Cartaya is a small town located a few km inland fromt he coast on and close to the Rio Piedras. The centre of the old town has a beautiful historical and artistic heritage. Cartaya is set in a natural rural environment with beaches, pine forests and marshland. El Rompido is the pretty costal village and local holiday resort on the coast within the municipal district. Cartaya has about 19, 100 inhabitants.
It is suggested that the origins of Cartaya date back to the time of the Phoenicians, although archaeological remains have not been found.
From the Roman era, remains found include salting factories and other agricultural buildings.
Farmsteads like Mogaya, the Mosque and the origin of the name Cartaya are all evident from the Moors.
In the fifteenth century, Cartaya was within the Marquess of Gibraleón it then passed into the hands of Don Pedro de Zúñiga who had built the castle in 1453 to defend the passage through the Río Piedras.
During the sixteenth century, there was a demographic and economic boom, which was subsequently affected by epidemics and wars in the next period.
Its growth became more apparent in the eighteenth century, thanks to the fishing and agricultural activities of the area.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial de San Pedro
Construction of the Renaissance church began in 1575 and finished in 1606. Located in Plaza Redonda.
Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Consolación
Also known as Ermita de Santa María de Consolación, the chapel is one of the oldest buildings in Cartaya, dating to the fifteenth century. Located on Avenida Consolación.
Convento Nuestra Señora de la Merced
The current convent has been built over the remains of a previous one built between 1624 and 1628. Due to several natural disasters, the convent was in a critical state and restored from 1774 to 1778. Located in Plaza Redonda.
Castillo de los Zúñiga
The castle dates to the fifteenth century to defend the passage of boats through Río Piedras, as well as monitoring land that limited the manors of Lepe and Gibraleón. It was also an unsafe area to be attacked by Barbary pirates and Normans. The Castillo de los Zúñiga has had several uses, including bullring, equestrian stud, cereal store and municipal warehouse. Located on Calle Castillo.
The grand Baroque style municipal house was built in 1555. Located in Plaza Redonda.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
These small buildings were used to collect and conduct water during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Today, only two are left standing and can be visited; Pilar de Mogaya located on the bank of Cañada de Mogaya and Pilar de la Dehesa, located 1500m from the beginning of Camino del Pilar.
Puente de La Tavirona
An iron bridge built in 1931 crossing Río Piedras that was built for the railway, more specifically the line that ran from Huelva to Ayamonte, passing by Gibraleón. Located northwest of Cartaya.
Real de la Almadraba
The ruins of Real de la Almadraba were once used for the traditional and elaborate technique for catching Atlantic bluefin tuna dating back to the Islamic period. El Real Viejo was originally constructed in 1294 by the Dukes of Medina Sidonia and was active until 1817. Later in 1928, El Real Nuevo was set up once more using the abandoned remains by Dictator, Primo de Rivero.
Castillo de San Miguel de Arca de Buey
The only thing known about the castle is that it was destroyed by Dutch pirates in the sixteenth century. It was used not only as a defence but also to control movement through Río Piedras. Located at the entrance to the Golf Club and Hotel El Rompido.
Río Piedras has extensive salt marshes along its banks and these, along with coastal pine woods, sand dunes and tidal creeks, make up the protected reserve called the Paraje Natural Marismas del Río Piedras y Flecha del Rompido. With its wide variety of habitats it has a rich array of plants and birds. To access the Paraje Natural, take a footpath from the lighthouse towards Caño del Tendal to the Pradera de San Isidro.
The closet beach to Cartaya is El Rompido, that sits on the Río Piedras river estuary, a stretch of water sheltered from the open sea by a spit, known as the Flecha del Rompido. The beach here is one of the best in Andalucia.
The nearest golf course is that in El Rompido, home to two 18 hole courses, El Rompido Golf - Norte and El Rompido Golf - Sur which were opened in 2006 and 2003 respectively and so may not have the prestige of other courses but being so close to the sea leads to fantastic views over most of both courses.
A chain of water parks located all over Spain, one of them being in Cartaya. It has a variety of different attractions as well as places to eat, cloak rooms, a shop and the option to hire sun lounges and floats. The park is great fun for family and friends. More>
Carretera Cartaya- Rompido, Km 3 (Cartaya)
Tel: 959 39 26 60
This go-carting track has a very long and technical circuit of 1130m with a width greatfor overtaking, which makes racing on this circuit fun for both spectators and drivers.Each race includes individual timings with awards given on podiums and champagne.There is also a bar-restaurant and two large terraces to watch the races. Events for large groups are also organized.
Ctra. Cartaya - El Rompido km 2,4 (Cartaya)
Tel:959 39 38 22
Cartaya has a rich and diverse gastronomy and very much centred around the great fish and seafood found off the coast. Popular dishes that one must try are corvinata a la marinera (corvina), raya en pimento (stingray in paprika), almejas a la marinera (muscles), gambas (prawns), chocos (cuttlefish) and langostinos (langostines). Other dishes include habas enzapatás (marinated broad beans) and meat stews, specifically rabbit.
This area also produces fruits such as strawberries, lemons, oranges, figs and nectarines. It is tradition to produce tortas de Pascua during Easter which are made with almonds or pumpkin jam.
The two predominant handicrafts of the area are crochet and fishing nets. There is a great tradition for producing fishing nets which becomes less and less visible.
Celebrated end of January.
Feria del Caballo
A large equestrian fair with shopping stands, performances, music and food, celebrated in March.
Romería San Isidro Labrador
The pilgrimage is celebrated in May.
Fiesta Nuevo Portil
A very family festival held over the first weekend of August.
Procesión de Consolación
The procession takes place at the end of August.
Feria de Octubre y Fiestas en Honor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario
Celebrated the first weekend of October.
Cartaya is located 25km from Huelva. To get there take the A-497 west leaving Huelva and take exit 9 onto the A-5058. Continue on until you reach Cartaya.