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Traditional Isla Cristina with Andalucia Rentals Ltd

Images of Isla Cristina


Eight kilometres east of Ayamonte is the resort of Isla Cristina, a modern town with a long seafaring tradition, a great place to find salted meats and canned fish. Once a distinct island the town is now linked to the mainland, and is flanked by tidal estuaries. The town is now an important fishing port, the second most important in Huelva province, and a popular summer resort.

Isla Cristina is noted for its marvellous choice of sandy, extensive beaches making a stretch of eight kilometres' long. There are some excellent windsurfing spots along this stretch of coast. The town's population explodes in July and August due to a huge influx of tourists, mainly from Seville. During these months it's best to book accommodation as far in advance as possible and be prepared for some hefty price increases. Only visit at this time if you like a lively atmosphere and a resort packed with people, because Isla Cristina is full to bursting point in the summer.

Isla Cristina

The port is at it's best when the fishing boats unload their catches, first thing in the morning, or to enjoy the sunset in the evening. At the harbour side you can buy Isla Cristina's famous canned tuna and mackerel and salted fish. And, as you would expect in a port that supplies fish to Cordoba, Seville and even Madrid, the town is full of great little fish restaurants and tapas bars, as well as the chiringuitos (summer beach bars) lining the beach. Local fish specialities include raya en pimentón (skate with peppercorns) and mechado de atún (a minced tuna fish dish).

In the heart of the village itself life tends to centre on the Plaza de las Flores. To the southeast of this square is the tourist office , Avenida de Madrid (tel. 95-933-26-94 ), which is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 2pm and 6 to 8pm, Sunday 10am to 2pm. Frequent buses from Huelva arrive at the bus terminal along Avenida de Huelva, which is two blocks north of the Plaza de las Flores.

The Marismas

The approach to Isla Cristina from the A49 motorway to the north of the town crosses the Paraje Natural Marismas de Isla Cristina , an impressive salt marshland area; within its 2.1 sq km is a variety of habitats and an impressive range of birds.

The marismas are full of a good variety of waders, terns and gulls all year round, although winter is the best time to see them. There are big flocks of spoonbills and Kentish plovers. Storks, spoonbills, flamingos, black-winged stilts and marsh harriers are among the birds that can also be spotted. Breeding birds include Montagu's harriers, bee-eaters and hoopoes.

Two kilometres north of Isla Cristina is a marked footpath and cycleway. This is the Sendero de Molino Mareal de Pozo del Camino, a so-called vía verde (green route), which follows the route of a disused railway line from Pozo del Camino to Ayamonte.


Isla Cristina boasts a number of superb beaches. A walk along Carretera de la Playa , with its mammoth eucalyptus trees, will bring you to the Playa d e la Casita Azul with it's surround of more eucalyptus and a tier of pines; incidentally, these pines are an important habitat for endangered chameleon. The 'Blue Flag' Playa Central is possibly the most 'urbanised' with a paved seafront, a number of the ubiquitous Chiringuitos and facilities such as showers, public toilets etc, including facilities for the disabled. Most of the beaches have some of these facilities, as well as lifeguards during the summer months.

As you move up towards the adjacent resort of Islantilla you will find numerous sporting facilities, including its international standard 27-hole course which has previously been the venue for the PGA Spanish Open and a number of Spanish national tournaments.


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