|The Marshlands of El rompido.|
Marismas del Río Piedras y la Flecha del Rompido Natural Area
The river Piedras marshlands and El Rompido spit was designated a protected area in 1989. Extending over 2.5sq km, it is one of the most significant natural coastal features in Andalucía.
It is situated west of Huelva, around the minor resort and fishing village of El Rompido. The Piedras river has formed an estuary surrounded by marshlands. Where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean a long sandy spit has formed, called the Barra or Flecha del Rompido.
You can reach the nature reserve by El Rompido village or by El Terrón, south of Lepe.
From El Rompido north towards Cartaya off the HV411 road is a track signposted Camino del Lancón. You can also hire a boat in El Rompido to take you across the estuary to the spit. Just outside El Rompido on the road east to El Portil is a mirador (viewpoint) with fine views of the spit and estuary.
Arriving from El Terrón you can go south towards the spit over a causeway, which runs for less than 2km and crosses a creek and salt flats. There are also good views of the marshlands and estuary from El Terrón village itself.
Alternatively, you can go east of La Antilla and follow the beach, which turns into the Barra del Rompido.
In the nature reserve there is a rich variety of vegetation, with glasswort in the marshes and many wildflowers on the sand dunes of the spit, including sea rocket, sea holly, southern bird's foot-trefoil and sea lavender.
The reserve supports a rich birdlife, best viewed during migration periods and winter. Birds to see include ospreys, waders, gulls and comorants. You can see breeding birds here in spring, like spoonbills, terns, wagtails and hoopoes.
You can walk along the beach from La Antilla to the spit. From El Rompido village, take a footpath from the lighthouse towards Caño del Tendal to the Pradera de San Isidro.