The writer from Granada, Ángel Ganivet, already said it: “In Spain, there are two nations: one in the North: Spain, and the other in the South: Andalusia” and that is why Andalusia is so special and different. It inevitably stands out from the rest of Spain, not only is it the second largest and most populous autonomous region in Spain but also it is cheerful, colorful, noisy, familiar and a place where the mixture of cultures is evident through its outstanding architecture. That’s why we decided to do a road trip through Andalusia and discover the Costa de la Luz.
I was lucky enough to know already some beaches from Spain, from the Costa Brava all the way down to the Costa Blanca, but I had never been on the Atlantic side, therefore this was the time to meet the beaches of Costa de la Luz. I just love that each coast in Spain is totally different from the other. On the Costa de la Luz you can enjoy wide beaches, less tourism, natural spaces, open sea and, of course, LOTS of wind. This area, together with Tarifa in the south, is ideal for water sports such as surfing and windsurfing.
Our road trip plan for Andalusia was: we flew to Seville and from there we drove more than 510 km by car to different points on the coast for 10 days. We had 2 starting points where we slept: Vejer de la Frontera and Chipiona and every day we went to a different beach. The last night we spent it in Seville. This was the route:
The places we visited:
Seville – Vejer de la Frontera – Bolonia – Zahara de los Atunes – Caños de Meca – El Palmar – Conil de la Frontera – Cadiz – Playa de la Ballena – Chipiona – Seville
With this website from Michelin you can have more information and plan better over the miles, the tolls and even how much gasoline you will need on a specific route.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 1-Vejer de la Frontera
We flew to Seville and drove to Vejer de la Frontera. A must on any road trip through Andalusia is to stop on one of the white villages. Vejer will not disappoint you. It’s one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, a walled city on top of the mountain with narrowed streets and white houses, that will charm you right away. Walking along its streets is a real pleasure where you will discover small alleys and windows decorated with flowers.
Just stroll around the town and enjoy the picturesque scenery, you will find lots of restaurants and boutiques. I was really impressed by the number of beautiful restaurants in Vejer.
What to see? Plaza España, Casa del Mayorazgo, Molinos
Where to eat? The Caliph’s Garden, Casa Varo. Taste the typical retinal meat of the area.
Where did I stay? We stayed in centric studios: Alhania Vejer
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 2-Playa El Palmar
The first beach we visited during our road trip through Andalusia in Costa de la Luz was El Palmar beach. It is located between Barbate and Conil de la Frontera. It has a fairly wide beach with beach bars around where you can buy basic things. I recommend that you buy a sun umbrella upfront so that you can enjoy more time on the beach.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 3-Cabo de Trafalgar
Trafalgar Cape is a small peninsula in the town of Caños de Meca with a big lighthouse. This place is full of history: first here was established a pagan temple, afterwards, the Arabs built a watchtower that later became a lighthouse to have an eye on the pirates and invaders trying to arrive in the land. Here took place as well the famous Battle of Trafalgar between Franco-Spanish and English troops.
The beach here is a bit rockier, but it is very wide, very quiet and the waves are stronger. There are no beach bars or bathrooms nearby, so be prepared.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 5-Fuente del Gallo beach
This was my favorite beach because although it was very small. It is located in the town of Conil de la Frontera and has the advantage that it is protected by the landscape as it is surrounded by small cliffs so there is not much wind, so you can enjoy more. The water was at a perfect temperature (end of June) and nearby is the beach bar El Kanguro where you can enjoy a cold beer.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 6-Bologna
Bologna is well known for being a beach with a large dune of extremely fine sand. It is impressive to see. The dune is 30 meters high, it goes more than 200 meters inland and it is more than 500 meters wide.
The dune has in front the sea and it is surrounded by a vast amount of pine trees. From here it is possible to see part of Africa.
There is a marked trail where you can enjoy the hike surrounded by vegetation and even some Roman ruins.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 7-Zahara de los Atunes
The beach of Zahara de los Atunes is marked as a beach with Blue Flag. In case you don’t know what this is, this is an award given to various beaches worldwide that meet certain environmental and installation conditions. Spain is the country with the most Blue Flag beaches, with a total of 587.
Here you can eat fresh red tuna fish.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 8-Cádiz and Chipiona
On the eighth day, we spent the day in Cádiz. We stroll through its streets, gardens, parks, and pier. Cadiz is a big city full of friendly people and delicious food. We were only there a day before we continued our journey to Chipiona, where we spent the next 3 days.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 9-Playa del Perro
The truth is the beach is small and VERY touristic. At noon it gets FULL, a sea of umbrellas, towels and people. What was good, though, is that the sea was very warm.
In the evening we had dinner at the AWA Beach Club restaurant. 100% recommended, especially before sunset as you can eat dinner there while the sunset and enjoy it from the large windows of the restaurant. Romantic? Yeah, plus the tapas served there have a special twist that makes them different from other tapas.
We saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.
In Chipiona there are many places to eat. Recommended Bar Sin Bulli that has toasts and tapas. We ate: guacamole toast with anchovy, hummus with octopus or salmon with roquefort. Chipiona also has wineries where you can eat while tasting a Moscatell or Manzanilla wine, sweet wines typical of the region. We went to Bodega El Castillito where you can drink a wine for 0,70€.
Road trip through Andalusia: Day 10-Playa de la Ballena
This is also a Blue Flag beach. It’s a big, long beach but it’s also very windy. Here is also the beach bar I mentioned above El Kanguro.
Road trip through Andalusia: Last night in Seville city
Seville is so beautiful! The last day was spent it in Seville. We visit some of the most important monuments such as the cathedral of Seville, the Giralda, the Royal Alcazar, the Golden Tower, María Luisa Park, Plaza España, Triana, the Santa Cruz district and the Mushrooms of Seville.
I loved our road trip through the south of Spain and getting to know the Costa de la Luz. We travel at the end of June, which I think is the perfect time because it is not yet high season and the weather is hot enough to enjoy the beach but not AS hot as it usually is in Andalusia in summer.
On the other hand, having a car available is really useful because you can go anywhere you want and if you don’t like it you can move to another place. This way is perfect to get to know different cities in a short time and to have the freedom to travel at your own pace.
So, where in Spain would you like to go on a road trip?