Costa de La Luz

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Though sandwiched between Portugal's Algarve and the Costa del Sol, it's possible you've never heard of the Costa de la Luz. Is this the plain bit of coastline between two spectacular bits? Not at all! This is the bit the locals have been keeping to themselves. Probably because it's peaceful and beautiful, and operates on a slow time which not all international visitors can appreciate. For these reasons the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz may not have registered on your radar yet.

This is a landscape of wide, sandy beaches rolling into dunes and pine forests. And atop of the hills are the pueblo blancos - the whitewashed towns dating back from a time when Moorish culture thrived here.

As well as the sand and the towns, the light here is white too. And the wind is romantically unpredictable and powerful.

Drive down in July and you'll see row upon row of cars with Spanish number plates packed to the gills heading for the Costa de la Luz. But if you visit in September you'll be one of the few cherished end of season guests and get all the pleasure with less scorching temperatures

Best places to stay in the Costa de La Luz


On the furthest tip of Spain, Tarifa is the gateway to the Costa de La Luz. And Andalusia's last stop before Morocco. And if you want to experience the North African influences of the region this is one of the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz. From the Moroccan fusion food to the architecture, to the wind itself.

But one of the best things about this whitewashed, laid back Andalusian town is that it's been largely overlooked by the mass tourism inflicted on nearby Costa del Sol. And much of Tarifa's adjacent coastline, and the pristine beaches along it, is still protected.

  • If you want to stay within the walls of a historic old town, one of the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz is Dar Cilla. These self catering apartments grouped around a single courtyard are also perfect for families or groups. They all have their own entrances, and access to the roof terrace. And they're all decorated in individualised North African decor.
  • La Sacristia is ideal if you're looking for reasonably priced elegance. The rooms are simple, but luxurious, and the courtyard is an excellent place to breakfast and relax. It's also considered a good option for kitesurfers.
  • Book the Hotel Hurricane if you want to be right on the beach. On a clear day you can see Africa from the pool, set in lush sub-tropical gardens. The location also makes it great for access to sporting activities like sailing, riding, golf and surfing, making this one of the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz for active families.

Zahara de los Atunes

This small white town was once a tuna fishing hub, but it's now more famous for its soft white sands and winds which can really get going.

One of the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz for kite surfers and windsurfers, this is also a nice place to visit of an evening, when all the tiny seafood restaurants start to fill. They haven't forgotten their fishing roots, and this is still a great destination if seafood is your thing.


Cadiz is an old prince, now in his fourth millennia, and thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe.

The historic heart of town is almost completely surrounded by water now, and the Atlantic crashes gustily at the crumbling sea wall.

But there's plenty of energy in the locals, who're known for their ironic Carnival and their cheerful flamenco songs. There's plenty to see and do here for people who appreciate history, and this is probably one of the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz for people who like shelter from the midday sun in cool churches.

  • The Hotel Argantonio is the hotel we'd choose if you want to be in the heart of old Cadiz. The decor feels more like Havana than Andalusia, but that's part of the pleasure, and each room reflects a different part of the city's impressive history.

Vejer de la Frontera

Vejer's beauty is apparent on the drive up to the town. As you enter you'll be charmed by the winding, narrow streets and the Moorish influence to the architecture, which makes the place feel exotic and other world-y.

Many of the streets here are too narrow for cars, so it's peaceful out and about on the squares for appreciating the excellent food and wine. This is one of the best destinations on the Costa de la Luz for those seeking a historic setting.

  • Beautifully decorated in a stunning setting, the Hotel V is one of the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz if you're looking for luxury. There's original features to appreciate, a roof terrace jacuzzi to relax in, and on a good day, views all the way to Morocco.

El Rocio

El Rocio is one of the best places to stain on the Costa de la Luz if you're here to explore the Coto Donana National Park. Thirty kilometres of white virgin sand backed by a wetland reserve which is one of the major stop off points of numerous international bird migrations.

El Rocio is also the venue for one of the world's most unusual pilgrimages - a pilgrimage to the Wild West to commemorate the discovery of an effigy of the Virgin Mary here in the 13th Century.

