Costa de La Luz

Photo of Costa de La Luz

About Costa de La Luz

Sandwiched between Portugal's Algarve and the Costa del Sol, it is 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 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. Atop 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.

What not to miss:

  • As the 'windsurfing capital of Europe' it would be rude to not to give this a try.
  • Spend lazy days on the large swathes of white sand beaches.
  • Explore La Rábida, the monastery from which Columbus set sail on his 1492 journey to America.
  • Spot indigenous and migratory birds in Coto Doñana National Park.
  • Spend a day in the largely untouristy Tarifa and discover its North African influences.

With so much on offer many of the best places to stay in the Cost de la Luz are quickly snapped up so plan ahead and book early.

The best places to stay in the Costa de la Luz

Tarifa

[image id="ef3b1ace559a316718c468da3ae1d641" size="600x442" alt="Tarifa"]

On the furthest tip of Spain, Tarifa is the gateway to the Costa de La Luz and Andalusia's last stop before Morocco. 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.

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. The pristine beaches along the coast are protected.

  • If you want to stay within the walls of a historic old town, one of the best places to stay 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 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 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 which is set in lush sub-tropical gardens. The location also makes for easy access to sporting activities like sailing, riding, golf and surfing.
  • Misiana is a chic little hotel in the historic centre of Tarifa. Creamy rooms with light wood floors and lots of natural light. There are fantastic sea views from the rooftop and a good restaurant.
  • One of the liveliest and most sporting spots in Tarifa Beach Hotel Arte Vida is a funky hotel on the beach front with a surf club, nightly DJ and charming rooms.
  • Hotel el Escondite del Viento is a 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.

Zahara de los Atunes

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

This is a great destination if seafood is your thing.

  • The Hotel Gran Sol is a classic beach resort boasting an enviable location with sunny white washed rooms with large windows and private balconies.

Cadiz

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 and the Atlantic crashes gustily at the crumbling sea wall.

There's plenty of energy in the locals who are known for their ironic Carnival and cheerful flamenco songs. There's plenty to see and do here for people who appreciate history or 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 and that's part of the pleasure. 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 worldly.

Many of the streets here are too narrow for cars, so it's peaceful out and about in the squares for appreciating the excellent food and wine.

  • 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 are original features to appreciate, a roof terrace jacuzzi to relax in, and on a good day, views all the way to Morocco.
  • Hotel Sindhura is a simple, modern hotel with traditional architecture. Good value and set in open fields with magnificent panoramic ocean views. There's easy access to endless sun kissed beaches and plenty to keep the active entertained.
  • La Casa del Califa is a small charming hotel with a strong Moorish influence in the heart of Medieval Vejer de la Frontera.
  • Find lots of natural light shining through beautiful balconies and flag stoned courtyards in this relaxed hotel in the old town of Vejer de la Frontera. Siete Balcones is a chic and, unexpectedly, cheap destination for a romantic get-away or beach holiday.
  • A renovated farmhouse turned luxury small hotel, perfectly placed for a fiesta of activities from golf to art classes. Casa la Siesta is 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.

Sanlúcar de Barrameda

Sanlucar is located at the northern point of the "sherry triangle" and is a must-visit for any foodie. The bodegas are famous for their distinctive Manzanilla, which boasts a dry, almost salty flavour, and the seafood here is second to none.

  • The Posada de Palacio is a 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.

Zahora

Zahora's main draw is its huge sandy beach that stretches for some 3km.

  • Hotel Arohaz is a small property in the centre of the village with six comfortable bedrooms, and a small salt water pool in the garden. Plus there's an excellent Michelin recommended restaurant specialising in local cuisine. It's great value too, with rooms from just €60 per night.
  • Casa Francisco el de Siempre is a restaurant with rooms just down the coast in El Palamar. Its twelve simple rooms offer unfussy accommodation and you're stumbling distance from the beach.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.

Travel information

  • Fly to Seville Airport, the closest to Costa de la Luz, and all towns are within driving distance. The airport at Jerez de la Frontera is less than 30km from Cádiz.
  • Best time to visit - Situated on Spain's most southerly tip, the Costa de la Luz is warm, yet windy all year round. Go in autumn when it is less humid.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos for the best prices.

Best Hotels in Costa de La Luz