Port of Huelva: Port of Light In the west coast of Andalusia, next to the Strait of Gibraltar, the Port of Huelva is situated less than one hour from the monumental city of Seville and the Portuguese Algarve, at the most important crossroads of the North-South and East-West maritime routes, (one sailing night from Lisbon and also to Malaga), which means the opportunity for being visited by cruise ships whose routes are through the South Mediterranean, North Africa and North Europe Canary Islands as well as seasonal change between the Caribbean and Europe.
With 3,120 hours of sunshine a year and a perfect temperate climate on the coast, it is possible to enjoy the sun and the sea all year round along its 122km of coastline of ﬁne and white sandy beaches, oﬀering at the same time outstanding conditions for sailing. These climate conditions motivate visitors to do outdoor sports such as golf, with 11 ﬁrst-class golf courses at the province. Huelva is one of the most natural regions in Spain.
The National Park of Doñana, which has been declared a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, is one of the most important and protected areas in Europe, having the Iberian lynx, and numerous migratory birds such as the ﬂamingos.
The province has a thousand-year history heritage, a result of the passing of civilizations such as the Tartesians, Phoenicians, Romans and Moors. Furthermore, is worth mentioning the legacy left by the British Rio Tinto Company, who exploited the copper mines in the last century and brought to Spain for the ﬁrst time sports as football, tennis and golf. In Rio Tinto, visitors can enjoy the Corta Atalaya mine –the biggest open air mine in Europe- the Mining Museum and a train travelling around the mining area.
The most remarkable event in the history of the city took place in 1492 when three caravels under the command of Christopher Columbus, accompanied by local sailors, departed from the Port to reach the socalled New World. This point of departure in addition to the Columbus Monument, the Franciscan Monastery of La Rábida and the very famous Caravels Dock –where replicates of the caravels can be visited- are adjoining the Port area and very easy to access.
Huelva is, deﬁnitely, the light of the sea.
Must see tourist attractions
La Rábida. Places of Columbus
Doñana Natural Park
The Wonders of Jabugo
Huelva has been, since the beginnings of civilization, a key place in history thanks to the richness of its soil and its strategic geographic location. Undoubtedly, the peak of the province’s importance was on 3 August 1492, when Admiral Christopher Columbus departed from the port of Palos towards the Indies, thereby starting the Discovery of America.
Both the capital and other places in the province, from Riotinto to Punta Umbria, conserve a rich heritage and deep traces of the English presence due to mining in the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.
Lovers of good food can take pleasure in the themed routes offered by the specialities of each region. On the coast, from Ayamonte to Matalascañas, passing through the capital, fish dominates the kitchen, and prawns, clams and other seafood are its greatest stars. Tuna and squid should not be forgotten either, nor the great variety of fish found in markets in Isla Cristina, Punta Umbria or the city of Huelva. While in the North of the province, the pork dominates the cuisine.
Huelva is the most natural province in Spain with 122 km. of white sandy beaches and spaces of such ecological value as Doñana Natural Park. Huelva is light with 3,120 hours of sunshine a year and temperate climate that means visitors can live life outdoors. Huelva, leading player in history.
La Rábida. Places of Columbus
An exciting route through the Lugares Colombinos (‘Places of Columbus’) recreates the discovery and puts visitors in the shoes of the intrepid sailors with a series of tourist attractions that includes the monastery of La Rábida, the wharf of Las Carabelas, with replicas of the three ships that crossed the Atlantic for the first time, the Ibero-American Forum and the Celestino Mutis Botanical Park. Towns such as Palos de la Frontera or Moguer, birthplace of Nobel prize-winner Juan Ramon Jimenez, are bursting with history linked to Columbus in every street.
Victorian-style neighbourhoods and clubs, metal architecture used for bearing minerals, the impressive landscape of Corta Atalaya (the largest European open-pit mine), the Mining Museum and the train that travels along the old mineral transportation railway, form part of a trip that transports the visitor to one of the periods of greatest splendour in the province.
Route of Castles
The 28 cities in the region contain a vast historical heritage that is condensed in the highly interesting Ruta de los Castillos (Route of the Castles) that travels between fortresses predominantly built between the 9th and 13th centuries. Furthermore, the natural environment that surrounds these ruins, the Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche, is the second most wooded area in Europe and is home to natural jewels as impressive as the Grutas de las Maravillas (Caves of Marvels), in Aracena, or the Peña de Arias Montano (Rock of Arias Montano), in Alajar.
Doñana Natural Park
Can you imagine being able to enter 100,000 hectares of protected land that encloses a mosaic of lagoons, beaches, shifting and permanent dunes, reserves and wetlands, and observe the richest variety of fauna in Europe? In Doñana this is possible. Visiting this Nature Reserve, Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site is an unforgettable experience; visitors are in direct contact with the winter refuge of over 300,000 aquatic birds and are close to two of the species at greatest risk of extinction, the Spanish imperial eagle and Iberian lynx.
