Enjoy Huelva with these 6 not-to-be-missed activities
Among Andalusia’s provinces, Huelva has arrived late at the party where tourism is concerned — not because it doesn’t have much to offer, as it is an incredible place, but simply because mass tourism has not yet reached its beaches and mountains. For this precise reason, it is fascinating to travel to south-western Spain to enjoy a more authentic kind of tourism.
Here are 6 essential activities in Huelva, to help you get the most from your trip. You’ll find a little of everything here, from the cultural possibilities offered by the capital city to a few options to try in the provinces, and leisure activities such as sailing or fishing. Once you’ve discovered the beautiful beaches, the fantastic quality of the area’s gastronomy (Jabugo ham, white prawns, strawberries) will always be high on your list of the area’s attractions.
- A guided tour of Huelva
- A boat trip around Huelva
- Pop over to Portugal for a visit to Ayamonte
- Seeing a flamenco show in Huelva
- Fishing in Huelva
- Options at Barceló hotels
Set aside a weekend during your stay (or even a week if you can) to tour Huelva from north to south and from east to west — it will be a revelation. Moreover, as the province of Huelva lies on the border with Portugal, you could always cross over and go shopping or enjoy the cultural treasures on offer there.
A guided tour of Huelva
Sometimes we are tempted to visit a particular destination independently after glancing through a few brochures or internet articles, but to get a real insight into a place, the best idea is a guided visit. If you travel to the city of Huelva itself, a short tour will not take more than half a morning, and will equip you to go on exploring the city independently for the rest of your holiday. And if you’re thinking of a rather more active holiday and you have the time, we can also recommend booking a few excursions that will help you learn about aspects of Huelva’s history (the Columbus Trail), its gastronomic traditions (with its ham-curing facilities), and its nature and beaches (The Odiel marshes, the El Rompido area).
On any guided tour around Huelva, make sure you don’t miss the Catedral de la Merced, the Town Hall, the Carmen market, the Muelle del Tinto [Rio Tinto Pier], the Barrio Inglés [English Quarter], and Moret park. And of course, you absolutely have to go for tapas.
A boat trip around Huelva
It would be unthinkable to go on holiday to a coastal destination such as Huelva without feeling tempted to take a sailing trip. We recommend that you explore the province’s coastline from the sea, with a glass of cava in your hand — an unforgettable experience. Enjoying southern Spain’s wonderful sunsets from out at sea should be designated an essential activity in Huelva. An interesting stroll? There are a plethora of possibilities. Among those we’ve experienced at first hand are walks around Punta Umbría and the Odiel marshes, as well as the Flecha de El Rompido area.
Pop over to Portugal for a visit to Ayamonte
Any trip to Huelva should include a visit to the city of Ayamonte. With just over twenty thousand inhabitants, this city never fails to charm visitors. It is home to tourist resorts such as Isla Canela, which you’ve either already been to, or dreamt of visiting.
Essential sights of Ayamonte include its historic quarter, of course, with the Plaza de la Laguna and its Town Hall. Also well worth visiting are the churches of El Salvador, San Francisco and Las Angustias, the Plaza de la Coronación, and the palace of the Marquis of Ayamonte. Also worth mentioning are the seaport and the incredibly beautiful Guadiana International Bridge, one of our country’s longest bridges, linking Spain and Portugal Enjoying an excursion to Portugal is a simple matter of crossing the bridge. We can also recommend viewing this great feat of engineering from the sea whilst on a boat trip.
Seeing a flamenco show in Huelva
Whether you’re a flamenco fan or not, seeing a show in Huelva is an experience you’ll never want to forget. Flamenco shows also include a tasting menu or a dinner prepared from local ingredients that guests can enjoy whilst watching the show. Very often, you’ll be so absorbed in the show that when they come to take your plate away, you’ll suddenly realise that you’ve not touched your food. Ask for a table near the stage so that you don’t miss a single movement or gesture by the dancers because it’s a fabulous spectacle. You’ll immediately see why flamenco has been declared an Intangible World Heritage Asset by UNESCO.
