Overlooking the Gulf of Cadiz, the Province of Huelva forms part of the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. Centred around the capital of Huelva, the province has been mined since 1,000 BC and provided an important source of copper for the Roman Empire.
Things to do in Huelva
Whether you want to spot migratory species on their journey south to Africa or pay your respects to the much-venerated Virgin of El Rocio, the Province of Huelva is an underrated gem of Andalusia.
Birdwatch in Doñana National Park. In the far south-east of the Province of Huelva lies Doñana National Park, which protects more than 500 square kilometres of marshes, pine forests and coastal dunes that provide habitat for migratory birds. Begin your visit at the opulent Palacio de Acebron, which houses exhibits detailing the ecological diversity of the park, then keep your eyes peeled for endangered Spanish imperial eagles and Iberian lynx on a 4x4 guided safari.
Hike through the Odiel Marshes. Another renowned birdwatching destination in the Province of Huelva is the Odiel Marshes, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where migratory birds come to rest and refuel on their journey between Europe and Africa. Start your journey at the Anastasio Senra Visitors’ Centre, which is located near the working salt mines, then follow one of the designated walking trails leading to the reserve’s bird observation points.
Make a pilgrimage to El Rocio. Home to a carved wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, the Hermitage of El Rocio draws around a million pilgrims each year during the Romeria de El Rocio procession. This spectacular whitewashed building was designed by Antonio Delgado y Roig and Alberto Balbontin de Orta in the 1960s on the site of two previous hermitages and boasts an opulent gilded altar surrounding the Virgin.
Getting around Huelva
Seville Airport is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Huelva and has flights to destinations across Europe while trains connect from cities throughout Spain to the Huelva railway station. Trains serve several towns in the Province of Huelva, although buses are the main means of getting around.