It looks like the set of a western, but apparently El Rocio exported many cowboy cliches to Texas and not the other way round.

There are still as many horses on the roads as cars, and plenty of the houses, with their wide brimmed verandahs, still have their own hitching post. So this is probably one of the best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz if you're looking for a totally unique holiday experience!

  • Close to the National Park, Posada de Palacio is one to book if you're coming for birdwatching. But it's also our recommendation if you're interested in visiting the region's sherry bodegas. Decorated with antiques and curios collected by the owners, this places is rambling and quirky in a wonderfully Andalusian way.

Still not sure which property is for you? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay on the Costa de la Luz, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively check out all our recommendations in Andalucia.

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The best hotels in Costa de La Luz

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  • Posada de Palacio, Sanlúcar de Barrameda

    Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Costa de La Luz

    Rambling and quirky Andalucian pousada full of collected antiques and curios. Tiled courtyards, large reception rooms, white-washed walls, airy and spacious wooden-beamed bedrooms. A characterful spot with a large sun terrace and proximity to the beach.

    34 rooms from $67
    Value chic  -  Set in an beautiful 18th-century palace, with lovely Andalusian-style courtyars and only minutes from the beach.
    Local markets  -  Visit the local food market Mercado de Abastos, a colourful and fascinating sight.
    Sights nearby  -  Just a few minutes walk from the Castillo de Santiago, well worth checking out.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
  • Misiana


    A chic little hotel in the historic centre of Tarifa. Creamy rooms with light wood floors and lots of natural light. Fantastic sea views from the rooftop and a good restaurant. Great value, ideal for a sporty beach holiday.

    15 rooms from $73
    Beach Life
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Value chic
    Active Holiday
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
  • La Sacristia


    A stylish and elegant hotel just outside the old town. Luxurious, but simple rooms and suites - and apartments dotted around the old town in case you're looking for flexibility. A divine courtyard to have breakfasts in. A great spot to relax in after a hard day kite surfing.

    10 rooms from $84
    Watersports  -  Tarifa is famous for its kite surfing.
    Beach nearby
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • Hotel Hurricane

    Tarifa, Cadiz, Costa de La Luz

    Wonderful, relaxed beachside hotel in sub-tropical gardens, with views to Africa from the pool. Simple rooms with terracotta colours and white washed walls. Easy access to sporting activities. Ideal for families.

    33 rooms from $86
    Value chic  -  Moorish-style hotel right on the beach in Tarifa, with an excellent restaurant serving homemade pastas and a small pool.
    Kayaking  -  Sea kayaks are available at the fitness center, a great way to explore the coast from another perspective.
    Surfing  -  The beach in front of the hotel is a renowned surfing spot, complete with surf school.
    Full of character
  • Hotel Sindhura

    La Muela, Vejer de la Frontera, Costa de La Luz

    Simple, modern hotel with traditional architecture. Good value, set in open fields with magnificent panoramic ocean views. Easy access to endless sun kissed beaches. Plenty to keep the active entertained otherwise lie back and relax in complete tranquility.

    14 rooms from $87
    Beach Life  -  Stunning beaches of white sand offer surfing, wind surfing, diving and sailing, as well as spectacular sunset strolls.
    Total relaxation  -  A wonderfully tranquil Andulician rural abode, relax and recharge by the pool and wander the lush gardens.
    Sailing  -  All along the Costa de la Luz there are excellent marinas, and many places where you can hire boats or book sailing lessons.
    Surfing  -  Just a few minutes from the hotel is El Palmar beach with some of Spain's best surf.
  • Beach Hotel Arte Vida


    One of the liveliest and most sporting spots in Tarifa. A funky hotel on the beach front with its own surf club, nightly DJ, and charming rooms. A hotspot for sports enthusiasts and families.

    11 rooms from $95
    Watersports  -  Tarifa beach is the best for kitesurfing in Europe.
    Lively  -  The hotel is Tarifa's hot spot for surfers.
    Active Holiday  -  The hotel has its own surf centre.
    Sights nearby  -  Roman Ruins of Baelio Claudia, Tangiers only 40 mins away.
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
  • Siete Balcones

    Cádiz, Costa de La Luz

    Lots of natural light shines through beautiful balconies and flag stoned courtyards in this relaxed hotel in the old town of Vejer de la Frontera. White washed walls compliment authentic decoration. A chic and, unexpectedly, cheap destination for a romantic get-away or beach holiday.