Fishing in Huelva
If you’re a fishing enthusiast, and you’re not happy to just go sailing, you’ll still have an opportunity to enjoy your hobby in Huelva. So what are your options? The most obvious answer (if you have a licence) is to hire a boat and take or hire your own equipment. Otherwise, you can simply book a shared chartered fishing vessel. Your trip will last about four hours and you’ll be accompanied by an instructor, with fishing equipment, bait and even a snack included. You can go fishing from several places, but the most popular is around the Carreras river or off the coast.
Options at Barceló hotels
You would expect a destination as impressive as Huelva to have hotels to match, and you’d be right — it has! Among the many accommodation options you’ll find in the province, both on the coast and inland, there are a few that stand out on account of their excellent facilities and their leisure offers.Here are five of our favourites. First, there’s the Occidental Isla Cristina, a four-star, beach-front hotel with 233 guest rooms and 110 apartments. An All Inclusive option is available, and the hotel offers sports activities, swimming pools, and leisure pursuits for all ages.
Another large hotel, with 349 guest rooms, is theBarceló Isla Canela.It stands on the beach front, and is set among stunning, Andalusian-style gardens. Whether you’re travelling with your partner or with your family, you’ll have the time of your lives at this four-star hotel, as it has a children’s club and sports activities that change on a weekly basis.
There is so much to love about the Barceló Punta Umbría Beach Resort hotel: its natural setting (the Paraje Natural de los Enebrales [Los Enebrales Natural Park] and the Odiel Marshlands Biological Reserve), its location on an unspoilt beach, its impressive wellness centre, its 4,000 m2 of swimming pools… You will love it just as much as the Barceló Punta Umbría Mar, which offers direct access to the beach and a host of leisure activities for the whole family. Don’t forget to book a meal at its Arrozante restaurant, or a treatment in its wellness centre. Without the shadow of a doubt, this hotel offers ideal accommodation for a holiday on the coast of Huelva.
Lastly, we travel inland to tell you about the Barceló Aracena; you cannot fail to be captivated by its magnificent natural setting in the Aracena mountain range, with the Gruta de las Maravillas [Cave of Wonders] nearby. Here moreover, you can choose from among the hotel’s 69 rooms and 14 villas. This four-star establishment is as equally perfect for a romantic getaway as it is for a family holiday. You’ll love the hotel’s panoramic B-Heaven terrace with views of the castle and of the mountains, as well as its U-Spa.
Occidental Isla Cristina
- On the seafront at Isla Cristina beach
- Perfect for all the family
- Grand outdoor pool
- Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Barceló Isla Canela
- On the Isla Canela beach seafront
- Surrounded by Andalusian-style gardens
- Exquisite cuisine and customer service
- Ideal for couples or families
Barceló Punta Umbría Beach Resort
- Set in a natural park beside the unspoilt Punta Umbría beach
- Perfect for families and children
- Spa and wellness centre
- Huelva Convention Centre, a new concept for business purposes
- Excellent position
- Meeting and event rooms
- Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Barceló Punta Umbría Mar
- Perfect for a short break with your partner
- Large bedrooms with incredible views
- Wellness Centre and Zen area
- Direct access to the beach, between two nature reserves
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I not miss in Huelva?
Huelva’s offer for tourists is twofold: on the one hand there’s its coastline, but other attractions lie inland. If you visit the coast, make sure you don’t miss the beaches and the sunsets, go sailing, and enjoy a meal of white prawns overlooking the sea. Inland you have the mountain ranges, with lovely towns such as Aracena.
Are there guided tours of Ayamonte?
In Ayamonte, there are fascinating guided tours around the city’s historic quarter, but you can also go sailing, stopping off to visit Isla Crisitna, Los Caños de las Marismas [marshes] on Isla Canela and the Portuguese town of Vila Real de San Antonio.
Where can I see a flamenco show in Huelva?
In Huelva you can see flamenco shows organised by local councils as well as in private tablaos [flamenco venues] or even in hotels, which hold excellent themed evenings. Check the programme at the Barceló Punta Umbría Beach Resort, because it will not disappoint.