Depending on your source, the region of El Condado, or Campiña de Huelva to others, is located in the eastern part of the province of Huelva. Formerly known as the Condado de Niebla, this region borders the lands of Seville and Cadiz, as well as parts of Huelva like El Andévalo, la Cuenca Minera and the Metropolitan region of Huelva.
The region is home to some areas of stunning natural beauty like those in the Doñana National Park. Moreover, there are a number of exquisite baroque temples and the opportunity to walk along its fine sandy beaches while hearing the Atlantic’s waves crash upon the shore.
When it comes to historical sites, then a visit to the Dolmen de Soto is a must. This megalithic monument is one of the most important and best preserved on the European continent. Discovered by the owner of the land, Armondo de Soto, in 1923, this unique complex features a huge burial mound and a gallery whose stones show representations of human figures wielding daggers, staves and axes. Furthermore, the gallery is perfectly oriented from east to west, so that during the spring and autumn equinoxes its interior is filled with sunlight.
Another of the delightful sights to be found in El Condado is the town of Niebla. Founded on a hill which runs along the banks of the Tinto River, this wonderful settlement is completely enclosed by 2 kilometres of town walls. The magnificent castle and historical centre, which retains its original layout to a large degree, are reasons enough to visit this town. A little further up the A-472 and you’ll come to Palma del Condado that, like Niebla, has also been awarded the national title of ‘Cultural Interest Asset’. It is well worth the short trip to the town to gaze upon the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, a church which is an excellent example of late Baroque architecture with a healthy dose of Sevillian influence.
This region is particularly known for its celebrations and festivals. To get an authentic taste of these, it is best to head to the village of El Rocío that lies in the municipality of Almonte. This village is the site of one of the most important pilgrimages in Spain, which, every year, sees vast numbers of people participating in this religious excursion. In this village you will truly get the feel for the rural essence of Andalusia by walking its unpaved streets, passing its whitewashed houses and seeing the nearby marshes. Heading to the other side of the county, you´ll arrive at Bonares where, during the 4th week of May, the locals celebrate the Cruces de Mayo. The Crosses of May festival has now been declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia.
Leaving the religious aspect aside, you are sure to feel a connection with nature while in the unmissable Doñana National Park. This nature reserve is used as a resting and breeding ground for thousands of African and European birds, and it’s also home to endangered species like the Iberian lynx and the Spanish imperial eagle.
To relax and unwind after spending your time at the sites and attractions, there aren´t many things better than heading to Matalascañas beach and taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. While there, you should try some of the local cuisine along with some of the fine local wines with protected designation of origin.
Experience a real journey to prehistory at Dolmen de Soto, one of the most remarkable megalithic monuments in Europe.
Nestled in a crossroads of cultures, seas and continents, the Doñana region is also home to one of Europe’s largest flora and fauna nature reserves.
Matalascañas is unique in that it is both a popular coastal town with a wonderful beach and the gateway into Parque Nacional de Doñana, the largest national park in Spain.