    4 rooms from $101
    Honeymoons  -  For a budget honeymoon - cheap and chic, and breakfast where and when you want it!
    Active Holiday  -  Very close to many sporting activities.
    Town  -  In the old town.
    Less £
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
  • Dar Cilla


    Individually furnished self-catering apartments on the outskirts of the old town of Tarifa with a shared roof terrace and magnificent views across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco.

    8 rooms from $101
    Full of character
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays, CN Traveller
  • Hotel El Escondite Del Viento


    Funky design hotel with colourful rooms in the Old Town of hip and happening Tarifa. Light rooms have large windows, high ceilings and modern bathrooms. The best rooms have terraces. The perfect amalgamation of old and new. Ideally situated for exploring the town or hitting the beach.

    8 rooms from $101
    Value chic  -  A stylish hotel in the heart of Tarifa's old quarter, under ten minutes from the beach with great views and artistic interiors.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the Castle of Guzmán el Bueno and San Mateo Church.
    Great walks  -  Wander around the winding lanes of Tarifa's old quarter.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • La Casa del Califa

    Vejer de la frontera

    Small charming hotel with a strong Moorish influence in the heart of Medieval Vejer de la Frontera. White washed light rooms with standout local art. Stone vaulted dining room and a lush garden courtyard. Stunning views and cocktails from the rooftop bar. Ideally situated to explore the local area.

    20 rooms from $103
    Romantic Break  -  Charming rooms filled with North African artefacts, a rooftop bar with spectacular views and award winning cuisine.
    Local exploring  -  The hilltop town of Vejer is the perfect base for exploring the beaches and mountains of Cádiz province.
    Surfing  -  Southern Spain’s best surf beach is just a ten minute drive away, well worth checking out.
    Great walks  -  Wander through the ancient and picturesque town to the lovely beaches of Cadiz.
  • Escondrijo

    Costa De La Luz, Costa de La Luz

    This boutique B&B is not just any B&B, rather it is a magnificent collection of three elegant suites with private balconies and 20 mile views. French windows, stone steps, beautiful sitting room, rooftop terrace. Ideal for a family holiday, secluded romantic break, or a large group.

    3 rooms from $133
    Suites  -  Suites only.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Beach nearby
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
  • Hotel Argantonio


    Renovated and tranquil hotel in Mozarabic style, full of character. Andaluz, rustic or colonial styled rooms with terracotta hues, Moroccan-style hand-carved arches and wooden beams. Fantastic traditional buffet style breakfasts. Close to the beach and ideal for local exploring.

    15 rooms from $135
    City Style  -  A charming hotel in the heart of the city, featuring an uniquely eclectic and interesting decor style rich in history.
    Great walks  -  A great way to see Cádiz are the theatrical guided tours, full of fun and information.
    Sailing  -  If you have a week to spare there are fantastic sailing courses in the local harbour.
    Fishing  -  For all those angelers, the hotel will happily arrange deep sea fishing trips.
  • Hotel V

    Vejer de la frontera

    This beautifully decorated hotel oozes boutique luxury. An eclectic combination of Goan antiques, original features, and contemporary muted hues. The roof top terrace, with jacuzzi, is the piece de resistance with its views across wild plains and towards Moroccan shores. Relaxation in style.

    12 rooms from $156
    City Style  -  Although Vejer is not a city, this hotel is so stylish it deserves noting.
    Views  -  Views to Morocco on a clear day, and over the surrouning plains.
    Spa breaks
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
  • Casa La Siesta

    Cadiz Province, Costa de La Luz

    This renovated farmhouse turned luxury small hotel is perfectly placed for a fiesta of activities, from golf to art classes. Set in acres of grounds with unspoilt views, it is the perfect place for a couple to snooze by the pool and dine on delicious, fresh local produce in the evenings.

    7 rooms from $219
    Active Holiday
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Sawdays
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