This list of the top places to go and things to do in Huelva is a great way to explore one of the most unknown and surprising areas of Andalusia, making the most of your time.
Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and with more than 120 kilometers of fantastic beaches, Huelva is a land of contrast beauty.
There are caves with unique formations to impressive natural parks and then villages and impregnable fortresses, megalithic monuments, and even a reddish river.
Moreover, all of these places have great historical significance as the starting point of Columbus’ voyage to the Americas aboard three Caravelles and the pilgrimage of El Rocio, which is held here every year.
Adding its gastronomy, from shrimp, Jabugo ham, and Condado de Huelva wines, and dishes such as coquinas, chocolate potatoes, and pestios, make this province another destination of southern Spain.
Depending on the time you want to enjoy the Costa de las beaches Luz beaches, we believe that if you spend about 4 or 5 days, you will know the main points of interest, including half a day in Huelva.
The best time to travel to the province of Huelva is from April to October, when you will have a more pleasant climate and little chance of rain.
In summer, however, the temperature in coastal areas soars above 30 degrees along with the prices of accommodations.
Based on the experience of the time we spent in this region during our last route through Andalusia by car and situated among the most beautiful places to see in Andalusia, we have made this list of what we believe are the 18 must-see places to visit and things to do in Huelva. Let’s start!
18 Best Places To See and Things To Do In Huelva
1. Doñana National Park
One of the best things to do in Huelva is to visit the Doñana National Park, considered the most significant ecological reserve in Europe and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.
This extensive protected natural area stands out for its valuable ecosystems and unique biodiversity.
You can see more than 300 species, many of them coming from the migratory routes between the African and European continents. These species take advantage of the rich marshes to rest and breed.
To see birds, you can go to the José Antonio Valverde Visitor Center or the El Acebuche Visitor Center and take a short hiking route through several observation points.
Another place to visit in this park is the village of El Rocio, famous for its multitudinous pilgrimage and the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora del Rocio, which houses the venerated Virgin.
An excellent way to learn about its history is to book one of the best free tours of El Rocio for free.
Remember that before leaving Doñana, it is highly recommended to visit the coastal area of Laguna Del Jaral and Cuesta De Maneli, which hides incredible landscapes of moving dunes and pristine white sand beaches.
2. Huelva Capital
The capital of Huelva, although not the most beautiful city in Andalusia, does offer a variety of plans and attractions.
A route through this city would start in the Barrio Reina Victoria, famous for its English-style houses, and then continue through the Plaza del Punto, where the monument to the Virgen del Rocio is located, and continue along the commercial avenue Martin Alonso Pinzon, passing in front of City Hall, until you reach the Plaza de las Monjas.
The square has many bars and terraces where you can have a drink. If it’s lunchtime, one of the most recommended restaurants in Huelva is Azabache or La Teja.
The next part of the route through the places to see in Huelva’s capital will take you to the Plaza de la Merced, where you will find the beautiful church Nuestra Señora de la Merced and end with a fantastic sunset at the Muelle del Tinto, which was used to load the ore extracted from the Riotinto mines during the nineteenth century.
To stay in this city, we recommend the Senator Huelva hotel or the Exe Tartessos, both located in the city’s center.
People Also Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Huelva Capital
3. Palos de la Frontera, one of the places to see in Huelva
The port of the city of Palos de la Frontera, located 10 kilometers from the capital, was where Columbus set sail on August 3, 1492, with his three caravels: La Niña, La Pinta, and La Santa Maria on his voyage to the Indies.
With time, several buildings and monuments linked to the history and commemoration of the Discovery of America were built and rehabilitated, making the port area of Palos de la Frontera another of the most interesting places to see in Huelva.
The first you will find coming from Huelva capital is the Monument to the Discovering Faith, located at the confluence of the rivers Tinto and Odiel, and formed by a figure of a navigator 37 meters high looking towards the Americas and a pedestal with several bas-reliefs representing the Aztec, Inca, Mayan and Christian cultures.
The next stop will be at the Muelle de las Carabelas. Here you will find reproductions of the three caravels and an interpretation center that will help you remember the history of this remarkable voyage.
The last point to visit is the Monastery of Santa Maria La Rabida. Christopher Columbus stayed before leaving for the New World in this Gothic-Mudejar style building of the fifteenth century.
There are also the remains of Martin Alonso Pinzon, captain of the Pinta.
