifa, near Gibraltar, is in the province of Cádiz. They really are two separate halves, because unless you’ve got a boat, getting from one to the other involves a long drive via Seville.

Ryanair has daily flights from Stansted to Jerez de la Frontera, which as the home of sherry is a fascinating destination in its own right, but now also very much the gateway to the Cádiz part of the costa. Other possible points of entry are the airports at Seville and Gibraltar, or even Málaga on the Costa del Sol.

The Huelva coast
This bit of coastline is almost unknown to British visitors, but there are beautiful golden sands and small seaside towns devoted to national tourism. If you can find a villa here, you will certainly be far from the lager louts. This section is most easily reached from Seville airport (Ryanair flies there daily from Stansted and twice a week from Liverpool, and Clickair has daily flights from Gatwick), or from Faro in Portugal.

Starting in the west, where Ayamonte faces Portugal across the Guadiana river, the main resorts are Isla Canela, the new development at Islantilla, La Antilla, El Rompido and Punta Umbria. The city of Huelva is worth a visit, to retrace the footsteps of Columbus at the monastery of La Rábida, while Mazagón has an interesting marina and eroded sandstone cliffs. Matalascañas has an enormous beach of fine sand and is an entry point for tours of the Coto de Doñana National Park, the most important reserve for wading birds in Europe.

Cádiz and the eastern section
Most visitors, however, head for the eastern section of the Costa de la Luz, in the province of Cádiz. Travelling from north to south, the first town is Sanlúcar de Barrameda with its golden sands overlooking the Guadalquivir and Donaña National Park. There are more excellent beaches further south, around the small villages of Chipiona and Rota. The town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, in the bay of Cádiz, is famous for its restaurants, where you can enjoy succulent local seafood washed down with chilled dry Manzanilla sherry.

Cape Trafalgar

Cape Trafalgar

The historic walled city of Cádiz is built on a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a beach-lined isthmus. South of the golf at Sancti Petri, the coastline becomes more rugged, dominated by coves and cliffs often backed by pine forests. The best are located just to the north of the fishing town of Barbate, and are protected in the cliffs and pinewood of Barbate Natural Park. Don't miss the 'trendy' coastal villages of Conil de la Frontera, Caños de Meca, and Zahara de los Atunes, not forgetting Vejer, the fortified hilltop white village 10km inland. History buffs could stroll to the lighthouse at the Cape of Trafalgar, at the western end of Caños de Meca beach, and another interesting outing is to the Roman ruins of Bella, near the isolated cove of Bolonia, with its beach protected by rocky headlands.

The south
Further south is Tarifa, the windsurfing capital of Europe. The best beaches for wind and kite surfing are Playa Los Lances and Playa Valdevaqueros, to the north of the town. After that comes the industrial town and ferry port of Algeciras, facing across the bay to Gibraltar.