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 The A to Z of Rural Andalucia
Costa De La Luz
 Huelva Monastery
The Costa de la Luz, where HUELVA is located at the mouth of the Odiel river, an area of marshes where numerous itineraries depart leading to the protected reserves in the Province.

The city has many lovely monuments and in the old quarter are narrow streets and small squares, and at the Mirador del Conquero in the plaza de las Monjas you can look upon a lovely view of the city and its surroundings and it is possible to see from here the Marismas del Odiel, a natural environment of marshes of great importance to migratory birds.

The curious quarter of Reina Victoria markedly English in character and the Rio Tinto mines, where iron and copper are still extracted are worth visiting.

Several kms from HUELVA is Palos de la Frontera where from here COLUMBUS set sail in three ships for the NEW WORLD. The Monastery of La Rabida, a Gothic-Mudejar temple, is one of the most important sites linked to COLUMBUS, it is here that he spent his last night before starting out on his journey to the "EAST INDIES".
 Magnificent beaches
Punta Umbria is the largest resort on the COSTA DE LA LUZ and the nearest to HUELVA city. It has some magnificent beaches, great seafood restaurants and is on the edge of the Parque Natural Marismas del Odiel.

The COSTA DE LA LUZ runs from the Guadiana river that separates PORTUGAL from SPAIN to the Guadalquivir river in the east and boasts long unspoiled beaches backed by pine woods, sand dunes and many protected coastal reserves.

The beaches although exposed, are not so windswept as the CADIZ section of the coast. The shoreline is punctuated by small fishing ports and modern resorts, separated by marshes and river estuaries making travelling rather circuitous.

SANCTI PETRI CASTLE - The stuff of legends.

A delightful sight to behold, Sancti Petri Castle, sitting on an island just offshore is steeped in history. Legend has it that the island was once the home to the temple of Hercules and the legacy survives today through a statue at the marina entrance as if that was not enough a street name,

Meanwhile, Roman emperor Julius Caesar is said to have had a dream which foretold his domination of the world while staying at this very castle. There is a magical somewhat eerie air about the ruined remains.
 Donana National Park
The Playa de Castilla east of Matalascanas, runs alongside the DONANA, a 25 km stretch that is only accessible by foot. Just over the border with Portugal is AYAMONTE, a fishing port that used to serve as a through-route to Portugal with its daily ferry to Vila Real de Santo Antonio across the Guadiana river. This has been superseded by the new suspension bridge that crosses the river just North of AYAMONTE, but the town is still worth a visit for its pleasant squares and pretty, narrow pedestrianised streets in the center.

Next along the coast is the popular resort of Islana and the fishing port of Isle Cristina surrounded by marshland, and further East is Antilla La Antilla and the tiny port of El Terron. Here are some fine views across the Piedras river estuary to the fishing village of El Rompido and the nature reserves.

The DONANA NATIONAL PARK is located primarily in HUELVA Province although an important part lies in the Province of SEVILLE. The marshlands of the DONANA NATIONAL PARK amount to 50,720 acres with travelling dunes, unspoiled beaches of fine white sand, pine forests and the area known as the Vera - a land in transition between two ecosystems, form the remainder of this singular environmental complex.

Ancient chronicles tell the legendary reign of the Tartessians was established here, but there is no real evidence to prove this, only a few Roman ruins are scattered throughout the wetlands, along with some 16th century watchtowers which serve as a beacon for boats entering through the mouth of the Guadalquivir.

CADIZ, on the COSTA DE LA LUZ is the western part of the ANDALUCIA coastline and is popularly known as the silver bowl is a large spit of land connecting the city with the mainland.

Known by as GADIR and surrounded by water on three sides CADIZ serves as an entrance to the bay. The 17th century entrance gate, Puerta de Tierra, provides access to the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western world. The cathedral with its back to the Atlantic, is a mixture of baroque and neoclassical, and the immortal remains of the CADIZ born world famous composer Manuel de Falla are buried.

This is a city that needs to be walked and has so many pretty squares and streets with many views of the sea, and the bay with its bobbing boats. The city has traditional quarters and in La Vina is the beach of La Caleta, flanked by the castles of Santa Catalina and San Sebastian and other beaches include Santa Maria del Mar and La Victoria, a long sandy shore located at the entrance to the city.
The shores of the BAY OF CADIZ boast millenary towns, the most important being El Puerto de Santa Maria at the mouth of the Guadalete river where in the old quarter is the castle of San Marcos.

It is here you will find the landscape of dunes, marshes and pine trees and leads the traveller to Puerto Real where the old quarter has been declared a historic artistic complex. The coast of CADIZ begins at the fishing towns of Sanlucar de Barrameda at the mouth of the Guadalquivir opposite the DONANA NATIONAL PARK. The old fishing quarter of Bajo de Guia has a ferry to the opposite bank of the Guadalquiver in HUELVA.

The seaside resort of Chipiona is a pilgrimage centre to the Virgin Mary and near the beach stands the sanctuary of Nuestra Senora de Regla. Further down are the towns of of CONIL DE LA FRONTERA, Canos de Meca and Barbate and close to Zahara de los Atunes there are golden beaches next to the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia.

TARIFA is the southern most point in mainland SPAIN looking out on the NORTH AFRICAN coast and the town has wide beaches with strong west winds and is a windsurfers paradise. In the old quarter rises Califal castle built during the Arab occupation.

Just a few miles inland is VEJER DE LA FRONTERA and the old quarter boasts numerous monuments including a Moorish castle and the sanctuary of Nuestra Senora de la Oliva.

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