Huelva Province - Isla Cristina

Take a walk around the port (puerto pesquero) of Isla Cristina
Take a walk around the port (puerto pesquero) of Isla Cristina

Isla Cristina

Take me to: Isla Cristina Hotels

Isla Cristina was once situated on an island and is worth a visit for its marvellous choice of beaches that are sandy and extensive, stretching 8km long. There are some excellent windsurfing spots along this stretch of coast. It is also a busy port, famed for its fresh and preserved fish and one of the most important in Andalusia, if not Spain. It has about 21,300 inhabitants.

The town's population explodes in July and August due to a huge influx of tourists, mainly from Seville. During these months it's best to book accommodation as far in advance as possible and be prepared for some hefty price increases. Only visit at this time if you like a lively atmosphere and a resort packed with people, because Isla Cristina is full to bursting point in the summer.

HISTORY

The origin of Isla Cristina is very recent, dating to the second half of the eighteenth century, when fishermen from the Mediterranean settled for exploiting stocks of sardines and tuna, seasoning fish and extracting salt.

Following the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the formerly known Real Isla de La Higuerita becomes a stable location and in 1834 the name was changed to Isla Cristina, as thanks to Queen María Cristina for the humanitarian aid during the cholera epidemic.

Currently the Port of Isla Cristina is the most important of Andalusia and one of the largest in fleet resulting in an enormous number of fresh fish and seafood caught daily.

Sunset at Isla Cristina. © Michelle Chaplow
Sunset at Isla Cristina.

THINGS TO SEE

Casa Patio San Francisco
The house dates to the nineteenth century and is currently used as the Tourist Information Office, and you will also find inside the Carnival Museum. Located on Calle San Francisco.

Casa Gildita
Originally built in 1931, the house was later demolished and rebuilt in 1989 imitating the original structure, style and modernist architecture. Located in Plaza de las Flores.

Casa Blas Infante
Previous residence of the father of the Andalusian patriotic movement, Blas Infante, from 1923-1931. He established his notary business and home here. Located on Calle Diego Pérez Pascual.

Casa de Diego Pérez Pascual
The house shows typical middle-class architecture of the last part of the 19th century. Located on Calle Diego Pérez Pascual.

Casa Roman Pérez Romeu
Dating to 1917, the house belonged to Roman Pérez, Mayor of Isla Cristina who contributed to social and cultural growth in the town. Today it is the municipal library. Located on Calle Diego Pérez Pascual.

Casa de Don Justo
Dating to 1927, the house was designed by architect, Anibal González and has a tiled front very worth seeing. Located in Plaza de las Flores.

Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Dolores
The church dates to the middle of the twentieth century of Diocesan Andalusia style. Located on Calle Gran Vía.

Iglesia Padre Jesús del Gran Poder
The church dates to 1966. Located on Calle Roque Barcia.

Capilla de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles
Originally served as a small chapel for the cemetery, built in 1920's Neo-Gothic style and is commonly known as La Ermita. Located on Calle Roque Barcia.

Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Mar
The church was built in 1996. Located in Plaza de la Almadraba.

Monumento al Marinero
The fishing monument was created in two parts. One part, the fishing boat was sculptured by Gonzalo Cano and the other part, three fishermen, was sculptured by Carlos Silva. Located on Avenida Frederico Silva Muñoz.

Puerto Pesquero
Take a walk around the port when the fishing boats unload their catches, either first thing in the morning or to enjoy the sunset in the evening. The habourside factories sell Isla Cristina's famous canned tuna, mackerel and salted fish. As you would expect in a port town along the Costa de la Luz, there are loads of good fish restaurants to choose from, like the renowned Casa Rufino, as well as the chiringuitos (summer beach bars) lining the beach.

Salt Marshes
A protected area declared a National Park on 18 July 1989 and is a Special Protection Area for birds. An ideal place for bird-watching with about 140 species, which use the marshes as an area of passage and breeding. Species include flamingos, seagulls, terns and many more.

NATURAL AREAS

The Via Verde Litoral is a walk route that allows travellers to admire the beautiful marsh landscape and see a wide variety of bird species. The Ruta de Cameleón, another route, is a straight path with a rich biodiversity from the Isla Cristina breakwater, through the coastal park, connecting the dunes "Dunas de Isla Cristina" to the urban area of Islantilla. Its outstanding characteristic is the unique presence of the common chameleon in Andalusia.

BEACHES

Isla Cristina offers 12km of fine, golden sandy beaches which are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It has 3000 hours of sunshine per year and its ten superb beaches meet demanding quality controls that guarantee their high standards and services such as baths, showers, bins, access walkways, rental of beach umbrellas and sun loungers, nautical activities, kiosks and stalls. From west to east, the beaches are called La Gaviota, Parque Litoral, Santana, Central, Del Camping, Del Hoyo, Casita Azul, La Redondela and Urbasur.

GASTRONOMY

Isla Cristina's gastronomy is characterized by a wide range of fish and shellfish, such as the white shrimp, crawfish, prawn, sardine, mackerel, sole, tuna, anchovy and the traditional salted fish. Apart from the fried and grilled fish, sample the local fish specialities that include raya en pimentón (skate with peppercorns), mechado de atún (a minced tuna fish dish), corvina en salsa de naranja (corvina in orange sauce), tarantelo de atun rojo con salsa de tomate natural y verduras (tuna in tomato sauce and vegetables), calamares al champagne (champagne squid), ensalada de mojama y almendras con vinagreta de tomate (salad of filleted salt-cured tuna with almonds and tomato vinagrette), bacalao gratinado con ali-oli de almendras (cod with almond ali-oli) and bombones de huevas de cigala (lobster roe dumplings). The typical sweet treat in Isla Cristina is coca, a pastry originally from Cataluña. Other sweets include pudding de queso o castañas (cheese or chestnut pudding) and mousse de higo (fig mousse).

FESTIVALS

Carnaval
Celebrated in Febuary.

Semana Santa
Easter Week. 

Semana del Titere
Cultural week celebrated in April.

Encuentro Romero
Celebrated during the last week of April.

Romeria de Nuestra Señora Maria Auxiliadora
Pilgrimage celebrated at the beginning of May.

Fiestas de Nuestra Señora Maria Auxiliadora
Celebrated at the beginning of June. 

Romeria de Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza de la Redondela
Pilgrimage celebrated at the end of June.

Fiestas Virgen del Carmen
Celebrated 16 July.

Feria del Marisco y Pescado Frito
Celebrated in July.

Fiestas del Mar
Celebrated second two weeks of August.

Semana del Atun
Celebrating tunafish in all its glory in September. 

Festival Flamenco
Flamenco festival celebrated in September. 

Fiesta Virgen del Rosario
Celebrated 7 October.

Isla Cristina Marina

Marina Info

Latitude: 37* 12'N - Longitude: 7*20'W - VHF: CH9

Harbour Entrance width: 22m depth: 3m

202 Moorings 6 - 12 long, 2.5m deep

LOCATION

Isla Cristina is located 48km from Huelva. To get there,
take the A-497 west leaving Huelva and onto the A-492.
 Join onto the A-49 west towards Portugal. Take Exit 122
onto the N-446 and right turn onto the N-431. Take first left
turn onto the A-5150 until you reach Isla Cristina. 

 

Hover the cursor over Isla Cristina to see bigger map and click to go to the maps page.