Sanlúcar de Guadiana

Sanlúcar de Guadiana

by Saskia Mier

Sanlúcar de Guadiana is situated west of Villanueva de los Castillejos and sits on the very banks of the Rio Guadiana, border between Portugal and Spain. An idyllic location for water sports fans, it has got quite a name for itself due to the water sports events that are held here every year. It has 447 inhabitants.


Its origin can be found in the Arab occupation, under the Taifa Kingdom of Niebla, some Moorish groups settled on the unpopulated land. However, the current core of Sanlúcar began in the second third of the thirteenth century, when Sancho II of Portugal conquered lands from the Moors.

The Portuguese War of Independence during the mid-seventeenth century led to devastating consequences on Sanlúcar de Guadiana suffering numerous robberies and looting, as well as having to maintain the Spanish troops defending the border. Count Jerónimo Ró, General Field Master of the border, built a fort named Fuerte de San Jerónimo, next to the Iglesia Parroquial, and later, in 1642, the Castillo de San Marcos.

The constant flooding of the Guadiana River has become significant in the history of Sanlúcar de Guadiana, noted for its disastrous consequences. In 1823, water levels reached 14 meters, destroying 110 houses of the 240 in the village, causing inhabitants to take refuge in the castle.

Due to the geographical location, Sanlúcar de Guadiana enjoyed a strategic position that made it one of the most important towns in the area, as it was a necessary step for trade. In the nineteenth century, the port of Sanlúcar de Guadiana became important as products such as brandy, rice, sugar, soap, lead and wood were exported.


El Templo Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Flores
A sixteenth century temple with Baroque style elements. Inside, the altarpiece of polychrome wood is dedicated to the patron saint of Sanlúcar de Guadiana, the Virgin de La Rábida. Located on Calle Iglesia.

El Castillo de San Marcos
The castle dates back to the seventeenth century, around 1642 or so, when Jerónimo Ró decided to strengthen the village from the Portuguese troops. In 1666, the fort fell into Portuguese hands. In 1741, Ignacio Sala reformed the west crescent. Entirely constructed of stone and different finishes depending on times of renovation.Located off HU-4402.

Parajes Naturales
Ideal for nature lovers are these natural resting areas. Dehesa de San Silvestre is 4km from Sanlúcar de Guadiana and La Rivera Grande de Los Alamos is particularly known for the number of swallows.Located south of Sanlúcar de Guadiana.

Puerto de Sanlúcar
The port of Sanlúcar de Guadiana Special is charming in every way and has a complete picture postcard landscape. Many locals swim in the river and the village even has a small sandy beach.

Things to do

Sanlúcar de Guadiana has an activity group called Limitezero that offers the only cross-border zip line in the world. It provides its visitors with a unique, unforgettable experience crossing over the River Guadiana from Spain to Portugal. More>


Sanlúcar de Guadiana has a selection of popular dishes such as the fresh goat cheese, homemade sausages, habas en zapatas (marinated broad beans), lamb stew, gazpacho and sweets like lemon pastries and fritters.


Handicrafts specific to Sanlúcar de Guadiana are handmade leather chaps and items such as baskets made from cane and wicker extracted from the river.


Nuestra Señora de la Rábida
Celebrated the weekend after Easter Sunday in honour of the patron saint with a procession through the streets and locals dressed in traditional clothing, singing and dancing.

Semana Cultural
In the middle of August and throughout a whole week, a range of cultural and sport activities are held in the village.

Romeria de la Santa Cruz
Celebrated the first weekend of May, Sanlúcar de Guadiana joins the neighbouring town of El Granado for the pilgrimage. Originally was celebrated only on Sunday but today extends throughout the weekend. Locals move to a hamlet called La Dehesa, located halfway between both villages for celebrations.

Virgen del Carmen
Celebrated on the 15 August in honour of the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. The festival begins with a religious ceremony that ends with a procession through the streets and down to the water's edge.

Descensodel Guadiana
In the month of June, this event is attended by hundreds of athletes and water sport fans for canoe racing. In August, the International event is also celebrated.


Sanlúcar de Guadiana is located 71kms from Huelva. To get there, take the A-497 towards Aljaraque. Turn off onto the A-5077 leading onto the A-492. Continue on until joining the A-49. Take Exit 105 onto the HU-3401 north towards Tariquejo. Passing Tariquejo, continue until you join the A-490 to Villanueva de los Castillejos. Take the HU-4402, passing El Granado until you reach Sanlúcar de Guadiana.
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