Exploring Huelva and the Doñana National Park

Doñana National Park

Doñana National Park – Marc Ryckaert Creative Commons

Doñana National Park in Huelva area of Spain is the scene of today’s guest post.

Andalucia is the largest region in Spain, located in the south of the country. There are olive groves, small villages with white houses and pristine beaches on the coast.

Doñana National Park

Doñana National Park – Technische_Fred Creative Commons

Doñana National Park.

Huelva is located in the south of the region next to Portugal and is one of the most visited provinces. The Doñana National Park lies in this province. It is one of the largest natural parks in the country and the place where many birds migrate to.

The national park offers guided tours around this vast natural reserve. The tour leaves Matalascañas and follows the sand dunes across the coastline. The 4×4 safari is one of the most popular tours, which allows visitors to visit the sandy dunes and the beach, the marshes filled with birds and the fields where local animals can be seen.

Doñana National Park

Parque Nacional de Doñana – José Luis Filpo Cabana – Creative Commons

There are three official campgrounds in the national park. Visitors who stay there will be able to explore the park and the animals and birds that can be found there.

The national park lies in the delta of the Guadalquivir river. The pine forest, the sand dunes and the wetlands form the three ecosystems that can be seen in the park. Each ecosystem has its own set of animals and plants. The many species of birds that can be seen in this park, including eagles, flamingos and spoonbills, attract birdwatchers. Animals that can be seen in the national park include lynx and deer.

Lynx Doñana

Lynx in Doñana National Park – José María Alvarez – Creative Commons

Birdwatching can be enjoyed in several points in the park. The El Rocio bridge is one is the most popular birdwatching spots.

Small towns

These provinces are known for their tradition. During Easter the streets are filled with procesiones, when locals carry statues of saints from church to church. El Rocío is one of these traditional villages, a pilgrimage site located in the province of Huelva. Many Andalusians join the locals during the Fiestas del Rocío, a colourful and traditional feast in honour of the Virgin.

After a tour around the National Park visitors can take a detour to nearby Cortegana. This small town in the sierra of Huelva is known for its ancient castle. Cortegana Castle is a preserved fortress with several towers and a keep, and is located on a hill where visitors can enjoy views towards the town.

Cortegana Castle

Cortegana Castle -José Luis Filpo Cabana Creative Commons

Huelva is a province known for its scenery. The vast sand dunes next to the Atlantic coast, the marshes near the national park and the small villages peppers across the countryside offer visitors many outdoor activities. Some popular activities include cycling, horse riding, mountains biking and trekking in the Huelva mountains.

The Sierra

The Sierra Morena is an extensive range that forms a border between the region of Andalucia and the rest of the country. Part of the mountain range can be found in the province of Huelva, and some of the best jamón, cured ham, is produced in the region. There are many options for hikes in the mountains, including treks near the Rio Tinto.

The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park is located in the north of the province. There are several hiking routes across the park, which has many chestnut and pine trees, valleys and waterfalls. During the hikes visitors will be able to see eagles, hoopoes and vultures. Nature trails on horseback around this sierra is a popular option. The Aracena Dam offers several water activities, including canoe and kayak. Visitors will be able to visit the Gruta de las Maravilla, a cave with several underground lakes and formations.

TT

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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About Traveling Ted

Ted Nelson has been adventure traveling since he was 10 years old on camping trips with his Dad to places like the Great Smoky Mountains, The Everglades, and Big Bend National Park. In 2005 he added international travel to his repertoire with a three month trip to Southeast Asia.

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2 Responses to Exploring Huelva and the Doñana National Park

  1. Jeremy Branham January 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Loved the Andalucia region in Spain. However, I didn’t get a chance to explore the outdoors much when I was there.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..A Fiesta Bowl and a perfect ending to a travel journey

  2. travelingted January 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    I did not get a chance to see much of Spain outside Barcelona. I wish I had as it sure looks nice, but off the beatan path travel is always that way.

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