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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Spain & its Islands > Andalucía > Costa de la Luz

Costa de la Luz

Spain's Southernmost Reaches
 
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided, two-centre walk
  • long sandy beaches backed by dunes
  • walk and explore at leisure with a hire car
  • fascinating history
  • opportunities for bird-spotting

The Costa de la Luz derives its name from the clarity of the light (luz ) which paints the succession of sandy beaches sweeping down to Tarifa, mainland Europe’s most southerly point, to such good effect. However, it could equally be called the Coast of Encounters, for it is here that the Atlantic’s waves converge with the Mediterranean’s calmer waters; Spanish and Moorish cultures fuse; and Europe and Africa come as close as they ever do to meeting.

You don’t expect North Africa to be that close, but there it is, not a hazy smudge on the horizon, but tall mountains just across the sea from Tarifa. It’s a constant reminder of how and why Andalucía’s history and culture came to be inextricably linked with those of North Africa.
     
James Keane, Inntravel

Phoenician and Roman fishermen, Moorish conquerors, Barbary pirates, and the British Navy under Nelson have all sailed these blustery seas, while bluefin tuna, several species of whale and dolphin, and surfers, drawn by the waves whipped up by the Levante and Poniente winds, are still regular visitors. On dry land, there are historic whitewashed towns, Roman remains and ancient watchtowers, plus the sand dunes, pine woods and wetlands of two natural parks to explore at leisure either on foot or with your hire car. If you are travelling between March and May or September and October, bring your binoculars, as the spring and autumn migrations bring numerous species of bird to the area, including many raptors, and you can also join a whale-watching trip from Tarifa. One other great feature of the region which you can experience all year round is the cuisine, strongly influenced by that of Morocco and often incorporating locally caught tuna, mackerel and sardines.

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Spain
 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 15 15 16 18 20 24 27 27 25 21 18 16
mm 113 101 79 66 40 19 4 5 20 68 130 130

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

A feature of this coastline at any time of year is the wind, which can blow in from the west (Poniente) or the east (Levante), so pack a windproof jacket.