costa de la luz (huelva) destinations
Huelva is one of Andalucía's least attractive provincial capitals. Surrounded by ugly petrochemical industry and factories, it doesn't look immediately appealing. But there are a few places worth visiting in the city and around.
In the centre, visit the Barrio Reina Victoria, with its quirky 19th-century British houses built by the Río Tinto mining company.
Seven kilometres south of the city, you can follow the story of Christopher Columbus and his voyage to the Americas at the La Rabida monastery.
Stretching from the Guadiana river that divides Spain and Portugal in the east to the Guadalquivir river to the west is the Huelva part of the Costa de la Luz.
Although scarred by industry around Huelva City and tasteless development in a few of the resorts, this coastline is generally one of the least spoilt in Andalucía and has seemingly endless expanses of sandy beaches, often backed by windswept sand dunes and pine trees. Despite the popularity of its resorts with mainly Spanish visitors in the summer months, it's possible to find a tranquil spot on a beach away from the crowds.
West of Huelva is the busiest and most established resort of Huelva's Costa de la Luz, Punta Umbría. It has magnificent beaches, a lively nightlife in summer and a great choice of restaurants serving its renowned seafood, including jumbo prawns and shellfish.
Punta Umbría is reached by a road that crosses the protected marshlands of the Odiel river, the Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel. This is a natural wilderness with a great variety of birdlife, hemmed in by sand dunes and pine woods.
Further west is the smaller resort of La Antilla and the tiny fishing village of El Rompido, overlooking the Paraje Natural Marismas del Río Piedras y Flecha del Rompido. The popular Isla Cristina, with its fine sandy beaches and a famous port, is next.
Ayamonte is a border town and fishing port, with pretty squares and streets in the centre. It has a nearby beach, Isla Canela, a new and fast-growing resort.
East of Huelva, between the resorts of Mazagón and Matalascañas, is a 20-km stretch of beautiful sandy beaches backed by cliffs and sand dunes.
Inland from Matalascañas are the visitors' centres and access point of the Parque Nacional de Doñana. Also here is the strange and characterful tiny village of El Rocío, with its Wild West atmosphere. This is home to Spain's largest religious romería: the famous and fervent Rocío Pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgen del Rocío.
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… More →
Punta Umbría is the closest beach to Huelva City and is the most popular resort along the Huelva Costa de la Luz. During July and August it is overflowing with Spanish visitors and it is worth… More →
Ayamonte is situated on the estuary of the Río Guadiana, second longest river in Europe. Ayamonte's development has been inextricably linked to its position on the border with… More →
Matalascañas is a popular, modern resort, located in a beautiful area of extensive coastal dunes and sandy beaches. Despite the village's tasteless high-rise development, which is one of the worst… More →
El Rompido is a fishing village out on a limb, 8km from the nearest town of Cartaya. It is one of the most tranquil and un-crowded spots on Huelva's Costa de la Luz. Up until now, it has managed… More →
This is a strange outpost of the Wild West, with wide, sandy streets lined with houses complete with broad verandas and wooden rails for tying up horses. It is famous for its annual Romería, the … More →
La Antilla is a small resort just 5km south of Lepe and has a pleasant promenade, a wide, sandy beach and some excellent seafood restaurants. It changes in the summer months due… More →
Seven kilometres south of Huelva city where the Tinto and Odiel rivers meet is an area known as La Rabida in which is located the 15th-century Franciscan Monasterio de Santa María de la Rábida. If… More →
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… More →
Mazagón is a low-level resort with a choice of excellent beaches,and is less developed than the next seaside town, Matalascañas. One of Mazagón's best beaches is situated 6km east of Matalascañas… More →
The Parque Nacional de Doñana is one of Europe's most important wetland reserves and a major site for migrating birds. It is an immense area; the parque itself and surrounding parque natural or… More →
Seven kilometres from Punta Umbría is the small resort of El Portil, with its 13-hectare reserve of a small freshwater lagoon, the Reserva Natural Laguna de El Portil. The reserve is most well… More →
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… More →
The Paraje Natural de las Marismas del Odiel is the second most significant wetland reserve in Andalucía after the Parque Nacional de Doñana. This large estuary and marshland of the Odiel and… More →
The El Rocío pilgrimage is the most famous in the region, attracting nearly a million people from across Andalucia and the entire country, and beyond. Every Andalucian city, town and village has… More →