Location, Location, Location..

 

The Costa de la Luz is a section of the Andalusian coast in Spain facing the Atlantic; it extends from Tarifa in the south, along the coasts of the Province of Cadiz and the Province of Huelva, to the mouth of the Guadiana River.

 

A popular destination for vacationing Spaniards, in recent years the Costa de la Luz has become more popular with foreign visitors, especially the French and the Germans. Increasing urbanization and tourism-oriented development of parts of the coast have had economic benefits, but these trends have also ignited fevered real-estate speculations and some enviromental degradation.

 

Aside from the beaches and the sunshine, there are ample opportunities and facilities for leisure activities, like fine dining, golf, kitesurfing, boating, and other water sports. The Costa de la Luz is especially noted for the beauty of its protected natural reserves and a number of first-rate natural attractions. Among them are: the Doñana National Park, where endangered species, such as the Spanish imperial eagle, also known as Adalbert’s eagle and the Iberian Lynx, can occasionally be sighted; the picturesque Bay of Cadiz; the steeply-pitched shorelines of the southern section of the Andalusian coastline; the salt marshes of Barbate and the seaside cliffs at La Breña; and the sprawling wetlands at the mouths of the rivers Tinto and Odiel.

 

 

 

BEACHES

 

The Costa de la Luz is 300 km long; it stretches from Tarifa at the Southern tip of Spain to the portuguese border. P1010160

At least nine beaches boast the distinguished European blue flag award for clean beaches and water.

The coastline varies and changes from point to point, interspersing deserted virgin white fine sands with rocky coves and caves, beaches backedby pine forests or wild marshlands, golden beaches with promenades, restaurants and shops to white washed towns looking down on you.

Unlike the Costa del Sol, where if you can find a space to lay down your towel, you are lucky, the Costa de la Luz, with its natural beauty, clear crystal waters and bright natural light and kilometre after kilometre of wide stretching beaches the complete opposite is true.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor many months of the year you will find beaches just for yourself and even in the months of July & August when most Spanish people take their holidays you will always be able find a spot with a few metres space surrounding you.

The purest, finest sandy beaches with their crystal clear waters are truly remarkable and have to be seen to be believed. It would seem a beach is just a beach but when you visit this coastline you will find there are different beaches to suit everyone.  If its to surf or swim off, to walk or exercise on, take a romantic stroll or just to watch the sunrise or sunset, this magnificent coastline has it all.

 

NATURE

 

Doñana National Park: Europes largest and most  highly protected nature reserve is situated on the plains of the river Guadalquivir.

November 2009 - Zahara de la Sierra 069

Home to millions of migrating birds who use it as a stopover between Europe and Africa. Guided visit visits are available throughout the year.

The Cadiz province has an abundance of nature reserves and parks consisting of pinewoods, mudflats, salt marshes and small lakes. You will find a varied richness in Fauna and Flora providing shelter to many types of eagle, seabirds and flamingo as well as habitat for many endangered species such as the chameleon.

If you would like to hike or walk amongst the most majestic and spectacular scenery, the Sierra de Grazalema and the Serrania de Ronda are on your doorstep with the Alpujarras and the Sierra Nevada just short distance away. In San Fernando, the nature reserve is one of the main wetland areas in southern Europe. It has a varied natural vegetation of wetlands, swamps, sand dunes, water channels and beaches, not only home to birds but also many types of fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

 

 

MONUMENTS & MUSEUMS

 

In this section it would be impossible to name and list every monument, museum or place of interest here. There is such a wealth of history to be seen, I would be doing a personal injustice by mentioning some and not others.

Cadiz is over 3000 years old and the oldest city in Western Europe, so, as you might imagine, the Province of Cadiz has artistic and historical architecture and archaeological remnants in abundance.

From Phoenicians, Romans and Moors to the Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical and Renaissance architectural styles and also the Christian constructors can be seen all over the province.

All over the cities, towns and villages you can see cathedrals, churches, theatres, castles, towers, fortresses, mosques, convents, monasteries, lighthouses, bullrings, wine cellars, market places and main plazas (squares), all bathed in architectural and historic splendour.

You can also see the Monastery where the Carthusian monks brought the first Carthusian horses, who are now world famous and if you take a short journey to Huelva you can visit the fishing port where Columbus left for his historic voyage to the new world.

