Leave the weather at home
Although June and July are certainly Islantilla’s most popular months, holidays to Costa de la Luz are great at any time and Islantilla gets around 300 days of sun every year. Even though temperatures can reach 30°C and humidity is prevalent during high season, the cool ocean breeze refreshes and reinvigorates whenever you visit.
During the winter months, you’ll more than likely still encounter shorts and t-shirt weather – at least by British standards – with an average daily temperature of around 15°C, even in December and January.
Flying the blue flag
Islantilla’s dazzlingly golden beach meets the highest standards of cleanliness and safety, both nationally and internationally. It was one of the first in the entire province of Huelva to earn the highest level of Spanish certification. Meanwhile, it’s also one of 78 Andalusian beaches to earn the Blue Flag endorsement. This means it has excellent facilities including toilets, showers, wheelchair access, parking and a lifeguard, in addition to cleanliness both in and out of the water. Parasols and sun loungers are readily available for rental all along the beach.
Exploring the town
Away from the beach, the main avenue of Islantilla is a tree-lined, spacious boulevard offering two shopping malls, several supermarkets, a handful of bars and an abundance of restaurants. It also has been developed in recent years to offer a wide variety of top-of-the-range hotel complexes, complete with swimming pools and unbeatable views of the crystalline blue waters offshore.
Anyone for nine holes?
The Islantilla Golf Course, which has its own adjoining four-star resort hotel, is widely considered to be one of the best in Europe and has inspired many people to choose Costa de la Luz holidays. It was the first in the whole of Spain to gain the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards of accreditation for excellence and environmentally-friendly practices. With 18 holes, an extensive pine grove and fantastic ocean views, Islantilla is also surprisingly affordable.
Water, water everywhere
As well as ample opportunities to rent water sports equipment, such as paddleboards and windsurfing apparatus, you can also enrol at the Escuela Espanola de Vela. This sailing school welcomes all ages on board its catamaran to learn any manner of surfing disciplines, from wind to kite and paddle surfing. You can even learn to sail the catamaran itself! And of course, what better way to round off a hard day’s graft on the waves than with a cool mojito on deck?
Venturing further afield
Islantilla’s fortunate location means that it’s not just a great destination in itself, but also the perfect base to visit the surrounding area. Only an hour away you’ll find the fourth largest city in Spain and the capital of Andalusia, Seville. This 700,000-strong city boasts its own cathedral – rumoured to be the largest church in the world in terms of volume – which now houses the bones of Christopher Columbus. As well as many other interesting cultural and architectural highlights, Seville is also a flamenco hotspot, affording tourists the opportunity to try their hand at the elegant dance, or perhaps just watch the professionals do it.
Meanwhile, heading directly west for an hour or so will see you cross over the Portuguese border and into the heart of the Algarve. Here you can visit ancient castles and walled towns, take a tour by Jeep or mountain bike, or simply do as most holidaymakers do and take advantage of more than 200 pristine beaches along the Portuguese coast.