What to see in Punta Umbría, the town with the constant summer
Punta Umbría finds itself between the crashing waves of the Atlantic and the slow crawl of the Huelva estuary. These two states are perfect metaphors for what Punta Umbría has to offer, too; with its lively beach bars contrasting with its tranquil fishing villages and serene national parks.
The beaches in Punta Umbría
Some of the best beaches in Huelva are to be found in Punta Umbría, for instance:
Punta Umbría Urban Beach
Located a stone’s throw from the town centre, this is one of the most popular beaches for families in summer, thanks to its accessibility and its proximity to the many bars and restaurants scattered along Ocean Avenue (Avenida del Océano)
Los Enebrales Beach
This virgin beach is to be found tucked away in a forest of pine and juniper trees, making it the perfect beach to just relax.
La Bota Beach
This beach is another idyllic place to relax and enjoy the sun but don’t let it fool you, it is also at the centre of a story that changed the course of history. On this beach in 1943 a corpse washed ashore with a briefcase full of important documents from British Intelligence. Yet, while the corpse was real, the documents he carried were a ruse to convince the Nazis that the Allied invasion in the Mediterranean would take place in Greece and not in Sicily. This cunning trick is one of the actions that turned the tide of the Second World War and was later turned into the film The Man Who Never Was.
El Portil Beach
At the end of La Bota Beach you will find a beautiful natural reserve that contains the remains of the military bunkers that the dictator Francisco Franco ordered to be built during the Second World War.
La Ría Beach
Right in the centre of the town, at the convergence of the waters of the rivers Odiel and Tinto, you will find this quiet beach that is a hit with families every year.
What to do in Punta Umbría
Almenara Tower and The English House Museum
During the 16th century, piracy in the Mediterranean was rife. For this reason, Phillip III built fortresses all along the Spanish coast, one of which was erected to protect the entrance to the Huelva estuary: the Almenara Tower. Years later, in the 19th century, the area surrounding this tower became very popular with English tourists and workers who built delightful wooden houses on stilts. One of these houses, known as The English House Museum (la Casa Museo de los Ingleses), offers visitors the chance to see what attracted many English workers to Punta Umbría and to see how they lived in these pretty houses.
Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel
Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel (la capilla de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes) is a humble 20th century chapel that contains the local patron saint La Virgen del Carmen. She also appears in the Monument to Sailors, a 3-metre high statue erected in honour of the local fishing tradition.
El Portil Lagoon and Los Enebrales National Park
Punta Umbría is surrounded by natural reserves that are so important they have been given protected status by UNESCO. The Odiel marshlands, whose walking routes promise the chance to see a plethora of local and migratory water birds, and Los Enebrales Natural Park, whose wooden walkways are perfect for bike trips, are just two of the most spectacular natural spaces worth visiting in the area.
Where to eat in Punta Umbría
During your stay in Punta Umbría you simply must take the time to visit Restaurante Arrozante. This restaurant has two famous chefs who promise to show their visitors how rice dishes in Spain are much more than simple paellas. They promise classic and modernised recipes using the very best local produce, which you can enjoy while taking in the spectacular views from the restaurant.
There is also the Azabache Restaurant, which serves traditional recipes in a modern setting and Bar Juanito Coronel, a time-honoured classic of Punta Umbría famous for its fresh fried fish.
What to do around Punta Umbría
If you plan on staying for a few days, then you should really try to get out on the road and see what Punta Umbría’s environs have to offer too. The following places are all to be found just a few minutes by car away.
Discover one of the oldest settlements in the West, and one of the least known places in Andalusia: Huelva. Walk its streets lined with palm trees and learn about the role it played in Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World.
Palos de la Frontera
Known locally as the ‘cradle of the discovery of America’ Palos de la Frontera is a quaint village on the River Tinto that contributed sailors, ships and money to Christopher Columbus’ voyage in 1492 and continues to celebrate it to this day.
It was in the Santa Clara convent of Moguer that Christopher Columbus swore an oath of allegiance to the ‘Catholic Monarchs’ of Spain. There is also a fantastic castle and a renovated Roman villa that was converted into a farmhouse by the Moors.
Where to stay in Punta Umbría
A few steps from the beach via a wooden walkway you will find the hotel Barceló Punta Umbría Mar, a cosy place with a traditional Andalusian patio inside, an open-air swimming pool and a spa. Located between the Odiel marshlands and Los Enebrales Natural Park, this hotel is an ideal base from which to explore the area or just stay and enjoy amenities it has to offer with your partner or with children.
Also nearby is the Barceló Punta Umbría Beach Resort, another four-star hotel well worth a visit.
Information of interest
How to get to Punta Umbría:
- By bus: buses leave every hour from the station in Huelva capital (direct to Punta Umbría or via Aljaraque)
- By car: The A-497 connects Huelva capital with Punta Umbría in less than 20 minutes.
- By ship: you can take the ‘Punta Umbría Canoe’ (la Canoa de Punta Umbría) from Huelva, which follows the river across the Odiel marshlands to Punta Umbría. Although the journey takes longer, the views more than make up for it.