with tips for cycling & hiking
This section stretches from the Portuguese Border to Donana National Park.
The big attraction of the area is the long, unspoilt sandy beaches backed by sand dunes and in many cases protected national reserves. As a result the area has escaped the massive over development that you would experience on the other Spanish Costas.and there is a distinct absence of 'British' pubs and fish and chips This area is very popular with the Spanish
Originally an island this is now a major fishing port and the port area provides a good source of fresh fish if you are self catering in a motorhome. The town is not unimpressive but the main attraction is its superb beaches which seem to go on forever. No high rise developments in Isla Cristina.
You can take the Ruta de Cameleon from the Isla Cristina breakwater all the way to the urban area of Islantilla either by bike or on foot. Alternatively you can walk along the beach,
If you cycle you will have to take the road for the last section before you come into Islantilla and then you can pick up the coastal promenade and later road which takes you past the mainly medium rise developments, which is a reminder that this is a very popular holiday destination, primarily for the residents of Seville. In July and August this place is heaving but in early June it is very peaceful.
You then carry onto La Antilla which is a small coastal resort with a considerable degree of charm passing on the way the area of El Carmen which is the fishermen's quarter and here you will see a traditional sight of men working on their boats and nets. All along the promenade are bars and restaurants and virtually empty in early June.
We stayed at Camping Giralda which has all the facilities that you can expect from a first class site and additionally it is an ACSI site. It is situated in pine forests and it has a big plus, just cross the road and in no time at all, you are on the beaches. A cycle path takes you into town, passing supermarkets on the way.
This town sits on the Rio Odiel estuary and though it has a pleasant promenade and is popular with the Spanish, our preference would be Isla Cristina.
We stayed at Camping Playa La Bota which has the advantage of a direct access to the superb beach
but at 27 euros, it was the most expensive site by a country mile and it was made worse by the fact that the superb swimming pool was not open. We did have a very nice pitch and the facilities were good but it appears they do not want to attract the off peak traffic. There were hardly any tourers on site.
We cycled to Punta Umbria and most of it was off road and when we reached the resort, we were a little underwhelmed, made worse by the fact that the view across the estuary was off an industrial site. There is a cycle route to Huelva.
Is the last resort and despite being effectively in the Donana Natioal Park, was the only resort that we saw with not particularly attractive high rise developments. The town itself is fairly non descript but there are some excellent beaches.
We visited the resort when we were staying in El Rocio and it is an easy cycle, as long as the wind is not blowing. It is,however,down a main road which can get busy at times but it is straight with good visibility.
I think it is fair to say that it was our least favourite and not one to rush back to. Though having said that we visited when we were staying at El Rocio and to be fair the Donana National Park was very
much our focus.
This section stretches from Donana to Tarifa
We have not forgotten to write this section, it is simply that we have not visited yet. There is always an excuse to go back to Spain and this could be it.