Not the most beautiful of Andalucia’s provincial capitals, having lost many of its historic buildings in the devastating Lisbon earthquake of 1755, Huelva nevertheless has its own charm. Since Phoenician times it has been an important port, serving akey role for exporting minerals from the Rio Tinto mines.
Situated in the heart of the Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel, the 480-hectare Reserva Natural Isla de Enmedio can be found where its name suggests, in the middle of the Odiel nature reserve. The isla (island) is in fact a series of islands, created by tidal activity in the Odiel estuary, and is made up of saltwater marshes.
For a quiet break on the gulf of Cadiz, the quiet maritime city of Huelva contains various Roman and Phoenician artifacts as tourist attractions and is home to the oldest football club in Spain, Recreativo de Huelva.
Huelva's bus station is at Calle Doctor Rubio (Tel: 959 25 69 00) providing with regular buses to Seville and resorts along the coast. There is a twice-daily service to Portugal and the Sierra de Aracena iin the north of Huelva province and one bus a day to Cádiz, Granada and Malaga.
Huelva's provincial museum, housed in a modern building on the Avenida Sundheim, has an interesting archaeological collection, with objects from the megalithic sites of La Zarcita at Santa Bárbara de las Casas and El Pozuelo at Zalamea la Real; Tartessian treasure from the necropolis at La Joya; and Phoenician and Greek artefacts discovered in excavations within the city. Moorish artefacts are also on display.
In Huelva, late-night bars are clustered along Calle Pablo Rada and on Calle Aragón to the west of the Plaza San Pedro. Bar Grial on Calle Ciudad de Aracena and Bar Paco Moreno on Paseo Independencia are great bars to have a drink and a tapa.
Huelva is a port city which holds an important place in the history of Andalucia, as the area from where Columbus sailed to American in 1492. In the 19th and early 20th century, it was an important mining centre, and some colonial buildings and quays from that era remain, including the Muelle de Riotinto.