ANDALUCIACOSTA DE LA LUZ
Andalucia - Costa de la Luz. This is quintessential Spain!
This is the area where Spanish culture originated – flamenco, fiesta, bullfighting, sherry – ‘manzanilla’ bars. It has a Moorish flavour, rolling countryside and
magnificent sandy beaches. In addition it enjoys ‘light fantastic’ (the most sunlight in Spain) and memorable sunsets.
For more information on places of interest and the surrounding area, please visit these websites via the links below.http://www.cadizturismo.comhttp://www.andalucia.org
It is the southernmost tip of Europe where East meets West. Africa is clearly visible across the narrow Straits of Gibraltar.
The Moorish influence is most apparent in the architecture and culture of the area. However, traditional Spain and style is evident in the winding streets, inner courtyards and wrought-iron work of the attractive little towns.
Take a drive past the extensive ‘fincas’ of sunflowers, wheatfields, vineyards and windmills to the pretty old ‘pueblos blancos’, such as Vejer, Medina Sidonia and Arcos de la Frontera. These are perched high on the hilltops commanding spectacular views.
Plaza de Espana Vejer
Jerez known for its ‘sherry bodegas’, famous riding school, flamenco school and Moorish Alcazar. The ‘open bus’ tour is recommended too.
Cadiz is a cultural gem, set on an isthmus, surrounded by sea and steeped in history. It has ancient walls, a cathedral, elegant squares, theatre and old quarter full of atmospheric streets to wander through. Strolling along the waterfront is a memorable experience. The Spanish Armada sailed from Cadiz, also Sir Francis Drake sacked Cadiz in 1587, hence the expression ‘singeing the King of Spain’s beard’. Also the Spanish and French fleets sailed from Cadiz to nearby Cape Trafalgar to engage in the famous ‘Battle of Trafalgar’.
Seville renowned for the Giralda, Moorish architecture, Alcazar and gardens, La Maestranza bullring, plazas, theatres, parks with horse-drawn carriages and delightful atmospheric little squares with restaurants.
Cape Trafalgar where the imposing lighthouse stands between extensive sandy beaches, evoking memories of the historic battle.
The Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia of Bologna set back from the dunes of a stunning beach. It is an impressive archaelogical site.
Roman ruins in Bolonia
Tarifa is an attractive little ‘walled’ Moorish town with lots of atmosphere. Take a boat from here and go ‘whale watching’ in the Straits of Gibraltar, or jump aboard a hydrofoil to Morocco. Tarifa’s beach is 'kite' and‘wind surfers’ paradise - the Wind Surfing World Championships are held here.
Gibraltar cross the border and explore the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ famous for its cable car and monkeys. Don’t forget your passport! Alternatively take a ‘dolphin watching’ trip or go sailing from the marina.
Sanlucar which is situated on the River Guadalquiver is an attractive town in itself. It is famous for its ‘manzanilla’, also sea food, fish and ‘fiestas’!
Old ‘pueblos blancos’ – Vejer, Medina Sidonia and Arcos de la Frontera
These are pretty, old, traditional white towns built high up on rock ‘outcrops’ offering panoramic views. They are all atmospheric Spanish towns, with winding cobbled streets, old churches, wrought iron grilles on the houses with charming inner courtyards abundant with flowers. Authentic little cafes and bars add to the ambience.
Nb. The Duke of Medina Sidonia led the fleet of the Spanish Armada.
Experience a 'jeep safari' or a leisurely river trip up the River Guadalquivir to the Cota Donana to view flamingos and wildlife. This is a national park famous for its ecosystem, situated near Sanlucar.
If it is activities you want, Montenmedio has a beautiful golf course and riding school set in acres of country park. This is known for several prestigious events. Golf courses can also be found in nearby Novo Sancti Petri, where there is also a riding school and sports centre. Try horse-riding along the lengthy ‘Barrosa’ sandy beach! There are tennis courts nearby in Roche. Otherwise you can hire bikes, go surfing or try wind/kite surfing in Tarifa. There is sailing in Old Sancti Petri and Gibraltar.
‘Fiestas’ abound in this part of Spain – any excuse to party! These are colourful events where the locals dress in traditional Spanish costumes and dress the horses in flowers, culminating in fire-work displays. The ‘feria de abril’ during ‘Semana Santa’ (Easter week), is of particular interest, especially in Seville. It is worth checking the local ‘fiesta’ dates.
Experience true ‘flamenco’ dancing, singing and guitar in the local clubs.
Sample sipping ‘ice-cold manzanilla’ with ‘tapas’ in the specialist bars, or maybe witness a bullfight in El Puerto de Santa Maria.
The Costa de la Luz is a well-kept secret, essentially Spanish, which is still relatively unexplored, but there is something for everyone.