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Huelva: Travel Notes

While surrounded by nature reserves and areas of outstanding natural beauty, the city itself is not a travel hot spot. But, we’ll let you in on a little secret. If you are tired of the usual travel destinations and tourist traps, love great food and exploring the natural world Huelva is a great place to start.


By:  Julio Ruiz
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Eat Drink Live music Sleep Shop Sports and spas Museums and galleries Theatre and dance Cinema Transport Green zones Escapes

 

EventsFind out what’s on! Check out our events guide for Andalusia.
Capital of the province of Huelva
Essential: take a walk in the marshes nearby
The weather:

There are three things you must do when you arrive in Huelva. First, don’t expect to find a thriving city centre. It doesn’t exist. As you walk the streets you can’t help feeling that it lacks a clear and defined identity. Huelva is a provincial capital existing somewhere between the vestiges of its mining history, rural character and current standing as an industrial centre with its controversial polo quimico, or chemical plant, which prevent the city from moving forward to shine as a popular travel destination within Andalusia. An authentic and unaffected city, its modesty is its best asset.

Second. Make sure to order a plate of jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn–fed Iberian ham) in any of the restaurants on the Calle Vázquez López, the main commercial artery of the city. Our recommendation? El Restaurante Azabache (C/ Vázquez López, 22, 959257528, restauranteazabache.com). Unless you want to try the exquisite black rice, their fresh fish is a great option as a main course. The white sea bass, corvina, is simply delicious. If you’re lucky enough to visit in the right season, find a place that serves strawberries. You won’t regret it!

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The third thing on your to-do list is to get in your car and head for the wetlands reserve known as Paraje Natural de las Marismas de Odiel (Office: Ctra. del Dique Juan Carlos I, km 3, 959524218, juntadeandalucia.es) to the west of the city. Once there, the view is astounding, especially if you’re on a short escape from a city. The Marismas are an important resting place for migratory birds and its beaches open out onto the Atlantic via snakelike footpaths. Try out the Sendero Calatilla de Bacuta (Calatilla Visitors Centre, Ctra. del Dique Juan Carlos I Km. 3, 959509011, juntadeandalucia.es).

If you want to stay closer to home, visit the Muelle de la Compañía de Rio Tinto built in 1876. A three-tiered train track used by the Rio Tinto Company Ltd. to load their ships with minerals. Taking the Eiffel Tower as his inspiration, the dock was designed by Georges Bruce. For a relaxing afternoon, take some time to sit at the end of the pier looking out at the water.

The old English workers’ district, known as the Barrio Reina Victoria is one way to go back in time to 1916, to a British suburb located on the Andalusian coast. Designed by RH Morgan, it was originally built to house workers in the mining industry and the 88 semi-detached houses take up 8 hectares. In 2002 the Junta de Andalucía declared it a site of historical interest.

Back in the city centre, the cultural options are somewhat limited: the Gran Teatro de Huelva (C/ Vázquez López, 13, 959245703, huelvacultura.com), Museo de Huelva (Alameda Sundheim, 13, 959650424, juntadeandalucia.es) with its temporary exhibits and archaeological collection, and finally the Casa Colón (Plaza del Punto, s/n, 959210111,ayuntamientohuelva.es), a multifunctional centre that houses the Film Festival held once a year in Huelva. The 1900 Company Bar (C/ Garci Fernández, 10, 1900company.blogspot.com) organizes exhibitions and a cinema club in the evenings. It’s probably your best bet if you’re looking to meet like-minded people.

At night head for Avenida Pablo Rada, a meeting point for young people in the city. You’ll find loads of restaurants that offer an assortment of tapas and traditional food. If you ask anyone where to go out athe answer will invariably be the Red Lion (Avenida Martín Alonso Pinzón, 26, 959259101). If you’ve got a car, another option is Sala Habana (Polígono Polirosa, C/ I, 149, 699912895, habanamusica.es) for enjoying alternative live music.

 

Tertulia recommends


 Eat

Early morning coffee
Tartería Las Alemanas
C/ Sor Angela de la Cruz, 2

Cheap and cheerful
Jeromo, 12 €
Plaza de la Merced, 6
959261618

Home cooked meal
La Cazuela, 30 €
C/ Garci y Fernández, 5
959258096

Classic tapas
Diez Barriles, 5 €
C/ Jesús de la Pasión, s/n

Classic tapas
Taberna El Condado, 3-10 €
C/ Sor Ángela de la Cruz, 3
959261123

Local cuisine
Restaurante Azabache, 40-50 €
C/ Vázquez López, 22
959257528, restauranteazabache.com

Local cuisine
El Portichuelo
C/ Vázquez López, 15
959245768

Seafood
La Marina, 30-50 €
Avda. Italia, 20
959259692

Carnivore's paradise
La Marmita, 30-50 €
C/ Miguel Redondo, 12
959262216

A trip to Italy
Don Camillo e Peppone, 10 €
C/ Aragón, 43. C/ Isaac Peral, 3
959280159 - 959281806