People Also Read: Where To Eat In Huelva? 8 Best Places To Taste Delicious Foods In Huelva
4. Grotto of Wonders
Entering the Cave of Wonders, surrounded by the magnificent natural environment of the Sierra de Aracena, is another of the most enjoyable things to do in Huelva.
This cave, formed by the erosion of water on limestone rocks over hundreds of years, is a true wonder of nature and one of the most beautiful in the world, thanks to its large cavities, gorgeous lakes, and incredible colorful formations, stalactites, and stalagmites.
After the visit, which usually lasts about 45 minutes, you can do some hiking in the Natural Park of Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche, full of forests and bathed by the Guadalquivir and Guadiana rivers, or enjoy the views of the whole environment from the castle of Aracena.
Near Aracena, you also have the town of Jabugo, where the delicious acorn-fed Iberian ham, one of the most recognized and expensive in the country, is produced.
People Also Read: Most Stunning Villages In Andalusia According To Tourists
Niebla, a beautiful ancient village located next to the Tinto River, is another of the most beautiful places to see in Huelva.
Although they passed Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans, it was not until the arrival of the Arabs that the city reached its splendor and was protected with an imposing wall of 2 kilometers and 50 towers, which has been preserved to this day.
Once you cross the wall through one of its five gates, you will access the narrow streets that maintain the old Arab layout, and that will lead you to its most interesting points such as the Mosque, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Granada, the Church of San Martin, the Hospital of Santa Maria and above all, the spectacular Castle of Niebla or the Guzmanes.
Before leaving, you can visit the area outside the walls to see the remains of the Aqueduct and the Bridge, both from Roman times.
People Also Read: The 10 Must-See Beautiful Places To Visit In Andalusia, Spain
6. Riotinto Mines
Minas de Riotinto, where minerals such as iron, silver, and copper have been extracted for more than 5,000 years, is another great place to visit in Huelva.
In addition to enjoying this landscape that looks like Mars for its reddish colors, even in the waters of the Rio Tinto River.
We recommend you take a short trip in the wooden cars of a mining railroad. This railroad connected with the Port of Huelva in the late nineteenth century.
Discover all the ins and outs and the history of this mining operation, especially during the time of the English, when the mine was at its most spectacular.
People Also Read: The 15 Best Things To See And Do In Andalusia, Spain
7. Beaches of Huelva
It’s more than 120 kilometers of coastline on the emblematic Costa de la Luz. This makes Huelva a haven for beach tourists looking for swims in the Atlantic Ocean, unforgettable sunsets, and water sports.
From small, isolated beaches of golden sand and crystal clear waters, surrounded by a beautiful natural environment, to large, clean beaches with all the necessary amenities, located in cities or nearby, which are filled with families, you will find them all along the coast.
Among the best beaches to see in Huelva you have El Portil, Punta Del Moral, Punta Umbría, El Rompido, Islantilla, Matalascañas, Isla Canela and those located within the Doñana Park such as Torre del Loro, Rompeculos and Cuesta Maneli.
People Also Read: The 7 Most Stunning Beaches In Andalusia, Spain You Should Visit
8. Enter the Dolmen of Soto – One of the things to do in Huelva
Entering the Dolmen de Soto, one of the largest (21 meters long) and one of the finest examples of the Neolithic in all of Spain, is another of the essential things to do in Huelva.
This megalithic monument, dated between 3000 and 2500 B.C. and declared a National Monument, was discovered in 1922.
After thorough excavations, eight squatting bodies were found with their corresponding grave goods.
The Dolmen consists of a chamber and a V-shaped corridor, oriented from east to west so that the first rays of sunlight illuminate the chamber for a few minutes.
People Also Read: The 8 Best Places To Get Lost In Andalusia This Summer
9. Odiel Marshes
The Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel, located at the confluence of the mouths of the rivers Tinto and Odiel, where fresh and salt waters meet.
It was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and is another of the most beautiful places to see in Huelva.
This landscape of wetlands formed by lagoons, salt marshes, islands, beaches, and forests, is a must for thousands of birds migrating from Europe to Africa, such as spoonbills, flamingos, ospreys, and different types of herons, which has earned it the consideration of Special Protection Area for Birds and has little to envy that of Doñan.,
If you are not a big fan of ornitho. We recommend you visit the Anastasio Senra Visitor Center, go on a hike, or book this boat trip through the marshes at sunset from Punta Umbria.
People Also Read: The 11 Most Unique Hotels In Andalusia (with Lots Of Charm), Spain
Moguer is the birthplace of the writer Juan Ramón Jiménez.
