Costa de la Luz (Huelva)

Costa de la Luz © iStock
Costa de la Luz

Costa de la luz - huelva

The Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) in Huelva Province runs from the Guadiana river, which forms the border between Portugal and Spain, to the Guadalquivir river in the east.

This part of the Atlantic coastline boasts long, unspoilt sandy beaches backed by sand dunes, as well as many protected coastal reserves.

Many Spanish families from cities such as Seville take their holidays in these seaside towns. Renting an apartment or booking a hotel in July of August, high season, can be tricky; however in other months, such as May, June and September, the weather is warm or even hot, and the beaches are considerably less crowded. All resorts have a good selection of restaurants offering well-priced, fresh fish and seafood dishes.

Some towns, such as La Rabida, have fascinating history - Columbus stayed at the monastery here, and you can see replicas of his three ships in a dock which recreates the day when they set sail on the momentous voyage which culminated in the discovery of the "Indies".

Access is to this coast is good, along the Seville-Huelva-Ayamonte A-49 motorway interestingly named 'Autopista del Quinto Centenario' ( 5 Century Motorway)  


Islantilla is the small neighbouring resort to La Antilla with a wide, sandy beach and some excellent seafood restaurants. It has about 1200… More →

Cartaya is a small town located a few km inland fromt he coast on and close to the Rio Piedras. The centre of the old town has a beautiful historical and artistic heritage. Cartaya is set in a… More →

Punta Umbría is the closest beach to Huelva City and is the most popular resort along the Huelva Costa de la Luz. During July and August it is overflowing with Spanish visitors and it is worth… More →

Ayamonte is situated on the estuary of the Río Guadiana, second longest river in Andalucia. Ayamonte's development has been inextricably linked to its position on the border with Portugal and has… More →

El Rompido is a fishing village out on a limb, 8km from the nearest town of Cartaya. It is one of the most tranquil and un-crowded spots on Huelva's Costa de la Luz. Up until now, it has managed… More →

Matalascañas is a popular, modern resort, located in a beautiful area of extensive coastal dunes and sandy beaches. Despite the village's tasteless high-rise development, which is one of the worst… More →

This is a strange outpost of the Wild West, with wide, sandy streets lined with houses complete with broad verandas and wooden rails for tying up horses. It is famous for its annual Romería, the … More →

La Antilla is a small resort just 5km south of Lepe and has a pleasant promenade, a wide, sandy beach and some excellent seafood restaurants. It changes in the summer months due… More →

Seven kilometres south of Huelva city where the Tinto and Odiel rivers meet is an area known as La Rabida in which is located the 15th-century Franciscan Monasterio de Santa María de la Rábida. If… More →

Isla Cristina was once situated on an island and is worth a visit for its marvellous choice of beaches that are sandy and extensive, stretching 8km long. There are some excellent windsurfing spots… More →

Mazagón is a low-level resort with a choice of excellent beaches,and is less developed than the next seaside town, Matalascañas. One of Mazagón's best beaches is situated 6km east of Matalascañas… More →

Lepe is a small agricultural market town, that until the late seventies its economy was based on fishing, but is now one of the wealthiest villages in the region thanks to its intensive farming of… More →


Hostals and hostels are a fantastic way to travel Andalucia on a budget. Despite their affordable prices, this doesn't mean to say that you have to compromise on quality, with many well known for… More →

If you want unspoilt, wild beaches, the Costa de la Luz is for you. From the Coto Doñana Park with its wild boar, lynx and rare birds, to trendy wind and kite-surfing spot Tarifa, this coast,… More →

Rentals in Costa de la Luz Cádiz: Tarifa, Bolonia, Atlanterra, Zahara de los Atunes, Barbate, Los Caños de Meca, Vejer de la Frontera, El Palmar, Conil de la Frontera, Roche.

Huelva's capital city is home to just one beach, El Espigon. It is a relatively young beach, in that it was 'born' after works on the Juan Carlos I dock in the seventies. The 3 kilometre beach is… More →

The principal shopping streets are the narrow pedestrianized streets of Concepción, Palacio, Pérez Carasa and Berdigón and the roads leading off this main drag. Sara Merino has a good selection of… More →

rio tinto mines

Named after the river which flows through the region - itself named for the reddish streaks that colour its water - Rio Tinto is a landscape like no other - in fact, it is similar geologically and environmentally to the moon. Find out more about this currently unused silver and copper mine, open to the public for tours. See more here.

things to see and do

Contemporary and graphic art are exhibited at regular exhibitions in the Sala Siglo XXI, part of the Museo Provincial de Huelva which also has remarkable displays of Tartessic, Roman and… More →

This “water city” (sister to the Aquopolis in Sevilla) in Huelva province has six rides, including a Torbellino, a huge bowl where you slide around the sides, and into the whirlpool at the bottom… More →

