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Isla Canela: idyllic nature and crystalline waters

Isla Canela in the province of Huelva lies on the border with Portugal, within the Ayamonte municipal area. It’s a natural island paradise with marshes and beaches of fine golden sand. The climate (the annual average temperature is 20 oC) and the vast beach create an atmosphere conducive to relaxation by the sea.

On this island, nature and wild beaches coexist happily with restaurants, entertainment and other facilities to make your stay truly memorable. If you’re looking for real relaxation in Huelva, Isla Canela is the place for you. Read on for our guide to the best the island has to offer.

Playa de Isla Canela

Imagine you’re surrounded by golden sands, looking out at more than 5 km of natural, wild beach. Visualise blue, crystalline waters that compete with remote destinations, and imagine the sunset over the marshes. Now picture kitesurfing, windsurfing, golf, cycling and great food in amazing restaurants and tapas bars.

Isla Canela offers all this and more, which is why it’s one of the most popular beaches on the entire Costa de la Luz. Despite having all the services that the traveller might need, the area conserves and protects its natural environment. This is a really special corner of Huelva.

isla canela

Isla Canela Beach

Getting to Isla Canela is easy. The island is just 7 km from Ayamonte along well-signposted roads.

Marina de Isla Canela

The marina is in a prime location on the Costa de la Luz, at the mouth of the River Guadiana and with Portugal’s Algarve region next door. It’s equipped with all the boating facilities you’d expect. The nearby area has bars, restaurants and entertainment options and is a great place for a stroll or for picking up a boat to Isla Cristina. Those into sport fishing or looking to see more of the coastline will find boat excursions to suit their requirements too. And at the end of your day, why not enjoy a sundowner in one of the terrace bars.

Golf on Isla Canela

Golf is one of the most popular activities on Isla Canela. In fact, the island has one of the best and prettiest courses in all of Spain. The sea views, ponds, dunes and greenery make this 18-hole course a great place for practising your swing surrounded by nature.

What to see near Isla Canela




Isla Canela is part of Ayamonte, a municipality at the mouth of the River Guadiana. It sits on the natural border that the river creates with Portugal, and the views here are just lovely. It also has a charming old town. Make sure to take a stroll to Plaza de la Laguna, admire the stately homes, stop in at the 15th-century Iglesia del Salvador, the 16th-century Iglesia de San Francisco, and pass by the Pozo de la Villa, to name just a few of the sights. When hunger strikes, try the traditional dish of arroz con castañas (rice with chestnuts). The area is also famous for its canned seafood products: try the anchovies, sardines, mackerel and tuna.

Isla Cristina

For a beach experience amid wetlands, head over to Isla Cristina where the wild beaches are covered with fine golden sand. If you have time, we recommend a trip to the fish market to observe an auction in action – it’s the largest such auction in Andalusia and you’ll really get an immersion into local fishing culture. Other sights are the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and the Museo del Carnaval. As for night life, there are plenty of interesting bars with live music.

isla cristina

Isla Cristina

Hotels on Isla Canela

There’s one simple answer to the question of where to stay on Isla Canela. Barceló has two hotels that will meet all your expectations and help make your stay on the island unforgettable.

The beach-front Barceló Isla Canela has a fantastic pool, great gardens and a bar restaurant where you can enjoy the best local cuisine, and the golf course is just 5 minutes away.

The Barceló Occidental Isla Cristina is in neighbouring Isla Cristina and also enjoys a beach front location. This elegant hotel has a pool with two bars, a gym and sauna, and many other first-rate services. There’s a buffet restaurant serving great food, and an extensive programme of sports and other leisure activities. You’ll have your pick of things to do, while young travellers will also have a great time in the kids’ club.

A stay with Barceló will put beach life and wild nature right on your doorstep.

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