The city of Huelva was originally a settlement of sailors and traders. Nowadays it is a city which although it may not have many ancient buildings like some of its neighbouring towns, it is heavily laden with history and boasts many places of interest to visit.
On arrival we shall go on an extensive sightseeing tour of the city, taking in all its main points of interest and getting to know the port, the natural viewpoints of La Esperanza and El Conquero, the University Campus of El Carmen, the Queen Victoria English Quarter and the Casa Colón, former Columbus Hotel.
Huelva, sports and leisure
The good climate that is normally found all year round inspires visitors to do outdoor sports. There are 11 first-class golf courses, all found in an environment of great ecological value and attached to four- or five-star hotel complexes. Fans of this sport can obtain a ‘golf passport’, which can be used to play on the province’s different courses at very reasonable prices.
The proximity to the city of Seville is one of Huelva’s advantages. Distance: 90 km. connected by free-toll highway.
According to legend, Sevilla was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. It was called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya with the Moors.
Sevilla lies on the banks of the Guadalquivir and is one of the largest historical centres in Europe, it has the minaret of La Giralda, the cathedral (one of the largest in Christendom), and the Alcázar Palace. Part of its treasure include Casa de Pilatos, Torre del Oro, the Town Hall, Archive of the Indies (where the historical records of the American continent are kept), the Fine Arts Museum (the second largest picture gallery in Spain) , plus convents, parish churches and palaces.
The Columbus Route
The trip to the Columbian area represents a journey back in time to discover the places visited by Christopher Columbus between 1485 and 1492. This trip takes us to La Rábida, a small village situated just outside the city of Huelva, in the local authority of Palos de la Frontera.
The trip begins with a visit to the “Monument to the Discovering Faith ”which is situated on the confluence of the rivers Tinto and Odiel. Completed in 1929, it stands at 37metres in height and it is extremely symbolic. We shall spend about 15 minutes here.
After that we shall head to La Rábida, about 5 minutes from the “Monument to the Discovering Faith”, where we shall see the Columbus Monument, and from there we shall begin the visit of the Monastery of La Rábida on foot.
The Monastery of La Rábida is considered to be the “Cradle of the Discovery of America”; constructed at the beginning of the 15th Century, it was part of an ancient “Rapita” which is why certain elements still maintain characteristics of the arab culture. The visit takes us leisurely through the rooms where Columbus spent most of his time and we sense that this building is crammed with history within its reception rooms, cloisters, church…
Afterwards we shall move straight onto the “Muelle de la Carabelas”, a wharf where it is possible to go aboard life-size replicas of the three ships of the discovery, walk around Meeting. Island, wander through the 15th C. port or visit the 15th Century Museum. In this place the visitor has the opportunity to travel back in time and experience the departure of the “caravels”.
In the northern part of Huelva province, about an hour and a half from Punta Umbria, is the Mining Area of Riotinto, a mine and coalfield crammed with history, and which is considered one of the main attractions of the province, thanks to its unique lunar landscape, combining colours of all the different materials which make up its composition.
The mining area is almost 5000 years old, and ancient civilisations already exploited its resources in prehistoric times. The geographical conditions of the mine favoured opencast mining, therefore the vast majority of minerals were easily accessible without having to carry out excavations in deep caves underground.
This type of mining has created over the centuries an unique scenery, a cross between the artificial with its cuts and excavated terraces, and the natural with its physical and chemical processes which have given the land its impossible shades of colour.
The mine offers us the opportunity to carry out an extensive visit to ancient history and the mining culture, especially during the period of British ownership under the famous company Riotinto Ltd.
The tour begins in the mining museum, where the visitor has the chance to learn first-hand about the history of the mine, from the first civilisations to the present time, by means of models, photographs, authentic documents and unique pieces such as the Luxury Carriage of Maharajá.
The visit continues with the transfer to the district of Bellavista, where we have the opportunity to travel back in time to the end of the 19th Century to see typical British housing of that era. We can step inside and have a look around House 21, where time has stood still, and we can see for ourselves what life must have been like for British families during their stay in Rio Tinto.
The tour of the museum takes us through the different periods of history, showing us how they lived, including a visit to a reproduction of a Roman Mine, which attempts to show the visitor the conditions of an underground pit, and this type of mining is really brought to life for the visitor.
As the tour continues we move on to the railway station, where we can take a ride on an authentic train from the early 1900’s, whose carriages have been restored to that era, in order to give the visitor the opportunity to recreate the journey made by the miners to reach their workplace. The route takes us through some unique scenery, running alongside the bed of the River Tinto, which, we shall discover, has given the land its extraordinary characteristics, such as its colour and composition, which have made it worthy of investigation by NASA.
Our tour concludes at the viewpoint at Cerro Colorado, from where we can observe a unique view of one of the greatest opencast mining sites in the world.
Guided Tour of Doñana
Of the many protected areas in Huelva, the National Park of Doñana is by far the most outstanding. It is situated in the West of the province and covers than 100,000 hectares.