 

WINE & GASTRONOMY

 

T Spain’s most famous wine, Sherry is produced in Jerez de la Frontera. The exceptional geographical location, the chalk soil and the close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean are the Sherry triangle that links Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda. Using the Palomino grape and a careful ageing system combines to produce this unique drink. There are several types, pale and dry, fino, sweet, Pedro Jimenez and muscatel, the sharp Amontillado and the old aromatic Oloroso.

As you might expect of this area, seafood is top of the menu and is cooked in the most delicious, unique and variety of styles. As well as a diverse selection of fish, freshly caught squid, crabs, jumbo shrimp lobster, scallops, mussels, oysters, cockles, prawns, cuttlefish, octopus, crayfish and clams are all widely available.

Wine & Gastronomy Freshly grown vegetables are also typical and dishes such as Gazpacho, a tomato and cucumber based soup with garlic, onion and olive oil is served cold in summer and Berza, a cabbage based stew is always on the menu. Pumpkin, asparagus, chickpeas and lentils are vegetables often used in the popular dishes.

Game, such as partridge is a very popular choice and “chicharones” roasted pork cracklings and “rinones”, kidneys cooked in a wine sauce are just two of hundreds of distinctly cooked dishes, which vary slightly depending in which locality you are in and should definitely be tasted. Caracoles(snails) are probably as loved as much in this region as they are in France.

The Spanish love to eat and talk about food and here you can indulge yourself in the most healthy, delicious gastronomy possible. When eating out here, you will enjoy the experience that plays an important part of daily life; it is a relaxed occasion where good company, good food and drink fuse together to make for a pleasurable lifestyle. So, enjoy!!

And don’t despair if you have a sweet tooth either because there are a variety of pastries to be tried, such as Túron, Almond cake, marzipan and Tocino de cielo.

 

GOLF & SPORTS

 

GOLF BROCHURE- Pro-ManThe province of Cadiz hosts a number of prestige golf courses of international standard set in the most picturesque surroundings, be it inland or on the coast. Chiclana boasts three courses. Novo Sancti Petri has 36 holes plus a top International golf academy and 10 resident professionals, El Puerto de Santa Maria has two clubs as does Jerez, with Montecastillo golf club designed by Jack Nicklaus, Montenmedio golf club, near Verjer also invites you do enjoy an array of other sports on its huge estate and Jose Maria Olazabal designed the course in Costa de Ballena, Rota.

In short, if you are a golf enthusiast you are spoilt for choice and with golf all year round, due to the exceptional climate you will be the envy of all your golfing friends.

Simply, due to the weather and climate, southern Spain is a sports persons paradise. Facilities are excellent and whatever it is you are into, you will find it here.

Water sports are obviously very popular, the bay of Cadiz is a privileged place for sea sports. Tarifa is internationally renowned for its excellent conditions for windsurfing and is host to many competitions, it is literally a windsurfers paradise.

Outdoor swimming pools normally only open during the school summer holidays (end of June till mid September) and indoor pools, all year round. No matter how small the village, there is normally always a public outdoor swimming pool.

Jerez GP 2013

Football is very popular all over Spain, Andalucia being no exception with both Seville teams (Sevilla and Betis) both in the Primera and Cadiz and Jerez currently in financial crisis and playing lower league football. Playing wise, seven-a-side and indoors five-a-side are more popular with plenty of playing facilities available.

A sport called padel is widely played, a cross between tennis and squash where you can use the back wall of the court. There are a few public tennis courts and you can play in some hotels for a small fee and there are plenty of private tennis clubs.

Cycling, mountain biking, hiking and trekking are available for all levels with some breath taking scenery to be seen while enjoying your particular sport. Most large towns have athletics clubs, some with their own running tracks. Basketball again is popular and amateur clubs are to be found in most towns. Gyms seem to be opening up at a fast rate with the big chains getting in on the action.

Jerez stages the international motorcycle G.P. and is a major testing track for the formula 1 teams, which is often open to the public and gives them an opportunity to see some of their favourite drivers. Aerial sports are also accessible with excellent conditions of clear visibility, light winds and little other air traffic. We must not forget ski-ing, depending on where you decide to settle, the Sierra Nevada will only be 2 to 3 hours drive away.

Many people may not regard hunting or fishing sports but many of the Spanish population do and for those of you who like to participate, you won’t be disappointed visiting or living here.

