Costa de la Luz: a hidden beach holiday gem
Seaside resort:
Costa de La Luz

Costa de la Luz in brief


Visit Costa de la Luz for surfing, beautiful beaches, sherry, Andalusian cuisine, lively festivals, traditional villages and unspoilt natural scenery.


South-west Spain

Nearest airport:

Jerez, Seville and Gibraltar

Key resorts & areas:

Isla Cristina, Punta Umbria, Matalascañas, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Chipiona, Rota, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz, Chiclana de la Frontera, Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes, Tarifa

Major sights & activities:

Windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing, historical sightseeing, sherry tasting, walled city of Cadiz

Best time to go

June to September; July and August is the peak season

Did you know?

Costa de la Luz translates into Coast of Light - rather appropriate considering there are 300 days of guaranteed sunshine in the region each year.


Beach holidays in Costa de la Luz


The Costa de la Luz is the section of the Spanish coastline that faces on to the Atlantic, stretching from Tarifa in the south up to the Guadiana River and the border with Portugal.

It’s not as developed as other parts of the Spanish coast, making for some wonderfully traditional beach holidays. Historical attractions abound in the region, particularly in Cadiz, which also forms part of a ‘sherry triangle’ with neighbouring destinations.

These are some of the highlights of a beach getaway to Spain’s Costa de la Luz, starting at the northernmost point:


Isla Cristina

Isla Cristina’s name comes from the fact that it used to be an island. Located close to the Portuguese border, the resort has numerous beaches, including Playa Central (the main beach), Playa Punta del Caimán-Isla de la Gaviotas and Playa del Hoyo. Other highlights of the destination include its fresh seafood and its windsurfing opportunities.


Punta Umbria

Punta Umbria is a hugely popular resort near a significant nature reserve and boasts several beaches and a lively nightlife. The main beach is a 3.8 km urban beach, Playa de Punta Umbria, with other beaches including Playa de la Bota and Playa de la Mata Negra.



This is a popular resort near the Parque Nacional de Donaña. It has a 40 km beach, Playa de Castilla, which is also nicely wide. The main sections of the beach include the town beach and Torre de la Higuera. There are lots of good fish restaurants to try, as well as a marine museum.


Sanlucar de Barrameda

Sanlucar de Barrameda is the place to go if you love seafood, as its specialities include manzanilla wine and king prawns that are renowned throughout the region. The area’s beaches include the main beach Calzada, Bajo de Guia and Bonanza.



Chipiona boasts long white sand beaches, the tallest lighthouse in Spain (and the third tallest in the world) and a 12th century castle. Sailing, golf and surfing are just a few of the activities visitors can enjoy here.



Rota is located just a little way down the coast from Chipiona and has 16 km of beaches, including Playa de la Costilla, Playa de la Ballena, Rompidillo and Punta Candor, which all have Blue Flags. Historical buildings and markets offer other attractions to enjoy.


El Puerto de Santa Maria

El Puerto de Santa Maria is a popular resort with 16 km of beaches, including Levante in the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park and Santa Catalina, La Puntilla and El Aculadero on the other side of the river. The area has a rich history reflected by attractions like the Royal Bullring and the castle of San Marcos.



Cadiz is a famous walled city that also has some excellent beaches. These include Playa de la Victoria - which is especially popular with the locals - and La Caleta, as well as Santa Maria del Mar, Cortadura and El Chato. The sights and activities in Cadiz are endless - the cathedral, Roman theatre and various museums are all worth visiting, while volleyball and body-boarding are some of the things to do.


Chiclana de la Frontera

Chiclana de la Frontera is a popular resort with lots of history and culture - but be aware that the beaches are located around 7 km from the town near Sancti Petri. Both the resort and the beaches are well worth a visit, however - the sand is fine and one of the best beaches on the Andalusian coast, Barrosa, can be found here.



Barbate is known for its beautiful beaches and ample water sports. Beach highlights include Playa del Carmen with its long promenade and windsurfing facilities, while Caños de Meca has cliffs and natural caves to explore. There are many other activities thanks to the town’s location in the La Breña y Marismas de Barbate Natural Park, including cycling, mountain pursuits and hiking.


Zahara de los Atunes

While it’s part of Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes is famous in its own right for its beach, Playa de Zahara de Los Atunes, which comprises over 6 km of unspoilt sand. Sailing and windsurfing are on offer here and the destination is generally perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.



Tarifa is a mecca for surfers thanks to the winds that blow in from the Atlantic, and is also known for its flashes of Moroccan culture and food. The beaches are some of the best in the region and include the 5 km Valdevaqueros beach and the 10 km white sand Playa de los Lances.





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