Treat yourself
Las Meigas, 30-50 €
Avda. de Guatemala, 44
959271958

Something different
Dioni, 4 €
C/ Palacios, 3
959240632

 Drink

Everyone is talking about it
Red Lion
Avenida Martín Alonso Pinzón, 26
959259101

Something different
1900 Company Bar
C/ Garci Fernández, 10

To be seen
Soho Café
C/ Fernando el Católico, 8

To be seen
Trastero Bar
C/ Pablo Rada, s/n

Nightclub
Bagoa
Avda. Martín Alonso Pinzón, 26
discotecabagoa.com


 Live music

Great live music
Sala Habana
Polígono Polirosa, C/ I, 149
699912895, habanamusica.es

Electronic
Sala Penélope
Polígono Industrial La Barca
Cartaya
959392152, penelopehuelva.es

Flamenco
Peña Flamenca de Huelva
Avda. Andalucía, Plaza Paco Toronjo
959270505

Rock
Sala Mala Reputación
C/ Manuel de Falla

 Sleep

Business trip
AC Huelva, 70 €
Avda. Andalucía, s/n
959545200, ac-hotels.com

Dependable Chain
NH Luz de Huelva, 60 €
Alameda Sundheim, 26
959250011, nh-hotels.com

Cosy and central
Hotel Tartessos, 60 €
Avenida Martín Alonso Pinzón, 13
959282400, eurostarshotels.com

Cosy and central
Hotel Familia Conde, 60 €
Alameda Sundheim, 14
959282400, hotelfamiliaconde.com

Cheap and cheerful
Hotel Virgen de la Cinta, 69 €
Avda. Manuel Siurot, 7
959541260, hotelvirgendelacinta.com

Hidden away
Hotel Hacienda Montija, 90 €
Ctra. Huelva-San Juan del Puerto. Km1
959222111, haciendamontija.com

Parador
Parador de Mazagón, 160 €
Carretera San Juan del Puerto-Matalascañas km.31
959536300, parador.es

Youth Hostel
Albergue Juvenil Inturjoven, 24 €
Avda. Marchena Colombo, 14
959650010, inturjoven.com

 Shop

Music store
Tipo
C/ Francisco Vázquez Limón, 14
959249304, tipo.es

Bookstore
Librerías Beta
C/ Vázquez López, 44-4
959251668, libreriasbeta.com

Music
Rivera Música
Paseo de la Glorieta, 14
959255404, riveramusica.com

Art supplies
Keramos
C/ Vázquez López, 45
959252715

Getting ready for feria
Ubaldo
C/ Arquitecto Pinto, 3
959271730

Local produce
Tierra Nuestra
C/ Fernando El Católico, 34
959541579

 Skyline

Muelle de la Compañía de Riotinto

A dock with a three-tiered train track leading to the River Odiel built in 1876 to load their ships with minerals from the Riotinto Mines. Built by George Bruce who took inspiration from the Parisian Eiffel Tower.

Monumento a la Fe Descubridora
Designed by the Miss Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the statue is located on the outskirts of the city (Punta del Sebo). It is a representation of a Franciscan monk from the Rábida Monastery, where Christopher Columbus planned his voyages to the Americas. 37 meters tall it was built using stone from nearby Niebla.

Catedral de la Merced
Finished in 1615 this Baroque cathedral was destroyed in the 1715 earthquake. Completely reconstructed, it has a faintly colonial air about it. Next door you’ll find the Convento de la Merced, which now houses the University of Huelva.

 Sports and spas

Getting sweaty
O2 Centro Wellness
Avenida de San Sebastian, s/n
959246276, o2centrowellness.com

Be adventurous with kids
Onubaland
Ctra. Dique J.Carlos I, km.3. Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel
959509011, onubaland.com

Be adventurous with kids
Platalea
C/ Pinta, s/n
959260708, platalea.com

Team sports
Estadio Nuevo Colombino
Avenida Decano del Fútbol Español, s/n
959270208

Sports center
Andrés Estrada
Avenida Pío XII, s/n
959221001

 Museums and galleries

Contemporary
Galería Plus Ultra, Fundación Caja Sol
C/ Plus Ultra, 4
959247211

A little of everything
Sala Fundación Caja Rural
C/ Mora Claros, 6
959707050, fundacioncajarural.org

Archaeological
Museo de Huelva
Alameda Sundheim, 13
959650424, juntadeandalucia.es

 Theatre and dance

A little of everything
Gran Teatro de Huelva
C/ Vázquez López, 13
959245703, huelvacultura.com

