The Costa de la Luz has long been frequented by the Spanish who appreciate the Atlantic coast and its unspoilt golden beaches.
The Atlantic yields a fine golden sand. The sea is usually a clear turquoise blue and the sand underfoot is like a carpet. The beautiful beaches extend from Tarifa (near Gibraltar) to Cadiz and onwards to Portugal.
There is a variety of beaches, including sheltered coves around Conil and Roche. There is always plenty of space, even at week-ends and during the busy month of August. The beaches are often quite deserted on a week-day in June and September.
Cadiz is situated on a sand-spit and it is approached by an isthmus flanked on one side by sandy beaches and on the other by the impressive and famous Bay of Cadiz.
The Playa Victoria is Cadiz’ impressive main beach, which is both long and wide, with several facilities.
Playa de Victoria, Cadiz
There is another smaller beach - Playa de Caleta - nearer the city walls, featured in the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’ with Piers Brosnan.
Playa Barrosa is noted as one of the best beaches in Spain.
It’s stunning andfamous sandy beach stretches from Roche to Cadiz. It is sheltered in many places. In Chiclana thre is also play equipment on the beach.
Novo Sancti Petri is an extension of La Barrosa beach. It is a popular and fast-growing resort. It stretches from Chiclana to Roche along the headland. There are several hotels here, as well as a sports centre, riding school and golf courses.
Roche has a wonderful unspoilt sandy beach which extends from the pine groves on the headland of Cabo Roche to Cadiz.
It is sheltered by a sandstone cliffs At Playa del Puerco at the far side of Roche there is a good beach bar ‘chiringuito’, called Casa Luis.
Playa del Puerco
Next to one Roche cove, there is an excellent restaurant, called El Timon, which overlooks the length of the beach and is an excellent spot to watch the sunsets.
Cove and beach near El Timon Roche
Beach near El Timon
‘Calas’ or Coves: These are to be found below the headland around Cabo Roche, either side of the lighthouse (which winks at Cape Trafalgar lighthouse),and the dinky fishing port of Puerto Pesquero. The coves are very sheltered and a good choice if it is windy. Car parking is to be found on the headland. Signposts and then boardwalks guide you to the steep steps down to the rocky coves.
*Cala del Aceite is 10 minutes walk from the villa through the pine groves via Carril de Pilato. It has a ‘chiringuito’ or beach bar and it is easy to park on the top of the headland, through the pine trees.
Conil has several fine beaches:
- Fuente de Gallo
- La Fontanilla
- Los Bateles
- El Palmar
Fuente de Gallo is between the coves and Conil. It is fine beach, sheltered by a sandstone cliffs. This is a growing, up-market holiday area with some beautiful private villas and restaurants. There are a few hotels there now too.
Playa de Fuente de Gallo - Conil
La Fontanilla is between Fuente de Gallo and Conil. It has a very wide and safe beach with shallow waters extending out along way. It is perfect for young children. There is a life-guard present and a first-aid station. There are several ‘chiringuitos’ and parking is available alongside the beach.
Los Bateles is the main beach of Conil in the centre of the town. It is a wide and extensive sandy beach with sand dunes and boardwalks also numerous ‘chiriguitos’. Parking is easily available on the front and there is a promenade for strolling along too.
Playa de los Bateles, Conil
El Palmar, near Vejer is voted as one of the best beaches in Europe. It has a wonderful long sandy beach with sand dunes and it is located a litte further along the coast from Conil. It is extensive and very unspoilt – the opposite to mass tourism. This is often popular with surfers too, when the waves are larger. This is also a good place to watch the sunsets. There are some good restaurants to be found here all with sea views – namely Casa Francisco, La Chanca, Pizzeria Acebuche and Al Zocaire. Easy car parking on the road and in set car parks. However, this is more difficult at week-ends and in August
Playa at El Palmar
Cape Trafalgar/Zahora Beach: An impressive situation with Cape Trafalgar lighthouse in the background, beyond the sand.
View of Cape Trafalgar from Zahora Beach
Zahora beach is on sheltered side of Cape Trafalgar. It is a lagoon and therefore calm and safe for swimming. However, it is rocky in places underfoot. There is a good ‘coconut roofed’ beach bar here and an ice cream bar on the beach
Zahara is a fine sandy beach beyond Vejer. It is in semi-circular bay. The tiny town has a small square and a couple of small hotels – very unspoilt.
Bolonia is also a magnificent semi-circular bay with lovely golden sand.
Baelo Claudia/Roman ruins are to be found in this magnificent setting, with the sands and sea create an amazing backdrop.
There are other beaches along this coast eg Canos de Meca.
Tarifa also has fine golden sandy beaches. It is famous for kite and wind-surfing as it so windy at the opening of the Straits of Gibraltar, which form a funnel for the Levante wind.
Tarifa is an interesting and historic Moorish town with city walls. It merits a visit.
Whale/dolphin watching trips run from here – which are highly recommended.
Beaches map of the area
This is the Atlantic Ocean and whilst it is often calm and safe for swimming, it is also prone to large waves - great for surfing and body boarding! However, care should be taken - it is wise to follow the locals who frequent and know this area well.