Its special location in Southern Europe, in the basin of the Guadalquivir, next to the mouth of the river of the same name, gives a very special climate, which is beneficial for migratory currents throughout the year. Doñana is not only a National Park but also has the certificate of Heritage of Humanity from UNESCO.
For more than 3 hours we take the visitor on an authentic Nature Trail in specially authorised vehicle, through the Northern part of Doñana. We shall begin our journey by driving through the famous village of El Rocío, which is both a national and international pilgrimage destination.
After seeing El Rocío and discovering the peculiarity of this unique Huelva village with its sandy streets and typical buildings, we shall take one of the roads followed by the pilgrims, which leads us into the Northern area of Doñana. We shall learn about the various ecosystems which constitute the National Park. On the return journey, we shall stop at the Rocina Centre to visit the Acebrón Palace inside National Park of Doñana to discover his history and resources.
Aromas and Secrets of Brandy
This visit takes place in the cellar of the famous Luis Felipe Brandy, which is recognised worldwide as one of the best brandies to be found or enjoyed anywhere. On this visit you will experience first-hand the unique atmosphere of this establishment, where it appears that time is standing still, where hundred-year-old mother brandies are housed in casks made of American oak, when you first step inside the brandy cellar you have the impression of having entered another world, with its unique sensation of tranquillity, peace and harmony.
The miracle that is Luis Felipe is possible thanks to the discovery, in 1893, in a remote corner of a wine cellar in La Palma del Condado, of some fine ancient oak barrels. These barrels contained an aged Brandy which was exceptional for its remarkable deep colour and aroma and also for its smooth flavour gradually perfected over the passage of time.
The person who made this great discovery, an oenologist with many years of experience in wine production and wine tasting, told in amazement that he had never tasted anything like it before: its exceptional qualities distinguished it from everything known at that time including the finest products from France or Jerez.
Those neglected, almost forgotten, barrels were marked with the title LUIS FELIPE, and were reserved exclusively for Don Antonio of Orléans, the Duke of Montpensier and son of King Louis Phillippe I of France who resided in the San Telmo Palace in Seville.
During the visit we will learn first-hand about the world of brandy making and its secrets, and finally to do some tasting in a traditional brandy glass.
We leave the ship in the direction of Seville, the regional capital of Andalusía, to visit this important historic and artistic city.
On arrival in Seville we begin with a sightseeing tour of the city, around the ancient ramparts of the city taking in the pavillions of the Expo 92, the University, the Maestranza Bull Ring, the Golden Tower and San Telmo Palace. Afterwards, accompanied by a local guide, we shall head towards Seville Cathedral, an impressive gothic cathedral known worldwide for its artistic merit, outstanding architecture and famous tower, “la Giralda”.
Next, we shall visit the popular district of Santa Cruz, the ancient Jewish quarter with its narrow winding streets, and its characteristic whitewashed walls and beautifully decorated buildings.Here, we shall see the Doña Elvira Square, former Venerables Hospital, the Laurel Tree Inn from Don Juan Tenorio and the “Calle del Beso” lane.
After having visited the historic centre of Seville we shall have some free time to explore the modern centre, with its many pedestrian streets and lively atmosphere, and to really enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life.
After lunch we shall continue our trip with a tour around the pavillions of the 1929 Latin American Exhibition, stopping to visit the Spanish Pavillion, situated in the famous Plaza de España, within the gardens of the Maria Luisa Park. We can admire one of Seville’s most well-known monuments in its wonderful natural surroundings.
Banking hours (morning):
From 08:00 to 14:00
Banking hours (afternoon):
All of them
Accepts Travellers Cheques:
Shopping hours (morning):
From 10:00 to 13:30
Shopping hours (afternoon):
From 17:00 to 20:30
January 1st, January, 6th, February 28th, Easter Holidays (Holy Thursday and Friday), May 1st, August 3rd (local), August 15th, September 8th (local), October 12th, November 1st, December 6th, 8th and 25th.
Length: 300mtr, up to 350mtr under Harbour Master’s Office authorisation
Width: no limit
Ship tenders allowed: yes
Tugs available: yes, 12 (max power 8,100 CV)
Tidal movement/range: 3mtr
Total number of quays: 16
Total number of cruise quays: 2 (South Wharf in strict order of request for berthing)
Total Length of cruise quay: 1,070mtr
Quay depth: max 13mtr, min 5mtr
City centre: Levante Quay in city centre, South Quay is 10-15 min by shuttle
Airport: Seville 90km (50min by motorway), Faro, Portugal 100km (less than 1hr by motorway)
Free Shuttle service to city: yes, from South Quay
Total cruise passengers 2018: 11,691
Total cruise calls 2018: 16
Total cruise lines 2018: 9
Turnaround port: no
Work In Progress:
The Port of Huelva also has several infrastructure projects in progress such as the Marina Port of Levante Wharf that will be an outstanding leisure zone where passengers will be able to enjoy from its shops, restaurants and many other amenities. In addition, the Port of Huelva has renewed the PERS (Port Environmental Review System) certificate that grants our Port of being a Green Port respectful with its surroundings and the environment.