 

 

HORSES

 

Without delving too deeply into the history of the Andalusian horse, they have become a symbolic representation of this area. Together with sherry, bulls and flamenco they make up an important part both genetically and economically to this part of Andalucia. The Andalusian thoroughbred is traced back to around 1000 B.C. when they were used as warhorses.

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Breeding is of high importance, also and dates back to when the Carthusian monks began to select and breed a unique horse the Cartujano The Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art, in Jerez, is truly on the tourist map and without doubt is a dancing and dressage show not to be missed. In September there is a horse parade through the streets of Jerez where over 100 horses take part. Also, not to be missed is the horse fair, which is held in May, again in Jerez. 

For those of you wishing to take a more active roll, there are plenty of riding schools both private and public, providing first class facilities. A network of trails linking unspoilt valleys and ridges, countryside, woodlands, mountains, natural parks crossing sparkling clear rivers and streams down to virgin deserted beaches. All levels are catered for, so if you are looking for adventure in beautiful surroundings, it is all here waiting for you.

Without delving too deeply into the history of the Andalusian horse, they have become a symbolic representation of this area. Together with sherry, bulls and flamenco they make up an important part both genetically and economically to this part of Andalucia. 

 

 

TRADITIONAL FIESTAS

 

EstudioUno-2-2 - copiaFiesta is a very well used word in Spain and especially here in Andalucia. Fiesta is Party time, where music, costume, dance, food and drink are the most important ingredients along with the most party loving people in the world. The great thing about this place is that the people really do know how to enjoy themselves. I think, if you wanted to, you could probably visit a different fiesta every week from May to August without any problem at all.

Every town and village has their own festivities and they are too numerous to mention them all but the beginning of the year starts with the Three kings parade, where children and parents line the streets to watch the processions as the kings and their helpers throw out sweets and toys to the waiting children. In February, Spain’s first national celebration is Carnival (Spain’s Mardi Gras), Cadiz along with Tenerife being the most famous. Holy week, Easter, (Semana Santa) in March or April is especially prevalent in Andalucia, where the people here really feel and show their passion towards Christ. Street parades take place throughout the week with up to 50 people carrying their elegantly decorated floats, denoting their religious devotion. The smell of incense, the music of the brass bands and the spontaneous singing from a balcony is a moving experience even for the non-religious.

April 2011 298From May to July there are many different Saints days, spring fairs are held in their honour and people dress up in a mass of colour, song and dance are in full swing and you have the opportunity to try the local wines and typical dishes. Seville’s, Feria de Abril kicks off the start of the ferias and is a must see just for the sheer ambience, traditional dress, colours and sheer enjoyment of the people.

The Horse fair in Jerez is on a smaller scale but still boasts over 200 marquees where you can eat, drink, dance or simply just wander in to see what’s going on. That is the great difference between the ferias of Seville and Jerez because in Seville, apart from a very few, the general public cannot enter the marquees unless invited. Obviously, being a horse fair there are parades nearly everyday where elegant carriages drive around the fairground and horsemen and women ride around dressed in their immaculate attire. These fairs and others also combine bullfighting, funfairs, flamenco, concerts and firework displays. Autumn festivals celebrate the harvesting of the grape and other saints days. As if all this wasn’t enough they even celebrate Christmas!!

 

 

FLAMENCO

 

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The flamboyant dance accompanied by Spanish guitar and song is a very strong part of Spain’s culture and tradition. Jerez was the birthplace of Flamenco and has produced some of the best and most renowned artists. The very best opportunity to witness authentic Flamenco is in a peña right here in the province of Cadiz. Jerez has an Andalucian Flamenco centre where you can take an insight into the roots and history of this fine art. As Flamenco originated from the peasants of Andalucia, all the long songs are of oppression, sadness, hardship, death, love and the struggle of their lives.

There are also some much shorter, more cheerful and lively ones too. Many Flamenco schools can be found if you wish to participate and be taught by true professionals who have the passion of flamenco running through their veins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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O.K., So has this location sold itself to you? Well, read on because here are a few more reasons why you should be thinking about choosing this location to live or have that holiday home you have been searching for.

Before we came to live here, we knew we wanted to live in Spain but we couldn’t make up our minds up as to where. We were lucky; by chance we stumbled across this area by taking an offer of an apartment holiday from a friend in England whose family were renting it out. We fell in love with the place and before we knew it we were looking in to house prices. That was 5 years ago and apart from house prices rising, you will find by tapping in Costa de la Luz in to any search engine, it is still nearly always described as Spain’s hidden secret.
 

