A Guide To Huelva In Spain
Huelva boasts an array of attractions to please just about every type of traveller including some of the best beaches in Spain, charming old whitewashed villages, amazing gastronomy, historic sites plus a selection of championship golf resorts.
Huelva offers visitors some of the best beaches in Spain found in coastal towns of Matalascanas, Mazagon, Punta Umbria, Isla Canela, La Antilla, Isla Cristina and El Rompido.
The province of Huelva is an area of great diversity with pine clad forests and long soft sandy beaches and boasts having around 3000 sunshine hours a year.
Donana National Park and Wetlands
About a third of its extension is taken up by the Doñana nature reserve, one of the most important wetland reserves in Europe. The park is home to over 365 recorded species of resident and migratory birds, five of which are endangered species including the Spanish Imperial Eagle, the Iberian lynx and the Egyptian mongoose.
The park can be enjoyed by trekking, guided tours, 4 x 4 trips and horse riding walks, there are also museums and other informative posts scattered around the reserve.
Sierra de Aracena Mountains
Another must place to visit would be the beautiful and picturesque Sierra de Aracena mountain range.
This picturesque area is a hidden gem in southern Andalucia as it allows you to see typical whitewashed villages, spectacular views, chestnut forests where some of the finest local gastronomy can be found.
A trip to the Gruta de las Maravillas ( Grotto of Marvels ) located at Aracena, with over a kilometer of subterranean passages to explore is well worth it.
Rio Tinto & Mines
Another unique place to visit is the Rio Tinto mines, located near the Village of Nieblas. The name Rio Tinto ( Red River ) was coined from the impressive colour of the water that flows through the mines.
When the ferrous ores come into contact with water they turn both land and the river into an incredible myriad of colours including shades of red, yellow, orange, brown and green.
The mines are reputedly the oldest in the world and rich in history, reportedly being the fabled mines of King Solomon himself. It was the wealth of the mines that beckoned the Phoneticians and the successive invasions of the Greek, Carthaginian s and Romans.
It was inexplicably abandoned by the Romans and left to fall in the memories of time until it was rediscovered in 1556 and reopened in 1724.
Inefficiency and bad management caused the Spanish government to sell the mines to a British consortium in 1871.
Due to the dogged British commercial mentality and work ethic the mine was fully exploited until it became one of the most important sources of Copper and Sulfur in the world.
The colonials even built a small village called Bella Vista for the employees of the mines which is identical to any perfect little country retreat in Britain with neat lawns gardens, tennis lawns and a social club, it even has its own and Presbyterian Church.
Luckily the vast sprawling complex is open to the public and includes guided tours to see the mines, an authentic mining train ride, a museum and bar cafeteria for snacks.
Huelva City – the capital of the region is quite an industrial area and at first glance the city may not be that inspiring enough to visit. It is however home to a number of gems such as the Barrio Obrero ( the workers neighbourhood ), the Tinto and Tharses wharfes.
In the city centre you will also find historic churches including the main Huelva Cathedral and provincial museums which house thousands of Archaeological artifacts.
The province is also famous for its historic connection to Christopher Columbus, on the 3rd August 1492 the caravels set sale from the old port of Palos de la Frontera making the city famous for playing its part in the discovery of America. Palos houses an open dock with replicas of Columbus’s ships.
Top Coastal Towns & Resorts
- Isla Cristina
- El Rompido
- Punto Umbria
- Palos de la Frontera
- El Portil
Popular golfing holiday destination
The province of Huelva has becoming one of the main golfing destinations in Spain with a number of clubs offering championship golf in some of the most spectacular locations.
The best golf courses in the area include:
- El Rompido Golf Resort
- Islantilla Golf Resort
- Isla Canela
- Golk Nuevo Portil
- Costa Esuri
- Monacilla Golf Club
- Bellavista Golf
Huelva is home of the Black Foot Ham - Pata Negra
Huelva is home to the most revered and delicious cured ham in the whole of Spain - Pata Negra - Black Foot Ham.
Some of the best Pata Negra ham is cured in the town of Jabugo, from a special breed of small pig which thrives on acorns from scrub and cork trees.
The village of Jabugo is located in the captivating Sierra de Aracena national park, a quite beautiful area in the north of the region. If you haven't tried authentic black foot ham then you havent lived, once tasted never forgotten!.
There are a few reputable companies which organise trips to Jabugo, a great way to learn how this famous cured ham is made.
El Rocio de Huelva
The famous El Rocio Village is also located in the province of Huelva. A curious village is used by thousands of pilgrims ( Rocieros ) who flock to the village from all over Spain making their annual dusty pilgrimage to pay homage to the Virgen del Rocio, one of Andalucias biggest festivals, the Romeria del Rocio.
El Rocio is a delighful and uniquely historic town with wide, sandy streets, cowboy-hated horse-riding farmers and a frontier-like feeling.
Set on the north-western tip of the marismas, ( salt flat lands ) the village is made of roads made of sand, white cottages and a church stockade where perhaps one of the most famous pilgrimage-festivals takes place.
Celebrated for more then 800 years, the Rocio pilgrimage is an extraordinary spectacle, with whole village communities and local “brotherhoods” from Huelva, Sevilla and even Malaga converging on horseback in lavishly decorated carts.
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Recommended accommodation in Huelva
The 5 star Precise Resort El Rompido & Golf Resort is located close to the beach in El Rompido. An ideal hotel if you are,looking for tranquility, superb beaches and the odd round of golf. Reviewer Rating: 8.2
For something different try the Mobil home Las Moreras located in the quite town of Aljaraque a 10 minute drive from Huelva city. The mobile home offers air-conditioning terrace, free WiFi, quipped kitchen with dining area and a microwave. Reviewer Rating: 8.2