Costa de la luz
Spain’s “Coast of Light” and gateway to Morocco"
The Costa de la Luz (“Coast of Light”), is a spectacular part of the Andalusian coast, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. A paradise for water sports, nature lovers and those who would like a taste of Africa, if only for a day!
It begins at the southern town of Tarifa and stretches along the coasts of Cadiz and Huelva to the mouth of the Guadiana River. The beautiful beaches are blessed with soft golden sand, lapped by a gentle azure sea, and backed by hills of fragrant umbrella pine forests.
The coast´s history dates back to 12 B.C., and a small ruin of a Roman City still exists which you can see, as well as the famous Cape Trafalgar, made famous by Horatio Nelson´s defeat of the combined French and Spanish fleet. There is also a monastery – La Rabida in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva) where Columbus asked for help from the Franciscan Brothers for his voyages of discovery.
Through them he eventually met King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella who gave him royal patronage to assist with his adventures.
These beaches, in Southwest Spain coupled with the wonderful scenery are becoming more and more popular with foreign visitors. This part of the coast and the surrounding areas are particularly attractive because of the beauty of its protected nature reserves and natural attractions. Included in these are the world famous Doñana National Park.
Also included is Barbate with its salt marches, and La Breña´s stunning cliff-sides, which both lie in the La Brena y Marismas del Barbate National Park. The rivers Tinto and Odiel offer up a wide variety of water fowl and migratory birds in season for keen bird watchers.
Most of the activities in this area are related to the beautiful beaches, surfing, kitesurfing, boating and other water sports combine seductively with golf, horse riding, fine dining and natural peace.
The Most Southern Point of the European Continent
Tarifa is probably the best known town and beach on the Costa de la Luz. With stunning views across the Straits of Gibraltar towards Morroco, it is the most southern point of the European continent.
There are debates about the origin of its name, some claim it was named as it was the first port in history to charge a port “tariff”, others that it was named after the Berber military commander Tarif inb Malik in 710.
If you would like a taste of North Africa, even if only for a day, a regular ferry service runs between Tarifa and Tangier and it is possible to spend time browsing the fascinating souks and markets of Tangier, filled with scent of spices and orange water, leather goods and ceramics.
You can sample the delicious and refreshing Morrocon mint tea whilst watching the world, or allowing one of the shopkeepers to show you his wares
Tangier was made famous by the many film stars, cosmopolitan writers and artists who found the city fascinating during the last century, and many of the hotels they enjoyed are still yours to visit.
If you like the beach, wind or kite surfing and natural surroundings, the Costa de la Luz is definitely for you. There are strong winds from the Straits of Gibraltar, which is why it is a fabulous spot for any wind sports, and the hills are dotted with wind turbines which provide substantial wind power for the area, but are set high enough on the mountains not to ruin the natural landscape.
Alternatively, why not take the chance to go whale and dolphin watching in the Straits or look out for storks and other migrating birds which can be seen crossing to Africa, usually in Spring and Autumn.
If you would like to experience the Costa de la Luz, Tarifa, or indeed Morroco, contact us, we will be pleased to help.