by Saskia Mier
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 to the influx of tourists from Huelva, Seville and other parts of Spain. Is a more attractive holiday for the curious traveller to stay in an 'old fashioned seaside town' than its new resort neighbour, La Islantilla. It has about 1560 inhabitants.
It is suggested that La Antilla was originally formed in the mid to late nineteenth century by Portuguese fishermen who came to the area to fish sardines. Due to the rich abundance of sardines, the fishermen built huts to live in. At the end of the 50s, these huts eventually turned into formal accommodation, still housed by Portuguese families who made fishing their livelihood. Eventually more housing was constructed and families began to arrive to the area, specifically for holidays, until becoming a popular tourist destination.
The beaches of La Antilla are believed to have been discovered before the sixteenth century when Christopher Columbus reached America; it was named Las Antillas by the crew members who saw the similarity of its fine and golden sand.
THINGS TO SEE
La Antilla is a great location for windsurfing, among other watersports.
Capilla del Carmen
This small chapel dates to the nineteenth century and is thought to have been built by the Portuguese fishermen who came here to work. Located in Barriada de Pescadores.
The long walkway runs alongside the beach and is lined with palm trees. Parallel to this is the main street, Avenida de Castilla, full of shops, bars and a new market.
Just before La Antilla is the picturesque fishermen's quarter, El Carmen. Here you can see the fishermen working on their boats, pulled up on the sandy beach.
La Antilla has a 20km long sandy beach that extends from Río Piedras in the east to Isla Cristina in the west. More>
At its eastern end, it turns into the protected area of Barra de El Rompido (El Rompido spit), across the estuary from the fishing village of El Rompido. At this end, within the Paraje Natural Marismas del Río Piedras y la Flecha de El Rompido, is Nueva Umbría, an area of virgin beach that is designated a naturist beach.
La Antilla is a great location for windsurfing, among other water sports.
WHERE TO STAY
As with all resorts along this coast, it is worth booking accommodation well in advance in the summer months, but outside of this time there are few tourists and it is very tranquil. There is a campsite, Camping La Antilla, between La Antilla and El Terrón.
As one of the popular destinations for vacationers and tourists, the supply of fresh good quality fish and seafood is endless, specifically from the beach bars that offer popular grilled sardines. Other highlights include raya en pimentón (skate in paprika), guisos marineros de rape (monkfish stews), corvina (sea bass), pez espada (swordfish), adobos de pescado (marinated fish), chocos fritos (fried cuttlefish), fideos con caballa (noodles and mackrel) and of course, the seafood.
Fiestas del Carmen
Celebrated from 14-16 July.
Celebrated the first weekend of September with a variety of food products.
La Antilla is located 45km from Huelva. To get there, take the A-497 leaving Huelva and take Exit 5 onto the A-5077. At the roundabout, take the 2nd second exit onto the A-492 and continue on, joining the A-49 towards Portugal. Take Exit 117, south, on the HU-4400 and straight over the roundabout onto the N-445. At the next roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the A-5076 and continue until you reach La Antilla.