Unspoilt Beaches, Old Fishing Villages… & Kite Surfing!
Spain is fortunate to have some of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe and the Spanish beaches are famous. Spain has also suffered from massive over-development in parts, destroying much of the natural beauty and leading to overcrowded beaches in the summer. However, the Atlantic coast of the Costa de la Luz still has some of the most unspoilt beaches and natural environments in Europe. Much of the surrounding land is either national park land or military land, which prevents the building of apartments and the suburbanisation of the coastland.
It starts at the southern most tip of Spain, with Morocco only 13 kilometres away. The small town of Tarifa is famed for its wind and hence is a centre for kite and wind surfing. The growing international community and the simultaneous old town feel make Tarifa a charming place to visit. A few kilometres further northwest is the beach of Bolonia, a stunning area with the Park Natural del Estrecho giving a beautiful backdrop to the beach area. There are old Roman ruins next to the beach and a large sand dune cascading down to the sea.
The beach between Zahara de los Atunes and Barbate stretches for 10 kilometres and is rarely full, even in the height of summer. Barbate is a traditional old fishing town, once one of the major tuna fisheries in the world. Zahara is a small seaside town that bustles with up to 20,000 people in the height of summer, only to fall to 1,500 inhabitants once summer ends. The coastline continues north through small towns and beaches such as Los Canos de Mecca, El Palmar, Conil de la Frontera, Chiclana and finally reaching Cadiz at the end of a long peninsula. Each place has its own charm and the Atlantic ocean is remarkably clean and the Spanish beaches there often have great waves!
Another place well worth visiting is about 10 kilometres inland from Barbate and is called Vejer de la Frontera. It is one of the most beautiful and bustling white Andalusian towns. Perched high on a hill, it is famed for its beauty and flower displays throughout town. It has won numerous awards for these displays. It is now developing a more international flavor with people moving from other countries and as a result a growing number of sophisticated cafes and restaurants have sprung up, offering a wide range of food and entertainment. One special place is a hotel and restaurant called El Jardin del Califa which specialises in Moroccan-style fare and which has beautiful cavernous guest rooms actually built into the rock and a lovely outdoor eating area. La Califa is famous for it’s delicious food and wine.