Geographical Location & Climate

Cadiz province is situated in the South-western corner of Andalucia. No matter where you live here, you are never far from gorgeous beaches or fantastic mountains. This area is blessed with an average of 320 days sunshine a year. The gentleness of the air between sea and mountain offers an average 11c in winter and 25c in summer but its not unknown to reach 40c in summer.
 

Transportation

With 3 international airports in, or very close to the province offering flights to G.B., Europe and major Spanish cities, there is great choice and flexibility. With cheap regular flights to London and other European cities, sometimes available for less than a typical train ticket from London to Scotland, accessibility to family and friends or business need not be a worry.

A good network of major roads and motorways link not only nearby towns but major Spanish cities as well.

The main railroad links Cadiz, Jerez and Seville to all major cities. Construction is currently on going to link the super fast AVE train to Cadiz, meaning you will be able to get to Madrid from Cadiz in less than 3 hours.
 

Health

The quality of health care in Spain is very good. If you contribute to Spanish social security you and your family are entitled to free or low cost health care. Nearly all patients will be able to see their doctor within 1-2 days of making an appointment. There is no charge for hospital services in the public sector but patients must pay around 40% of the cost of drugs that are prescribed outside of the hospital. Pensioners pay a 10% co-payment with all prescriptions being paid for over the counter at any pharmacy (Farmacia). Andalucia is one of the 17 autonomous communities that takes full responsibility for its public health care system and is called S.A.S. (Servicio Andaluz de Salud). It will be necessary to have a good grasp of Spanish or to take along someone who can translate when visiting a hospital or doctor.

The real good news starts here, hopefully you won’t need to see the doctor or have to visit the hospital because by living here you will enjoy one of the healthiest diets in Europe. Fresh fish and seafood top the bill; olive oil, salads and fresh fruit (much of which is all grown locally) can be bought from the markets or local fruit and veg shops. The variety and value of the locally grown produce is fantastic. I had forgotten what a tomato should taste like (or used to taste like, before the vacuum packed variety came along): truly marvellous!! I dont know how long it can last but the local produce does not fall in line with the ludicrous E.U. categories, (personal opinion) of what shape, size and colour it can be. The fact of the matter is the quality and taste is second to none.

Pollution is very low here too, due to the fact that there is very little industry. To breath in the pure clean air that breezes in from the coast or in the higher mountainous air inland is something we should not take for granted, it is a wonderful luxury in the world we live in today.
 

Safety

Andalucia and Cadiz province is a very family orientated place to live. Children are very often looked after by grandparents, aunts and uncles and are brought up to love and respect the family. This is evident when you see the huge family get togethers either on the beach, picnic areas or in their homes around the bar-b-q.

Violence is a very rare thing, and although every property has metal bars on the windows and doors, this is more of a traditional thing (although very effective), as theft and robbery crime is very low.

You don’t get the drunken yobbish mentality at weekends, in fact the botellon is something that takes place in the parks or large squares, where many, many groups of young people buy alcahol cheaply from the supermarkets or off license and meet up to have a good time. Yes, it is noisy if you live nearby and a lot of rubbish gets left behind but it is not very often there is any trouble
 

Investment

Prices may have not reached rock bottom but they are very close. And although there is a surplus of property throughout Spain, not all if it is quality property. Cádiz capital holds it’s prices well due to the fact there is no new building space. The rest of the region has probably dropped to about a third of the prices on average, of two years ago! If you are looking after a bargain or a property to reform in this area, we can find you a exactly that. Costal properties are holding there prices a lot better than  inland, but there are still some real bargains to be had. As more and more people are finding Spains’ hidden secret, slowly but surely the good times will come again. The more discerning expat who does not want to be living in little Britain in the sun and wants to integrate him or herself in to the Spanish culture and way of life are coming here because when you convert your sterling to euros, you still get an awful lot for your money and have a sound investment at the same time. So, whether it is to live, have your second home or invest in a buy to let, I’m sure it will be a decision you won’t regret.

So, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. We have found it!

If you think Cadiz province is the place for you, contact us now!!

TEL: +34 956336614 / +34 645 660 454 or E:MAIL: info@olesolutions.net