Atlantic Coasts & Beaches

Straddling Portugal are Spain's Atlantic coasts, together making up 710 kilometers (440 miles). On the southern end, the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) starts out in Andalucía at windy Tarifa - the dividing point in the Strait of Gibraltar between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic - and continues northwest to the Portuguese border. The beaches here are largely unspoiled with natural sand dunes, colder water, bigger waves and backed by lush pine groves.

Heading north over Portugal you'll hit the region of Galicia and Spain's second Atlantic stretch, marked by a rugged coastline featuring cliffs interwoven with beaches and secluded coves. The spectacular natural scenery is amplified by the intense green of the landscape, a direct result of the frequent rain that falls across the north of Spain. Often overlooked by tourists due to the more unpredictable weather and the colder waters, the coasts of (from south to north) Rías Baixas, Costa da Morte, Golf Ántabro and Rías Altas brim with historical ports, tiny fishing villages and small, often hidden beaches.

The fact that Spain's two Atlantic coasts are so divergent, as well as their close proximity to Portugal make the western corners of the Iberian Peninsula the perfect place to experience what Spain's coastlines have to offer.

The most famous coasts off the Atlanic include:

- Costa de la Luz

- Costa da Morte

- Rías Altas