A little of everything
Casa Colón
Plaza del Punto, s/n
959210181

 Cinema

Mainstream
Cinebox Aqualón Puerto
Gta. Glorieta Norte, s/n
959359043, cinebox.es

Cinema club
CineClub Municipal 'Francisco Elías'
C/ Vazquez Lopez, 13
959245703

Cinema club
1900 Company Bar
C/ Garci Fernández, 10

 Transport

Car rental
Europcar
Avda. Italia, s/n
959285335

Taxi
Teletaxis
959250022

Bus
959256900

 Green zones

Marismas de Odiel
Ctra. del Dique Juan Carlos I

Parque Moret
Avda. Manuel Siurot

Parque Alonso Sánchez
Cuesta de las Tres Caídas

Parque Paco Jiménez
Paseo Marítimo

 Escapes

There are literally hundreds of adventures to be had without travelling too far from the city. To the east, between Mazagón and Matalascañas, you’ll find the Parque Dunar (Cra. de Matalascañas a Mazagón, 959448409, parquedunar.com), 130 hectares of sand and dunes up to ten metres tall. Within its boundaries take a look at the marine biology museum, Museo del Mundo Marino (Parque Dunar, Cra. de Matalascañas a Mazagón, 959448409, parquedunar.com). If you’re into surf, don’t miss the opportunity to do some surfing in Mazagón.

Another must see is the Parque Natural y Nacional de Doñana (from Huelva: take the A-494 towards Matalascañas. In Matalascañas, take the A-483 to El Rocío). You’ll find a wide variety of species inhabiting its many wetland ecosystems, such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle and the Iberian Lynx, both in danger of extinction. The largest ecological reserve in Europe it is spread out over 53,709 hectares. In order to visit, you need to get permission from the parks head office (959439626, reddeparquesnacionales.mma.es). Another option is to hire a guide from Doñanatour (C/ El Real, 31, 959442468, donana.com). They offer four-wheel drive tours, as well as excursions on foot and horseback.

To the west, take the road towards Punta Umbría and follow the coast. Punta Umbría, El Portil and El Rompido conceal beaches and coves ideal for small sail boats. If you keep going as far as Lepe, you can stop in on the strawberry fields if it’s the right season. You won’t forget the taste. For more beaches, keep going until you get to Isla Cristina.

La Rábida is just 12 km from the city, and is home to the famous monastery Santa María de la Rábida (959350411, monasteriodelarabida.com). Christopher Columbus planned his voyages of discovery to the Americas from within its walls. Nearby you’ll find Moguer, a picturesque white village where the great poet Juan Ramón Jiménez was born. In the entrance of the village you’ll see a sign painted with his words: La luz con el tiempo dentro - Light with time inside. Once there you can relive his poetry by visiting his birthplace, now housing the Fundación Juan Ramón Jiménez (C/ Juan Ramón Jiménez,10, 959372148, fundacion-jrj.es).

If you’re visiting Huelva, don’t forget to pop in to the Riotinto Mines. The main aim of the Parque Minero de Riotinto (Plaza Ernest Lluch, s/n, 959590025, parquemineroderiotinto.com), is to educate visitors about mining culture. On offer is a guided tour to the Peña de Hierro mine between Riotinto and Nerva, during which you can go down into the galleries and even find out about top secret C.A.B. and N.A.S.A investigations.

 

Useful contacts


Town Hall
Plaza Constitución, s/n
959210101, ayuntamientohuelva.es

Huelva University
C/ Dr. Cantero Cuadrado, 6
959218000, uhu.es

Hospital Juan Ramón Jiménez
Ronda Exterior Norte, s/n
959201000

Emergency Medical Attention
061

Fire
080

Post office
Avenida Italia, 15
959540565

Local police
092

Ecologists in Action
959223172

24-hour pharmacy
C/ Dr. Rubio (Frente Aguas de Huelva)

Video



Getting there?


By air
Aeropuerto más cercano: Sevilla
Carretera N-IV, Km 532
954449000

By train
Estación de tren de Huelva
Av. de Italia, s/n
959245614

By boat
Puerto de Huelva
Av. Hispanoamérica, s/n
959213100

By bus
Estación de Autobuses DAMAS
Av. de Portugal, 9
959256900


Ver mapa más grande

Bibliography


These books related to Huelva: Travel Notes may interest you.

Discography


These albums related to Huelva: Travel Notes may interest you.

Filmography


These films related to Huelva: Travel Notes may interest you.

Links






3 comments

Pon tu propia imagen con Gravatar
El 2 April 2009 a las 10:38 AM, Debora Sands dijo...

I agree completely. I visited Huelva city last year. It has a strange aura about it, like a city living for the time it spends outside itself and on the beaches and in the countryside around it. But it is strangely beautiful with the combination of the nature around it, the chemical plant, ships, the monstrous architecture… And there is a calmness and lack of arrogance in all the people I met that really impressed me. I’d recommend it.


Pon tu propia imagen con Gravatar
El 22 February 2010 a las 10:25 PM, karina dijo...

solo deciros que la tarteria las alemanas esta especializada en tartas caseras al estilo aleman, elaboradas con mucho mimo y productos naturales. algo diferente! chocolate, fruta natural, nata…. todo sabores propios e intensos. saludos


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El 27 June 2011 a las 1:25 AM, Milagros dijo...

Me encanta vuestra revista, los articulos son estupendos y dais muy buena información de todo. Seguid asi.



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