Huelva Province - Costa de la Luz Destinations

La Rabida monastery
La Rabida monastery

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.


Ayamonte El Rocío
With its attractive tiled plazas, remniscent of neighbouring Portugal, the fishing port and resort of Ayamonte makes an ideal stopping place between Spain and Portugal.
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This is a strange outpost of the Wild West, with wide, sandy streets lined with houses complete with broad verandahs and wooden rails for tying up horses.
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El Rompido Isla Cristina
Out on a limb eight kilometres from the nearest town of Cartaya, the fishing village of El Rompido is one of the most tranquil and uncrowded spots.
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Forty five kilometres from Huelva city is this beach resort, popular with Spanish visitors.
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La Antilla La Rabida
This small resort just 5km south of Lepe has a pleasant promenade, a wide, sandy beach and some excellent seafood restaurants.
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Seven kilometres south of Huelva city where the Tinto and Odiel rivers meet is the 15th-century Franciscan Monasterio de Santa María de la Rábida.
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Matalascañas Lepe
Matalascañas is a popular, modern resort, located in a beautiful area of extensive coastal dunes and sandy beaches.
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Lepe is a small agricultural market town famous for it's strawberries and being the subject of innumerable Spanish 'Irishman' jokes...
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Punta Umbría Cartaya
The closest beach to Huelva City, this town is the most popular resort along the Huelva Costa de la Luz.
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Cartaya is a small town located a few km inland fromt he coast on and close to the Rio Piedras.
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Islantilla is the small neighbouring resort to La Antilla with a wide, sandy beach and some excellent seafood restaurants.
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Doñana Marismas del Odiel
The Parque Nacional de Doñana is one of Europe's most important wetland reserves and a major site for migrating birds.
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The Paraje Natural de las Marismas del Odiel is the second most significant wetland reserve in Andalucía.
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Marismas del Río Piedras  
The river Piedras marshlands and El Rompido spit was designated a protected area in 1989.
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Rocío Pilgrimage
Andalucia is famous for its pilgrimages or "romerías" - so called because pilgrims traditionally walked to Rome.
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