The Sun-bleached towns and wide beaches of the Costa de la Luz evoke glamorous, old-world Spain.
Moors, Romans, Phoenicians
Everywhere is the memory of countless invaders. And then, rounding a neglected corner, you will come upon a smart avenue rammed with people talking in that sociable Andalusian way.
During an evening of flamenco in the square the town sits watching a young woman dance a kind of malagueña, but 1 of particularly savage fury. Her hair wild, she finally falls into a swoon as though completely exhausted from all the suffering and squalor of a love so lost she belonged to nobody and nowhere. ‘
Pero yo ya no soy yo, ni mi casa es ya mi casa,’ wrote the great Andalusian poet Lorca meaning ‘But now I am no longer I, nor is my house any longer my house.’
Moments later, she stands up with a grin, her rage-trance forgotten, and everyone cheers and troops down the hill to the bars for more food.
To eat in southern Spain is really to snack between snacks.
One place might sell small plates of delicious grilled aubergine and goat’s cheese drizzled with honey, another might specialise in taquitos de pescado en adobo, melting fried morsels of white fish that tell you the sea is close at hand. Even the olives taste subtly of anchovies.
Medina is the oldest city in Europe, the tiny Medina was the center of a Phoenician colony 1st and then a major centre under Roman occupation. A grand Visigoth fortress became a Christian castle, in whose windswept remains tiny stonechats are now blown about like blossom among enormous blood poppies.
Bright with an implacable light, the Costa de la Luz is so capricious it will never find favour with those seeking the reliability of the Costa del Sol. As, the Atlantic winds sweep in with an immense power, winds 1 can actually lean into on the beach at Roches and El Palmar, but which can whip up suddenly to sandblast bathers, forcing families to run in towels to the safety of the juniper forests hugging the coastline. On other days all is calm.
Enjoy your travels