Huelva Province

Huelva province clockwise: Huelva, Cañaveral, Santa Olalla, Almonaster and Aracena © Michelle Chaplow
Huelva province clockwise: Huelva, Cañaveral, Santa Olalla, Almonaster and Aracena © Michelle Chaplow

Huelva Province

by Jo Williams

Huelva is one of the least-visited regions in Andalucía, but it has many unique places to discover and explore, from cork oak-covered hills, to deserted beaches. Indeed, this province's escape from mass tourism is one of its main attractions.

The province of Huelva lies at the western edge of Andalucía, bordered by Portugal to the west, Seville province to the east and the region of Extremadura to the north. We have divided the province into seven areas below that are similar to the 'Comarcas' created in 2003. 

Huelva is probably best known for the Parque Nacional de Doñana, one of Europe's most important wetland areas, and home to an incredible multitude of wildlife in its sand dunes, marshes, pine woods, salt flats and freshwater lagoons. Here is one of Europe's last remaining habitats for the endangered Iberian lynx and the rare Spanish Imperial Eagle. The best time to visit is in winter and spring, when the park is full of wildfowl. In winter thousands of geese and ducks arrive from the north, while in spring there are many flocks of breeding birds, including herons, spoonbills and storks.

The long Atlantic coastline with miles of unspoilt and often uncrowded beaches of golden sand is also a popular feature of this province. This forms part of the evocatively named Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) that continues into Cadiz province. This coastline is rich in maritime history; most famously, it is where Christopher Columbus found his crew and ships and set sail for the New World.

In the north of the province is the gently rolling Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche, a protected area with excellent walking opportunities and home to the famed cured ham from Jabugo.

Huelva city

Huelva may lack the region's star attractions of other provincial capitals, but once you get past the industrial sprawl on its outskirts, the centre is a pleasant place with many pretty plazas, absorbing historical monuments and, as you'd expect from a city with a bustling port, a wealth of seafood bars and restaurants.

Areas to Explore in Huelva Province

Huelva Province Map and its areas
Map of Huelva province and its areas

The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche natural park encompasses 184,000 hectares, an impressive 90% of it covered by woodland of mainly Mediterranean oak. The landscape is full of contrasts,… More →

The Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) in Huelva Province runs from the Guadiana river, which forms the border between Portugal and Spain, to the Guadalquivir river in the east.

Huelva and its environs is a Mecca for those interested in Christopher Columbus, with a number of significant tourist attractions relating to the famous explorer. Cristóbal Colón (as he is known… More →

Huelva may lack the region's star attractions of other provincial capitals, but once you get past the industrial sprawl on its outskirts, the centre is a pleasant place with many pretty plazas,… More →

The Rio Tinto area of Huelva boasts 3,000 years of mining history, from the Phoenicians then Romans, right up to to the 1990s. Today, as part of the Rio Tinto Mining Park you can visit the museum… More →

El Andévalo is the name of a 'comarca' (region or area) in the west of the province of Huelva. It is made up from 14 municipal districts and even more small villages.

El Condado or 'El Condado de Huelva' is the name of a 'comarca' (region or area) in the south east of the province of Huelva. It is made up from 16 municipal districts and even more smaller… More →

Arising out of the midst of the surrounding greenery, the giant opencast mines of Rio Tinto create a surreal, almost lunar landscape. The removal of layer upon layer of soil and rock, in the… More →

Natural Parks and Natural Monuments in Huelva Province

The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche natural park encompasses 184,000 hectares, an impressive 90% of it covered by woodland of mainly Mediterranean oak. The landscape is full of contrasts,… 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 →

Located in the northern section of the Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel, this 597-hectare nature reserve is made up of marshland and creeks.

Situated in the heart of the Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel, the 480-hectare Reserva Natural Isla de Enmedio can be found where its name suggests, in the middle of the Odiel nature reserve. The… 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 →

The Paraje Natural Sierra Pelada y Rivera del Aserrador is the third largest protected area in Huelva Province. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Morena close to the Portuguese border, it… More →

This 718ha area southwest of Aroche is a little-visited protected area due to its relatively remote location and rough forestry tracks leading to it. It can be reached via the dirt road that links… 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 marshland nature reserve of the Marismas de Isla Cristina is situated between the northern edge of Isla Cristina village and the Carreras estuary to the east and Ayamonte and the Guadiana… More →

Part of the Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel, the Lagunas de Palos y las Madres covers 693 hectares and consists of four lagoons: La Jara, Las Madres, La Mujer and Palos. They are the remains of… More →

Part of the Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel, the Estero de Domingo Rubio is situated seven kilometres south of Huelva city near the La Rábida monastery. The Estero is a creek that runs south of… More →

Just outside of Punta Umbría is an area covering 162 hectares of protected beach, sand dunes and woods, including a juniper grove, one of the few examples of this type in Andalucía. The 50-m wide… More →

Destinations