Huelva's provincial museum, housed in a modern building on the Avenida Sundheim, has an interesting archaeological collection, with objects from the megalithic sites of La Zarcita at Santa Bárbara… More →

The principal shopping streets are the narrow pedestrianized streets of Concepción, Palacio, Pérez Carasa and Berdigón and the roads leading off this main drag. Sara Merino has a good selection of… More →

La Soledad hermitage on Calle Jesús de la Pasión was first erected in the early 1500s as a church for the neighbouring Hospital de la Misericordia, which was founded in 1516. From 1854 the… More →

Paseo Maritimo de la Ría is a seaside boulevard that was opened in July 2016 and is within the Paraje Natural de las Marismas del Odiel.


Huelva and its environs is a Mecca for those interested in Christopher Columbus, with a number of significant tourist attractions relating to the famous explorer. See more here.

Monument to Christopher Columbus, Huelva.
Statue of a Franciscan friar from the monastery that hosted Christopher Columbus while he was planning his first voyage.

punta umbria

Punta Umbría is the largest resort on the Costa de la Luz and the nearest to Huelva City. It has some magnificent beaches, great seafood restaurants and is on the edge of Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel, an impressive wetland reserve.

natural parks and areas

The Parque Nacional de Doñana is one of Europe's most important wetland reserves and a major site for migrating birds. It is an immense area; the parque itself and surrounding parque natural or… More →

Seven kilometres from Punta Umbría is the small resort of El Portil, with its 13-hectare reserve of a small freshwater lagoon, the Reserva Natural Laguna de El Portil. The reserve is most well… More →

It is situated west of Huelva, around the minor resort and fishing village of El Rompido. The Piedras river has formed an estuary surrounded by marshlands. Where the river meets the Atlantic… More →

The Paraje Natural de las Marismas del Odiel is the second most significant wetland reserve in Andalucía after the Parque Nacional de Doñana. This large estuary and marshland of the Odiel and… More →

Just outside of Punta Umbría is an area covering 162 hectares of protected beach, sand dunes and woods, including a juniper grove, one of the few examples of this type in Andalucía. The 50-m wide… More →

See all Natural Parks in Huelva here.

Huelva City

Huelva City, with its surrounding oil refineries and industry, is not the most attractive of Andalucia's regional capitals. Generally speaking, however, this coast has escaped some of the worst development seen along other costas in Andalucía. The city centre is a pleasant place with many pretty plazas, absorbing historical monuments and, as you'd expect from a city with a bustling port, a wealth of seafood bars and restaurants.

golf on the costa de la luz

This 18-hole course was designed by Luis Recasens and is set among pine groves near the beautiful beaches of the Costa de la Luz in Huelva.

Golf courses in Huelva are challenging yet fun for even the least experienced of golfers. Play two fantastic 18 hole games at both the North and South El Rompido courses.

A 27-hole course, providing three different 18-hole options, it is suitable for all levels of expertise. It borders the Atlantic Ocean and is the first in Spain to be certified according to… More →

In Ayamonte there are 3 fun, challenging and prestigious 18 hole golf courses that both novices and professionals can enjoy.

about costa de la luz (Huelva)

Although exposed, the beaches are not as windswept as the Cadiz section of the coast. The shoreline is punctuated by small fishing ports and modern resorts popular with mainly Spanish visitors. These resorts are separated by marshes and river estuaries, making travelling rather circuitous.

In July and August, the resorts are packed to bursting point. If you enjoy a lively atmosphere, this is the time to come, but it's essential to book accommodation in advance. Outside the summer months, the pace slows down.

With comparatively fewer visitors than other coastlines in Andalucía, Huelva's Costa de la Luz can still offer some quiet beaches where you can find a secluded spot, even in summer. Try the Playa de Castilla, east of Matalascañas that runs alongside the Parque Nacional de Donaña, a 25km-long stretch that is only accessible on foot. Alternatively, there is the 22km-long beach, also part of the Playa de Castilla, which runs between Matalascañas and Mazagón, which is extensive enough to find a bit of solitude; you can park at Cuesta Maneli, which also has some naturist areas. To the west of Huelva City is the Barra de El Rompido, a spit of land which you can reach from La Antilla or El Rompido.

Just on the border with Portugal is Ayamonte, a fishing port that used to serve as a through-route to Portugal with its daily ferry to Vila Real de Santo Antonio across the Guadiana river. This has been superseded by the new suspension bridge that crosses the river just north of Ayamonte, but the town is still worth a visit for its pleasant squares and pretty, narrow pedestrianised streets in the centre. There are noticeably more foreign tourists here than in other resorts along Huelva's Costa de la Luz, probably due to its proximity to the Algarve.

Huelva Province Map and its areas
Map of Huelva province and its areas