Bahía de Cadiz Natural Park - Walks
There are four signposted walks in the park. The park office in San Fernando has maps and further details (in Spanish only). The best time to go on a walk is from September to May, at low tide. Take some binoculars for birdwatching.
Sendero Pinar de Algaida is a 12km walk (round trip) beginning at Cadiz university (Campus Universitario) and follows San Pedro river, through the Pinar de la Algaida, a forest of stone pines near Puerto Real. It passes a marshland area before skirting around the saltpan of the Salina de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados.
Sendero Dolores is a 3½km circular route that starts in San Fernando, on the NIV as it crosses the Arillo river. It begins at the Salina Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and follows a wall on the riverbank. Where the river meets the bay is a bird hide. The path loops round the rest of the saltpans to return to the starting point.
Sendero Tres Amigos-Río Arillo is a 4½km walk starting at the car park on the Camposoto road leading out of San Fernando. You can either head south along the marshland to a bird hide and view the marismas from here, or take the walk from the car park that goes north around the marsh and along the Arillo river. The best time for this walk is autumn, when the marshlands are full of migrating birds.
After 800m, the path swings sharply to the left and to the right you can see the series of channels used for the drying out the salt in the former Salina de Tres Amigos. When the path reaches the Arillo river, the route forks.
The right-hand path leads to a ruined salthouse, used for storing salt and housing the saltworkers. Across the river is the Molino Río Arillo, a watermill powered by tidal flows used for grinding wheat. This is one of 12 such mills that the bay had in operation at the end of the 19th century and one of the biggest in the Iberian peninsula.
Returning to the fork, the other path leads along the marshland and riverbank to a couple of bird hides, where you can try and spot avocets, spoonbills and black-winged stilts. The path ends at the dunes of Torregorda beach. It's possible here to follow the Arillo river's western shore, passing the Salina San Félix, to the Molino Río Arillo by the NIV.
Sendero Punta Boquerón This is a 3km linear walk to the Punta de Boquerón Natural Monument from Camposoto beach southeast of San Fernando. To the left are marshlands, former saltpans that are now colonised by halophytic vegetation like glasswort. Beyond is the Caño de Sancti-Preti, where you can see flamingos, herons, comorants and many waders searching for food in its mudflats.
At the end of the headland is a viewpoint, looking across to the Marismas de Sancti Petri Natural Area. Out to sea is the Islote de Sancti-Preti, an islet with the Sancti-Preti castle. Along the beach you can also see wartime military bunkers, now half-buried in the sand.