To visit the birthplace and museum of the famous author of Platero y yo is to get to know his importance in world literature and his human greatness.
In Moguer, you can also visit the Monastery of Santa Clara, where Columbus took his oath, and other monuments of interest such as the Parish of Nuestra Señora de la Granada and the Chapel of the Virgin of Montemayor.
People Also Read: 15 Interesting Facts About Andalusia You Didn’t Know About
There are thousands of walnut, oak, and chestnut trees and beautiful beaches in the Sierra de Aracena.
In the north of the province of Huelva, you will find this beautiful natural landscape, and standing out among the green landscape, the typical white houses of the small town of the same name.
The top of the castle of Aracena, next to the church of Nuestra Senora de Los Dolores, provides the most magnificent views of the surrounding area. If you wander through its streets, you will find charming hidden corners.
Be sure to visit its famous Cueva de las Maravillas. This is a huge rock cave with six lakes and twelve subway rooms spread over a circular route of 1 km … impressive!
12. Linares de la Sierra
A few kilometers from Aracena is Linares de la Sierra, one of the most beautiful villages in the region. Nestled in a valley, this tiny town is a haven of peace and the perfect place for those looking to get away from the busy city life.
The village still preserves the cobblestones of its streets and the “llanos,” drawings made with stones at the entrance of the houses that initially prevented animals from slipping and later became an identifier of each family.
Linares also offers many routes and trails for those who want to enjoy relaxing walks through nature.
People Also Read: The 17 Best Typical Foods Of Andalusia You Should Taste
Another of the jewels of the Sierra de Aracena and one of the best things to do in the province of Huelva is to visit the small town of Cortegana.
Its impressive medieval castle was a strategic place in the territorial disputes with Portugal and offered an excellent panoramic view of the village that stretches at his feet.
Among the streets of Cortegana, you will come across large stately homes, historic buildings such as the Church of the Divine Savior, and works of art on traditional cobblestones in the Route of the Mosaics.
In addition, if you visit the town during August, you can experience the medieval days that turn Cortegana into a tremendous medieval village for a few days.
It is likely that when you read “Jabugo,” your mouth started to water. You are on the right track because it is impossible not to associate this region with the prized pata negra Iberian ham.
Jabugo boasts of heading a brand of denomination of origin with which the most famous hams in the world are distinguished.
Among cobblestone streets and lime-covered facades, you can also treat yourself to other delicacies such as morcillas, cañas de lomo, or salchichones serranos. (Vegans and vegetarians better save the visit).
15. El Rocio
This beautiful village is known for the most famous and multitudinous —thisreligious pilgrimage in the country, the El Rocio pilgrimage.
Thousands of faithful gather during Whit Monday to participate in this pilgrimage that ends with the popularly known event, “jumping the fence.” Devotees vie for the honor of carrying the Virgin of El Rocio in procession.
The truth is that visiting El Rocio during this festival is quite an experience, but to avoid the madness of those days, you can always visit the Hermitage at any time of the year.
16. Jump to Portugal
While it is true that the province of Huelva is a small and compact paradise that lacks almost nothing, it is also true that right next door, you have the fantastic Portuguese Algarve.
So, if you have time to spare, don’t miss the opportunity to get to know one of the most beautiful regions of the neighboring country. And at the same time, you can feast in the purest Portuguese style (ains that cataplana!). Thinking Is Algarve worth visiting?
It is precisely the waters of the Guadiana River that separate the town of Ayamonte from Portugal. Fishing is a strong tradition in this municipality.
A notable example of this is the ruins of the Roman castle (now called Parador), from which the surrounding area can be viewed in great detail.
Ayamonte is included in the Paraje Natural de las Marismas de Isla Cristina, a true gift of nature and one of the most beautiful things to see in Huelva.
18. Cristina Island
One of the last recommendations on the list of places to visit in Huelva is to spend a day or two at Isla Cristina, a beautiful fishing village with several beautiful beaches, such as Central and Hoyo.
Besides enjoying its beaches, this town has other tourist attractions such as La Lonja, where you can see the daily purchase and sale of fresh fish and seafood.
It also has a beautiful historic center that revolves around the Paseo de las Flores.
In addition to booking a boat trip through the port, the second-largest in Spain, and the Natural Park of the Marshes of Isla Cristina.
We hope that our selection of the best things to see and do in the province of Huelva will help you to enjoy your trip to this beautiful area of southern Spain.